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Southern Lights Bistro

4.2
471 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion

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About

Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, Southern Lights Bistro offers a menu full of innovative American cuisine in a modern, casual atmosphere. The restaurant is known for its fresh ingredients and artful plating. Southern Lights Bistro offers takeout services as well as offsite catering for special events such as wedding receptions and more.

Start out with an appetizer to share at Southern Lights Bistro such as the bistro steak or the buttermilk fried chicken. Try an entrée like the turkey Reuben sandwich or the seared tuna. The restaurant offers plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free menu options so that everyone can find something to enjoy regardless of dietary restrictions.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Fusion / Eclectic
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Hours of operation
Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(336) 379-9414
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Matt Adams
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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.
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Private party contact
John Drees: (336) 379-9414
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Catering
Exclusive-Case by case basis
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Markland Dr.
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Parking details
Plenty of free parking.
Additional
Bar Dining, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 471 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.0
ambience
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined on October 1, 2017

I have been going to Southern Lights for years but over the past 3 or 4 years the service and the food is hit or miss. On Saturday, I went to Southern Lights with my mother to have lunch. The server had an attitude and my mother’s food was overcooked. Once again this is not the first time I have encountered a server with an attitude. Also, this is not a Gluten Free friendly restaurant. Every time I asked the server if something was Gluten Free, he did not know and was not overly accommodating about finding out. I used to enjoy going to Southern Lights but after this experience I will no longer go or recommend this restaurant.

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4.0Dined on April 3, 2015

I always enjoy dining at Southern Lights expecially at lunchtime. The build-you-own salad is always superb and the soups care delicious every time. I particularly like that dessert shooters -- just enough to get a taste without being decadent.

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3.0Dined on March 20, 2015

Service was great. The menu was interesting for dinner....about 10 entree's in addition to salads, soups, and sandwiches. Appetizers were great, the soup was great, but the entree was so so. I ordered at the NY strip and it was bland, very little outer crust, and no flavor except for the rosemary butter. My wife enjoyed her fish very much. We are willing to try again, but it wasn't as good as we heard from friends or the reviews online.

To each their own, but like I said we will try again before passing final judgement.

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4.0Dined on March 13, 2015

This was our first time at Southern Lights Bistro. We had heard good things about it from friends. We enjoyed our lunch and plan to return, but only during "off" times of day when it wouldn't be as busy (aka loud). The other reviews about the noise level were spot-on. I hadn't mentioned that to my husband before we went, but he complained about it shortly after we got there. He wears hearing aids, and had to take them out because the amplified sound was painful. The hard-wood floors and metal chairs are NOT a good combination. The chairs were not comfortable either. I hope SLB's management considers replacing the chairs ... not only to enhance comfort, but to reduce noise. All that said, the SOUP WAS AMAZING! Definitely glad I got the soup sampler so I could try several kinds. Looking forward to returning to try other menu options (but only for really late lunches or really early dinners, at least until the noise issue is addressed).

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2015

Food is good. Great appetizer salad. Only complaint was furniture arrangement made it hard to get in and out of chairs and bare floors made noise-level so that you could only hear people talking next to you (or the people sitting a couple of tables over talking very loudly. ) We've eaten in a separate room that was perfect but that's sometimes reserved. I'm from out of town, but I like to bring my elderly parents here when I visit. Mom and I love the salmon small plate and Dad likes the addition of shrimp & grits which replaces the pasta he used to get. This time the flounder special was also very good.

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4.0Dined on February 23, 2015

As usual, service, atmosphere, and food were very good, also very reasonably priced.

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5.0Dined on February 21, 2015

As Saturday night was a cold night and when the front door was open a cool breeze came across the floor. I made a comment to our waitress and she returned with moving us to a table in a warmer location. What a great attention to details our waitress paid to our needs.

Small attention to details can make a night so enjoyable.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2015

This place has a very sweet ambience. My husband and I went for Valentine's Day this year. It does have a small menu so I wouldn't recommend it for picky eaters. However, we each had a salad, shared an appetizer, each had an entree, and shared a dessert and everything was delicious! Will definitely go back.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2015

Wish I knew about it sooner. Great place for a fancy dinner. The price matches the service and food.

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2.0Dined on February 13, 2015

Like SL and the people there. Food is just so so. After the last visit I think it's really more of a salad, soup and sandwich place.

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2.0Dined on January 24, 2015

we have been a long time customer of this local bistro, but were very disappointed with the
presentation and the quality of the food. Even the small bite desserts were of poor quality.

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3.0Dined on January 24, 2015

Greeted nicely and seated promptly.
Server provided previous night's special, which my wife ordered, and then was told it was not available. I ordered fresh fish special (NC trout wrapped in bacon).
Salads were good, bread fresh. Chicken with black bean soup excellent.
The bacon around the trout was not really cooked, so I did not eat it. The rice mixture was warmish-cold, and not really enjoyable. My wife's entree (vegetarian potato pancake, etc) was just ok - the beet medley was over cooked and maybe even yesterday's.
Will we go back? Maybe in the summer to try the outside seating area which looked inviting, but this was not a memorable eating experience.

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5.0Dined on January 20, 2015

Love the tomato basil soup, TriBeCa sandwich, French fries and have not been disappointed with anything else I've tried.

When it gets busy, it can get noisy and I felt the need to raise my voice so my lunch companions could hear me.

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4.0Dined on January 17, 2015

It was a great experience. My only complaint was the limited amout of waiting area at the door while waiting for a table. Other than
that, the food was great and the staff was very friendly and polite.f

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4.0Dined on January 17, 2015

As usual, good food, good service, good ambience, and friendly staff.

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5.0Dined on January 15, 2015

The staff was friendly and very helpful. The appetizers were served quickly. They had daily specials and excellent side dish options. The food servings were very generous. The atmosphere was very nice. Seating was comfortable and roomy. Lighting was good. Art and metal work was creative and added to warm atmosphere. Great wine list. Thanks for making mom's birthday special.

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5.0Dined on December 19, 2014

Just before Christmas wit large parties in swing we had excellent service and a lovely meal. Red Drum entree was large and well prepared with a very light cream sauce, tasty and not too rich. Pork with apple and caramelized onion chutney was tender and comforting. Coupled with excellent wine it was a wonderful meal. We'll be back soon.

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4.0Dined on December 13, 2014

Our dinner was very good. We enjoyed wonderful service in a comfortable environment. The food was a good value and the fish was fresh and sumptuous. Loved the bacon grits. Everyone ate everything on their plate.

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4.0Dined on December 12, 2014

Southern Lights is an old favorite. We have dined there many times and have eaten practically everything on the menu from salads to entrees. I highly recomment it.

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4.0Dined on November 26, 2014

Overall very satisfying experience. Food, service and atmosphere exceptional.

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5.0Dined on November 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!

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5.0Dined on November 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!

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4.0Dined on November 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.

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5.0Dined on November 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.

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4.0Dined on November 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

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4.0Dined on November 8, 2014

This restaurant is one of our favorites. We were there again Saturday night. The filets were fabulous.

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5.0Dined on November 8, 2014

Great selection - excellent entre - super soups - unique sandwiches - knowledgeable servers

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4.0Dined on November 7, 2014

Always a great destination with reliably good food.

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3.0Dined on November 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

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4.0Dined on October 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. .

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2.0Dined on October 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.

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5.0Dined on October 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!

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5.0Dined on October 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.

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4.0Dined on October 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!

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5.0Dined on October 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!

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5.0Dined on October 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).

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2.0Dined on September 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.

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5.0Dined on September 20, 2014

Food was great as usual. Service was outstanding! Will recommend to all friends.

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5.0Dined on September 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.

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4.0Dined on September 13, 2014

The table provided for a reservation was not very good, near the front door. Food and service was great!

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