17 Amazing Restaurants in Charlotte (and Healthy Eats, Too!)

Last Updated on July 23, 2021

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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 make your way to NoDa and swerve into South End; this guide will help you decided where to eat in Charlotte!

We will first detail some of our favorite restaurants in Charlotte, followed by a section on healthy places to eat. Either way, we hope you came hungry and ready to eat your way through the Queen City!

This guide is part of our series on Charlotte and all the awesome things to do in Central North Carolina.

Delicious Restaurants in Charlotte

Optimist Hall

1115 N Brevard St

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.

Noble Smoke

2216 Freedom D

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!

Sweet Lew’s Barbecue

923 Belmont Ave

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!

Leah & Louise

301 Camp Rd

In the trendy and new Camp North End, Leah & Louise is one of the hottest restaurants in Charlotte. Locally sourced, the theme to 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, a good ole fashioned oatmeal cookie sandwich.

Note: Open for dinner only.

The Asbury

237 N Tryon St

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.

Haymaker

225 S Poplar S

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.

Heist Brewery

2909 N Davidson St

Beer at Heist Brewery Charlotte Breweries

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.

The Goodyear House

3032 N Davidson St

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.

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!

Cabo Fish Tacos

3201 North Davidson St

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.

Amélie’s French Bakery

2424 N Davidson St, 4321 Park Rd, and 7715 Pineville Matthews Rd Unit 34B

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.

Healthy Restaurants in Charlotte

YAFO Kitchen

720 Gov Morrison St, 1331 Central Ave, & 1231A East Blvd

Charlotte NC Heatlhy Restaurants Yafo Image

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!

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 looking to gain muscle, YAFO has menus with dishes from their entire restaurant group.

Flower Child

1537 Camden Road

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 meal in Charlotte.

Fern, Flavors from the Garden

1419 East Blvd

Healthy Restaurants in Charlotte NC Fern Flavors From the Garden
Seitan chicken and waffles. MMMMM.

You’ll discover Southern food is not just for carnivores after visiting Fern, Flavors from the Garden. Their Seitan chicken and waffles and Panko-crusted Violife mac and cheese top our brunch rankings. However, there are plenty of more dishes to explore throughout the day.

If you’re coming hungry, reserve a table in advance because this place fills up.

We included Fern among our favorite breakfast restaurants in North Carolina, too!

Wrapway

10221 University City Blvd

Slow-cooked meats, wholesome ingredients, and freshly chopped veggies are exactly what you want to be wrapped up in a warm pita at Wrapway.

Wrapway is a delicious and healthy restaurant in Charlotte that absolutely belongs on this list with made-to-order Mediterranean wraps, bowls, and salads.

Whether you’re grabbing the Lahmajoun (a delicious Armenian pizza) or going all-in with a Mediterranean beef wrap, expect fresh, yummy food and friendly service! We also found their prices affordable, which can be tough when searching for healthier eats.

Living Kitchen

2000 South Blvd

We’ve been excited to try Living Kitchen ever since they opened up in Raleigh, which was the only other location at the time of writing.

If you do some digging into LK, you’ll find their mantra that reads, “food is a labor of love.” After devouring their Sweet Potato Sushi Roll and Yellow Curry Bowl, I tend to agree with them.

Bean Vegan Cuisine

3001 E Independence Blvd

Y’all, even vegans crave comfort foods that carnivores love! But living a plant-based life doesn’t mean some won’t miss burgers, barbecue, or tacos!

Bean Vegan Cuisine comes to the rescue here, specializing in Southern Comfort food with a healthy and environmentally conscious focus.

You’ll find plant-based food for all three meals here. Examples include fried tofu fingers, jackfruit Crabbie Patties, a Meatloaf made with Harmony Valley Burger Mix, and an incredible lineup of freshly pattied burgers.

7th Street Public Market

224 E 7th St

Healthy restaurants in Charlotte NC 7th Street Public Market Ricos Acai

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. Start with a bowl from Rico’s Acai and some juice from Viva Raw, with the latter proudly declaring themselves as “The New Milkman.”

Pure Pizza offers a gluten-free crust and locally sourced ingredients, while Hazelnuts offers vegetarian and gluten-free (optional) crepes.

Healthy places to eat in Charlotte NC Viva Raw

Most of these vendors have multiple locations, but we’re thankful that you can find them inside 7th Street Public Market.

You can reach it by LYNX Light Rail or take a short walk from some of our hotels, including Hilton Charlotte Center City and SpringHill Suites Charlotte Uptown. Those are a couple of places we’ve stayed and enjoyed ourselves! 

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)

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