What’s better than delightful food? Well, delightful food and live music to pair. An evening (or afternoon) of music, cool beverages, and fresh bites is the perfect antidote to the dog days of Charlotte’s summer. These spots champion local artists without sacrificing food and drink standards and create a unique multisensory experience. The range of live music — from high-energy DJ sets and acoustic folk to divey blues and drag — mirrors the extensive spread of Asian fusion, comfort food, or farm-fresh food and drink.Read More
Where to Watch Live Music in Charlotte Restaurants and Bars
For music-goers seeking a side of food and drink along with live entertainment
The sounds of live music at the Whitewater Center’s River’s Edge come from across the lawn at the folksy, funky River Jam each Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from May to September. Like the multigenre music lineup, the menu at River’s Edge offers a wide range of flavors and cuisine like crispy polenta bites, a classic buffalo chicken sandwich, or the fresh ahi tuna salad. River’s Edge takes customers out of the city and into a breezy adventure atmosphere fit for a family, a first date, or anyone in between.
The Goodyear House
The abundant indoor and outdoor tables, porches, and nooks at the Goodyear House represent a growing home with a warm the-more-the-merrier charm. During the week, Goodyear House boasts a lively farmers-market-fresh lunch and dinner menu built largely on the foundation of Southern fare — the Devilish Toast or the North Carolina shrimp and Jimmy Red grits. On Sundays, alongside the acoustic music on the outdoor stage from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., it offers a special Sunday Funday menu, featuring a smoked cashew mac and cheese and a strawberry sumac French toast.
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Seoul Food Meat Company Mill District
Seoul Food Meat Company nails the niche Southern-meets-Korean barbecue fusion — think crispy pork belly, bao buns, kimchi fries, and soy garlic wings. While it offers staple craft and local beers, the drink menu stands out with a unique spread of Korean beverages, spanning from lychee soju to ginseng wine. With a Sunday Summer Music Series in the new Mill District location from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday Night Music Bingo at the South End location, and rentable karaoke rooms in both locations, the music, drink, and flavor combinations are limitless.
PSA: There’s a dog-friendly patio at Mill District.
The Artisan’s Palate
Artisan’s Palate bursts with personality as an immersive art gallery, cocktail spot, tapas restaurant, and boozy drag brunch location. The cocktails, created with in-house syrups and shrubs, and often named after chef-owner Christia Csoka’s friends, complement the small plates, like local cheese boards and mussels in white wine. Check out the hanging chalkboard which showcases the dozens of local farms and artisans supported by the Artisan’s Palate. Music is the main character at the Charity Drag Brunch once a month, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., featuring a specialty menu, themed decor, and a palpable spirit of celebration.
The Hobbyist, a spacious coffee shop by day and bar by night at the entrance of Noda, opens its garage door for jazzy live music starting at 7 p.m. on Fridays. It has a rotating and seemingly endless beer and natural wine inventory, on tap and in bottles, along with craft coffee, specialty tea drinks, and a next-level North Carolina Hatchet Coffee espresso martini. With a laptop-free weekend policy at the bar, anticipate conviviality, a wine buzz, and conversation amongst the hanging plants and vintage wall art.
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The Workman’s Friend
On a cozy corner of Plaza Midwood’s Central Avenue, Workman’s Friend welcomes visitors into a clean and open-air take on an Irish pub. The trusty Guinnesses sharing a table with the cornmeal-breaded fried oysters and staple fish and chips keep Workman’s reliably abuzz. Every Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., get a jig on with live Irish music.
Live music is meant to be heard and martinis are meant to be savored at a place like Petra’s, which has been the heartbeat of Plaza Midwood’s music, queer, and bar scene since 2007. Petra’s 21+ packed-to-the-brim Monday Night Jazz Session fills the eclectic dive bar with an air of effortless cool. If jazz isn’t your jam, try Wednesday night karaoke or the recurring Hazy Sunday DJ day party. With no food menu and a $9 beer and shot deal, a good (and boozy) time is always on the horizon.
Yunta, meaning “friends” in Peru, celebrates Nikkei food, the blending of Peruvian ingredients with Japanese techniques, in a sleek Southend space. The uniting of cuisines gives life to a bright and balanced citrus ceviche, an umami Peruvian seafood risotto, and a bingeable truffle butter nigiri. On Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 7 p.m., rotating resident DJs transform the space with energetic tracks. Sip a Peruvian pisco sour and enjoy the spectacle of both the DJs and the kitchen at work.
Dilworth’s Comet Grill is a twenty-plus-year-old no-frill local’s spot, pairing local wings with local bands that are each unsuspectingly delightful. There’s free live music, spanning from R&B to jazz, nearly every night. With its increasingly rare 2 a.m. closing time, expect to stay out late and don’t forget the fried pickles and pimento grilled cheese.. Still serving as a neighborhood watering hole, Comet oozes with a homegrown and old-school Charlotte grit.