Read all the columns of our ongoing food series

Our subscriber-only Fayetteville Hidden Gems series highlights delicious, unexpected food finds across the greater Fayetteville area, as well as tells the stories of the people who make it all possible.

Learn about finding traditional Chinese cuisine, about how a restaurant that started on the Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan made its way to Fayetteville, a deep dive into the one-time Dewberry Capital of the World and so much more.

Fayetteville Hidden Gems:

Garden State Grill

Is it pork roll or Taylor ham? Whatever you call it, this New Jersey delicacy is on the menu at this new Lillington restaurant.

Garden State Grill: Pork roll or Taylor ham? Jersey favorite on the menu at Lillington restaurant

Magda’s European Cuisine

When needing a way to lift herself out of a bout with depression, Maggie Grel turned to feeding her neighborhood with pierogies.

Magda’s European Cuisine: Unlikely source provides homemade Polish food to community

Maggie Grel runs a home-based Polish food business, Magda's European Cuisine, in Cameron.

Maggie Grel runs a home-based Polish food business, Magda’s European Cuisine, in Cameron.

Pepy Cakes

Pepy Cakes opened in Fayetteville in August and its elaborate, delicious cupcakes have taken the city and social media by storm.

Pepy Cakes: Born during adversity, Pepy Cakes now a sweet success story

Kit Kat cupcake from Pepy Cakes bakery at 5447 Yadkin Road.

Kit Kat cupcake from Pepy Cakes bakery at 5447 Yadkin Road.

Vicky’s Biscuits and Chicken

While Vicky’s Biscuits and Chicken has only been open since 2016, owner Vicky Rincon has been making biscuits in Fayetteville for over 40 years.

Vicky’s Biscuits and chicken: Meet Vicky, Fayetteville’s biscuit queen

Smoked Fresh

Slow-smoked meats, vegetables from the family farm and homemade desserts are but a few highlights of this unassuming barbecue spot in Fayetteville.

Smoked Fresh: From family farm to takeout container, barbecue spot stays local

Dewberry Deli

The Dewberry Deli turned 30 this year, but a stop into this cozy cafe feels like a trip even further back in time.

Dewberry Deli: A taste of history in Cameron, the Dewberry Capital of the World

Noble Meats

Noble Meats opened nearly 35 years ago in Spring Lake, serving local meat and top-notch barbecue.

Noble Meats: Noble Meats feeding the people, from Spring Lake to South Pole

Kinlaw’s Welcome Grill

Kinlaw’s dates back to 1979,
and business at this classic breakfast and lunch spot is better than ever.

Kinlaw’s Welcome Grill: Kinlaw’s serves classic Southern food 1 plate and smile at a time

Mr. K Authentic Chinese

Owner Jeff Kong is determined to preach the gospel of authentic Chinese food in Fayetteville.

Mr. K Authentic Chinese: Mr. K brings traditional Chinese food to Fayetteville

Afghan Kabob

Afghan Kabob only opened in December, but for some in Fayetteville, it may be a familiar taste to one they had a decade ago thousands of miles away.

Afghan Kabob: A kabob born in Kandahar now lives in Fayetteville

Country Fish Fry

Country Fish Fry opened in 1991, but founder Tasos Haspis’s history of restaurants in Fayetteville dates back more than half a century.

Country Fish Fry: Celebrating 30 years of family and fish at Country Fish Fry

Frank’s Place

After decades as a prominent funeral director and coroner of Hoke County, Frank Crumpler wanted a new hobby. So he opened a restaurant.

Frank’s Place: What does the man who’s done it all do next?

Woodard Family BBQ & Grill

Barbecue and soul food are on the menu of this standout small town restaurant.

Woodard Family BBQ & Grill: Barbecue is the Broadway star at this family-run spot


And the one that started it all: Open for nearly 50 years, Zorba’s is known for its Greek food and American classics, but it’s the spaghetti Wednesdays that draw the big crowds.

Zorba’s: Home of the city’s first gyro also offers weekly spaghetti

Jacob Pucci writes on food, restaurants and business. Contact him by email at or follow him on Twitter at @jacobpucci or on Facebook. Like talking food? Join our Fayetteville Foodies Facebook group.

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This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Fayetteville Hidden Gems: Read series of food columns, free this week