Davidson College is known as one of the most prestigious colleges in our state and while its campus is full of gorgeous architecture and history, it is not full of students, with less than 2,000 enrolled. You can imagine the quaint charm this brings to the campus.
The heart of downtown Davidson is essentially on campus and reminds me so much of our neighbor at home, Elon University (which, by the way, Elon is a wonderful little town you need to visit!). The few blocks are lined with shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. There are options to dine from local diner food, Italian, Mexican, all the way to fine dining.
Lunch at The Pickled Peach
Our lunch experience: we chose the Pickled Peach because its reviews were really good, and come on, the name is cute! You enter into a really cool market full of artisan type groceries, beer and wine, take home meals, etc.. You order at a counter with appropriately placed sweets and gluten free options saying, “buy me!”, and we did; two huge cookies (lemon and chocolate chip with cherries). You then choose your dining table in a small glassed room with a sun room type feel or at an outdoor patio with large picnic tables. It was so cold the day we went and the only table we could find was near the door going out to the outdoor seating area – we shivered the entire meal even with the small space heater positioned next to our table. The outdoor seating area was wonderful and I could see it being a great place to hang out in pretty weather. It is not their fault it was the only table we could find or that it was cold that day!
I tried the Cornmeal Fried Shrimp sandwich and B had the Roast Beef (it was about $25 for both with a drink). We both loved the bread but our sandwiches, not so much. Good but not great. Although we loved the bread a lot, the shrimp was just good shrimp – for me, maybe because I chose no lettuce, it tasted like a LOT of bread,, and the spicy mayo which had attracted me, was minimal. B prefers his roast beef to have at least some rareness to it and it was done so he said it was okay too, not great. Our side item (you don’t choose your side) was a shot-size cup of a potato salad that had a vinegar type base. It just wasn’t for me or B.
All that said, I cannot blame them for our sandwich choices; there were several other things on the menu we would try if we went again, the staff was friendly, and service was quick. And the line – it never went away! Even when we went back an hour or more later to get our cookies, the line was longer than it had been previously, so they’re doing something right!
After lunch, we strolled downtown to a wonderful gift shop, The Village Store, full of beautiful housewares, jewelry, clothes, pottery, a great little clothing and gift section for children – this store might be worth the trip to Davidson by itself! That, along with the book store next door, Main Street Books, a book lover’s dream! It had a vintage feel and was full of wonderful books of every genre along with a children’s section of books and gifts. And I loved the way both stores had outdoor areas on the sidewalk for pick up orders, bags with names on them – what an honor system seeing people stop by and just grab their bag. I love that!
Of course, we had to try a coffee shop, and Good Drip Coffee. The shop itself was adorable and the coffee was wonderful! B had a latte and I had a Pie and Ride – pecan pie latte!! OMG!! That said, the service was not very friendly or welcoming, like you kind of love to see in a coffee shop, even with their great reviews. There was another coffee shop down the street that we’d love to try next time, The Summit Coffee.
I will close with this. I have a tough time when I can’t write an all stellar review. It is not fair to the great shops and restaurants to in any way discourage visitors because of two not great experiences for us. There are a LOT of restaurants there we’d LOVE to try if we go back, as well as other shops we didn’t get to go into. You just can’t do it all in one day! I absolutely do encourage you that if you’re in that area of NC, head to Davidson, eat, shop, head on over to Lake Norman, so much to do, and I do not believe for a minute you’ll be disappointed! Even give The Pickled Peach a try, their menu has lots of wonderful options! Just to name a very few of a long list, here are places we saw and some which we stepped inside, and we would definitely try these next time around!
Flatiron Kitchen & Taphouse (beautiful!)
Until our next official wandering… I hope you go wandering and find something new!
A quick little video of your fun!