Best Places to Eat in Charlotte, Says a Local

  • Charlotte is famous for its barbecue grills and comfort food, but there is a lot more to explore.
  • Grab bacon flapjacks at Original Pancake House or have a boozy brunch at Little Spoon.
  • Try southern cuisine at Mert’s Heart and Soul. End the evening with vintage cocktails at Crunkleton.

Charlotte is famous for its delicious comfort food, but there is much more to try when visiting the “Queen City”.

As someone who has lived here for years, I have tried everything from popular restaurants to unexpected shops.

Here are all of the best places to eat, according to one local:

Rise and shine for breakfast at the Original Pancake House

One of the best breakfast options in town is the Original Pancake House, which has SouthPark and Midtown locations.

Both open early and close right after lunchtime, so don’t hang around if you want the chance to munch on some comfort food that has been perfected over the past 20 years.

In addition to pancakes, you can get omelets, salads, pancakes, and freshly brewed coffee.

Advice: The bacon pancakes are a must.

LittleSpoon is a great place for fresh and seasonal deals

Boozy brunch at Little Spoon in Charlotte.

Have brunch on the terrace.

Dara brewton


If you want a boozy breakfast option, stop by LittleSpoon Eatery.

He often updates his menu with seasonal and regional options, but the vibes are always amazing. I highly recommend the Cinnamon Brulee when it’s on the brunch menu.

Advice: Head to the Selwyn Avenue location if you want to enjoy your brunch on a patio.

There are all kinds of options to choose from at the Optimist Room

For your midday meal, head to “the happiest place on earth”. Previously an industrial complex, Optimist Hall is now home to restaurants, bars and specialty shops.

It’s also a fun place to spend a few hours browsing through the different offerings after you’ve finished eating.

Advice: You won’t want to miss the food at Dumpling Lady.

Reigning Donuts hot and cool offerings make a perfect snack or treat

The window of Reigning Donuts in Charlotte.

Be sure to bring your card to Reigning Donuts.

Dara brewton


Whenever you visit the NoDa district, be sure to grab something from Reigning Donuts.

This walk-in window distributes heavenly treats with flavors that vary from day to day. The donuts are made to order, which means you’re guaranteed a hot and fresh treat.

Advice: The stand works by card only and does not accept cash.

There is a husband and wife duo serving dinner at Mert’s Heart and Soul

For dinner, head to the top of town for Mert’s Heart and Soul.

Charlotte’s establishment serves traditional Southern fare and has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-in, and Dives”.

Advice: You don’t want to miss the cornbread.

Your late night sweet tooth can be satisfied at Crave Dessert Bar

The Crave Dessert Bar offers a warm and fresh atmosphere with tasty treats.

Here you’ll find farm-by-the-glass cocktails, desserts to die for (I recommend the s’mores platter), and good savory options.

Advice: Crave is over 21 years old.

You can’t leave Charlotte without a visit to Amélie

The interior of Amélie's in Charlotte.

Amélie’s is a monument of Charlotte.

Dara brewton


With its quirky style, delicious desserts and extended hours, Amélie’s French Bakery is a Charlotte staple.

You can sample one of the bakery’s spectacular pastries, pies and cakes, or grab your favorite flavor from its rainbow selection of macaroons.

Advice: The NoDa location is open 365 days a year, barring terrible blizzards in the winter.

The Crunkleton has a full team of experienced bartenders serving vintage cocktails

The Crunkleton has a highly organized collection of spirits that is unmatched in the city.

Don’t worry if you’re new to vintage cocktails, the staff are very knowledgeable and can help answer all of your questions.

Advice: I recommend trying the sour elderflower.

Park Road Mall is an unexpected destination for a night out

Park Road Shopping Center in Charlotte.

This shopping site has the best place for cocktails.

Dara brewton


A mall might not be the first place you think of when considering your nightlife options, but Park Road has one of the best cocktail bars in town, Dot Dot Dot.

In addition to the Prohibition-style bar, the mall is also home to the Sir Edmond Halley Irish Pub and the Burtons Grill and Bar, both of which have great drink options.

Advice: Dot Dot Dot is a members-only property. Find out how to become a member here.


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