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Charlotte

30 expert recommended restaurants

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Mert's Heart & Soul

Barbecue 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Business executives and arts patrons make their way to Mert's—named for Myrtle, a favorite customer with a sunny disposition. — Fodor's

Mainstays are shrimp and grits, fried chicken, barbecue, po' boys, and pork chops. But a mound of fixins...are the backbone. — BlackBook

A "must-try", especially "if you're visiting Charlotte", say fans of this easy-on-the-wallet Uptown Southerner. — Zagat

Everybody comes to Mert's and this little diner shows off the proof: Plastering its walls and columns are dozens of photos and posters (the latter from touring Broadway shows) all signed... — Frommer's

This stylish yet down-home eatery offers patrons simple, savory Southern, soul and Lowcountry cooking: Think award-winng mac 'n' cheese or sweet cornbread sitting alongside fried chicken,... — Where

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The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Trendy eatery caters to two popular items: burgers and sushi. — BlackBook

Feel like burgers? Feel like sushi? How about "burgushi?" There's an entire section of the menu devoted to this concept that blends, you guessed it, burgers and sushi. — Fodor's

Love burgers? Love sushi? In addition to an extensive list of gourmet burgers and specialty sushi rolls, this innovative restaurant offers creative sandwiches made with sushi-inspired... — Where

"Not-to-be-missed ‘burgushi'" (sushi that uses burger ingredients and vice versa) joins other "delicious, creative spins". — Zagat

Live cowfish paddle about in a centerpiece 600-gallon aquarium that creates this restaurant’s unique environment, along with the custom artwork. Cowfish offers as appetizers such Asian... — Gayot

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Soul Gastrolounge

Seafood 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The “lounge” part of the name is represented by moody lighting and the thumping of urban beats in the background music, but it’s the “gastro” part that keeps locals coming back for more — Where

Trendy spot for American, Mediterranean, Asian fare with attitude, all designed with sharing in mind. Spicy feta, babaganoush, hummus, tzatziki dips with pita chips, savory sashimi tacos. — BlackBook

In Plaza Midtown, this sultry but welcoming speakeasy serves a globally inspired selection of small plates. — Lonely Planet

Part Eclectic “tapas bar”, part “nightclub”, this resto-lounge in the heart of Plaza Midwood pleases a late-night crowd with its “clever” collection of small plates soundtracked by “great music”. — Zagat

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Carpe Diem Restaurant & Caterers

Seafood 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Its "beautiful" art nouveau decor, featuring ornate woodwork, is "great for a romantic dinner". — Zagat

Fine dining with art nouveau style décor. — BlackBook

Intricate art-deco woodwork makes for a romantic, elegant atmosphere while menu stunners like beef carpaccio, hazelnut-crusted goat cheese salad and buttermilk fried chicken woo your... — Where

Carpe Diem’s surroundings could lead its patrons to imagine themselves in any urban center --- Paris, New York or San Francisco. The kitchen presents dishes with influences from around... — Gayot

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Basil Thai Restaurant

Thai 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

"Far and away Charlotte's best Thai" cuisine comes at this "higher end" Uptown spot. — Zagat

With its prime location, this Thai option offers boldly seasoned dishes and a sleek setting. — Gayot

Sleek modern interior with large windows to expose big city hustle and bustle at all hours. — BlackBook

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Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub

French 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Serves budget-friendly sweet and savory crêpes – along with baguette sandwiches, steak frites and more. — Zagat

You don't have to go to France to get a good crêpe. Step into this European-influenced gastropub and the aroma of buckwheat crêpes will fill your nose with glee. A challenging choice... — BlackBook

The light and fluffy French crepe is the perfect vehicle for all things sweet and savory. The spinach and mushroom crepe here is a can’t-miss, as are the hand-cut brie and pesto fries.... — Where

Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub in Charlotte’s North Davidson (NoDa) arts district features a clientele as eclectic as its menu. While its main focus is on crêpes --- savory and sweet --–... — Gayot

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Cajun Queen

Seafood 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Blackened or fried selections, whatever fits your forte. Three choices of crawfish, chicken, shrimp entrées: Diane, Creole or the ultra spicy-Etouffee. — BlackBook

Proudly serving the Queen City for more than 30 years, this Elizabeth-based restaurant is a warm and friendly place for any occasion. There's always live jazz music in the dining area... — Where

Nightly live jazz that's "very good" – and "very loud" – lends a "fun" "French Quarter" feel to this Elizabeth N'Awlins bastion. — Zagat

This Elizabeth-area longtimer features the bold flavors and playful atmosphere of the Big Easy. Guests find another reason to smile when ice cold Dixie beer is poured. And when the fried... — Gayot

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Blue Restaurant & Bar

84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Executive Chef Gene Briggs combines seasonal ingredients with Mediterranean zest. Dishes draw influences from across the globe: Morocco, France, Italy, Spain and Greece. — BlackBook

A "great location" for those with tickets to the symphony or a show nearby. — Zagat

Mediterranean flavors of sundry origins shape the menu at Blue Restaurant & Bar. Chef Gene Briggs offers North African calamari, served crispy with fried olives and peppadew peppers,... — Gayot

An award-winning menu (don’t pass on the scallops) and stunning décor have taken the city by storm. With owner Alex Myrick and Chef Gene Briggs at the helm, expect vibrant cuisine and an... — Where

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Upstream

Japanese 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Restaurateur Tom Sasser, the brain behind Mimosa Grill and other renowned eateries, bring us day-boat seafood with Pacific Rim-influenced dishes. L and D (daily), brunch (Su). — Where

A local favorite, Upstream offers a sushi and oyster bar, an extensive wine list, and a market-fresh menu of delights from the sea. — Frommer's

You “can't go wrong with anything” here say fans of this SouthPark seafooder with “incredibly fresh” cooked fish preparations plus “great” sushi and “top-quality” oysters – and “save room for dessert”. — Zagat

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Barrington's Restaurant

Pizza 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The traditional-looking dining room is quite “small” but “cozy”, service is “top-notch” and the menu “changes just enough” for frequent visitors. — Zagat

Intimate Barrington's features contemporary dishes that offer seasonality and the occasional regional note. — Gayot

Bruce Moffett’s comfortable spot is tiny—reservations are recommended—but his work in the kitchen comes up big. The menu changes seasonally, but count on creative-yet-simple dishes with... — Where

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Customshop: Handcrafted Food

French 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A warm and seductive interior is the setting for the innovative cuisine of Owner and Executive Chef Trey Wilson. Seasonal dishes make use of local and organic ingredients, and the seafood... — Where

“Creative” food issues from this New American “gem” in “hip” Elizabeth where “lots of love and care” show up in “interesting” dishes that draw inspiration from French, Italian and Spanish cuisine. — Zagat

Charlotte native chef Trey Wilson has been serving a seasonally changing menu featuring produce and proteins from local farms since before doing so was trendy. He describes his... — Gayot

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Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth

American 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Enjoy the skyline view and absolutely delicious farm-to-table plates at the Mint Museum's resident restaurant. Upscale yet comfortable, the environs are romantic and refined. In the... — Where

Within the Mint Museum Uptown, this contemporary American displays “beautiful” “eye candy” of its own, including artisan-crafted tableware and unique pieces like tables made from tree cross sections. — Zagat

Set in an glass-clad, second-floor space with terrific views of uptown and an exit that's right at the entrance to the Mint Museum, this effortlessly elegant eatery lives up to its name,... — Frommer's

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Bonterra Restaurant & Wine Room

Seafood 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Housed in a more-than-100-year-old renovated church, this South End establishment serves creative, contemporary American cuisine in a historic setting. Try one of the restaurant’s 200... — Where

Located just a few miles south of uptown, the 19th-century Charlotte suburb of Dilworth got its first permanent church in 1895. In 1999, John Duncan renovated that church and opened... — Gayot

An “incredible wine selection” (notably the extensive “by-the-glass list”) lifts the spirits of diners who also appreciate the “excellent” locally sourced fare at this “upscale” American. — Zagat

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Luce Restaurant & Bar

Italian 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The “elegantly served” “molto buono” Italian cuisine shines at restaurateur Augusto Conte's “small” but “beautiful” columned dining room in the Hearst Plaza Uptown. — Zagat

Luce counts as an elegant classic among Augusto Conte’s many Charlotte restaurants. Start with tender calamari, served with a spicy marinara and a caper aïoli. For something truly... — Gayot

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Mac's Speed Shop

Barbecue 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Some of the “best barbecue around”, with “plenty of good sides” from collards to Brunswick stew. — Zagat

Mac's Speed Shop embraces bikers, families and barbecue lovers alike. Start out with Tabasco fried pickles, house-made pimiento cheese or a deviled egg plate, old-school style. Dry-rubbed... — Gayot

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5Church Charlotte

79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

With its swanky atmosphere and extensive wine list, this uptown hotspot is sure to impress. The unique menu draws an equally eclectic crowd. Try inspired dishes like the wasabi-crusted... — Where

The "see-and-be-seen" crowd enjoys imaginative dishes and specialty cocktails at uptown's swanky, multi-level 5Church. — Gayot

A soaring arched ceiling, funky modern art, creative lighting and ornate, marble bathrooms accentuate the avant-garde vibe at this sophisticated American in a converted French Quarter church. — Zagat

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McNinch House

French 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Reservations are required here and you can expect to be treated like royalty during this unique five-course meal (you choose your entrée, but everything else, including the wine, is... — Where

“The consummate special-occasion spot”, this Uptown Queen Anne–style house is “the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening” lingering over multicourse flights of “flawless” Continental dishes. — Zagat

In 1978, original chef and owner Ellen Davis purchased the McNinch House, and over the next decade restored the Victorian home. Executive chef William Parham serves multi-course meals... — Gayot

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Midwood Smokehouse

Barbecue 78 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It's notoriously hard to find good barbecue in Charlotte, but this spot with late hours and a full bar bucks the trend. — Fodor's

If there’s one food North Carolina is known for, it’s barbecue. Midwood Smokehouse offers old-fashioned, wood-smoked barbecue with both traditional vinegar-based North Carolina sauces and... — Where

“Fantastic meats” in a “variety of styles”, from “real Texas-style brisket” to “smoky and tender” Carolina pulled pork, attract a following to this BBQ specialist from Frank Scibelli. — Zagat

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Fiamma

Italian 75 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

“outstanding” Northern Italian cooking, including “great homemade pastas”, and “friendly” staff. — Zagat

Warming interior with white-linen tables, a long bar, and exposed wood-fired oven. A general love for food is quickly apparent. Pasta and doughs made fresh. Meats, cheeses, and fish are imported. — BlackBook

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Bill Spoon's Barbecue

Barbecue 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

“True Eastern-style” North Carolina pork barbecue (whole hog, cooked and chopped and served with vinegary, mustardy slaw) hits your plate at this “old-time favorite”. — Zagat

This local gem has been churning out true eastern North Carolina-style barbecue since 1963, using the whole pig and Mr. Spoon's special hot sauce. L (M-Sa), D (Th-Sa). — Where

Since 1963, this no-frills spot has been serving up eastern Carolina-style whole-hog barbecue. — Gayot

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    9 results under $30
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    13 results between $30 and $65
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