We’re lucky to have some truly amazing restaurants in our city that are paving a tasty path in the Charlotte restaurant scene. Whether recently opened or opening soon, these top restaurants are definitely spots you’ll need to hit in 2018. With a mix of modern, upscale eateries and casual dining establishments, we guarantee you won’t go hungry this year, and you may even discover a new favorite restaurant!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Caswell Station
Caswell Station is the newest bar and restaurant to open in Charlotte's popular Elizabeth neighborhood. Previously named Kennedy's Bar & Grill, Caswell Station was renovated to give the space a more neighborhood pub feel and it certainly turned out charming!
Serving an eclectic New American style menu, you can find a little bit of everything, including flatbreads, shared plates, wings, and sandwiches. Your meal will be so tasty you'll want to keep coming back for more! Caswell Station also offers an expansive beer and wine selection, and the huge outdoor patio is the perfect spot for brunch when the weather gets warmer. Elizabeth is one of Charlotte's hottest neighborhoods right now, so if you're interested in checking it out make sure you visit Caswell Station.
Address: 366 N. Caswell Rd., Charlotte, NC 28204
2. Oak Steakhouse
Oak Steakhouse is a new Charlotte steakhouse that opened in South Park in 2017. Since then, this restaurant has received rave reviews from customers and has given Charlotte's longer-standing steak restaurants a run for their money.
The concept for Oak Steakhouse was originally born in Charleston, South Carolina, and the restaurant did so well that sister locations were opened in Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte. Offering locally sourced premium steaks as well as an impressive small plates menu, this steakhouse has something for everyone and will please any party. With a modern, trendy atmosphere, Oak is a great place to go for a special occasion or a night on the town.
Address: 4777 Sharon Rd. Suite 125, Charlotte, NC 28210
3. The Packhouse
The Packhouse offers a rustic-chic setting inspired by North Carolina tobacco farms. Almost every wall is covered with recycled wood from old barns and the face of the bar is adorned with bricks that formed their foundations. Tobacco baskets hang from the ceiling and a plow sits attached to one wall.
The scrumptious Southern food is just as you would expect at a family dinner on the farm. Comfort foods like pork tenderloin, stuffed peppers, and casserole specials fill the menu. Tasty sides like mac and cheese, creamed corn, and collards will make it hard to pick just one to accompany your meal. In addition to lunch and dinner, The Packhouse also serves up a fabulous brunch on the weekends. You won't want to pass up their chicken and waffles or the Southern Breakfast on Sundays.
Address: 500 E. Morehead St. #150-A, Charlotte, NC 28202
4. Hello Sailor
Hello Sailor just opened last month in Cornelius, but it has already stirred up tremendous buzz in the QC. It's owned by the same proprietors of Kindred in Davidson, one of the areas best restaurants. Hello Sailor has a gorgeous lakefront view of Lake Norman and the atmosphere and decor portray a chic setting inspired by Palm Springs.
The menu at Hello Sailor features tons of fresh seafood, ranging from oysters and deviled crab dip to shrimp calabash and catfish. There are also plenty of fried fish options on the menu for those who like a good old fried shrimp basket with hushpuppies. Although only open for a month, this restaurant is bound to be a success. Between the beautiful view, the fantastic food and the talented restaurateurs behind it, Hello Sailor should top your list of must-visit places.
Address: 20210 Henderson Rd., Cornelius, NC 28031
5. Tandur Indian Kitchen
Tandur Indian Kitchen is expected to open this month in South Park. Known as a fast and casual Indian restaurant, Tandur Indian Kitchen has had great success in other areas, especially in Nashville.
The concept at Tandur is simple: customers can customize traditional Indian dishes at the counter, which are made to order and brought to your table. The restaurant offers Indian food lovers a quick and delicious meal filled with all of your favorite flavors. Menu items will consist of classics like Tikka Masala, Vindaloo, and Saag, as well as interesting wraps, salads, and kabobs.
Address: 721 Gov. Morrison St., Charlotte, NC 28211
6. Hollar and Dash
Hollar and Dash Biscuit House was developed by the same people who created the ever-so-popular Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores and serves up some delicious breakfast creations to Charlotte residents.
The menu at Hollar and Dash is "biscuit inspired" and features breakfast sandwiches you can only imagine... until they are right in front of you, of course. Signature biscuits like the Chicken Holler (with fried chicken, cheddar, and pickles) or the Pork Rambler (with fried pork tenderloin, blackberry butter, and fried onion straws) will have you drooling as soon as you see them. If you prefer breakfast on the sweeter side, they all have specialties, including a Nutella and raspberry jam covered biscuit. Yum!
Address: 2725 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28209
Angeline's is a relatively new Italian restaurant that offers guests a seasonal menu of Italian inspired farm-to-table dishes that are both elegant and exquisite. Housemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas and more leave guests happy and satisfied at the end of each meal.
Angeline's also offers a superior wine selection and a knowledgeable staff who can help you pick the best pairings to compliment your meal. The modern, energetic Uptown atmosphere makes a great setting for dinner before a night out or a date with a loved one.
Address: 303 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28202
8. Coltrane's Char Grill
Coltrane's Char Grill is a hoppin', casual Argentinian restaurant offering excellent entrees, salads, and sandwiches. The restaurant's first location opened Uptown on Trade Street in 2016 and was so popular that the owners decided to open a second location in Plaza Midwood at the end of 2017.
If you like rotisserie-style chicken, Coltrane's is the place for you. Customers order at the counter and can select from menu items including 1/4 or 1/2 rotisserie chickens, pulled chicken, or steak bowls with all the fixings. One of our favorite appetizers is the stuffed avocado that comes with brown rice, quinoa, and pinto beans, topped with queso. The Street Corn Casserole side dish is also to die for.
Address: 1518 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205
9. Seoul Poke Bowl
It seems like we've been waiting forever for an excellent poke bowl restaurant to open in Charlotte, and luckily towards the end of 2017, we got just that with Seoul Poke Bowl.
Seoul Poke Bowl is an awesome, casual restaurant that serves up made-to-order poke bowls however you like them. Customers order at the counter and have their choice of rice, raw or cooked fish, and tons of toppings. One of our favorite bowls consists of brown rice, spicy tuna, fresh salmon and crab, edamame, mango, avocado, and green onions, all topped with a sweet and tangy eel sauce and spicy mayo. There are plentiful options on their menu, making this restaurant is a must-try for every sushi lover in Charlotte.
Address: 3609 South Blvd. Suite D, Charlotte, NC 28209
10. Roots Café
Roots Café is an awesome new breakfast and lunch spot that opened only a few months ago in the space formerly occupied by Cluck n' Cup. If you're wondering why Roots might sound familiar, it may be because they had one of the most popular food trucks in Charlotte before they moved to a brick and mortar restaurant!
Roots Café has a funky, eclectic wine bar/coffee shop vibe, making it a fun place to hang out, and the food is absolutely outstanding. The Rosemary Banana French Toast made from local whiskey, fresh rosemary, pecans, and maple syrup is one of our favorite brunch dishes. The lunch menu is equally as enticing, with an assortment of handhelds, power bowls, and salads that will satisfy your cravings and fuel your body for the rest of the day.
Address: 2135 Southend Dr., Charlotte, NC 28203
11. The Suffolk Punch at Hyde Brewing
The Suffolk Punch at Hyde Brewing is one of the more unique new restaurants in the Queen City. A self-proclaimed a culinary café, coffee bar, taphouse, and fermentation lab, Suffolk Punch at Hyde Brewing seems to have everything you could ever ask for in a restaurant.
While the beer and cocktail list is impressive, the food at Suffolk Punch has been turning heads since they opened. Artisan small plates like Tuna Crudo or Country Fried Pork Belly make great snacking options and dinner entrees, which include a shaved beef sandwich, North Carolina short ribs, and a house-made veggie burger, offer something a little more substantial for those who are especially hungry. As Suffolk Punch is connected to Hyde Brewing Company, it's the perfect place to spend the day sampling your favorite drinks and enjoying a wonderful meal this weekend.
Address: 2911 Griffith St. Suite A, Charlotte, NC 28203
12. Heritage Food & Drink
Heritage Food & Drink isn't a new name in the Charlotte restaurant scene; this popular restaurant has been operating in Waxhaw for years and has had so much success that they have decided to move closer to Uptown Charlotte in 2018. Award-winning chef and owner Paul Verica decided to make the move to Elizabeth for a change of pace and to create a more edgy atmosphere for his top rated restaurant.
Heritage will be open for dinner only, but will have a large bar that stays open late and offers a small late night menu. Fans of Heritage can expect meals with the same great taste and immaculate presentation that they have always known. This Southern inspired farm-to-table restaurant has been named the top restaurant in the area, we are sure the new location for Heritage will bring us the same amazing food and innovative atmosphere we've been used to!
Heritage's new Elizabeth address will be 1961 E. 7th St., Charlotte, NC 28204.
13. Essex Bar & Bistro
Essex Bar & Bistro opened in 2017 in Uptown Charlotte. Featuring a large menu of tapas and sharing plates in a swanky, trendy environment, Essex quickly became one of the hottest restaurants to open in our city last year.
Tapas on the menu are categorized by Produce, Pasture, Sea, and Flatbreads. Dishes like Chorizo Stuffed Fried Olives, Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche with Wonton Chips, and Fried Cauliflower are served on small plates to share and offer the most mouthwatering flavors. In addition to the many tapas, Essex also serves a full sushi menu so you can mix and match however you like.
Address: 101 S. Tryon St. #14, Charlotte, NC 28280
14. The Porter's House
The Porter's House was a much-anticipated steakhouse that opened just last year in Waverly Walk in South Charlotte. Created by the same owners who opened Dressler's and Dogwood, we knew we were in for a treat as soon as they announced this new restaurant. A modern atmosphere paired with amazing food, a private bourbon room, and a delightful patio make this restaurant truly luxurious and charismatic.
The menu consists of a la carte steaks cooked any way you like, fantastic entrees including seafood, veal, and duck, as well as family-style sides like charred asparagus and peppers, potato gratin, and chilled pickled beets. The Lamb Chop with Gnocchi will melt in your mouth, as will just about everything else you try from this delectable new restaurant.
Address: 7417 Waverly Walk Ave., Charlotte, NC 28277
15. K Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton
K Lounge is an elegant lounge located inside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Uptown Charlotte. While the Ritz is well-known on its own, K Lounge is making a name for itself in its own right. Offering a cozy, upscale setting with amazing food and gorgeous cocktails, this is a great place to stop in for a drink while in Uptown or to kickstart an evening out.
The menu at K Lounge isn't long, but it packs a punch when it comes to flavor. Small plates with a Latin and international flare include Jicama Crab Tacos, Curry Chicken Meatballs, and a Peruvian Crispy Pork Belly Sandwich. K Lounge also has a fabulous Charcuterie and Cheese Board that makes for a great appetizer or light dinner with drinks.
Address: 201 East Trade St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Have you heard of any other new restaurants opening up in the Queen City? Tell us about them in the comments! We can’t wait to taste all of the fantastic new flavors coming to Charlotte this year!