It has been another banner year for Charlotte restaurants. Established eateries came back swinging after a few unpredictable COVID years, while new restaurants turned up the heat in the Queen City. It seems there are more choices than ever before as Charlotte restaurant growth paces alongside the growth of the city. This is our staff’s picks for best new restaurants in Charlotte.
Babe & Butcher
Once an Instagram side hustle, partners Lindsay Anvik and Robert Hendricks quickly realized the demand for their artistic charcuterie boards deserved a brick-and-mortar. The couple decided to open a build-your-own-charcuterie board shop with a variety of boards ranging from dessert to vegetable and classic cheese boards. Stop by Babe & Butcher in Camp North End and customize a charcuterie board for yourself or your next event.
Bar à Vins
Bar à Vins is bringing a new approach to wine bars in Charlotte. Founded by two longtime friends and sommeliers, Bar à Vins is NoDa’s newest wine dive bar that offers a unique experience for wine lovers. With a laid back atmosphere, snack menu and affordable wine list, you’ll feel like you’re having a laid-back wine night in your living room.
Five time James Beard-nominated chef Meherwan Irani has brought a slice of Indian nightlife to Optimist Hall. Botiwalla is a brick and mortar representation of Indian street food that comes alive in the night when locals bring out grills and cook for commuters in a lively party scene. The goal isn’t just to serve you a stellar kabab, but to share the love of Irani cafes and Indian culture with Charlotte. Truly glad this one is here, and instantly was one of the best new restaurants in Charlotte.
Coming soon to Optimist Park, you’ll be able to try this East Coast-style, pie-first menu for yourself. Leave the nest and discover pizza at its best at Bird Pizzeria, Charlotte’s burgeoning new hotspot on the edge of Uptown.
Burial Beer Co.’s House of Relics
Burial Beer Co. already has a loyal following in and around the Asheville area, beating out a slew of other competitors for a spot on Asheville’s best-of-breweries list. Now, it’s moving into Charlotte, with an expected open date later this year. Expect a beer garden, rooftop lounge, and sandwiches/finger foods.
Frank Scibelli has introduced yet another eclectic eatery to the Queen City. Calle Sol is a vibrant Latin café and cevicheria in the heart of Plaza Midwood serving classic dishes from Cuba, Peru, and Miami. Expect a neighborhood café vibe, lunch service to-go window, and lively music. Healthy and delicious, Calle Sol is easily one of our staff’s most mentioned best new restaurants in Charlotte.
The owners of Capicua wanted to bring Latin culture and cuisine with a twist to the Mooresville and Lake Norman area. With an innovative food and drink menu, unlike any in the area, to the upbeat atmosphere, you are almost guaranteed to be on the dance floor by the end of the night.
Condado, in South End on Tryon St., offers indoor and outdoor seating, and a large menu with dine in, to go, delivery and catering services. They’re well-known for their selection of margaritas, DIY tacos, and their handmade refried bean dip.
Dilworth Tasting Room (DTR) has been a favorite in Charlotte for years. Their relaxing atmosphere and wide selection of wines has made them an excellent choice for both advanced connoisseurs and those just interested in tasting something new. For owner and sommelier Jaffer Kovic, expanding into SouthPark felt like a natural next step for DTR, now housed in a new, modern, elevated space, with all the same accoutrement diners and drinkers have grown to love.
Early Girl Eatery
Earlier this year, Early Girl Eatery bloomed beyond Asheville into the Queen City, opening a sun washed breakfast joint in Southend. The new location has a dish for every time of day, from biscuit french toast and breakfast bowls to chicken sandwiches and po’ boys.
El Puro is a midcentury Cuban time capsule on South Boulevard. Referencing 1950s Havana, the restaurant offers a sense of glamor along with authentic Cuban cuisine. The opulence of the interior design plays off the rich flavor of dishes such as empanadas and queso frito. This one belongs on our best new restaurants in Charlotte list for many reasons. The atmosphere is amazing. There is a booth on the patio made out of a classic car. The cocktails are creative and the food is absolutely wonderful, especially the pork and paella. Check out the menu here!
Fresh pasta is always worth making a trip. Ever Andalo takes that one step further by serving everything up fresh. Embracing the Italian tradition of natural, local ingredients, Ever Andalo, located in NoDa, partners with over 200 regional farmers to reimagine refined Italian cuisine. Peruse the all-Italian wine list or pair a signature cocktail with your favorite pasta.
Gilde Brewery is bringing 475 years of German brewing heritage to the Lower South End. Gilde’s first brewery outside of Germany offers Charlotte an authentic bierhaus atmosphere. Stop in for a robust menu of German cuisine and beer. For a true taste of their history, make sure to request the traditional Hanoverian Luttje Lage—a beer plus a shot.
Golden Owl Tavern
With so many Southern cuisine restaurants in the Charlotte area, the Golden Owl Tavern stands out by using locally sourced produce and vast menus for all meals. Whether you visit for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brunch, you’re sure to find a Southern-inspired meal that will hit the spot, complete with a cocktail or a locally brewed beer. Be sure to catch a game or stop by on your lunch hour.
Electric is the best word to describe HopFly Brewing Company, new to the Wilmore neighborhood. It’s hard to miss HopFly’s yellow neon lights, reflective of this brewery’s bold style and bright, fruit-forward beer selection. Be sure to stop by and see what all the buzz is about.
What started as an authentic Japanese ramen restaurant in Los Angeles, JINYA Ramen Bar has since expanded throughout the US. This year, owner Jahzmin French opened a location in Uptown Charlotte. Try it for yourself to experience a wide variety of ramen, poke bowls, and vegan-friendly options.
La Capital MX
The Steelyard at South End has introduced another eatery to its collection with La Capital MX. This upscale Mexican restaurant has a lively interior (seriously, check out the living ceiling of bright green plants) and an ample cocktail bar.
Spanish for butterfly, this transformational culinary experience was once known as Halcyon before its rebirth as Mariposa. The menu is carefully curated based on owner Jill Marcus’s personal travels. Sip on lush cocktails, multicultural dishes, and let your tastebuds travel the world without leaving your seat.
Step back in time at Mattie’s Diner, which, after closing in 2015, is firing back up the grill in a new location. Shining from the Plaza Shamrock side of The Plaza, Mattie’s Diner rebuilt its old 1940s style, glittering diner shell and also updated its menu. Expect the old Mattie’s classics. Plus, enjoy house coffee roasted by local Summit Coffee Co., flavors from a small, on-site herb garden, and a slew of vegan and vegetarian additions to the menu.
The expanding Wesley Heights area introduced a new neighbor around the corner from Summit Seltzer. Midnight Mulligan brews beers and offers small plates, salads, flatbreads, and handhelds. It joins other newcomers including Lucky Dog, Noble Smoke, and Bossy Beulah’s.