My Favorite Charlotte Restaurants
Patio at Foxcroft Wine Co. Image via AmericasCuisine.com.
Happy Friday! I had a request a while back to round up my favorite places to eat in Charlotte, so here they are, just in time for the weekend. I LOVE food (too much), so this was a fun one to write and made me really hungry! I honestly complain about the food scene in Charlotte, but after writing this list, it made me realize we have some pretty legit restaurants. I definitely tend to stick with what I know, and all of these below are in the rotation. Lance and I also make a list of new places to try each year, so I have listed those below as well.
Inside of Soul Gastrolounge. Image via Charlotte Agenda.
Asian Glazed Pork Belly Tacos, image via Soul Gastrolounge.
Soul Roll, image via Trip Advisor.
Soul is hands-down my favorite place to eat in Charlotte and has been for YEARS. Nothing beats it! I love that I can get a sushi roll, fries, and a grilled cheese all from the same menu. My favorite dishes (sorry the list is long): Shrimp Ceviche, Sashimi Tuna Tacos, Southern Fried Oysters, Fried Brussel Sprouts, Soul Roll, Hamachi with Jalapeño, Midwood Mixed Greens, Soul Grilled Cheese, French Fries with Garlic Herb Salt, Pecorino, and Truffle Oil, and the Asian Glazed Pork Belly Tacos (which is their most popular menu item). It’s a tiny place and they don’t take reservations, so I recommend either going super early (5 or 5:30) or use the No Wait app, which is app you can download on your iPhone to be put on the waiting list from home!
Inside Baku, image via www.michaeljwrites.com.
Image via South Park Magazine.
I have only eaten here a few times because it is definitely a splurge meal, but the food is SO GOOD. My favorite is the Spicy Hamachi Rice Krispy Treat, which is spicy tuna on top of a homemade rice cake. The Baku Signature Ice Bowl (pictured above) is incredible, too!
Customshop interior, image via Open Table.
Cheese Board, image via Customshop.
This has been another one of my go-to’s for years. They use mostly local meats, serve handmade pasta, and their bread is the absolute best in town. It’s baked in-house and served warm drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper. Their menu is always changing, but I go there for the bread, the Cheese Board, the Tuna Crudo, the Beef Carpaccio, any of their pastas (they are always different), or if you want to share something, get the Rib Eye Deckle.
The patio at Foxcroft on East Blvd. is one of the best in Charlotte! Image via AmericasCuisine.com.
Cheese Board, image via Charlotte Magazine.
Flatbread and wine, image via Thrillist.
This is perfect spot for a girl’s dinner. Lance doesn’t love it (the food isn’t hearty enough for him), but I love the light bites, and I can build my ideal dinner here. Honestly, give me wine, a great cheese plate, and some sort of veggie or salad and I’m pretty much in heaven. You can actually buy wine at a retail price here and as long as the bottle is over $35, they don’t charge you a corkage fee, so that’s a nice perk. My favs here: Olives, Cheese Plate, House Made Ricotta, Truffle Fries, Caramelized Brussel Sprouts, and Roasted Mushroom Flatbread. If you do take your man, have him get the burger or sliders!
Interior of Bakersfield, image via Charlotte Magazine.
Tacos, image via Thrillist.
Queso dip, image via Bakersfield.
I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD. Anyone else?! I’m kind of over the old days of super greasy, heavy ‘authentic’ Mexican (which actually is not authentic to Mexico at all). My need list for a Mexican restaurant: QUESO. First and foremost, I’m looking for a great queso. Bakersfield is my absolute favorite. And fresh ingredients, which Bakersfield nails as well. It’s mostly tacos, and my favorite is the Fish taco. They also have the FRESHEST guacamole. My go-to order here is the guac and queso to start (I add jalapeños to mine) and one fish taco. I crush the dips, so it’s the perfect amount of food.
Outside The Summit Room, image via Carolina Farmstead.
Another great patio spot! The interior is super cute, too, and it’s a great place to go after work and enjoy a cocktail in one of their rocking chairs overlooking East Blvd. They have delicious cocktails and a great wine list. The food is always changing…I just looked up their menu and it’s totally different from the last time I was there. I honestly have never ordered a bad dish here; everything is so good!
Inside Haberdish, image via Haberdish.
The food at Haberdish, image via Haberdish.
I am not typically a lover of heavy southern food. But when you do it like Haberdish does it, it’s VERY hard not to love. They have a small menu and it basically consists of the best fried chicken you’ll ever have + unique twists on your favorite southern sides. My go-to is two chicken tenders and a few sides to share. My favs are Sweet Potato Dumplings, Charred Okra, Kale Grits, and Mac & Cheese. They also have great cocktails and good wines. This is another restaurant that doesn’t take reservations, but is on the No Wait app. Be sure you come hungry!
Inside Sabor South Park, image via Charlotte Agenda.
Nachos, image via Charlotte Stories.
Another Mexican place because, well, Mexican food is just so good! Sabor is AWESOME. The food is SUPER cheap (we made the mistake of hugely over-ordering the first time we went) and the ingredients are really fresh. It’s a great lunch spot or take-out dinner. My favorites are the Queso (duh), the Taco Salad with Grilled Veggies, the Quinoa Avocado Bowl, or the Nachos. A trick: I like to order a kid’s meal Quinoa Avocado Bowl which comes with a side of chips and queso, and it’s the perfect size for me!
Essex interior, image via Charlotte Agenda.
This is another spot where I have never eaten anything bad from their menu. The menu is SUPER varied, which I love. It’s a globally-inspired menu, so you can get a little bit of everything. Even though it’s called small plates, the portions are a good size. Some of my favorites here are the Warm Brussel Sprouts Salad, Potato Gnocchi, Cheese Platter (almost always my favorite at any restaurant), Butter Chicken (the most popular dish on their menu), Tuna Poke Tacos, Spicy Tuna Tar Tar, and the Mushroom Flatbread.
Pasta from Fiamma, image via Thrillist.
I was wrapping up this post and realized I had not listed an Italian restaurant which is NOT OK, because I love LOVE Italian food! My go-to for an authentic Italian experience is Fiamma. Everything about this place screams ITALY. From the tablecloths and low-key decor to the sorbet palate cleanser to the homemade limoncello to cap off the meal, this place will make you feel like you are in Italy. The pastas are homemade and they specialize in slow-cooked veal. My favorite dish here is Penne Bizanzio, which is a simple tomato sauce tossed with fresh mozzarella and basil. I always sub out the penne (which isn’t homemade) for a homemade pasta like pappardelle.
Every year Lance and I make a list of new places we want to try. Here is our list for this coming year!
We are going to Kindred Saturday night, which I am SO excited about. Let me know if there is somewhere I need to try that didn’t make the list. Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!