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Food Experts Name 15 Highly-Anticipated Carolinas Restaurants for 2024

Upcoming restaurants include Puerto Rican barbecue in Charleston, Affrilachian food in Asheville, and Croatian fare in Raleigh

In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in the Carolinas, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequented to the saddest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.

Q. What restaurant or restaurant-related debut are you most excited for in 2024?

Kay West, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Asheville

In late October, Ashleigh Shanti held her final preparatory pop-up for Good Hot Fish in Asheville, and other than some merch promotion, her social media sites are not giving any clues to an opening date for the restaurant, which she describes as a casual, modern-day fish camp. Aside from fried fish sandwiches, expect a deeper dive into Black Appalachian or Affrilachian food she played with at Benne on Eagle (35 Eagle Street, Asheville).

Mike Ledford, photographer and Eater Carolinas contributor

Palmira Barbecue (2366 Ashley River Road, Charleston)

Stacey Sprenz, photographer and Eater Carolinas contributor

Lutra Cafe and Bakery in Durham.

A white building with large windows facing a blue sky.
The forthcoming 3rd & Fernwood in Charlotte.
3rd & Fernwood

Erin Perkins, editor Eater Carolinas

I missed my chance to try chef Cleophus Hethington’s cooking at Benne on Eagle (35 Eagle Street) in Asheville, so I’m excited to see what he and chef Greg Collier do at 3rd & Fernwood (1100 Metropolitan Avenue) in Charlotte.

[Update: There have been several tips after publication that Hethington has left the project, but I’m still excited to check it out.]

Catherine Currin, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering the Triangle

Mala Pata (2411 Crabtree Boulevard, Raleigh) in Gateway Plaza

Hanna Raskin, editor and publisher of The Food Section

Honestly, I’m still catching up on the last few decades of restaurant openings.

Parker Milner, food editor, Post & Courier

Palmira Barbecue (2366 Ashley River Road, Charleston)

Stephanie Burnette, Eater Carolinas contributor

Naked Pasta Bar & Grocery (1286 Pendleton Street, Greenville). The pasta studio in West Greenville is expanding to add onsite F&B in a new space.

Lamb peka, potatoes, carrots, fennel, and olives in a ceramic bowl.
Lamb peka at upcoming Brodeto in Raleigh.

Eric Ginsburg, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering North Carolina

Definitely Mala Pata (2411 Crabtree Boulevard), Tamasha (4200 Six Forks Road), Figulina (317 S. Harrington Street), Brodeto (2200 Atlantic Avenue), and Gussie’s (927 W. Morgan Street) in Raleigh! And while they technically opened late this year, I haven’t been to Nanas (2514 University Drive) in Durham or Saap (370 S. Walker Street) in Cary yet, so they’re both high on my list. I’m glad the Triangle will have a sober space like Umbrella Dry Bar (14 W. Martin Street) in the new year, and if I make it over to Charlotte, I’d like to check out the forthcoming Schreiber’s on Rye inside Optimist Hall (1115 N. Brevard Street).

Kayleigh Ruller, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Charlotte

I’m very much looking forward to the new Kindred Studio restaurant Albertine (525 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte). I’m a huge Kindred (131 N Main Street, Davidson) fan, and I’m hoping Albertine honors the same timelessness and natural menu evolution that Kindred does. There’s always a lot of anticipation with these local restaurant groups, especially ones like this popping up in Charlotte’s city center, and I’m excited to see how they 2024-ify this Mediterranean-meets-Southern spot.

Matthew Lardie, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering North Carolina

In general, I’m excited to see continued growth in Wilmington’s restaurant scene as many chefs/restaurateurs get priced out of the Triangle market and look to the Port City for expansion and new concepts. I’m also curious to see what Ashley Christensen does with the Poole’side Pies (428 S. McDowell Street) space in downtown Raleigh.

Timothy DePeugh, Eater Carolinas contributor, covering Charlotte


Melissa Howsam, editor-in-chief, Raleigh Magazine

Topping out the Dillon rooftop (223 S. West Street, Raleigh), Samad Hachby’s upcoming “terrace” dining concept, La Terrazza, promises to be an elevated experience.

Jai Jones, food writer and photographer

Palmira Barbecue (2366 Ashley River Road, Charleston). I quickly became a fan of pitmaster Hector Garate’s concept through pop-ups at breweries around town and most recently at Port of Call (99 South Market Street, Charleston), so I’m looking forward to Palmira having a new permanent home opening soon in West Ashley.

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