Introducing the Food Baby 15...
...the exclusive list of 15 top restaurants in Charlotte right now. In case you wanted to ask the Food Babies for a restaurant recommendation, below are 15 places we might send you!
Note: the FB15 is intended to cover an array of cuisines in various locations around the city. We also wanted to include several price points with the assumption that you don’t want to drop half your paycheck on each meal. In other words, this is not the same as a "best restaurant" list. These are restaurants that we dig and would send our friends to.
We will refresh the list every few months to add new picks, as well as to remove restaurants that have slipped.
Feedback is welcome – we can’t eat at every restaurant in the city without developing permanent third-trimester twin-sized food babies y’all – so let us know if there are other places we should consider!
So, without further ado…we give you the first edition of the Food Baby 15 (in no particular order).
- Good Food on Montford
1701 Montford Dr | 704-525-0881 | Website |
This Moffett brothers' spot (also known for Barrington's) serves up an impeccable tapas-style menu. GFoM is perfect for a date, dinner with the in-laws or a fun girl's night. Critically acclaimed, GFoM was a James Beard semi-finalist in 2010 for best new restaurant. Check out our review here.
- Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth
500 South Tryon St | 704-910-0865 | Website |
Halcyon is a celebration of all things local and artisinal. I love the food, the ambiance and their mission to promote local products. Highly recommended for lunch (Monte Carlo BBQ sandwich is a must), brunch or dinner. Check out our review here.
435 South Tryon St, #100 | 704-332-3188 | Website |
Bernardin's is a Winston-Salem fine dining transplant that offers an exciting array of dishes from land and sea. Service is excellent and the food never disappoints. Bernardin's is a choice setting to celebrate a special occasion, or just to revel in culinary bliss!
- Lang Van
3019 Shamrock Dr | 704-531-9525 |
Lang Van is the best Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte. The restaurant is tucked away in an unassuming spot in East Charlotte, but don't let appearances fool you - the food is amazing (don't skip the crispy quail appetizer). I highly recommend first timers let the omnipresent owner order for you - she won't steer you wrong.
7822 Fairview Rd | 704-364-5755 | Website |
This original Bruce Moffatt restaurant mixes homey and upscale and has topped "best of" lists around Charlotte for years. The menu changes seasonally and always has some unexpected gems - for example, the foie gras with pickled sugar pumpkin app from the fall/winter menu was original and outstanding.
- Harvest Moon Grille
235 North Tryon St | 704-342-1193 | Website |
This is farm-to-fork at its best. Chef/owner Cassie Parsons also owns Grateful Growers Farm, which supplies the pork and other items for the restaurant (anything else is sourced from purveyors within 100 miles of Charlotte). The menu changes almost daily to keep up with the available local bounty. Check out our review here.
- Bombay Grille
8706 Pineville-Matthews Rd, Suite 170 | 704-542-3933 | Website |
While Charlotte lacks plentiful authentic Indian options, Bombay is tops in my book. The Tandoori and curry items are outstanding, and they will customize the spice level to order. I haven't tried the lunch, but have heard from others that dinner is where its at.
- Thai House
8706 Pineville-Matthews Rd | 704-542-6300 | Website |
Best Thai in Charlotte, hands down. Here is my order of choice: chicken or beef satay app (extra cucumber salad), spring rolls, cup of tom yum soup, pad woonsen with shrimp, and the crispy duck Penang (or whatever other daily duck feauture they have). Yes, that is for 2 people.
1601 Elizabeth Ave | 704-333-3396 | Website |
This intimate Elizabeth-area trattoria has Italian, Spanish and French influences. Start with the crudo, an artful cheese/charcuterie plate, or tuna meatballs (with bacon vinaigrette!). The black linguini with mint and jalapeno is always delicious, and there are many enticing meat and seafood seasonal entree options to choose from. Check out our review here.
- Fern, Flavors from the Garden
1323 Central Ave | 704-377-1825 | Website |
Step off a busy strip of Central Avenue and into an inviting earthy-chic oasis of vegetarian goodness. The seasonal menu has something for even the staunchest of meatatarians. The veggie burger is not to be missed (try the quinoa salad on the side).
127 North Tryon St, Suite 8 | 704-919-1322 | Website |
5Church brings sleek and modern style and an inventive menu to the table. 5Church is a hit amongst foodies, the nightlife crowd and the occasional celebrity passing through Charlotte. It is nice to finally see something with staying power in this uptown location.
- Fig Tree
1601 East 7th Street | 704-332-3322 | Website |
Fig Tree serves up Italian/French influenced seasonal cuisine in a historic restored Elizabeth bungalow. The ambiance is romantic and the food is superb. On the pricey side, but worth it!
- Soul Gastrolounge
1500-B Central Ave | 704-348-1848 | Website |
Hip(ster) and sophisticated, Soul serves up a tasty and creative menu that spans from global tapas to sushi. Duck in early for a quick dinner or linger for the late-night scene. My current obsessions: chimichurri beef skewers, curried lamb skewers with mango chutney, wild mushrooms on toast with fried egg, Asian glazed pork belly tacos, hamachi sashimi , bone marrow, etc. Oh and the heart-stopping dirty south nachos with fried chicken skin, pimento cheese fondue and pickled okra (so glad someone got high and invented these).
4310 Sharon Rd | 704-365-1922 | Website |
This always packed Southpark hotspot has something for everyone. The sushi, burgers and cocktails are unique and delicious. Don't let the voluminous menu intimidate you - it is well-organized and abundant with gems. Check out our review here.
- Carnitas Guanajuato
5534 Albemarle Rd | 704-563-1651 | Website |
This hidden gem has some of the best Mexican food in Charlotte. Take your friends and order a sampling of the tacos - chorizo, pastor, carnitas, shrimp, asada... Also check out the tortas. I love the sampling of house made hot sauces they bring with the chips. This spot is wallet and food baby friendly!
What else is on our radar? The below get honorable mentions and are on the short list to be elevated to the FB15.
- Luna’s Living Kitchen
- Lulu dine | wine
- BLT Steak
- McNinch House
- Basil Thai
- Mac's Speed Shop
- Del Frisco’s
- Cabo Fish Taco
- Wine Shop at Foxcroft
- Roots Farm Food (food truck)
- The Liberty
- Wooden Vine
- Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar