Craving a taste of Charleston? Landlocked thought it may be, Charlotte isn’t immune to coastal creations — or seafood. Here are five restaurants Charleston gave Charlotte:
The Indigo Road’s trendy sushi spot opened in South End in 2016. While the original location first appeared in Charleston, there are now five cities to find O-Ku, with one coming to Nashville next. In Charlotte, expect a sleek ambiance complete with elegant manzanita branches, plus a full bar to grab sake if a table isn’t ready yet. Start with the edamame with pink Himalayan salt and truffle oil before moving on to the extensive sushi menu and the chef’s specialties, which include duck buns and sashimi tacos.
Pearlz Oyster Bar
Charleston-based Homegrown Hospitality Group opened Pearlz at StoneCrest Shopping Center in 2015. Branded as an “eclectic little oyster bar,” Pearlz focuses on fresh seafood, Lowcountry recipes and a raw bar featuring Lowcountry, Gulf and specialty oysters. Oysters can be found across the menu, from the taco section with the crispy oyster taco, to the starters section with baked oyster Rockefeller, to the entrees such as the fried oyster dinner (corn fritters included).
Basil has two Charlotte locations: one in Uptown, which opened in 2009, and one in Ballantyne, which opened about five years later. Hailing from Charleston, Basil emphasizes refined Thai cuisine (reflected in the higher price points) with noodles and rice dishes, entrees from pad prik to vegetables delight, and curries that can’t be ignored. The masaman, please.
Sure, Chopt Creative Salad Co. made it to the Queen City first, but that didn’t stop Charleston-based Verde from opening its doors in Ballantyne in 2018. Just in time for midsummer salad cravings, Verde rolled out its menu of salads, grain bowls, wraps, juices and more. The concept is hot on healthy choices by way of greens, and environmental friendliness by way of going green with compostable containers and recycling efforts. Recent seasonal creations (served tossed, chopped or wrapped) have included the Greensgiving with roasted turkey, sweet potatoes, cornbread croutons and more atop wild rice and baby spinach with kale.
Known for its elaborately constructed bar designs and bold flavors inspired by Southeast Asia, Co opened in 2015 at Park Road Shopping Center and in 2017 in the Waverly development. Small dishes include Malaysian chili wings and ahi poke stacks, while the popular list of broth noodles spills over with beef pho, Vietnamese ramen, curry laksa and more.