The Charlotte food scene has expanded rapidly, bringing exciting newcomers and at the same time solidifying the place of Charlotte’s longtime staples, quietly elevating the food scene and preparing it for its expansion over the span of many years. From casual dining on Lake Norman to food stalls in Camp North End or fine dining in Plaza Midwood, these are the best places to eat in Charlotte right now. Plus, we’ll tell you the restaurants you should keep an eye out for once they open later this year.
Roll up your sleeves, and let’s eat.
By Sunny Hubler, Brandon Mitchell, and Dani Boyett
With unparalleled views of the city above the Skye Condos in Uptown, Fahrenheit offers guests tasty craft cocktails, a New American cuisine-inspired menu, and the chance to cozy up to one of their large, glass outdoor fire pits.
Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen
This staple of SouthPark is known for its wood-fired techniques and Southern flavors. Start with the Rooster’s chicken wings, move on to the short rib or hanger steak and enjoy a ton of sides family-style —think mac and cheese, butter beans, corn, peas, spinach and more.
Slow-cooked premium beef, pork, and poultry smoked over hickory coals is the inspiration for the name and menu of this Jim Noble creation. A smoked main paired with a Southern side and followed by Heath banana pudding makes for an unforgettable BBQ meal and puts this new establishment firmly on the list of the best places to eat in Charlotte right now.
When visiting VANA, the experience is just as important as the dish. VANA is the Sanskrit phrase for “wooded area in forest,” and the restaurant is true to its name. Almost all the furniture, decorations and plating are wood-crafted. Even the food is cooked over an open wood-burning fire.
Fine & Fettle
Coffee house by day and gastrolounge at night, Fine & Fettle is the perfect place for a drink whether you need to energize your day or relax after work. Come for brunch and enjoy both. With seasonal locally-sourced Southern dishes and cozy, intentional design, this home-turned-restaurant in SouthPark will impress at any point in the day.
A concept that started as an epiphany birthed by an old Kanye West album has turned into a re-defined way of fine dining in Charlotte’s Wesley Heights neighborhood. Sam Hart’s Counter- is a reservation-only, themed, 10-course dining experience like no other. Counter- adds excitement to fine-dining where food is not only paired with wine, but with music.
Ace No. 3
Sometimes less is more— at least that’s what Andrew Chapman and Paul Manley, owners of Ace No. 3, swear is the key to the best burger. The signature Ace burger features two thin patties, American cheese, onions, pickles, and comeback sauce, or opt for a build-your-own option. This isn’t the place to skip out on a sweet treat, so be sure to indulge in a classic shake before leaving!
Dilworth Tasting Room
Located in a 1940’s era building in none other than Dilworth, this charming wine bar has much to offer. Enjoy craft cocktails, local beer, or wine under the string light lit patio for a perfect low-key date night or gathering with friends over sips and small plates.
Harriet’s Hamburger Sandwiches
As if you needed another reason to check out Optimist Hall, Harriet’s is open and serving up hot and fresh patties daily. With three different burgers to choose from (or two for the kiddos) that use only the best ingredients.
Botiwalla brings Indian street food to Charlotte’s Optimist Hall. Let the sweet and savory aromas fill your senses and transport you. Their menu highlights Chaat (street) food options so good you’ll want (and have) to lick your fingers after indulging.
Located in three different spots in the Charlotte area, Yafo is a fast-paced kitchen with Middle Eastern-style street food. The restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan-friendly options alongside eclectic meals such as the shawarma-spiced rotisserie chicken, hummus with organic chickpeas and homemade items like pickled vegetables and hot mezze sides.
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience that offers authentic Northern Italian cuisine, Chef Paul Verica’s latest restaurant is the place for you. Featuring simple, fresh house-made pastas, traditional handcrafted pizzas, salads, and sandwiches, Orto is now open in the heart of the NoDa art district.
The Cellar at Duckworth’s
The underground gastropub is equipped with exposed brick walls, low ceilings, and, of course, speakeasy vibes. The Cellar has a large selection of rare and specialty beers, all served at the appropriate temperature, or try one of their carefully curated cocktails made by the master mixologists behind the bar.
Sammies like their Beaut and Cheesy Beaut as well as the hot thigh sandwich make this a true destination for people who love Southern-style chicken. Add in their Bossy Bites, fries and hand pies, and you have a true destination on Freedom Drive with Bossy Beulah’s.
Oh My Soul
Oh My Soul opened early in 2020 in NoDa to the excitement of vegetarians across the Queen City. The South African-owned establishment specializes in vegetarian dishes using ingredients grown in its on-site garden and has all the charm needed to turn this gem into a neighborhood staple.
Find Stoke inside Charlotte Marriott City Center, but don’t mistake it for your typical hotel restaurant. Here, you’ll find scratch-made plates dished out of an open kitchen and made from rustic flavors and local ingredients.
Eight & Sand
Turn to Eight & Sand if you’re looking for a place to enjoy a nice, warm sandwich for brunch or dinner. You can also pair it with a coffee or a specialty drink, ranging from wines to mimosas. Eight & Sand is conveniently located near to the New Bern Station light rail stop, making it easy to stop by and grab a snack or coffee to start your day.
If you’re looking for a place that caters to many different needs, including vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or just a healthy meal, Flower Child is a great stop. They have sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free options on their menu and everything is made from fresh, local ingredients. Sit back and enjoy the creative and colorful atmosphere with a fresh lemonade in hand.
The Pickled Peach
The Pickled Peach is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a wide variety of items for many different dietary needs. Their menu includes farm-to-table sandwiches and salads, as well as a variety of baked goods, coffees, and drinks. They also offer customers the unique ability to purchase groceries and take-home dinners so you can bring The Pickled Peach home with you.
Bar Marcel brings a splash of Europe to SouthPark with cuisine inspired by French, Italian, and Spanish flavors. Expect scratch-made dishes, local products, and an extensive wine list.
Crunkleton is a stylish bar with attentive service, and each visit will be different. Specialty cocktails and curated spirits served with style are their specialties. Crunkleton opened its Charlotte location in 2018 in historic Elizabeth and offers live fire cooking and weekend brunch. Whether dining or drinking, there is something for everyone.
The Dumpling Lady
Zhang Qian— better known as The Dumpling Lady— brings a taste of Sichuan to Charlotte. Although dumplings might be part of her brand, Qian would recommend the noodles as her favorite. With a location in Optimist Hall as well as a traveling food truck, there’s a reason The Dumpling Lady has long been a Charlotte staple.
Craft Tasting Room
This Tasting Room believes “craft beer and good food go hand in hand.” We couldn’t agree more— Craft’s alternating 36 beers on tap and food combinations exclusively feature locally sourced beer, cheese, meats, and pastries. Dine in and enjoy all they have to offer while watching a movie on their outside projector screen during the warm months.
Located in the historic Dunhill Hotel, Executive Chef Mike Long brings a modern twist to this Southern restaurant. The Asbury serves locally sourced food, lending its menu to some exciting daily changes. Their brunch is outrageously good— sticky biscuits with pimento cheese gravy, banana pudding pancakes, warm banana nut bread stuffed with chocolate ganache, and deviled eggs.
Mama Ricotta’s has been a Charlotte staple since 1992. Frank Scibelli delivers fresh, homestyle Italian with this original concept. Mama’s menu features new recipes (spicy shrimp and mussel linguini, organic spaghetti and wagyu meatballs) and old-fashioned ones (lasagna, chicken parmesan, and penne alla vodka) with options for individual or family-style presentations.
This 100% vegan restaurant in Camp North End serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes for lunch, brunch, and dinner. Plant Joy was created by talent from Nourish, a food delivery service.
Sweet Lew’s is perfect for those craving real North Carolina barbeque. Located in Belmont, you can expect to find authentic barbeque using hickory, pecan, and peach woods to smoke their recipes, giving it a unique taste. Enjoy classic sides like mac and cheese and collard greens.
Barcelona Wine Bar
Barcelona’s seasonal tapas menu and impressive wine list bring the best of Spain right to your table in the heart of South End. The menu shifts frequently but you can never go wrong opting for a charcuterie board and wine flight. In addition to the best small plates, the cozy ambiance makes Barcelona the perfect spot for a gathering or date night.
The Dunavant introduced a bottomless steak and fries concept to the ever-hungry patrons of South End. Their curated menu also includes weekend brunch, small plates, elevated entrees, and a bounty of delicious appetizers.
These days, there are many restaurants duking it out in South End for Charlotteans’ lunch and dinner business. Do yourself a favor and put Superica at the top of your to-visit list for a tex-mex experience characterized by fresh ingredients and tantalizing tastes.
The Broken Spoke
Charlotte may not be known for its distilleries, but The Broken Spoke could change that. Guests of the new NoDa-based distillery can choose from five different liquors made onsite, or they can explore the bar’s other craft beverages. Their menu also includes creative pizza flavors and classic bar snacks will pair well with your drink of choice. Come on Wednesday to enjoy their open-mic night.
La Belle Helene
Inspired by 19th-century French architecture, La Belle Helene features a gorgeous pewter-topped bar, luxurious leather banquettes, and a brasserie-inspired menu. Recently acquired by the 5Church team, we can’t wait to see what’s next for this eatery.
Chef Paul Verica uses a combination of classic and modern cooking techniques to create a unique gastronomic experience. The Stanley’s menu changes daily and with the seasons. No matter what time of year you decide to stop by, their food is sure to excite and inspire.
Every day is Mardi Gras at Cajun Queen. Located in historic Elizabeth, Cajun Queen is a 100-year-old house that proudly features live music upstairs and dining downstairs. Cajun Queen is open seven days a week serving authentic New Orleans cuisine.
Bustling with Uptown’s energy, Haymaker offers farm fresh fare and crafted cocktails with an emphasis on sustainable meats and heirloom ingredients from Chef William Dissen. Open seven days a week, this Southern eatery also showcases a weekend brunch menu.
This 45-seat South End restaurant is intimate enough in size that Chef Michael Noll can focus on every detail that goes on each plate, and you can expect to see the same attention in each cocktail as well. The menu features eclectic, American small plates with surprising flavors and pairings.
Mico is the perfect place for Charlotteans seeking an elevated dining experience. Located in the Grand Bohemian Hotel, the restaurant’s sophisticated interior will impress. Despite the elegant ambiance, Mico’s dishes remain affordable making it amazing for date night or a special occasion. For each meal, the restaurant provides unique, carefully crafted dishes that pay homage to its Argentinian heritage.
Offering craft beer, fine wine, sandwiches, coffee and breakfast, Rhino Market’s got it all! In addition to their diverse selection of food, they have a bunch of local goods available for purchase. Got time? Stay a while and check out one of the trivia nights or wine tastings.
Nestled in Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood, Peppervine delivers outstanding gourmet food. Choose from over 3,000 bottles of wine in an elegant setting where world-class art rotates on exhibit. This is the spot to head for your next celebration or date night.
NoDa’s Haberdish is characterized by elevated Southern fare in an elegantly industrial setting. The drink menu is just as strong as the food, and features original craft cocktails shaken, stirred, and poured from a 1950’s style soda fountain-inspired bar.
Leah & Louise
Swing by Camp North End for a bite at Leah & Louise, a Mississippi-inspired, modern juke joint dishing out deliciously inventive concoctions from James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Collier.
5Church is owned and operated by Chef Jamie Lynch. His restaurant deserves a trip for more than just Jamie’s star power; the lamb burger is a beloved Charlotte favorite, and the nightlife experience is unparalleled in Uptown.
Fin & Fino
Fin & Fino brings you so close to the sea you can almost feel the salty air. But not so close that you might get your shoes wet. The dining room is beautifully done and inviting, the menu changes constantly to incorporate the seasons and the freshest catches, and the wine list is catered to complement every single dish.
This bustling seafood restaurant at the Hearst Tower in the heart of Uptown serves signature dishes using sustainable and local catches. Enjoy a rotating seasonal menu and plenty of fresh picks on a bustling outdoor patio.
Rai Lay Thai
An ode to the southern island in Thailand, Rai Lay Thai offers Thai street food and traditional Asian dishes to the Mountain Island Village neighborhood. Rai Lay features a full bar menu with specialty cocktails in addition to their extensive menu.
New Zealand Cafe
New Zealand Cafe is a small, 40-seat cafe with high quality dine-in and take-out services. Bringing the tastes of the South Pacific to Charlotte, New Zealand Cafe’s Asian fusion cuisine offers a variety of seafood and sushi options.
The Waterman prioritizes sustainable seafood sourcing and relies heavily on Paul Manley’s extensive network of ethical sea farmers, not just for ingredients but also for mission and ambience. With its rooftop views, chilled cocktails, and perfectly refreshing menu items, it’s an easy favorite.
Brooks Sandwich Shop
Established in 1973, this burger and hot dog joint located in the heart of NoDa is known for their stellar grab-and-go options, including homemade chili. Family owned and operated for almost 50 years, stop in to see why people have been returning for decades.
Copper’s upscale Indian cuisine located in the heart of Dilworth is certain to make your heart skip a beat. Although Chef Naveen Sadana’s food is a modern interpretation of the classics, traditional techniques do not go unnoticed here. Their menu is divided into a modern and traditional section allowing you to experience both styles uniquely.
The Suffolk Punch
Like the horse, The Suffolk Punch is a jack of all trades. A brewery, coffee bar, restaurant, and taproom all in one, this is a great place to work or meet friends for food and drinks. Their menu changes with the season; from local greens to flatbreads to shrimp po’boy tacos, pair any meal with one of their signature cocktails (like the Rosemary Paloma) and you are in business!
O-Ku provides the freshest fish from the world’s finest producers and markets for its sushi. It’s no surprise that this contemporary spot set up shop a few years ago in South End, one of Charlotte’s most popular neighborhoods.
Indaco, at Atherton Mill, delivers delicious, rustic options such as hand-crafted pastas, wood-fired pizzas, house-made salami and cured sausages. Enjoy the menu family-style or a la carte, and indulge your senses with the open kitchen, large windows, and array of Italian wine varietals.
Crispy Banh Mi
Upon entering this family-owned Vietnamese joint, you’ll be greeted with the kindest service in town. From the strawberry mint lemonade to the summer rolls, this spot won’t miss, and their Banh mi sandwiches will leave you coming back for more.
Farm-to-table, locally sourced and sustainable eats at the touch of your fork; The menu at Heirloom features an ever-evolving six course tasting menu along with some staples like a charcuterie plate made with NC Farm and Orrman’s Cheese Shop cheeses.
Celebrate like royalty in this historic Fourth Ward home for a multi-course culinary journey. Featuring set and tasting menus of high-end multicultural courses, the McNinch House is the perfect choice for your next special occasion. Expect more than just a meal: This is an experience for an unforgettable evening.
Tucked inside a Tuscan revival mansion in Myers Park, Chef Bruce Moffett’s beloved Stagioni proffers unrivaled Italian fare in an elegant but cozy setting.
Chef David Burke’s Red Salt—a play on his patented Himalayan sea-salt dry aging process— is an unconventional approach to American dining. Located in Le Méridien Hotel, even the walls of Red Salt have Burke’s touch featuring some of his original artwork. Known for his gruyere popovers, lobster dumplings, and (of course) salt-aged steak, Burke’s creations will make your mouth water before you’ve even entered the doors.
Located in South End, Yume is a great place to start a night out with friends. Their sushi and ramen are authentically crafted, but won’t break the budget. Come during happy hour and get a sushi roll for less than $10.
300 East is a family-owned restaurant that’s been serving the Dilworth community since 1986. Their menu is locally sourced and offers a variety of seasonally-driven New American style choices. Enjoy lunch, dinner, and brunch offerings.
Bonterra Dining & Wine Room
Housed inside what was an 1800s Methodist church, Bonterra now offers Southern delicacies—like the baked pimento cheese starter featuring roasted shishito peppers, Benton’s bacon marmalade, and wood grilled flatbread— within its historic walls. Make sure to check out one of their special wine pairing events.
With its Neapolitan-style pizzas cooked to perfection in a wood-fire oven, Inizio’s multiple Charlotte locations are unrivaled. The owners import ingredients from around the world for an authentic experience and pizzas are made from scratch for every order.
Located in historic downtown Davidson, Chef Joe Kindred’s unique take on Italian meets New South cuisine in a beautiful setting. With a menu that rotates daily, there are always new flavors to try here. The team behind Kindred goes to great lengths to source the best ingredients available for both their food and drink menus through their large network locally, regionally and beyond.
From the playful name to the East vs. West coast oysters, paired opposite one another with images of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G, Hello, Sailor is for more than just satisfying your appetite for good seafood. Hit this fun, fresh spot, and you may not be able to say goodbye easily.
The Goodyear House
Another 2020 addition, The Goodyear House serves Southern fare under the watchful eye of Chef Chris Coleman, whose name may sound familiar from his stint as Directory of Culinary Experience at Charlotte Marriott City Center or from his time competing on Food Network’s reality TV series Chopped.
The menu at Soul is eclectic, to say the least, covering everything from sushi to wings to spanakopita. It’s a tricky feat for a chef to pull off, but the team at Soul does it and does it in style.
Good barbecue is hard to find in Charlotte, but this Plaza Midwood staple is the exception. Midwood Smokehouse has everything you’re looking for when it comes to good old-fashioned barbecue. The restaurant takes pride in cooking their meats the traditional way, but that hasn’t kept them from putting their unique spin on dishes.
Kid Cashew is one of the best lunch spots in Dilworth. With a wide variety of Mediterranean meats and vegan options, you’ll want to try something new each visit. The meat is never frozen and is always cooked on a wood-fire grill. The rustic decor and affordable prices give the place a simple charm that’ll make any customer feel right at home.
Bistro La Bon
Don’t let its unassuming exterior fool you. At Bistro La Bon, every dish is meant to be an edible work of art. Once inside, the restaurant’s regal interior design will make you forget that you are next door to a Five Guys. If you want to impress without the busyness of Uptown, this is the place for you.
The Fig Tree
Tucked away in a restored 1913 Craftsman bungalow, The Fig Tree brings upscale, innovative dishes and an abundant wine list to the Elizabeth area. With the staff’s exceptional service and culinary knowledge, you’ll be in great hands during your seasonal French and Italian-inspired meal and glass of wine.
Good Food on Montford
The small plates have allowed the chefs at Good Food to fully flex their creative spirit. In the case of this restaurant, the name says it all: Look no further for minimalist luxury dining that spares no room for anything that is not delicious.
Little Mama’s Italian
New from FS Food Group, Little Mama’s is the sister concept to Charlotte’s beloved, long-standing Mama Ricotta’s. Go for the beautiful bar, the home-style Italian cooking, and the fresh twists on classic favorites.
Dogwood Southern Table
Grab a drink or bite at this stylish SouthPark Southern-leaning restaurant. Enjoy local ingredients in a setting where rustic meets chic. In addition to a perfect date night dinner spot, we recommend trying a cocktail flight and hanging out during their brunch hours.
Beef ‘N Bottle Steakhouse
Since 1958, Beef ‘N Bottle has been a Charlotte institution, gaining the attention of USA Today and consistent recognition on their Top 100 Steakhouses in the country list. Whether you’re a local or in town for business, this quaint spot is a must for a great steak.
Bar-style seating surrounds an island of chefs and creators perfecting their crafts and bringing it right to you. Watch in-person as pasta is made from scratch, bread is baked, and dishes are orchestrated, all while experiencing the results: an incredible meal that delivers the freshest and most wholesome meats and produce local farms have to offer.
Chef Bruce Moffet’s high-end, locally sourced New American restaurant in the heart of SouthPark is one of Charlotte’s staples and has been for quite some time now. It is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or try some of the most consistently delicious and creative food in the city.
Opened in early 2020 in Park Road Shopping Center, Osteria LuCa is authentic Italian with an open setting, floor-to-ceiling windows, long marble bars. Enjoy the view of your pizza and antipasti being made.
Dot Dot Dot
Located off Park Road, Dot Dot Dot is a Prohibition-era, speakeasy-style cocktail bar with a menu of upscale, shareable plates. Get your membership and head here on the regular.
The Porter’s House
The Porter’s House has created a contemporary, guest-oriented dining experience. The chop house-style restaurant offers everything from 36-ounce Prime Porterhouse steaks to beef tartar and lobster ravioli. Indulge in their diverse selection of wine and craft beer to lend yourself to The Porter’s House experience.
AQUA e VINO
Italian-born and trained Chef Gabriele Grigolon draws from career experiences in Milan, Monte Carlo, Paris, and the U.S. to bring Charlotte the experience of a Northern Italy boutique restaurant. With traditional European flare and modern Mediterranean specialties, you can peruse the course and cocktail offerings with the promise of quality and authenticity.
This renovated Plaza Midwood church may no longer be a place of worship, but its elevated Southern dishes will make you feel a little closer to heaven. A prominent open-fire stove sits in place of the former Pulpit. With potluck-style dishes and welcoming staff, a meal at Supperland is like having an after-service dinner at your grandma’s… That is, if your grandma were an experienced chef and mixologist.
Futo Buta, located in South End, is the go-to destination for flavorful, inventive ramen, donburi, raw bar options, and steamed buns in an upbeat, funky environment. This is not your college dorm room ramen.
Price’s Chicken Coop
Though it was recently announced it would close this year, we have to give a shout out to one of Charlotte’s longest running staples. Price’s no-frills exterior and interior never mattered, because everything was about the stellar fried chicken; some of the best in the state.
RH Rooftop Restaurant
Formerly Dean & Deluca in SouthPark’s Phillips Place, RH Rooftop Restaurant can be found above Restoration Hardware’s modern collection store. With its stunning views and stylish atmosphere, sit back and enjoy a lobster roll and truffle fries over the best peach bellini in Charlotte.
This is the place for people who love trying new things— especially those who like charcuterie boards paired with wine (or beer). This locally sourced culinary experience will leave you with knowledge of where everything in front of you came from and how to identify the unique characteristics of cheese.
This Mediterannean grill offers the freshest, flavorful tastes of the Middle East. Their menu features a grilled chicken shawarma sandwich with pickle and garlic sauce, or for plant lovers, a veggie plate that includes tabbouleh, falafel, lentils, grape leaves, spicy potatoes, an eggplant and tahini dip, and of course, hummus. Located in Sycamore Commons and South Charlotte, Kabab-Je is worth the trip.
Housed inside The Ballantyne, this restaurant underwent a massive renovation in 2013. The result over the years has been an innovative and sophisticated dining spot that serves inventive American cuisine with a farm-to-table bent.
OGGI is a modern-day classic Italian restaurant with an emphasis on artfully crafted food. It is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, making it a go-to neighborhood spot for the whole family.
While the emphasis at Living Kitchen has always been on serving up fresh, plant-based eating in a stylish setting, Living Kitchen’s menu has a variety of options and flavors intended to appeal to all types of eaters. Open for breakfast through dinner, they also make smoothies, a variety of different coffee and tea beverages, and cold-pressed juices.
This NoDa neighborhood hangout has a cool, laid-back vibe and both a great dinner and brunch service. At Crepe Cellar, you almost have to stick to what the team does best—not because everything on the menu isn’t stellar (it is), but because the crepe isn’t their namesake for no reason.
Calle Sol Latin Café and Cevicheria
Frank Scibelli will introduce Calle Sol to Plaza Midwood this spring. Inspired by their love of traditional Latin food, Calle Sol aims to diversify the Latin food scene in Charlotte. It serves traditional food based on the Cuban and Peruvian neighborhoods in Miami, Tampa, and Orlando.
Located on East Boulevard, Thai Taste was the city’s first Thai restaurant opened in 1988. They dish up delicious Thai classics and a variety of lunch specials each week at a budget-friendly price point.
Also known to locals as Al Mike’s, this beloved pub is located in the historic Fourth Ward neighborhood of Uptown. Their signature dishes include the “What It Is” with blackened chicken breast over fresh rotini in a Cajun cream sauce.
A rare little spot, Intermezzo is an informal restaurant offering a mix of Serbian and Italian dishes such as Serbian cabbage rolls, pizza, and schnitzel.
Housed over on Elizabeth Avenue, this modern trattoria offers an eclectic, chef-driven mix of traditional and innovative American dishes inspired by Italian, French, and Spanish cuisines.
Lang Van is a beloved little gem of a Vietnamese restaurant Uptown that well accommodates vegetarian and vegan eaters. The pho is a top menu item.
Alchemy C3 Lab
With a selection of vegetarian-focused dishes and locally sourced options for omnivores, Alchemy is a restaurant, bar, and entertainment venue in South End.
Located in Mooresville, this pizza spot is well worth the drive. Expect a counter serve setup with a large outdoor patio. Alino offers wood-fired pies, salads, and fresh gelato seven days a week.
Right next to Sycamore Brewing, Yamazaru has a large menu of Japanese noodles, ramen and sushi, plus cocktails, sake and beer.
This South End café is cozy and tidy with lots of natural light and greenery. In classic café fashion, customers place their order at the counter. Choose from a selection of salads, bowls, and handhelds on the lunch menu or all-day breakfast items and pastries. The menu changes frequently as seasons shift. Crowd favorites include the savory BLT with an egg, breakfast burritos, and grit bowls.
Charlotte loves this grilled cheese food truck and Optimist Hall stand. Papi Queso rotates their decadent grilled cheese sandwich options and, naturally, serve up a fresh, bright tomato soup.
Baku, on Sharon Road in SouthPark, is an upscale, stylish Japanese eatery that features innovative dishes and fresh sushi rolls all prepared in an open kitchen.
At Panca, in South Charlotte, dishes are made to order, and traditional Peruvian drinks and desserts are handcrafted on site. Panca emphasizes street food in a fast-casual environment.
With two locations, Pio Pio strives to serve up the best Latin-style cuisine in Charlotte. Their rotisserie chicken is some of the best we’ve had, and you can pair it with rice and beans, tostones, plantains and yuca.
Trolley Bar Fermentory
Trolley Barn is located on the Rail Trail, making this a prime location to enjoy great beer and food with friends. The food hall will include indoor and outdoor seating as well as a second-floor mezzanine and patio with views of Uptown.
After closing temporarily due to flooding in 2020, owner Cristina Rojas-Agurcia has found a new home at Station West, connected to an outdoor plaza. It will have all the treats beloved by the original location, including the layered brownies, oatmeal creme pies, and draft lattes.
Burial Beer Co.
Asheville’s Burial Beer Co. will open a taproom and bottle shop in Plaza Midwood. The taproom will feature an indoor bar area, an outdoor beer garden and a rooftop deck.
Set to open in late 2021, Broken Promises in South End comes from owner Orlando Botero and his partners who are also behind Lost & Found. The menu will focus on craft cocktails.
What the Fries
What the Fries is relocating from the food truck to a brick-and-mortar near Pineville-Matthews Road in South Charlotte. Chefs and co-owners Jamie Barnes and Greg Williams will serve loaded gourmet fries, handmade tots, homespun milkshakes, and burgers.
Not Just Coffee and Undercurrent Coffee are combining forces to create Night Swim Coffee, a local coffee roastery and cafe. Projected to open late summer 2021 in Lower South End, Night Swim Coffee will be the official roaster for two Undercurrent locations and all six Not Just Coffee locations.
Gibson Mill Market
Coming soon to Concord, Gibson Mill Market will be a one-of-a-kind dining and shopping experience with a commitment to locally sourced goods. Initial tenants include a deli, brewery, and antique mall.
From the dynamic duo of Joe and Katy Kindred comes Milkbread, the third of the Kindreds’ restaurants. Opening later this year in Davidson, Milkbread will offer all their baked goods like the infamous milk bread donuts, plus vegetable bowls, salads, coffee from Summit Coffee, and a selection of beers and wine. It will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Set to open in mid-to-late 2021, The Jimmy is the latest addition to owner Jim Noble’s impressive roster. The restaurant will be open all day in Italian trattoria and Mediterranean bistro tradition. Offerings will include coffee and pastries by Copain in the morning and light Mediterranean-inspired dishes at lunch. For dinner, expect dishes such as Neapolitan-style pizzas and handmade pastas.