AAA 3 Diamond Restaurants 2020

16 Triad restaurants make AAA’s list of Diamond-rated eateries

Triad Business Journel, February 2020

No Triad restaurants earned AAA’s coveted Four- and Five-Diamond ratings for restaurants this year, but 16 did earn Three Diamonds.

Eight restaurants from Winston-Salem, seven from Greensboro and one from Burlington earned Three Diamonds. In addition, 27 Greensboro restaurants earned an Approved rating, plus 20 from Winston-Salem, 10 in High Point, 7 in Burlington, 5 in Reidsville, 4 in Asheboro, 2 in Kernersville and 1 in Clemmons.

The Triad restaurants to earn Three Diamonds:


  • Bernardin’s Restuarant at Zevely House
  • Bleu Restaurant & Bar
  • Paul’s Fine Italian Dining
  • Milner’s American Southern
  • Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro
  • Rooster’s Ktichen, A Noble Grille
  • Ryan’s Restaurant
  • Village Tavern


  • 1618 Seafood Grille (Friendly Ave.)
  • Di Valletta
  • Green Valley Grill
  • Liberty Oak Restaurant & Bar
  • Lucky 32
  • Print Works Bistro
  • Undercurrent Restaurant


  • Grill 584

AAA overhauled its Diamond rankings in January, revising the tiers into which it sorts hotels and restaurants. Under the new ranking system, the auto club – which first started awarding diamonds to show its road-faring members the best places to eat and sleep while traveling – gives the following designations:

  • Five Diamonds, meaning the restaurant serves leading-edge cuisine, ingredients and preparation with extraordinary service and surroundings
  • Four Diamonds, meaning it offers distinctive fine dining and good service amid upscale ambiance
  • Three Diamonds, meaning it serves trendy food skillfully presented in a remarkable setting
  • Approved, meaning the restaurant meets the standards of AAA inspections

Heron’s of Cary was the only North Carolina restaurant to earn the Five Diamond designation. It is one of 67 restaurants nationwide to receive the award, representing just 0.2% of the more than 30,000 restaurants that were awarded Diamonds. Heron’s is located in The Umstead Hotel & Spa.

Ten North Carolina restaurants earned Four Diamonds from AAA, including four in the Triangle. The Four Diamond restaurants are:

  • Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern in Raleigh
  • The Fairview Dining Room in Durham
  • Crossroads Chapel Hill
  • Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill
  • Kimball’s Kitchen in Duck
  • Manna in Wilmington
  • 1895 Grille in Pinehurst
  • Chef and The Farmer, Kinston
  • McNinch House, Charlotte
  • Gamekeeper Restaurant & Bar, Boone
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