Best Overall Restaurant

The truffle fries from The Root are a favorite among customers. [Caroline Brehman | Photo Editor]

1. The Root Trackside

Chris Brumbaugh and Lynn Terrell, co-owners of The Root Trackside, strive to stand out among other dining options in the Elon area.

“The goal of the restaurant is to not be like other places around us, while also providing a location and vibe unique to the surrounding area,” Brumbaugh said.

Freshman Sam Briggs is a frequent patron at The Root, keeps returning for the unique vibe.

“I love the atmosphere and the setting of The Root. I love the people who work there and the food is to die for,” Briggs said.

Part of the charm of The Root is the staff’s dedication to both their customers and to bringing together the larger community.

“We hope to continue to evolve with new ideas and improve on the customer experience,” Brumbaugh said.

Out of the entire menu at The Root, one dish seems to stand out: parmesan truffle fries.

“If you go to The Root you have to get the truffle fries, at least once in your life,” Briggs said.

Located on West Lebanon Ave, The Root is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00a.m.-9:00p.m. and Monday from 11:00a.m.-3:00p.m.

Best Barbecue Restaurant

Stokely’s offers an extensive menu with favorites such as the pulled pork sandwich with a side of hushpuppies and homemade barbeque sauce. [File photo by Lane Deacon]

1. Stokely’s BBQ & More

Stokely’s BBQ & More is the winner of Elon News Network’s Best of 2017 barbecue category. The restaurant, located at 320 Huffman Mill Road in Burlington, is only about a five-minute drive from campus.

It has a wide selection of barbecue favorites ranging from ribs to chicken to seafood. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“Go in there with an open mind and whatever you pick will be really good,” said sophomore Maria Ramirez.

“Stokely’s BBQ & More is a great year-round family eatery serving up fresh BBQ, Ribs and Seafood,” said Eric Lupton, owner and head chef of Stokely’s. “Whether dining in or taking out, we want our restaurant to be your restaurant.”

Best Italian Restaurant

Prego’s Trattoria offers a variety of Italian food on their lunch and dinner menus, including pasta and other traditional Italian dishes. [Caroline Brehman | Photo Editor]

1. Prego’s Trattoria

Prego’s Trattoria is the winner of Elon News Network’s Best of 2017 Italian category. It was also nominated the No.1 restaurant in Alamance County by Our State magazine.

The restaurant has a wide selection of Italian favorites such as pizza, pasta, veal, seafood and salad, along with a vast selection of beer and wine. Traditional Italian desserts such as tiramisu, cannolis and Tortoni ice cream are also on the menu.

Vincento Hernandez, owner of Prego’s, said the “commitment to freshness in their recipes” is why he believes the food tastes as good as it does.

“We could make our dishes with less-expensive ingredients; we could take shortcuts to make our food faster, but that would not be in keeping with the Italian tradition,” Hernandez said. “I make this commitment to you: We will serve you only the best food, made from original Italian recipes that have been unchanged for generations.”

Best Mexican Restaurant

Cancun Mexican Restaurant was opened in 2013 and is located next to the Walmart Supercenter on Garden Road. [Caroline Brehman | Photo Editor]

1. Cancun Mexican Restaurant

Cancun Mexican restaurant, on Garden Road in Burlington is the winner of the Best Of Mexican restaurant in the greater Elon community.

“We are very excited,” said assistant manager Alex Ruiz. “We have been waiting for this moment.”

Cancun opened in 2013 and serves a variety of classic and modern Mexican cuisine and boasts a full bar. The restaurant also offers both indoor and outdoor seating.

Customer favorites include the arroz con pollo, a dish with grilled chicken and rice topped with cheese as well as the extra- large quesadillas.

Popular bar drinks include the variety flavored margaritas, served both individually and in pitchers, and an assortment of imported Mexican beers.

According to Ruiz, the restaurant has worked hard to become the go-to destination for Elon students and faculty.

“We have Elon students everyday,” Ruiz said. “We’re happy.” Cancun is open everyday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Best Asian Restaurant

Red Bowl offers a wide variety of Asian cuisines guranteed to satisfy any customer with their unique flavors and generous portions. [Cory Weller | Staff Photographer]

1. Red Bowl Asian Bistro

Red Bowl Asian Bistro is the hot choice for Elon University students on a budget craving asian food With so many options to choose from, it’s easy for students to satisfy their cravings.

“They have really big portion sizes and they have really good prices,” said junior Jessica Kuehl. “You usually get more than one meal for a really good price.”

Students are always rushing from class to class, with busy schedules and growling stomachs. Whether it be a study break, dinner with friends, family visit or just an Asian food kind of day — Red Bowl is the place to go.

“It’s very close to the University, and I think it’s very budget friendly, especially for students,” said Ody, a manager at Red Bowl. “I think the portions are good here, too, especially if you go to school, you get tired, and then you want a nice, fresh meal.”

As spring semester arrives, and the late nights begin, Asian food is there to help give you a boost.

Best Burgers and Hot Dogs

The Root, which opened in 2011, is opereated by Elon University alumni Chris Brumbaugh ’98 and Lynn Terrell ’97. [Caroline Brehman | Photo Editor]

1. The Root Trackside

Fulfilling their efforts to be a prominent force against other restaurants in the Elon area, The Root Trackside has just been voted as the best place to get a hot dog or hamburger. Established by Chris Brumbaugh and Lynn Terrell in 2011, The Root is a frequent hot spot for Elon students and surrounding community members.

Freshman Eddie Falshaw repeatedly returns to the restaurant because of its affordability.

“The Root is the best place to get a good quality burger at an affordable price,” Falshaw said.

For others, their love for the restaurant comes from the ability to have a flexible dining option that fits their busy schedule. The Root offers the ability to dine in or call in a to-go order for their customer’s convenience.

“It’s definitely my favorite one out of the restaurant strips,” said senior Avery Jamison. “I’m always someone who is on the go, so if I can call in to a restaurant to order out, than I tend to go back.”

The Root is located on West Lebanon Avenue and is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Best Sweet Treats Restaurant

Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream offers a variety of flavors such as strawberry and mint, but also has exciting seasonal flavors throughout the year. [Caroline Brehman | Photo Editor]

1. Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream

The Elon University community has a sweet tooth for Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream.

“We love Elon so much, so it’s really nice Elon loves us back” said Amy Nakhle, the owner of Smitty’s.

Opening in 2002, the ice cream store instantly became a fan-favorite for Elon students.

“We are at every football game,” Nakhle said.

Smitty’s is the official ice cream of the Elon Phoenix, which she said contributes to its popularity.

“People like it because the ice cream is fresh and homemade,” said freshman Emily Pisani.

Pisani likes Smitty’s because of its convenience and affordability — as well as her go-to order of chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

Nakhle said the good vibes at Elon radiate throughout the store the minute people walk through the doors.

“Students feel warm, and there’s a natural attraction there,” Nakhle said. “Smitty’s is a local, homemade business, which also attracts customers.”

Nakhle thanks the Elon community for their continued support.

“Here’s to many, many more years,” Nakhle said.

Best Coffee Restaurant

The Oak House opened at Elon in 2014 and has been a constant source of tasty responsibly made coffee every since. [Samantha Steinman | Staff Photographer]

1. The Oak House

The Oak House opened in 2014 and quickly became a hotspot for students to stop by and fuel up with morning, afternoon or evening coffee.

Functioning as a hub where students can hold study sessions, meet with professors or spend time with friends, The Oak House’s unique atmosphere and quality coffee makes it a prominent part of the Elon community, according to owner Phil Smith.

Smith said there is a lot of effort in trying to provide a quality coffee product and, “People are putting a more conscious effort to choose something that’s local. The milk we use in our coffee is about 14 miles from here.

Our coffee is roasted 25 minutes from here that sources responsibly. People are a little more attentive to these things than they were several years ago.”

When Smith told former Vice President of Student Life Smith Jackson about his idea to open The Oak House, Jackson said, “Sounds like a place where Cheers meets Central Perk.” For Smith, that is exactly what has happened.

Sophomore Lindeman Edgar is a frequent visitor of The Oak House and says she goes there almost every day.

“There is constant change with the different kind of brews, like The Oak House Special, and a lot of local products are used. It’s amazing,” Edgar said.

Best Pizza Restaurant

Pandora’s Pies is a trademark restaurant at Elon University and is known for its use of local farms, $1 slice nights and build-your-own pizzas. [Cory Weller | Staff Photographer]

1. Pandora’s Pies

Using local food from local farms, $1 slice night and build-your-own pizzas are all ways Pandora’s Pies has branded itself in the Elon community for its delectable pizzas. The locally owned pizza shop won Elon News Network’s Best of 2017 pizza category. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

The restaurant is co-owned and operated by Peter Ustach ’09, who also won Elon’s Top 10 Under 10 Award in 2013, an award distinguishing Elon’s top alumni who haven’t been out of college for more than 10 years. When he decided to open the restaurant, he said he did so because the only pizza available was Dominos.

“This is a college town without a cool pizza place,” Ustach said when he first opened Pandora’s. “We want it to be a place where you can get a quick bite to eat at a reasonable price. Subway is the only other quick place to eat that’s not owned by Elon.”

Junior Connor Quinn is thankful Ustach made it.

“Padora’s has great food between pizza and sandwiches and it’s wicked convenient right on campus,” he said.

Best Breakfast Restaurant

Grill Worx is less than 10 minutes away from Elon and any breakfast can be accompanied by hash browns, home fries and bottomless coffee [Kayla Hoey | Elon News Network]

1. Grill Worx

Just a few minutes from Elon’s campus is Grill Worx, voted best breakfast place.

Open from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. everyday, Grill Worx offers everything from breakfast omelets to lunch and dinner barbecue plates and steaks. It’s the perfect place for any meal, any day of the week.

With four and a half stars on Yelp, Grill Worx is popular among the community in addition to Elon students alike.

Students are often attracted to the brunch and the restaurant tends to be the busiest on Sundays.

“We have our students to thank for this,” said Wendi Losland, co-manager of Grill Worx. “We love our students.”

Perfect for anyone on a budget, you can get most meals at Grill Worx for less than $10. You can find Grill Worx just 10 minutes from campus at 1233 W. Webb Ave.

Best Fine Dining Restaurant

Grill 584 is the best choice for Elon University community members when looking for fine dining and a classy vibe. [Caroline | Brehman]

1. Grill 584

In the world of Fine Dining in the Elon area the best and only choice is Grill 584.

The classy grill has phenomenal lunch and dinner menus where patrons can order a wide variety of meals and is the perfect place for family gatherings and romantic getaways.

Best of 2017 competition isn’t the only place where Grill 584 was rated well. On the popular review site, Yelp, the restaurant has a 4 out of 5 star rating. Which proves the entire Alamance community adores the food.

“I’ve been to Grill 584 several times, and each one has been an incredible experience,” said senior Annaliese Jaffe. “The food is out-of-this-world. It is definitely a restaurant I recommend to my residents.”

The restaurant certainly means a lot to Elon students, but Elon students also mean a lot to Grill 584.

“We have an excellent relationship with Elon and their students,” said Grill 584’s hostess. “They bring in a lot of our business and we love having them here.”

Located at 710 Huffman Mill Road, Grill 584 is open at different times from Monday to Sunday.