9 Best Restaurants In North Carolina, Charlotte

© Pexels
© Pexels
Photo of Lilian Diarra
9 February 2017

Named after a British Queen, Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina. In addition to being a thriving business hub, the city has many exceptional, cutting-edge restaurants. For adamant foodies visiting Charlotte, here are the 10 best restaurants.

Halcyon, Flavours from the Earth

Described as ‘farmhouse chic’, Halcyon is a stylish farm-to-table destination serving a delightful selection of dishes combining the best of Southern and Old World cuisine. Based on local produce from artisanal farms, dairies, cheese-makers and wineries from the states of Carolina and beyond, Halcyon’s seasonally driven menu includes dishes such as venison with cranberry, apple and spiced walnuts, and house-crafted mushroom ravioli with sherry cream and a black olive emulsion. The restaurant’s earthy and soothing interior is characterized by blue walls, birds’ nest chandeliers, and sculpted wooden tables. Situated inside the Mint Museum on the Levine Cultural Campus, Halcyon’s dining room offers a stunning view of the Charlotte cityscape.

Halcyon, 500 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 910 0865

© Pixabay

© Pixabay

The Cowfish, Sushi Burger Bar
What happens when quality burgers are combined with good sushi? To find out, stop by the Cowfish. Far from being an ordinary restaurant, the Cowfish’s menu features an unusual mix of burgers and sushi. Choose your favorite from the extensive menu of fresh sushi, the organic burger menu, or try the signature invention of ‘burgushi’ – daring fusions made up of both sushi and burger components. With no limit to culinary creativity, diners also have the option to customize their sushi rolls with the ‘build your own sushi roll’ menu. It doesn’t end there, however: the Cowfish bar provides a superb offering of spike hand-spun milkshakes, premium sakes, craft beer and exotic martinis. A relaxed fun spot, not to mention housing a 600-gallon aquarium with live cowfish, the Cowfish promises a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

The Cowfish, 4310 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 365 1922

Good Food on Montford

Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View
Created by the award-winning chef Bruce Moffett and his brother Kerry Moffett in 2009, the trendy Good Food on Montford has quickly become a top place to dine in Charlotte. Serving tapas-style cuisine, the restaurant’s evolving menu promises a creative selection of small-sized dishes, great for sharing, such as Southern-fried quail, steamed buns, seared scallops, and creamy risotto. Perfect for a date night or a casual dinner among friends, Good Food’s rustic yet cozy dining space features exposed bricked walls, arty light fixtures and beautiful wooden ceiling beams. It’s located along Montford Drive on the edge of Myers Park and a visit to the often-packed Good Food should be on the cards.

Fig Tree Restaurant

Restaurant, Italian, French, American, $$$
Map View
Wine at Figtree
Wine at Figtree | © Dmitri Ma / Shutterstock
Located in the historic Lucas House, in the charming neighborhood of Elizabeth, is a 1913 craftsman bungalow-style building called the Fig Tree Restaurant. This place is well-known for its refined French and Italian-inspired cuisine and exquisite international wine list of more than 500 bottles. Specialty dishes include elk chop over horseradish spaetzle and purple cabbage, wild striped bass served with black rice, and homemade pappardelle pasta with assorted vegetables bathed in a garlic cream sauce. Make sure to leave some space, as the dessert menu of cakes, crème brûlée and brownies is wickedly tempting. Featuring five elegant dining rooms, three of them with grand fireplaces, Fig Tree also offers outdoor seating weather permitting.

Luna’s Living Kitchen

Specializing in the art of nourishment and serving organic, plant-based cuisine, Luna’s Living Kitchen is a true haven for vegetarians and vegans, healthy-conscious eaters or anyone else up for a nutritious treat. Luna’s concept of ‘living’ refers to the daily use of only the freshest raw ingredients with high nutritional value. Here, there are natural scrumptious meals, heavenly smoothies, refreshing cold-pressed juices and much more. Luna’s homemade dishes are creative, rich in flavor and beautifully presented. For that morning energy boost, start the day with the wholesome cacao granola – buckwheat granola with cacao, coconut and a dash of cayenne topped with fresh fruit, accompanied by a glass of delicious almond, hemp or coconut-based homemade milk.

Luna’s s Living Kitchen, 2102 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 333 0008

Customshop Food

Bar, Charcuterie, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Customshop Handcrafted Food, Charlotte
Customshop Handcrafted Food, Charlotte | © Pixabay
Drawing on inspiration from French, Italian and Spanish cuisine, Customshop Food serves an eclectic menu of handcrafted traditional and contemporary dishes. Established by Charlotte native chef Trey Wilson, Customshop Food grows its own vegetables and herbs from its backyard garden, makes its own pasta and has an impressive charcuterie bar with an antique fly wheel slicer. Almost every dish is slow-cooked using the sous vide technique, enhancing the food’s natural flavors and textures. Described as a ‘modern Roman trattoria with a neighborhood feel’, Customshop has a dimly lit industrial interior which is made up of modern dark wooden tables with walls of partly exposed bricks from the building’s original structure dating back to the early 20th century. With weekly changes in the menu, Customshop Food promises a true dining adventure in the heart of Charlotte.

Luce Restaurant & Bar

The lavish Luce Restaurant is renowned for serving the best of authentic northern Italian dishes in uptown Charlotte. From meticulously prepared entrees such as carpaccio and Italian cheeses to original pasta-based dishes including taglioni, lasagna and buttera, the menu captures the best of Italian gastronomy. It is matched by a noteworthy wine list representing different Italian regions. The restaurant also serves a range of meat and seafood specialties such as braised beef ribs with butternut squash and gnocchi, and pan-seared scallops with croquettes and broccoli. Murano glass, Venetian plaster, and travertine marble floors make up Luce’s classy yet warm interior, providing a romantic atmosphere, ideal for elegant intimate dining.

hurch Restaurant

Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View
5Church, Charlotte
5Church, Charlotte | Courtesy of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
The intriguing 5Church is a hip upmarket restaurant and bar, fairly new on Charlotte’s culinary scene but with fast-growing popularity. 5Church offers imaginative and tasty dishes including wasabi-crusted salmon, crispy marinated tofu and North Carolina mountain trout. A snacks menu served in the bar presents an array of light delicacies accompanied by a superb selection of wines, champagne and signature cocktails. One of 5Church’s outstanding facets is the 40,000 plus words from Sun Tzu’s legendary The Art of War decorating the dining room ceiling. The rest of the restaurant’s industrially chic interior is just as dramatic from its grey tones and avant-garde ambiance to the large bar area and long communal tables.

Cajun Yard Dog

Providing the best of Louisiana home-style cooking with Creole and Cajun influences, the Cajun Yard Dog is a favorite local spot. With more than 35 varieties of hot sauce, Cajun Yard Dog prides itself on serving traditional staples such as meatloaf, red beans and rice and the tastiest fried chicken in Charlotte. The menu also offers a number of hearty seafood dishes with shrimp, catfish and oysters. A Cajun yard dog is equivalent to a backyard pet but comes in the form of an alligator, which has been somewhat adopted as the restaurant’s trademark. Decorated with an assortment of paraphernalia hanging from the walls such as toy alligators, beads and beer signs, the Cajun Yard Dog is a fun, friendly restaurant. It’s full of character and guarantees a great meal at an affordable price.

Louisiana home-style cooking | © Jennifer White Maxwell / Shutterstock

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