Southern Lights Bistro
Southern Lights Bistro

Southern Lights Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.southernlightsbistro.com/
  • Phone: (336) 379-9414
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
    Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Matt Adams
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Exclusive-Case by case basis
  • Private Party Facilities: Separate from the general dining area we have a room that can accommodate approximately 32 guests, depending on your event requirements. The facility lends itself nicely to family and friend gatherings, parties, receptions, business meetings, etc.
  • Private Party Contact: John Drees 3363799414

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Markland Dr.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Plenty of free parking.
A word from Southern Lights Bistro
Chef John Drees has reopened Southern Lights Bistro at its new location: 2415-A Lawndale Drive, in Greensboro. An award-winning four-star restaurant, and one of Greensboro’s most popular eating establishments for more than two decades, Southern Lights Bistro is delighted to reopen its doors.

When you come inside you will find many aspects you fondly remember about the original location, from popular menu offerings – such as the famous Cream of Tomato Basil Soup, Tribecca Sandwich, Reference Burger, Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce, Chocolate Walnut Pie, seasonal items, house-made desserts, fresh daily seafood and chalkboard specials, to the ever-changing collection of eclectic artwork featuring local artists, tables that easily pull together for friends and family, and staff members whose faces you will recognize, even a few veterans from when we originally opened 27 years ago!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Southern Lights Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
61 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (36)great for lunch (32)fit for foodies (32)great for outdoor dining (24)special occasion (22)good for groups (18)notable wine list (16)romantic (14)great for brunch (8)hot spot (6)vibrant bar scene (5)late-night find (4)scenic view (2)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Monday night special is awesome!
    CarolinaGirlVIP
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    We went to SL with friends on Monday night which is half-price burger night. All four of us ordered the Reference Burger with different sides. Each burger was cooked to order and served with lettuce, tomatoes, and other requested accompaniments. The tomato-basil soup was wonderful, the pasta salad fresh and tasty, and the fries were hot and crispy. The wines were well priced and a good selection was available. The hostess, Danielle, was friendly and helpful, and Owner John was as always charming and openly appreciative that we were there. Southern Lights has been a favorite long before it moved to the "new" location. We have always enjoyed the food and people who provide a great dining experience. Cheers!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful
    restaurantsampler
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    This spot is quiet with excellent, accommodating service. The varied menu offers tempting choices from meat, seafood, sandwiches, salads to vegetarian. The choices accommodate all budgets. Our group received quick and seamless service. Definitely a spot to revisit and recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Southern Lights at Lunch
    GoldenDiner
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Southern Lights has a great lunch menu. We chose the restaurant because it had a nice atmosphere to sit and talk. Their soups were great as always. My friend is vegetarian and there was a large number of choices that she could enjoy. A nice dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely & eclectic
    MeganB
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    I love this place. I think the soups & salads are fabulous. I have had service that has been both lack-luster and superb.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food very good
    Fran
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Restaurant interior was lacking in interest. Lots of art on very plain walls and furniture. Open and loud. Lights very bright for evening dining. Food was very good
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of our favorites
    ekmr
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    This restaurant is one of our favorites. We were there again Saturday night. The filets were fabulous.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    rem66
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Great selection - excellent entre - super soups - unique sandwiches - knowledgeable servers
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding and Consistent
    crjspo23
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Always a great destination with reliably good food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friday date night!
    1niteoutaweek
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Food and service was very good....a little pricey! Dinner for two, sharing an appetizer, one person had water, the other had a glass of wine= $100.00
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Something for every appetite
    Lee2013
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Loved the fact that the menu included a full range of meal sizes, from smaller plates to larger entrees. My salmon was perfectly prepared, and the "make your own salad" was a big hit with my (male) date. Only minor annoyances were the lack of light for reading the menu, and somewhat uncomfortable chairs that made you slide back , making it necessary to lean forward to eat and converse without raising your voice . Tables are fairly closely spaced and even though the restaurant was only about 30% full on a Thursday at 7:30pm, other diners were seated right next to us-- close enough that our server had to be careful when leaning forward to serve and clear. .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not very good food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    The food was not especially good. While the service was friendly and the atmosphere pleasant, I wouldn't go back. I had the lasagna. It was mostly cheese and pasta, not a lot of flavor or depth. I've had better Italian food from a frozen dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • TriadDinerVIP
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Consistently one of the best dining experiences in Greensboro. You are treated like family there. The menu changes and specials are always enjoyable. Great price points as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Pleasant experience.
    richard
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We have been to Southern Lights twice in the past few weeks. Each time the food was excellent, service was excellent and the bill was moderate. The daily drink and dinner specials make the dining experience very affordable. We will go back next time we have a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely lunch!
    Laura
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I have been going to Southern Lights since the 1980's when it was located off of West Market St. The food and service was fantastic as always! Just sad that I live in VA and can't go there more often!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Incredible Anniversary Dinner
    Out2Eat0706
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    My wife and I celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary at Southern Lights recently and had a wonderful experience. We sat outside, and although it's located near a pretty busy street, the traffic noise is hardly noticeable at all. Our server (Guido) was outstanding. He was very friendly, and professional. The food was well-priced, arrived quickly and was absolutely delicious. I had the filet with mushrooms and a black pepper sauce, and my wife had the shrimp and grits. They even comped our dessert because it was our anniversary. The only issue (and it's a minor one) we experienced was the shrimp in my wife's dish still had the tails attached, and they were a little difficult to find/remove. We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • major occasion, very happy
    koshersalaami
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    I chose this restaurant for my 60th birthday dinner, having eaten here once before (also dinner). I had the shrimp bisque, the lamb special, and the chocolate souffle. All were outstanding. Most places don't go three for three like that. The rest of my party of 5 was extremely happy. The service was attentive, informed, and extremely personable, enhancing the experience. I haven't eaten outdoors here. Indoors, the restaurant can't be very quiet because it's full of hard surfaces. The main room is light, open, airy, and divided in such a way as not to be boxy. The artwork, much of it sculptures, is a great deal of fun (and for sale - the first time we came, we bought a fish, which you won't understand unless you go or visit the website).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food; mediocre service
    imp1781
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The meals were very good. I had several complaints about the service; our waitress was slow (ten minutes before a drink order appeared) and not overly responsive (we had to hold our salad plates while the entrees were served; when we changed our minds about dessert, a menu was provided but no followup, which meant we did not order dessert). For me, the worst was the detailed explanation I sent to the restaurant's website. A week later, I have heard no response.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ted
    twinsx22011
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Food was great as usual. Service was outstanding! Will recommend to all friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Better than ever.
    longtimefan
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    even though it has been almost twenty years since we've been to Southern Lights Bistro, it remains a favorite. Salad was fresh with its signature green peas and yummy homemade blue cheese dressing. All three entrees were enjoyed--everything cooked perfectly. It was nice to see some old favourites on the menu. But i missed the chocolate fudge cake. i look forward to going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner Event
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    The table provided for a reservation was not very good, near the front door. Food and service was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top-notch
    MMinGSO
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Everything was delicious and the service was impeccable. Good choices on the menu in all price ranges.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ignored
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    I made a reservation for 7 at SLB and received confirmation/reminder from Open Table. Also received phone message from SLB asking me to call to confirm the reservation which I did. Upon arriving we were shown to a table set for 6--not 7.That was corrected, but when water was served by a hostess,there were only 6 and we had to ask for a 7th. Then the wait began for a server. No one acknowledged us, & the restaurant was almost empty!We were seated in the bar section and signaled to the bartender. She readily came over, took our drink orders, as well as our dinner orders later. She did a good job but was also handling a full bar. We were very disappointed and even though the food was good and came promptly, we probably will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The staff is very friendly, quick to seat you, and take your drink order. The place is clean, well laid out and the food is excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We have frequented Southern Lights for years and had a group of 12 this time. Unfortunately we had one server who was also tied to other tables so the service was very slow, to the point of one guest walking to the bar to order a drink. The food in the past has been great and this time most of our meals were very good. The Wahoo however should be 86'd from the menu, no flavor and fishy. When the server took 3 Wahoo dishes back that were only half eaten she didn't even ask if it was OK. With the slow service we just opted to pay the bill and leave for desert and drinks at another location.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner with the ladies
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We met for our "once a month" get together. The food was delicious and great service. It was quite noisy though. We liked the round table vs. a long rectangular one.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Very slow service. Painfully slow. Party of 4. We were there 2 hours.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • number one Bistro
    Burky
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Southern Lights is number one in food, service and location. Seeing the owner, chef and plenty of wait staff visiting with guest makes for a homey feeling. They always want to make sure everything is A-Ok.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Service, Just OK Food
    GailJ
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Excellent service, but the food was not as good as other options in Greensboro. I was surprised at the bland everyday menu...it had mashed potatoes with most of the entrees and lots of sandwiches and wraps. My husband had the soup and the fried flounder special which was fresh and tasted very good. It was placed on top of a mound of mashed potatoes. I had a mediterranean salad which was tasty with mixed greens, feta, olives and tomatoes. I also had a crab cake for dinner. I was disappointed in the crab cake...too much filler, not enough crab, somewhat tasteless. For dessert, we had two mini desserts, chocolate mousse and key lime. The chocolate mousse was delicious. There was nothing special about the key lime mini.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Server was very friendly and service was great. Tuna entree was ok--cooked to our liking (rare) but rest of food was cold. Recommend for lunch and dining as a group. Not necessarily for a romantic dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pfowle1
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Southern Lights is a wonderful place for lunch and dinner. Everything is extremely fresh and delicious. There is something for everyone from the steaks, the seafood, the sandwiches, to the build your own salad, etc. I have never had a bad meal there. Refreshing to have something so reasonably priced, that is not a chain. Everyone should try it and guarantee you will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 31 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 31, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 389 reviews are from the Southern Lights Bistro reviews archive.
  • Excellent Food, Great Service
    starscape
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    The trout was excellent, very good service, and the ambiance was quite nice. Also ordered a French Martini that was the best. I have already recommended the restaurant to a neighbor. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous Food
    Susan
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    All 3 of us in my party agreed our meals were outstanding and the price was a good value. The noise level is high in the restaurant but other than that it was a perfect night out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good lunch spot
    NCblueyes
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Got pretty noisy as they seated everyone in the same area. Made it a little difficult for conversation. We were there at the busiest part if lunch. I think next time I'd ask for a different table..
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good dining experience
    Satcust
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We had great food and service and will return to the restaurant again in hey he near future. The outdoor option is a bonus.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • could do better
    needcomfort
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Food good, not exceptional. Service a bit forgetful and a bit unprofessional, but pleasant. VERY NOISY. Would come for lunch more often if seating more comfortable and noise problem solved.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very Pleased
    knitmonster
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    A group of us for my girlfriend's 50th birthday and we all had a great time, enjoyed great food and awesome service. They were accomidating (we brought a cake from Maxie B's-there was a small serving fee). Every part of the evening was awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food and service
    LibbyO
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Our server was FANTASTIC. He knew the menu backwards and forwards, and was able to answer all our questions and give great recommendations. (I don't remember his name, but he had Harry Potter glasses.) Everything was delicious. I HIGHLY recommend the chocolate mousse.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great lunch for a large group
    PatG
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    I brought 12 of my friends here for lunch. We sat outside under their large tent - they had fans moving the air around - and it was very pleasant even though the temperatures were in the low 90's that day. Service was prompt and attentive. Arrival of food was quick - even for that large of a group. Food was excellent. Really great lunch!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still a favorite
    tpoinnc
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    I've been enjoying Southern Lights through changes and moves for twenty years. It remains an excellent choice for dinner as a couple or with friends. The menu is good, the specials are often delightful, and the service is consistently spot on. The addition of a patio is appreciated. Southern Lights is a Greensboro classic.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • changed - not for better
    JimKVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    The menu has changed - less variety - may be this was just for this week (Memorial Day) or just for the summer. My rib-eye steak was more fatty than I would have expected, but otherwise good. The salad had some wilted and old greens - unacceptable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate