Eating around Pinehurst

Attending a U.S. Open often means consuming overly expensive food or drink on site or venturing out on the periphery of the host course to find something that is both accessible and affordable. 

Much of that is true in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the site of this year’s U.S. Open, to be held June 10-16. Pinehurst offers a village surrounded by a more rural setting, establishing a need to find something that won’t take you all afternoon or evening to get a table. It’s also nice to find local establishments that resonate the spirit of Pinehurst year-round versus just the week of the big event, both within walking distance and via a short car ride.

So, here’s a sixsome of locations to dine that will fit the North Carolina bill:

> PIK N PIG [194 Gilliam McConnell Road, Carthage]. Located off the beaten path in Carthage, this is not just an excellent BBQ place, but also a small airport. Some folks fly in and out for a high-flying takeout. Barbecue, a North Carolina staple, is the featured food here in addition to watching small planes fly land and take off, with the chance you might get some larger aircraft coming in for the golf from farther away.

The location burned down in 2021 but was rebuilt and reopened in February 2023. And it’s not that far from the Red Lot general parking north of town where most folks must park during a Pinehurst U.S. Open.

> STUBBS & SON BBQ [2440 Jefferson Davis Highway, Sanford]. If you’re traveling down U.S. 1 from the Triangle, stop by this grab-and-go place to get a tasty BBQ sandwich or the signature Brunswick stew. This is more of a lunchtime location since it’s not open on Sundays or after 7 p.m. There are also locations in Pittsboro and Carthage, both en route to the U.S. Open from the north.

> PINEHURST TRACK RESTAURANT [200 Beulah Hill Road, Pinehurst]. Known for the blueberry pancakes (which have been rated third in the country by the Golf Channel), this mom n’ pop-style restaurant housed in a simple white building keeps its food simple yet delicious, serving breakfast and lunch. This establishment is cash only and 1.2 miles from the Pinehurst clubhouse and across the street from Course No. 5. The restaurant is nearly within walking distance of the U.S. Open site.

Pine Crest Inn :: Photo: Will Clayton

> PINE CREST INN [50 Dogwood Road, Pinehurst]. This inn, located a 15-minute walk from Course No. 2, is more famous as the village watering hole, especially when it comes to the slew of golf events that come to Pinehurst and since course architect Donald Ross once owned the place. The fireplace chip-in next to the bar and exterior porch is a must-stop location, amended this year when Dogwood Road will be closed at 3 p.m., to make for a pedestrian walkway until 10:30 p.m. The Pine Crest will have a hospitality tent with full bars, food trucks and hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and hot dogs with live entertainment.

If you’re into the tradition of the inside dining and the signature porkchop of Mr. B’s diner, you can make reservations during the Open via OpenTable.

> PINEHURST BREWING COMPANY  [300 Magnolia Lane, Pinehurst]. This place wasn’t here during the previous U.S. Opens, but the Pinehurst Resort transformed the old steam plant for the town into a brewery, beer garden and eatery in the fall of 2018. A 17-minute, ¾-mile walk from the clubhouse, it’s a natural for after-golf brew and food. Beers with cool handles like 1895 (the year the resort was founded), Pineapple Caddie Quencher and Sweet Carolina Haze highlight the beer menu. Barbecue, pizza, sandwiches and salads dominate the menu to amplify the beer tastings. 

> DRUM AND QUILL [40 Chinquapin Road, Pinehurst]. We wrap up with a location in the village that has great U.S. Open connections. The Drum and Quill is right in the heart of the village and reminds one of an Irish pub. The owner is Kevin Drum, whose father, legendary Pittsburgh sports writer and CBS commentator Bob, teamed with Arnold Palmer to create the definition of the modern Grand Slam — Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. Bob Drum was on site at the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills where Palmer drove the first green en route to his only U.S. Open win. The Drum part of the restaurant’s name is in honor of Bob, while Quill acknowledges golf writers from around the globe. The food is mostly burgers and sandwiches with shared plates also. It’s about a 15-minute walk from No. 2.