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25+ Amazing Restaurants in Charlotte (Where to Eat in Queen City!)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on June 29, 2024.

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There are plenty of restaurants in Charlotte to satisfy whatever food you’re craving, whether you are looking for healthy and delicious or high-end Southern fare.

Start in Uptown and then make your way to NoDa for drinks before swerving into South End; this guide will help you decide where to eat in Charlotte! We’ve organized this Charlotte restaurant guide by neighborhood- so hopefully, you can find something delicious wherever you are in the city!

Either way, we hope you came hungry and ready to eat your way through the Queen City!

Read More: 15 of the Best Things to Do in Charlotte (Food, Outdoor Adventures, and More!)

Delicious Restaurants in Charlotte

We’ve divided this Charlotte restaurant guide up by neighborhood. Here, you’ll be able to find somewhere to eat in Charlotte based on where you’ll be exploring.

Uptown Charlotte Restaurants

Uptown is the heart of Charlotte- with more than 130+ restaurants. It feels overwhelming to find a restaurant in Uptown Charlotte at times, but with everything from quick bites to the best in fine dining, there is always something being served up in Uptown!

While we obviously haven’t been to all 130+ restaurants in Uptown Charlotte, these are some of our favorites. On our next visit, we hope to check out Sea Level, Fahrenheit, and Alex Michael’s.

7th Street Public Market

Address: 224 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC

We’ve given a lot of love to 7th Street Public Market and think you should include it during every trip you take to Charlotte. If you want the decadent experience of sweet and salty cheese pulls, stop at Orrman’s Cheese Shop. The menu includes raclette, charcuterie, and more goodness from people who know good cheese!

Jimmy Pearls came as a recommendation from our friends at Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours and we couldn’t agree more! They serve Southern food with traditions around African-American culinary roots. Get a bone-in Poke Sammich, fresh fried fish Sandwich, or a Bag of Dem Gizzards with hot sauce!  

7th Street Public Market is a wonderful hub of Charlotte restaurants, especially for folks who are looking for a fast-casual bite while still keeping it local.

The Asbury

Address: 237 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC
Website

Breakfast at The Asbury Where to eat in Charlotte

The Asbury is named after the architect of the attached historic hotel, The Dunhill. It’s a place that goes well beyond your typical Uptown Charlotte hotel restaurant.

Elevating Southern dishes with creativity and fine attention to detail, The Asbury is one of the most delightful restaurants in Charlotte in any meal!

From the incredible banana fosters pancakes at brunch to melt-in-your-mouth pork cheeks and squash pie at dinner, you are bound to have a wonderful culinary experience at The Asbury.

Read More: 20 Amazing Hotels in North Carolina (+ Inns, Resorts, & Rentals)

Bernardin’s at The Ratcliffe

Address: 435 S Tryon St Ste 100, Charlotte, NC
Website

Have something to celebrate? Bernardin’s is a fine dining restaurant in Uptown Charlotte that is sure to exceed expectations! Using fresh local and seasonal ingredients, Bernardin’s specializes in seafood, lamb, veal, and beef. 

Bernardins Scallops Winston Salem Restaurants 1

Known for impeccable service, Bernardin’s has been a staple in Winston-Salem since 1992 and opened up its Uptown location inside the former Ratcliffe Florist building in 2011. Enjoy dishes like chicken piccata, grilled filet in a red wine sauce, and duck confit spring rolls. Reservations are expected for this Charlotte restaurant.

Day & Night Exotic Cereal Bar

Address: 127 Brevard Court, Charlotte, NC
Website

Who doesn’t love cereal!? Day & Night Cereal Bar is probably one of the most unique restaurants in Charlotte- specializing in cereal from all over the world. Every kid dreams of mixing different cereals with candy, right?! 

Day and Night Cereal Bar

Try the Rooooby Snack with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, graham crackers, Oreos, and a chocolate and peanut butter drizzle. Or a McFlyyy with Apple Jacks, fruit loops, and gummy bears! Get any flavor combination in a cereal bowl, bar, or even a shake! 

Find this Charlotte restaurant across from Romane Bearden Park and just outside of Latta Arcarde.

Fin & Fino

Address: 135 Levine Avenue of the Arts #100, Charlotte, NC
Website

When we asked our Instagram followers where to eat before a show in Uptown Charlotte, and you all overwhelmingly suggested Fin & Fino.

Conveniently located in Uptown near The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Fin & Fino has an incredible raw oyster selection, thoughtful craft cocktails, and the best scallops you’ll ever have. And if you are truly up for the challenge, order The Treatment- Fin & Fino’s tasting menu that will tickle your tastebuds.

We highly recommend making a reservation for this popular Uptown Charlotte restaurant, as it gets busy fast! 

Read More: 20+ Awesome Museums in Charlotte and Nearby!

Haymaker

Address: 225 S Poplar S, Charlotte, NC
Website

Why even eat a meal if you can’t do it in style?! Haymaker in Uptown is among the most stunning restaurants in Charlotte, with a menu to rival its aesthetics.

Haymaker is definitely a restaurant where you will want to order a cocktail as their drink menu is as carefully thought out as their food.

Read More: 20 Awesome Wineries near Charlotte (Vineyards Within 2 Hours)

Charlotte South End Restaurants

South End has more than 100 locally-owned restaurants and shops, so you are sure to find somewhere great to eat in Charlotte!

Early Girl Eatery

Address: 1515 S Tryon St Suite 104, Charlotte, NC
Website

The popular Asheville restaurant has opened in Charlotte’s South End to cover the QC in its delicious tomato gravy! Early Girl is known for emphasizing local, fresh, Southern comfort and offering vegan options.

While the shrimp and grits are our mainstay staple, Early Girl serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect Southern comfort with a healthy twist!

Flower Child

Address: 1537 Camden Road, Charlotte, NC
Website

While we typically only feature locally-owned restaurants, Flower Child was also heavily recommended when seeking out healthy food in Charlotte.

Popular in the Southwest and California, Flower Child’s South End location offers vegetarian, vegan, gluten, dairy, and sugar-free options. Colorful food options join their colorful interior. Salads, bowls, and wraps all pop with a beautiful mixture of fresh vegetables.

Whether you’re looking for plant-based protein or healthy lean meats, Flower Child is the perfect place for a filling and thoughtful, healthy restaurant in Charlotte.

Pepperbox Doughnuts

Address: 101 West Worthington Ave, Suite 150, Charlotte, NC
Website

Doughnuts, but make them “healthy”. Okay, maybe not healthy… but Vegan-friendly! Pepperbox Doughnuts is one of Charlotte’s best spots for doughnuts, whether you’re vegan or not. 

But what’s with the name? Well, the legend of the first doughnut comes from the 1800s when an American sea trader was tired of his fried cakes being undercooked in the center. So he took the ship’s pepper box to stamp a hole in the center to make what we now know as a donut! Isn’t that such a cool story!? 

Pepperbox Doughnuts opened in 2019 in Charlotte’s South End and has seasonal flavors for their scratch-made donuts. A baker is getting busy at this Charlotte restaurant every day at 2 am to bring us fluffy, yeasty, delicious doughnuts. 

Charlotte Murals

Pepperbox is also located right across from the famed heart wall in mural! So grab your donut and make sure to stop and take a cute photo!

The Suffolk Punch

Address: 2911 Griffith St, Charlotte, NC
Website

The Suffolk Punch is one of Charlotte’s favorite breweries and restaurants! Located on the Rail Trail near New Bern Station, Suffolk Punch has got it all: coffee, beer, cocktails, and food. Expect burgers, flatbreads, tacos, and some of the best brunch in Charlotte! 

Suffolk Punch’s chicken biscuit is one of the most talked about menu items, and after ordering it- I can see why. A scratch-made biscuit topped with local flash-fried chicken dripping with Peppermill gravy and eggs. And if you’re really hungry, make it a double with two slices of fried chicken! 

We arrived for Sunday brunch as they were opening, and the Charlotte restaurant was packed by the time we left. Pair your breakfast with a cold brew martini or a freshly brewed coffee blonde ale- we won’t tell! 

Tacos Rick-O

Address: 1402 Winnifred St, Charlotte, NC
Website

Charlotte Restaurants Tacos Ricko edited 1

What started as a food truck, Tacos Rick-O, now has a permanent location for all to enjoy! Located in South End inside of Hoppin, Tacos Rick-O serves birria tacos, fried plantains, and taco bowls bursting with flavor! We highly recommend sharing the platter (unless you’re super hungry, which, in case, carry on…) 

The Waterman

Address: 2729 South Blvd Ste D, Charlotte, NC
Website

The Waterman Lake Norman

Serving raw oysters, fresh fish, and craft cocktails, The Waterman Fish Bar is an excellent restaurant in Charlotte to satisfy those needs! With happy hour oyster deals, this South End restaurant is perfect for hungry families who want something high-end at an affordable price. 

NoDa Restaurants

NoDa, named for the main drag, North Davidson Street, is full of brightly colored murals, artwork, and local restaurants and bars. NoDa is where we predominately spend our time eating in Charlotte, as many of our favorite Charlotte breweries are also located in this neighborhood!

Amélie’s French Bakery

NoDa Address: 136 E. 36th St, Charlotte, NC
Uptown Address: 380 S College St, Charlotte, NC 28202
McAlpine Address: 7715 Pineville Matthews Rd, Charlotte, NC
Park Road Address: 4321 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC
Website

Amelies Charlotte restaurants

Watch as bakers make magic at one of Amélie’s French Bakery’s multiple locations. This is the perfect place if you’re searching for made-from-scratch French-inspired pastries.

Load up on both sweet and savory and always take home a box of macarons! Also serving soups and salads, Amélie’s is the perfect spot for a casual lunch date.

Brooks’ Sandwich Shop

Address: 2710 N Brevard St, Charlotte, NC

When I was on the hunt for the best burger in North Carolina, Charlotte made sure to let me know that I needed to stand in line at Brooks’ Sandwich House! This cash-only spot stands out. Tradition is surrounded by the new growth of the Queen City.

But no matter how fast the neighborhood around Brooks changes, the burgers are the same. Their famous chili wafts through the air, but most of us are in waiting in line for the greasy, cheesy burgers that are promised to be one of the best in North Carolina. Is it? It hits pretty high up on my list… 

Cabo Fish Tacos

Address: 3201 North Davidson St, Charlotte, NC
Website

Cabo Fish Tacos Charlotte restaurants

With multiple locations, Cabo Fish Tacos flagship restaurant is located in NoDa with a cool and funky vibe.

From Thai Chili Tofu Tacos to Ahi tuna with a kiwi-pineapple sauce, it’s obvious that flavor is at the forefront of this Charlotte taco joint! And the margaritas are always on point.

The Goodyear House

Address: 3032 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC
Website

Just down the road from Heist is the most talked-about Charlotte restaurant of 2020. The Goodyear House melts Southern cuisine with an Asian flair. Housed in an old mill in NoDa, The Goodyear House comes from chef and Food Network Chopped winner Chris Coleman.

Charlotte Restaurants The Goodyear House

Expect your meal to start with pull-apart sour cream and onion brioche and leave room for vegan smoked cashew mac, crab fried rice, and an Elvis-inspired peanut butter bacon banana cream pie!

Heist Brewery

Address: 2909 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC
Website

This place is where many come for the beer, but people stay for the food even more! Heist Brewery in NoDa brews inventive and tasty beer and excellent food.

With some of the best beer cheese in North Carolina and interesting flatbreads, Heist Brewery is one of those restaurants in Charlotte that doubles as a brewery.

Above all, it’s a place to eat and chill for a while with friends.

Plaza Midwood Restaurants

Plaza Midwood is where the community meets the city. On one block, you’ll find historic homes with beautiful porches, and on the next, there are funky restaurants and vintage clothing shops. There are plenty of places to eat in Charlotte in Plaza Midwood, regardless of what you’re craving! 

We definitely haven’t eaten at every restaurant in Charlotte, but two Plaza Midwood restaurants that are on our radar for our next visit are Supperland & Cheat’s Cheesesteak Parlor!

Milkbread

Address: 1431 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC
Website

Coming from the culinary geniuses of Kindred and Hello, Sailor in Lake Norman, Milkbread has opened a Charlotte location and is now serving its fluffy donuts to Midwood! Soft, doughy, and warm- Milkbread is truly a treat!

Milkbread Davidson

But if you’re looking for more than just donuts, Milkbread also serves breakfast bowls and a variety of toasts to fuel your adventures in Queen City.

Read More: 25+ Great Things to Do in Lake Norman (Nearby Towns and Parks)

dish

Address: 1220 Thomas Ave, Charlotte, NC
Website

dish has been a Charlotte staple in Plaza Midwood since 2002 and has also been featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives in Season 8 Episode 8. When you look at the menu, you’ll see classic comfort foods- but every item has an option to “funk it up”. Add green tomato curry, cilantro, and a grit cake with your shrimp and grits. Or meatloaf with a cheer wine glaze and ginger scallion grits. 

This Plaza Midwood restaurant is where you can kind of please everyone. From your “meat and potatoes” uncle to your foodie cousin snapping it for the gram. Get breakfast all day or soak up the night with some snacks and apps. Dish gets our seal of approval! 

YAFO Kitchen

Southpark Address: 720 Gov Morrison St, Charlotte, NC
Plaza Midwood Address: 1331 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC
Dillworth Address: 1231A East Blvd, Charlotte, NC
Website

Christina found herself in a pickle one day. She was in Charlotte to cover an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, hungry, and during a Whole30 round. After reaching out on Instagram, one of the first restaurants in Charlotte that people recommended was YAFO Kitchen, and it was a great one!

Charlotte NC Heatlhy Restaurants Yafo Image

YAFO serves up made-to-order Mediterranean food with Middle-Eastern flavors and locally sourced ingredients. The food is fast, homemade, and comes at an incredible value.

While searching their website, we found that they even have carefully chosen suggested menus based on specific diets. So whether you follow a plant-based, low-carb, paleo life or are looking to gain muscle, YAFO has menus with dishes from their entire restaurant group.

More Charlotte Restaurants

JJ’s Red Hots

Address: 1514 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC
Website

JJ’s Red Hots was featured on Food Network’s Diners Drive-in and Dives in 2019, but they’ve been making a name for themselves way before that episode aired. Grilling up Sahler’s Smokehouse hot dogs on toasted Martin’s potato rolls, these aren’t your neighborhood cookout dogs! 

JJs Red Hots

And you know that I am a big fan of nostalgic food spots. Nostalgic food, like a hot dog, is accessible and brings back memories for so many. 

If you are looking for a fast, affordable place to eat in Charlotte, JJ’s Red Hots get our vote. And if your tummy is extra hungry, we highly recommend getting one of their house-made sausages with an ice-cold Cheerwine!

This Charlotte restaurant is a place for nostalgia, with a focus on good food and even better customer service.

Leah & Louise

Address: 301 Camp Rd, Charlotte, NC
Website

In the trendy and new Camp North End, Leah & Louise is one of the hottest restaurants in Charlotte. Locally sourced, the theme of the menu is Deep South.

Coming from James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Collier, you’ll find dishes inspired by the Mississippi Valley foodways, like smoked Gulf Shrimp, boudin, and a good old-fashioned oatmeal cookie sandwich.

Note: Open for dinner only (advanced reservations highly recommended!)

Mama Ricotta’s

Address: 601 S Kings Dr AA, Charlotte, NC
Website

Mozzarella fresher than your last cup of coffee! Mama Ricotta’s in Midwood Terrace has been making pasta in Charlotte for three decades. If the ingredient isn’t imported from Italy, like the Locatelli Romano cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, and Double Zero flour, then it comes from Charlotte’s local farmers. 

Restauranteur Frank Scibelli brings flavor all across Charlotte with his other concepts, including YAFO, Paco’s Tacos & Tequila, Calle Sol, Little Mama’s, and Midwood Smokehouse. Enjoy authentic Italian with the highest standard of quality at Mama Ricotta’s. 

Noble Smoke

Address: 2216 Freedom D, Charlotte, NC
Website

Noble Smoke Charlotte restaurants

There aren’t many places where you can get both wood-fired North Carolina barbecue AND Texas-style. With pits running 24 hours a day over sweet oak, the flavor of the meat takes center stage at Noble Smoke.

Everything is served a la carte, so we recommend bringing many friends and sharing a bit of everything. Just make sure you get some of that Lexington-style ‘cue!

Read More: How to Enjoy Carowinds Amusement Park (10 Important Tips!

Optimist Hall

Address: 1115 N Brevard St, Charlotte, NC
Website

Restaurants in Charlotte

The first place in our guide to restaurants in Charlotte is a food hall, and it’s one of the most beautiful in North Carolina.

Optimist Hall is a rustic warehouse with food stalls that will delight your taste buds! There is something for everyone and every meal, from the famous Dumpling Lady to Burke County‘s Fonta Flora Brewery.

Read More: Central North Carolina (and 100+ Amazing Places to Visit)

Sweet Lew’s Barbecue

Address: 923 Belmont Ave, Charlotte, NC
Website

Located in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte, Sweet Lew’s is a former service station turned smoke shack that whips out a ton of flavor from such a little space.

Here, diners will find Lexington-style chopped and pulled pork with house-made sauces including vinegar, tomato, mustard, and mayonnaise-based. Stop by for Fish Fry Friday or Prime Rib Thursday and always leave room for a rack of ribs and boiled peanuts!

Read More: 15 Fantastic Restaurants in Lexington (Barbecue & More!)

Which of These Restaurants in Charlotte Do You Love?

When focusing on food in North Carolina, many of us want to go for barbecue, doughnuts, fried chicken, and sometimes during the same meal (don’t judge!).

There are plenty of delicious restaurants in Charlotte, whether you are looking for something healthy or indulgent. Which of these spots would you visit first when looking for restaurants in Charlotte?

More Things to Do in Charlotte (and Nearby)

3 thoughts on “25+ Amazing Restaurants in Charlotte (Where to Eat in Queen City!)”

  1. I absolutely love Living Kitchen. It’s my go to place for a healthy tasty lunch or relaxing treat under the stars! I’m excited to try other restaurants on your list! Much appreciated!

    Reply

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