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Two North Carolina restaurants rank among the nation’s best. What they’re known for

Steven Senne/AP

North Carolina is home to two of the nation’s top-ranking restaurants — so come prepared to dig in.

The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge in Blowing Rock joins The Buxton Munch Company on the Outer Banks in ranking among the best places to eat in the United States, according to results published Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The travel website Tripadvisor said it gave nods to the North Carolina eateries after studying the “the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings for restaurants” in the year leading up to June 30. The website also focused on businesses that had been open for 12 months or more and considered whether they had faced safety concerns or other negative allegations.

The U.S. restaurants were divided into several categories, including the best places for date nights, fine dining, everyday meals and quick eats. Tripadvisor also debuted a new category of hidden gems, which focused on under-the-radar spots.

Of the North Carolina restaurants that received nationwide recognition, The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge was honored in two categories. The dining destination ranked No. 1 for date nights and No. 2 for fine dining, results show.

On Tripadvisor, several users said they were fans of the restaurant’s romantic, high-end setting. Customers also praised entrees ranging from seafood to steak, helping it earn five out of five stars.

The restaurant, located at the Gideon Ridge Inn, offers customers a chance to eat “al-fresco on our terrace or in our intimate European styled dining room with long-range mountain views as your backdrop,” according to its website. The dining destination said it focuses on cooking with ingredients grown and sold near its location in Blowing Rock, roughly 90 miles west of Winston-Salem.

Across the state, another restaurant that made the Tripadvisor list was The Buxton Munch Company on Hatteras Island, part of the Outer Banks barrier islands. The eatery ranked No. 9 among the nation’s top hidden gems.

“Although the Travelers’ Choice Awards typically represent the top-rated, most popular restaurants, Tripadvisor sought to showcase lesser-known spots and places locals love; hence, a brand-new subcategory revealing the best Hidden Gems,” the company wrote in its report.

While The Buxton Munch Company calls itself a “best-kept local secret,” plenty of customers have raved about it on Tripadvisor. Several of the five-star reviews came from people who said they couldn’t get enough of the fish tacos served near the coast.

“We are Old School at Buxton Munch,” the restaurant wrote on its website. “Being Old School doesn’t automatically mean old-fashioned. It means that after 23 years in business, we are still very interested in maintaining honesty, integrity, fresh, yummy food, and a good reputation in our community, and with all our amazing visitors.”

In addition to the U.S. rankings, Tripadvisor considered restaurants across the globe. On the worldwide list, The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge made its mark when it landed at No. 11 in the date night category.

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