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A small dish of ropa vieja.
Ropa vieja at El Puro.
El Puro Cuban Restaurant

12 Hottest Restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina

From Cuban fare to coffee power players

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Ropa vieja at El Puro.
| El Puro Cuban Restaurant

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What’s everyone talking about? Enter the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight the spots crowds are flocking to at the moment or generating a big buzz. Folks are asking, “Have you been yet?” Try one of these new spots in Charlotte today.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Puro Cuban Restaurant

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5033 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28217
(980) 219-8339
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The owners of Havana Carolina Restaurant & Bar in Concord have a new fine dining Cuba restaurant in Charlotte named El Puro. The space is fun and energetic with live music and plenty of neon lights. The menu has all the classics, from paella to ropa vieja to croquetas.

2. What The Fries

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10707 Park Rd Suite F
Charlotte, NC 28210
(980) 207-4814
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Mac and cheese on french fries? “Why not,” says newcomer What the Fries. The popular Charlotte food truck became a brick-and-mortar restaurant this year. Know for gourmet french fries, tots, and irresistible burgers, fans will no longer need to chase down the mobile kitchen to feed their comfort food cravings.

3. Bocado Bar & Diner

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2000 South Blvd Suite 530
Charlotte, NC 28203

Atlanta transplant Bocado brings its famous double-stacked burger to Charlotte, along with new Southern American fare like fancy deviled eggs, watermelon salad, and seared chicken thighs in a Tabasco-white wine sauce.

4. Jinya Ramen Bar

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601 S Tryon St
Charlotte, NC 28202

With a fierce following across the nation, Jinya Ramen Bar recently opened a location in the Ally Charlotte Center. Franchisee Jahzmin French told Charlotte Business Journal that she’s excited to share the menu of customizable bowls with the city. From vegan options to tonkotsu to spicy chicken, there’s a lot of options to warm up customers once fall settles in.

5. Mariposa

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500 S Tryon St
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 337-2000
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Located inside the Mint Museum, Mariposa offer mezze of international influences for lunch and dinner. Examples of menu items include lamb belly bulgogi lettuce wraps, ceviche aguachile, piri piri chicken, tomato and burrata tart, Gullah paella, and more.

Elegant dining room
Mariposa
The Plaid Penguin

6. Caroline's Oyster Bar

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120 E Stonewall St
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 499-6633
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Uptown newcomer Caroline’s Oyster Bar offers a taste of the North Carolina coast with a menu full of oysters, ceviche, and stacked seafood towers. Nautical touches in the dining room add an upscale beach-y vibe, and the 360-bar welcomes patrons to stay for another round.

7. The Jimmy

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2839 Selwyn Ave x
Charlotte, NC 28209

Restaurateur Jim Noble goes Italian with his latest venture, the Jimmy. The menu focuses on Neapolitan pizzas, pastas, and seasonal salads.

Salsiccia pizza at the Jimmy
The Jimmy/Facebook

8. Mizu

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Apex Dr
Charlotte, NC 28211

Japanese restaurant Mizu sits atop the atop the Hyatt Centric in Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood. The rooftop restaurant focuses on wood-fired seafood with the star of the kitchen being a robatayaki, a traditional grill often found in izakaya. The menu incorporates Japanese flavors with Southern produce and products.

Dining room at Mizu
Kenty Chung

9. Emmy Squared: Plaza Midwood, Charlotte, NC

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1508 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 672-0993
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What started as a pizza hotspot in the Williamsburg, Emmy Squared has rapidly expanded recently with the latest target in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood in Charlotte. The restaurant is widely known for its thick crust pizza and its double-stacked burger on a pretzel bun, which has won multiple best-of awards. The Charlotte location will offer favorites like waffle fries, cheesy garlic sticks, chicken katsu sandwiches, and salads, in addition to all those pizza and burgers.

Emmy Squared in Charlotte
Kenty Chung

10. Calle Sol

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1205 Thomas Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 565-8291
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The only thing missing at sunny spot Calle Sol Latin Café and Cevicheria is the beach. This new Plaza Midwood restaurant transports patrons to the shores of Miami, Cuba, and Peru via its rum-soaked cocktail menu and classic Latin American dishes like ceviches, Cubanos, and arroz chaufa. The dining room is full of fun details and bright colors, making a festive atmosphere.

Spread at Calle Sol Latin Café and Cevicheria
Calle Sol Latin Café and Cevicheria

11. Supperland

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1212 The Plaza
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 817-7514
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Supperland is billed as “Southern steakhouse meets a church potluck,” and it delivers on that promise. The restaurant is housed in a former house of worship, though now the altar is the hickory-and-oak-fired kitchen. Bring friends to sample the sharable items like the wagyu pot roast, a cheffed-up seven-layer salad, and oysters with smoked butter (poured tableside).

Spread at Supperland
Supperland/Facebook

12. Night Swim Coffee

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1620 Oakhurst Commons Dr Suite 306
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 503-9212
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Two of Charlotte’s favorite coffee shops, Not Just Coffee and Undercurrent Coffee, joined forces to open Night Swim Coffee in Oakhurst. Drinks range from a maple cardamom latte to a Japanese iced coffee. On the food menu, customers will find avocado toast with harissa and lime-pickled onions, as well as a breakfast sandwich with Tender Harmony Ridge eggs and Goat Lady Dairy chevre. This is the first location, with others planned to open in the area.

1. El Puro Cuban Restaurant

5033 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28217

The owners of Havana Carolina Restaurant & Bar in Concord have a new fine dining Cuba restaurant in Charlotte named El Puro. The space is fun and energetic with live music and plenty of neon lights. The menu has all the classics, from paella to ropa vieja to croquetas.

5033 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28217

2. What The Fries

10707 Park Rd Suite F, Charlotte, NC 28210

Mac and cheese on french fries? “Why not,” says newcomer What the Fries. The popular Charlotte food truck became a brick-and-mortar restaurant this year. Know for gourmet french fries, tots, and irresistible burgers, fans will no longer need to chase down the mobile kitchen to feed their comfort food cravings.

10707 Park Rd Suite F
Charlotte, NC 28210

3. Bocado Bar & Diner

2000 South Blvd Suite 530, Charlotte, NC 28203

Atlanta transplant Bocado brings its famous double-stacked burger to Charlotte, along with new Southern American fare like fancy deviled eggs, watermelon salad, and seared chicken thighs in a Tabasco-white wine sauce.

2000 South Blvd Suite 530
Charlotte, NC 28203

4. Jinya Ramen Bar

601 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202

With a fierce following across the nation, Jinya Ramen Bar recently opened a location in the Ally Charlotte Center. Franchisee Jahzmin French told Charlotte Business Journal that she’s excited to share the menu of customizable bowls with the city. From vegan options to tonkotsu to spicy chicken, there’s a lot of options to warm up customers once fall settles in.

601 S Tryon St
Charlotte, NC 28202

5. Mariposa

500 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Elegant dining room
Mariposa
The Plaid Penguin

Located inside the Mint Museum, Mariposa offer mezze of international influences for lunch and dinner. Examples of menu items include lamb belly bulgogi lettuce wraps, ceviche aguachile, piri piri chicken, tomato and burrata tart, Gullah paella, and more.

500 S Tryon St
Charlotte, NC 28202

6. Caroline's Oyster Bar

120 E Stonewall St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Uptown newcomer Caroline’s Oyster Bar offers a taste of the North Carolina coast with a menu full of oysters, ceviche, and stacked seafood towers. Nautical touches in the dining room add an upscale beach-y vibe, and the 360-bar welcomes patrons to stay for another round.

120 E Stonewall St
Charlotte, NC 28202

7. The Jimmy

2839 Selwyn Ave x, Charlotte, NC 28209
Salsiccia pizza at the Jimmy
The Jimmy/Facebook

Restaurateur Jim Noble goes Italian with his latest venture, the Jimmy. The menu focuses on Neapolitan pizzas, pastas, and seasonal salads.

2839 Selwyn Ave x
Charlotte, NC 28209

8. Mizu

Apex Dr, Charlotte, NC 28211
Dining room at Mizu
Kenty Chung

Japanese restaurant Mizu sits atop the atop the Hyatt Centric in Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood. The rooftop restaurant focuses on wood-fired seafood with the star of the kitchen being a robatayaki, a traditional grill often found in izakaya. The menu incorporates Japanese flavors with Southern produce and products.

Apex Dr
Charlotte, NC 28211

9. Emmy Squared: Plaza Midwood, Charlotte, NC

1508 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
Emmy Squared in Charlotte
Kenty Chung

What started as a pizza hotspot in the Williamsburg, Emmy Squared has rapidly expanded recently with the latest target in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood in Charlotte. The restaurant is widely known for its thick crust pizza and its double-stacked burger on a pretzel bun, which has won multiple best-of awards. The Charlotte location will offer favorites like waffle fries, cheesy garlic sticks, chicken katsu sandwiches, and salads, in addition to all those pizza and burgers.

1508 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205

10. Calle Sol

1205 Thomas Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
Spread at Calle Sol Latin Café and Cevicheria
Calle Sol Latin Café and Cevicheria

The only thing missing at sunny spot Calle Sol Latin Café and Cevicheria is the beach. This new Plaza Midwood restaurant transports patrons to the shores of Miami, Cuba, and Peru via its rum-soaked cocktail menu and classic Latin American dishes like ceviches, Cubanos, and arroz chaufa. The dining room is full of fun details and bright colors, making a festive atmosphere.

1205 Thomas Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205

11. Supperland

1212 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
Spread at Supperland
Supperland/Facebook

Supperland is billed as “Southern steakhouse meets a church potluck,” and it delivers on that promise. The restaurant is housed in a former house of worship, though now the altar is the hickory-and-oak-fired kitchen. Bring friends to sample the sharable items like the wagyu pot roast, a cheffed-up seven-layer salad, and oysters with smoked butter (poured tableside).

1212 The Plaza
Charlotte, NC 28205

12. Night Swim Coffee

1620 Oakhurst Commons Dr Suite 306, Charlotte, NC 28205

Two of Charlotte’s favorite coffee shops, Not Just Coffee and Undercurrent Coffee, joined forces to open Night Swim Coffee in Oakhurst. Drinks range from a maple cardamom latte to a Japanese iced coffee. On the food menu, customers will find avocado toast with harissa and lime-pickled onions, as well as a breakfast sandwich with Tender Harmony Ridge eggs and Goat Lady Dairy chevre. This is the first location, with others planned to open in the area.

1620 Oakhurst Commons Dr Suite 306
Charlotte, NC 28205

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