Nestled in the Shops at Creekside along Holly Springs Parkway is Latitude Kitchen and Tap, a restaurant serving All-American cuisine with a welcoming demeanor.
Co-owners Doug Foley and Christi Martinez—also the culinary creatives behind Latitude’s sister company, Center Cut Catering—set out to offer crafted foods, cocktails, and beers. Doug says the restaurant’s name was inspired by the mindset of having the “latitude to choose food sources, latitude to take advantage of seasonal changes, and latitude to take advantage of what the sea and land has for us each week.” Doug and Christi encourage diners to pair cocktails with conversation in the casual dining atmosphere.
Upon entry through Latitude’s unassuming front door, you’re greeted with a rustic aesthetic that feels like you’ve been transported beachside. There’s something about Latitude that feels like summertime.
Inside you’ll find an open concept dining room with a mix of high-tops, booths, and tables bathed in ambient warm lighting amid décor that mixes modern and vintage elements. Outside is a cozy patio, offering you the chance to snag a cocktail or choose from the rotating selection of craft beers on tap while enjoying the scenic view of a colorful sunset. Behind the bar you’ll often find Bar Manager Parker Blake flashing a megawatt smile as he mixes what may be one of our favorite drinks of all-time: the Holly Springs Mule. More on that later.
Doug credits the team—Manager Shannon Storey; Bar Manager Parker Blake; Head Chef Julian Vaccaro; and staff members Alex, Owen, Emma, Kane, and Kavon—for their hard work in creating the Latitude experience. With an original planned opening date of March 19, 2020, the restaurant was especially impacted by the pandemic and the shutdowns that happened across the industry. Doug says they were “able to hold it together” and pivot to a summer 2020 opening. Since then the restaurant has welcomed guests with open arms, nightly specials, and a relaxing atmosphere.
Head Chef Julian ensures that every morsel of food is cooked to perfection and made with love. He cites his Italian heritage as an advantage and says he grew up creating pasta from scratch with his grandmother. He devotes his love for beautifully crafted food to her, stating it’s the reason he’s grown up with a passion to serve the best dishes. Though still young compared to many in his position, he’s honed his skills through working in the restaurant industry from an early age and learning from the best local chefs.
The restaurant’s values stem from strong bonds. Doug explains, “It takes a team, especially in our industry. Latitude would not exist and is 100 percent dependent on [the] front-of-house team of Shannon, Parker, Alex, Owen, and Emma and [the] kitchen team of Julian, Kane, and Kavon.” Personal relationships build stronger entities, and Latitude is a key example of pleasant people providing appetizing meals.
MENU SAYS: Crispy Calamari
HAYDEN SAYS: The Asian-style sauce has a kick to it that adds to the flavor of the calamari. Pop a strip into your mouth, and you’ll taste the sweet chili flavor of the sauce before the spice kicks in. The light crisp of the calamari offers a distinct texture that complements the accompanying Asian slaw well.
MENU SAYS: Sidewinder Stack
HAYDEN SAYS: This stack of loaded, twisted steak fries comes topped with a balsamic vinaigrette drizzle that allows this house specialty to start off with a pinch of sweetness followed by creamy ranch. Topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes, it’s an exemplary starter that’s sure to be a hit with the whole family.
MENU SAYS: Lemon Rosemary Chicken
HAYDEN SAYS: Looking for gluten-free options? These buttery chicken thighs practically melt in your mouth and quench the desire for a savory dish. Garlic mashed potatoes enhance the meal, adding an extra layer of creaminess. To top it all off, blistered cherry tomatoes add a pop of color and a burst of flavor.
Latitude’s other gluten-free options include the quinoa bowl, vegetable plate, Destination Ribeye, Bistro Filet Medallions, grilled mahi-mahi, and grilled citrus salmon. Also on the menu are vegetarian dishes, including gourmet mac and cheese, tri-color tortellini, and the Beyond Burger.
MENU SAYS: Campfire Skillet
HAYDEN SAYS: Complete with baby back ribs, smoked beef brisket, and chicken thighs, Latitude’s Campfire Skillet is a meat-lover’s dream. A deliciously sweet sauce made in house tops the half rack of baby back ribs cooked low and slow for three hours in a proprietary blend of thirteen spices. The ribs fall right off the bone. The brisket has a smoky taste, and the savory chicken thighs cooked in a lemon-compound butter round out the trio perfectly. Pair this dish with Latitude’s locally grown buttery green beans or with crispy brussels sprouts, a fan favorite that makes brussels-sprout haters eat their words while they lick their lips.
MENU SAYS: Brownie Explosion
HAYDEN SAYS: Topped with Latitude’s signature applewood-smoked candied bacon plus vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate fudge, and whipped cream, these house-made brownies have diners declaring they’re worth the trip to Latitude for this sweet treat alone.
MENU SAYS: Maple Old-Fashioned
HAYDEN SAYS: If you want bourbon without the burn, this drink is for you. The sweetness of the rye blends well with the taste of the maple on the back end. The applewood-smoked candied bacon garnish adds a distinctive and sweet boost to the flavor.
MENU SAYS: Walking on Sunshine
HAYDEN SAYS: Manager Shannon Storey says this drink is one of her favorites, and we agree. Eliciting an immediate “Mmm,” this sweet and sunny cocktail brings beachy flavors to Holly Springs. While you may not be sitting oceanside, you’ll still enjoy sipping this cool, refreshing fruity drink on Latitude’s charming fresh air patio.
MENU SAYS: Tequila Mockingbird
HAYDEN SAYS: One of Latitude’s signature drinks, the bright pink Tequila Mockingbird is an aromatic cocktail that pleases all the senses. The balanced blend of tequila with the other flavors allows the taste of the silver tequila to shine with a soft flavor and a less-intense burn.
MENU SAYS: Holly Springs Mule
HAYDEN SAYS: Parker mixes a magnificent mule. This staple drink is a delectable tribute to Latitude’s Holly Springs home with a peachy blend of vodka and ginger beer that tickles your taste buds without being overpowering. The fresh basil garnish provides aromas of a garden, and the copper mug enhances the individual flavors of the vodka, lime, and ginger beer. This drink is so good it may be one of our all-time favorites.
“The service was excellent and the food was even better. I enjoyed the Citrus Salmon with Cous Cous—it was cooked to perfection. I highly recommend Latitude Kitchen and Tap as it has a well-balanced menu and an exciting drink list. I’ll be back!” — Melissa Madigan, Woodstock Resident
The restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and offers specialty menus celebrating occasions such as New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. If you’re in the mood for a family-friendly casual dining spot serving American-style cuisine and signature twists on classic comfort foods, head to Holly Springs for Latitude Kitchen and Tap. Bring the family or make it a date night.
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