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Best restaurants in Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina, if you haven’t visited it before, should definitely be on your travel radar, even if it’s only for a weekend. Officially dubbed the “Queen City” due to being named after Queen Charlotte of England, the wife of King George III, this southern city is also known as “The Wall Street of the South” given its prominence as a major financial hub.
Charlotte is also a southern city where you can go to indulge your taste buds. Here you’ll discover an array of dining options to satisfy any craving. From trendy eateries to local favorites or hidden gems, get ready to savor the diverse flavors and culinary experiences that make Charlotte a true food lover’s paradise in this extensive guide to the best restaurants in Charlotte organized by neighborhood.
- Uptown: Classic Dining In Refined Settings
- NoDa: A Haven for Art & Cuisine
- South End: Where Food & Culture Collide
- Plaza Midwood: Quirky Eateries & Local Haunts
- Elizabeth: Historic Charm & Culinary Excellence
- SouthPark: A Gourmet Haven
- Optimist Hall: A Food Hall Favorite
Uptown: Classic Dining In Refined Settings
When it comes to dining in Charlotte, Uptown offers loads of enticing options, especially if you enjoy an upscale steakhouse. From elegant rooftop restaurants with skyline views to charming cafes and local diners, there’s something for everyone.
Breakfast & Brunch
best restaurants in charlotte
Amélie’s Uptown | French Bakery & Cafe
Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe is a whimsical gem nestled in Uptown Charlotte. As you step inside, you’ll be transported to a charming Parisian-inspired setting, complete with cozy seating and the irresistible aroma of freshly baked pastries. Known for its French delicacies, Amelie’s offers a mouthwatering selection of croissants, macarons, quiches, and artisanal bread.
Pair your treat with a cup of their signature coffee or a steaming cup of loose-leaf tea. Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast on-the-go or a leisurely afternoon indulgence, Amelie’s French Bakery & Cafe is a must-visit destination for a taste of France in the heart of Uptown Charlotte.
Sweet Crunch is a powdered sugar haven for waffle lovers seeking a sweet and indulgent treat. Their specialty lies in their delectable Liege waffles, which are made from a rich, brioche-like dough and studded with pearl sugar. These waffles boast a unique texture and a caramelized exterior that pairs perfectly with a variety of toppings and fillings.
Lunch & Dinner
Dean’s Italian Steakhouse
Dean’s Italian Steakhouse combines the best of two worlds: Italian cuisine and mouthwatering steaks. This inviting restaurant offers a dining experience that lets you indulge in the rich flavors of traditional Italian dishes like homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and decadent tiramisu.
But the star of the show at Dean’s is undoubtedly their selection of premium, expertly cooked steaks, which are tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. With its warm ambiance, attentive service, and a menu that caters to both meat lovers and Italian food enthusiasts, Dean’s Italian Steakhouse is a must-visit destination for a memorable dining experience in uptown Charlotte.
The Cellar at Duckworth’s
The Cellar at Duckworth’s in Charlotte, NC, is a hidden gem housed in a cellar dating back to 1912 that transports guests into a cozy underground dining experience. Descend into this dimly lit cellar to discover an impressive selection of cocktails and craft beers along with an extensive menu of mouthwatering gastropub fare.
From delectable small plates and artisanal charcuterie boards to hearty burgers and flavorful entrees, the Cellar at Duckworth’s offers a perfect blend of comfort and sophistication. The rustic brick walls, vintage decor, and knowledgeable staff create an inviting atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a memorable night out in Charlotte.
Sea Level NC
Sea Level NC is a coastal-inspired seafood restaurant that brings the flavors of the ocean to the heart of the city. With a commitment to sustainable sourcing and locally harvested ingredients, Sea Level presents a menu filled with fresh and flavorful seafood dishes. From their mouthwatering oysters and succulent lobster rolls to their perfectly seared fish and shrimp po’boys, every bite is a taste of the coast.
Fin & Fino
Fin & Fino is another seafood lover’s paradise where culinary excellence meets coastal charm. This upscale seafood restaurant offers a diverse menu inspired by the flavors of the sea, featuring an array of fresh oysters, seafood towers, and creative seafood-focused dishes. With a commitment to sustainability, Fin & Fino sources ingredients locally and globally to ensure the highest quality and freshness. The stylish and contemporary ambiance, coupled with impeccable service, creates an elegant dining experience.
Caroline’s Oyster Bar
Caroline’s Oyster House is a beloved seafood establishment that captures the essence of coastal dining. This charming restaurant invites you to indulge in a variety of fresh and flavorful seafood dishes. From the succulent oysters, both raw and cooked, to the mouthwatering shrimp and crab preparations, Caroline’s Oyster House showcases the finest catches of the sea.
The menu also features a selection of non-seafood options, ensuring there is something for every palate. With its friendly service and coastal-inspired decor, Caroline’s Oyster House provides an exceptional culinary experience that transports guests to the seaside, right in the heart of Charlotte.
Cocktails & Atmosphere
Eddie V’s is not only renowned for its exceptional seafood and steak offerings but also for its live music. As you step into the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by live jazz and blues tunes. The music sets the perfect backdrop for a classic Uptown dining experience. Whether you’re enjoying a savory meal or sipping on handcrafted cocktails at the bar, Eddie V’s delivers an elevated experience that makes for a memorable evening.
Buho Rooftop Bar at the Grand Bohemian
Perched atop the Grand Bohemian Hotel, the Buho Rooftop Bar offers an escape from the city below. This chic rooftop bar boasts panoramic views of the skyline, creating a relaxed atmosphere for guests to unwind and socialize.
Sip on expertly crafted cocktails, which range from classic favorites to unique creations. The stylish ambiance, complete with comfortable seating and vibrant decor, is a memorable way to either begin or end an evening in Charlotte, NC.
Aura Rooftop is yet another chic rooftop bar that, like Buho at The Grand Bohemian, offers a dazzling panoramic view of the Queen City’s skyline. Situated on the 5th story of the JW Marriott, the Aura is a garden oasis, tucked away in the clouds. Inspired by the crystal waters of the aqua pool and luxurious cabanas, Aura Rooftop invites you to a tropical paradise above the noise. A small plate menu is also provided to pair with your beverage, and Aura also offers a couple of “free-spirited” non-alcoholic options as well.
NoDa: A Haven for Art & Cuisine
NoDa, short for North Davidson, is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood in Charlotte, NC, that radiates a unique bohemian charm. Known as the city’s arts district, NoDa is a hive of creativity, featuring numerous art galleries, live music venues, and colorful street murals.
Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of boutiques, vintage shops, and quirky eateries, where you can indulge in a variety of cuisines. With its lively atmosphere, thriving music scene, and a community that embraces individuality, NoDa is a must-visit destination for those seeking a dose of artistic inspiration and a taste of Charlotte’s vibrant cultural landscape.
Breakfast & Brunch
Reigning Doughnuts in NoDa is a must-visit destination for doughnut enthusiasts. This charming doughnut shop puts the focus on creativity, offering a rotating selection of unique flavors and innovative combinations. From classic favorites like glazed and cinnamon sugar to more adventurous options like a mojito or maple bacon and matcha green tea, there’s a doughnut for every palate. Using high-quality ingredients, Reigning Doughnuts ensures that each bite is a heavenly experience.
Lunch & Dinner
The GoodYear House
The Goodyear House restaurant seamlessly blends historic charm with contemporary cuisine. Housed in a beautifully restored 1900 mills home, the restaurant exudes warmth and character. The menu at The Goodyear House showcases a farm-to-table concept, featuring seasonal ingredients.
Diners can expect a creative and ever-changing menu that highlights the flavors of the region. From artisanal cocktails to innovative dishes, each plate is thoughtfully prepared to deliver a memorable dining experience. With its cozy ambiance and commitment to showcasing the best of local ingredients, The Goodyear House is a beloved destination for locals in the heart of NoDa.
Haberdish is a tasty Southern eatery in NoDa that celebrates the area’s mill town heritage. The menu at Haberdish is a fusion of Southern comfort food and contemporary flavors. Indulge in their signature fried chicken, served with flavorful house-made hot sauce. With its inviting ambiance, attentive service, and a menu that pays homage to the South, Haberdish is a must-visit destination for those seeking a taste of Southern soul with a contemporary flair in the heart of NoDa.
Ever Andalo (dinner only)
Craving homemade burrata paired with freshly made focaccia bread and a flight of fresh olive oil? Since I basically always am, this list isn’t complete without including Ever Andalo, a cozy neighborhood Italian eatery that is open Tuesday – Sunday 5 pm to close. So if you want to go, be sure to get a reservation. The focus at Ever Andalo is on fresh ingredients and making their delicious dishes and desserts in-house, and what’s not to love about that?
Drinks & Atmosphere
The Chamber by Wooden Robot
“The Chamber by Wooden Robot” is an innovative concept that combines a taproom and a rooftop biergarten with a rotating selection of food trucks on site. This popular establishment, an extension of Wooden Robot Brewery, promises a fun experience that captures the essence of NoDa’s vibrant and eclectic culture. For the latest updates and experiences, I recommend checking their website and social media.
NoDa Company Store
NoDa Company Store is a beloved neighborhood hangout that embodies the artistic and laid-back spirit of NoDa. This gathering spot started as a simple convenience store and transformed into a vibrant community hub. Offering a wide selection of craft beers, local brews, and wines, it’s a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike to unwind and socialize. The outdoor patio, adorned with colorful murals and string lights, creates a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Live music and events often fill the air, adding to the vibrant energy of the place.
South End: Where Food & Culture Collide
South End is a dynamic Charlotte neighborhood that seamlessly blends historic charm, art galleries, and a burgeoning culinary scene. If you’re staying in or just exploring this neighborhood, start your day at…
Breakfast & Brunch
Snooze an A.M Eatery
Snooze an A.M. Eatery is a beloved breakfast and brunch spot with colorful decor and a lively atmosphere. While it is a small chain, there’s a reason why so many regions want this eatery nearby. Snooze is renowned for its creative and innovative breakfast dishes. From their signature pancakes and eggs benedict to inventive twists on classic breakfast items, every dish is crafted with care and bursting with flavor.
Lunch & Dinner
When I’m not craving Italian, I’m usually craving sushi, and O-Ku is renowned for its exquisite sushi and sashimi, prepared with the freshest fish and skillful precision. O-Ku in South End was recommended to me by a waitress at Dilworth Tasting Room as her favorite sushi in the neighborhood, and it turned into one of the most memorable meals of the trip. The menu features a tantalizing selection of small plates, hot dishes, and robata-grilled offerings that showcase the flavors of Japan.
Dilworth Tasting Room
Dilworth Tasting Room, with its picture-perfect ambiance, is a go-to spot for a relaxed evening of sipping and savoring in one of Charlotte’s most charming neighborhoods. Whether you dine inside where the atmosphere is delightfully dim and cozy or outside in the garden where the central fountain and surrounding greenery make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret garden, you’ll be a happy customer. Be sure to check out their website for live jazz music on certain evenings as well as featured specials.
La Capital MX
La Capital MX is dedicated to bringing the flavors of Mexico to the heart of the city. The restaurant’s colorful and lively decor sets the stage for a festive dining experience. La Capital MX offers traditional Mexican dishes, each carefully crafted with fresh and flavorful ingredients. From classic street tacos and enchiladas to seafood specialties and sizzling fajitas, the menu showcases the rich and varied culinary heritage of Mexico. The bar serves up a tempting array of margaritas, craft cocktails, and Mexican beers, making it a perfect spot for happy hour or a night out with friends.
Yunta Nikkei Peruvian
“NIKKEI is a culinary adaptation that originated in Peru more than 100 years ago. During that time, Peru became the first Latin American country to enter into diplomatic relations with Japan. This caused Japanese workers to arrive there in search of work. In preparing their traditional Japanese dishes, they made use of the variety of Peruvian ingredients. These creations formed the perfect integration between Japan’s precise culinary techniques and the strong flavors of Peru.”yuntanikkei.com
Nestled in the vibrant South End neighborhood, Yunta Nikkei Peruvian restaurant beckons food enthusiasts to explore the captivating flavors of both Peru and Japan. Yunta Nikkei presents a fusion of culinary traditions known as Nikkei cuisine, a surprising marriage of Peruvian and Japanese tastes.
Flower Child is the place to go for health-conscious food lovers seeking vibrant as well as healthy meals. This cheerful restaurant embraces a “farm-to-table” approach, using fresh and organic ingredients to create wholesome and flavorful dishes. Flower Child’s menu is a celebration of seasonal vegetables, whole grains, and responsibly sourced proteins, offering a diverse selection of salads, grain bowls, and wraps. From vegan and vegetarian options to responsibly raised meats, there is something to satisfy every palate.
Drinks & Atmosphere
Barcelona Wine Bar
Barcelona Wine Bar transports guests to the vibrant streets of Spain. Located in the heart of the city, this stylish wine bar offers an authentic Spanish experience with the menu boasting a savory selection of tapas, featuring a medley of flavors that celebrate the essence of Spanish cuisine. Complementing the meal is an extensive wine list, showcasing a curated selection of Spanish wines and varietals from around the world.
The Vintage Whiskey & Cigar Bar
The Vintage Whiskey and Cigar Bar is a refined establishment that offers a nostalgic journey into the world of whiskey and cigars. Tucked away in the heart of the vibrant South End neighborhood, this stylish bar offers a classic atmosphere. With an extensive selection of top-shelf whiskeys from around the world, connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike can savor a diverse range of flavors and profiles. The bar’s well-stocked cigar humidor allows guests to choose from a variety of premium cigars to complement their drink of choice. The vintage-inspired decor, plush leather seating, and warm ambiance create an intimate and elegant setting for a relaxing evening of indulgence.
Plaza Midwood: Quirky Eateries & Local Haunts
With beautifully restored bungalows and trendy apartments, Plaza Midwood boasts a diverse character. Colorful murals and street art add to the artistic atmosphere, and the area offers a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Residents and visitors alike are drawn to the welcoming spirit of Plaza Midwood, making it a favorite destination for experiencing Charlotte’s lively and artsy culture.
Breakfast & Brunch
The Giddy Goat
The Giddy Goat coffee shop is a caffeinated haven for coffee enthusiasts. This delightful café is a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. The Giddy Goat takes pride in serving a variety of expertly crafted coffee beverages, from velvety lattes to aromatic pour-overs, using high-quality beans roasted to perfection. The menu also features pastries and treats that pair perfectly with their coffee offerings.
Lunch & Dinner
Housed in a former church, Supperland celebrates the spirit of Southern hospitality and comfort food. This eatery exudes vintage charm and a welcoming ambiance paired with a menu showcasing classic Southern dishes with a modern twist, crafted with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Every bite is a taste of Southern tradition.
Midwood Smokehouse is a beloved barbecue destination that captures the essence of Charlotte’s distinctive barbecue flavor. This popular eatery showcases a rustic ambiance, perfect for indulging in the art of smoked meats. The Plaza Midwood location offers a diverse menu of mouthwatering barbecue classics, from tender brisket and succulent ribs to savory pulled pork and juicy smoked chicken. The restaurant’s commitment to using quality ingredients and traditional cooking methods ensures that each dish is a memorable bite.
Calle Sol Latin Cafe & Cevicheria
Calle Sol Latin Cafe & Cevicheria transports diners on a flavorful journey through Latin American cuisine. Tucked away in the vibrant Plaza Midwood neighborhood, this cafe exudes an inviting atmosphere. The menu at Calle Sol features an array of authentic Latin dishes. With its friendly staff and vibrant flavors, Calle Sol Latin Cafe & Cevicheria offers a delightful dining experience that captures the rich and diverse culinary heritage of Latin America, right in the heart of Charlotte.
Drinks & Atmosphere
The Bohemian: A Wine Bar
The Bohemian: A Wine Bar is an intimate and stylish wine bar offering an extensive selection of wines from around the world, with a focus on small-batch and boutique wineries. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a newbie, the knowledgeable staff can guide you through their diverse offerings. The cozy setting, complete with live music and a tasty menu of small plates and cheese boards, creates an ideal setting for sipping and savoring with friends. (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
Elizabeth: Historic Charm & Culinary Excellence
Elizabeth in Charlotte, NC, is a historic neighborhood that exudes a timeless allure. Situated just east of Uptown, this picturesque area is characterized by tree-lined streets, beautifully preserved bungalows, and stately historic homes. The neighborhood’s rich history is evident in the architectural details and unique character of the houses. Elizabeth is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with art galleries, theaters, and music venues adding to its lively atmosphere. Residents and visitors alike can explore a variety of eclectic shops, cozy cafes, and trendy restaurants. The scenic Independence Park offers a relaxing escape, complete with walking trails and lush green spaces.
Breakfast & Brunch
The People’s Market
The People’s Market is a community-centric gathering spot that embodies the spirit of a local market mentality. Located in the heart of the historic Elizabeth neighborhood, this cafe showcases an array of delicious pastries, rich coffees, and fresh lunch options.
Lunch & Dinner
The Fig Tree
The Fig Tree restaurant is an elegant dining experience located in the historic Lucas House, a restored 1913 bungalow. This upscale restaurant menu is a celebration of classic French and Italian cuisine featuring richly flavored dishes like foie gras and duck confit to delicate seafood offerings and perfectly cooked steaks. The restaurant’s extensive wine list complements the exquisite dishes, offering a curated selection from around the world. With its intimate ambiance, impeccable service, and a menu that delights the senses, The Fig Tree restaurant is a cherished destination for food enthusiasts seeking a taste of European culinary excellence.
Customshop redefines the art of dining with its innovative and seasonally-inspired dishes. This contemporary restaurant offers a menu featuring an ever-changing array of dishes, highlighting the freshest local ingredients and creative combinations. From small plates to mouthwatering entrees, each dish is thoughtfully prepared to tantalize the taste buds. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients adds to its allure, making it a popular choice for those who appreciate quality and conscious dining.
SouthPark: A Gourmet Haven
SouthPark is an upscale neighborhood known for its luxurious shopping, dining, and cultural offerings. Located just a few miles south of Uptown, this prestigious area boasts beautiful tree-lined streets, elegant homes, and modern condominiums. At the heart of the neighborhood is SouthPark Mall, a premier shopping destination featuring high-end boutiques and upscale department stores. SouthPark also offers an array of fine dining restaurants, trendy cafes, and lively bars. The neighborhood’s cultural scene thrives with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the acclaimed Mint Museum Randolph.
Breakfast & Brunch
Cafe Monte French Cafe and Bistro
Cafe Monte French Bakery and Bistro is a local favorite that transports guests to the charming streets of Paris. This inviting cafe captures the essence of French cuisine with its authentic dishes and warm ambiance. The menu at Cafe Monte features a selection of classic French fare, from buttery croissants and savory quiches to decadent crêpes and flavorful Coq au Vin. The cafe’s stylish decor, complete with Parisian-inspired accents, creates a relaxed and inviting setting for guests to savor their meals.
Lunch & Dinner
Rooftop at Restoration Hardware
The Restoration Hardware Rooftop restaurant is a luxurious dining destination that offers a one-of-a-kind experience. Nestled within the stunning Restoration Hardware store in SouthPark, this rooftop restaurant provides a picturesque setting for guests to savor delicious meals while surrounded by elegant furnishings. The menu features a curated selection of elevated American cuisine, crafted with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Whether indulging in a leisurely lunch or enjoying a romantic dinner under the stars, the Restoration Hardware Rooftop restaurant promises a sophisticated and memorable dining experience that seamlessly combines culinary excellence with an opulent ambiance.
Drinks & Atmosphere
Bulla Gastrobar is a lively Spanish restaurant that transports diners to the heart of Spain with its authentic flavors and atmosphere. This popular eatery showcases a modern and stylish ambiance that complements its diverse menu. From flavorful tapas and traditional paella to an extensive selection of Spanish wines and handcrafted cocktails, Bulla Gastrobar offers a true taste of Spain.
Optimist Hall: A Food Hall Favorite
Experience the vibrant food hall concept at Optimist Hall, a transformed industrial space that brings together a diverse range of culinary offerings. Discover flavors from around the world as you sample delectable bites from vendors such as Dumpling Lady, The Spindle Bar, and Bao and Broth. Indulge in Southern comfort food with a twist at Honeysuckle Gelato or savor the flavors of Latin America at Suárez Bakery. The communal dining experience and lively atmosphere of Optimist Hall make it a must-visit for any food enthusiast.
Wrapping It Up
Charlotte’s neighborhoods are brimming with delicious food, each offering its own distinct flavors and dining experiences. From the upscale restaurants and trendy cafes of Uptown to the art-infused streets of NoDa, the quirky eateries of Plaza Midwood, the historic charm of Elizabeth, the gourmet haven of SouthPark, and the vibrant food hall extravaganza at Optimist Hall, there’s something to please every palate.
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