The Queen City’s Uptown neighborhood once catered primarily to business travelers and locals who worked in either the hospitality or banking industries. Now, a plethora of unique dining options attract leisure travelers along with the growing population of young residents.
North Carolina barbecue or traditional Southern fare may be what first comes to mind when thinking about Charlotte’s food scene, but this generalization is sorely mistaken. The Uptown area is bursting at the seams with culinary talent. New restaurants continue popping onto the scene on a regular basis, serving a variety of cuisines and unique experiences. Here are 10 restaurants to check out when visiting Uptown Charlotte.
Tucked inside the elegant Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, Angeline’s is a modern American-Italian eatery serving straightforward and simple cuisine in a comfortable, social setting. Whether you’re stopping in for your morning coffee, an afternoon drink at the stylish bar, or a long, leisurely dinner with friends, you’re sure to find something on the menu that catches your fancy. For something light, try the Queen’s Chop Salad. For something more filling, don’t hesitate to order the decadent spaghetti chitarra, flavored with duck confit, gorgonzola, roasted mushrooms and pancetta.
303 South Church Street
The King’s Kitchen
Enjoy your lunch or dinner here even more, knowing you are supporting a good cause in the process. This nonprofit restaurant serves Southern-inspired cuisine in a relaxed setting, with a focus on local ingredients. All proceeds from the restaurant support the surrounding neighborhoods’ underprivileged populations, providing not only food, but also the job and skills training they need to get back on the road to success. Don’t miss the menu’s Southern favorites, from the pimento cheese to deviled eggs, oyster po’boy to fried catfish.
129 West Trade Street
If it’s a mouthwatering breakfast you’re looking for, The Yolk delivers. The small eatery sits within Charlotte’s 7th Street Public Market, where it serves an array of delicious breakfast items every day until 2 p.m., all for an affordable price. Grab one of the market’s communal tables and sit down to a hearty portion of shrimp and grits, grits and eggs, chicken wings and waffles, or gluten-free sweet potato waffles. Anything you find on the menu will lend the Southern comfort food experience you’re craving.
224 East 7th Street
Reid’s Fine Foods
A Charlotte institution since the 1920s, Reid’s Fine Foods offers a selection of elegantly displayed prepared foods for take-away, with various options you can also enjoy on the spot. There are several locations around the city, but the Uptown location is easy to find and within walking distance from many hotels in the area. The Uptown location serves both breakfast and lunch. Breakfast includes simple, tasty options, such as chicken biscuits and breakfast bowls. You won’t want to miss the stuffed avocado, which can be filled to your fancy with a variety of toppings, from quinoa to grits, eggs to black beans. Note: peak hours, like lunch break, can feel hectic, but hop in line and use that extra time to make your selections, while spying on what others order.
121 West Trade Street, Suite 150
Coco and the Director
This casual, relaxed coffee house and breakfast restaurant is the perfect spot to catch up on emails without letting the stress of your everyday work life seep into your getaway. Enjoy a wide array of craft coffees and teas. The menu features coffee shop classics, far tastier than what you might find at predictable chains. The breakfast menu includes fresh-baked bread and house-roasted meats carved to order, which join forces to make drool-worthy breakfast sandwiches.
100 West Trade Street
Amélie’s French Bakery & Cafe
Amélie’s is another Charlotte staple with multiple locations. The Uptown spot offers a French-inspired cafe experience in a comfortable setting. Definitely come ready to indulge your sweet tooth, as the bakery is known for its salted caramel brownies and classic French macarons. Of course, you can’t have dessert until you’ve eaten your vegetables, which Amélie’s makes it easy to do. Enjoy enticing, seasonally inspired salads; the portobello, red pepper and pesto tartines; vegan and vegetarian soups; and an array of decadent sandwiches, like the herb-baked chicken sandwich, with sun-dried tomato aioli, pesto, spinach and goat cheese on a toasted baguette!
380 South College Street
Merchant & Trade
Atop the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel, Merchant & Trade offers modern American cuisine and a huge craft cocktail list. The rooftop setting offers spectacular views of both the city and the adjacent ballpark. Check out the list of seasonal cocktails, then move on to the menu of small plates. Order a few to share with your traveling companions, so everyone can try their inventive takes on classic favorites, such as pimento cheese jalapeño poppers, lobster sliders and bone marrow tater tots.
303 South Church Street
Pair even more city views with excellent dining at Fahrenheit Charlotte. The rooftop restaurant heats things up with signature entrees like slow-braised wagyu short ribs with teriyaki lo mein and coal-roasted chicken mac and cheese. If you just want to enjoy the view along with a drink and a quick bite, check out the extensive cocktail and wine list, as well as Asian-inspired small plates.
222 South Caldwell Street
Whether you’re visiting for brunch, lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack and drinks, tempt your taste buds at 5Church Charlotte. The signature menu item not to be missed? The 5Church lamb burger, topped with a red onion marmalade, gorgonzola fondue, arugula and secret sauce, all served on a sesame bun. If you’re not much of a carnivore, try the crispy marinated tofu, with bok choy and plum sauce, or the roasted mushroom flatbread, with herby mascarpone and porcini oil.
127 North Tryon Street
Dine on sustainably sourced, fresh, local ingredients in a super-stylish environment when you pay a visit to Haymaker. You’ll enjoy upscale Southern-inspired dining, with such delights as celery root and fennel bisque, served with aged cheddar crisps; crispy pork belly, with red pea succotash; and pan-roasted tile fish, with Carolina rice and country ham. Definitely don’t leave without dessert, which ranges from a Southern coconut cake, with lime curd and raspberry, to blondies, with blueberry chocolate ice cream.
225 South Poplar Street