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Ceviche on a white plate.
Tiraditos at Yunta.
Yunta

11 Hottest Restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina

From Peruvian fare to pizza

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Tiraditos at Yunta.
| Yunta

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. Milkbread

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624 Jetton St #110
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 702-6020
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Davidson cafe Milkbread is a spinoff of the pandemic project from Joe and Katy Kindred of acclaimed restaurant Kindred. To make takeout easy during COVID, Kindred offered items like fried chicken sandwiches, doughnuts, and salads — the idea was so popular that the owners decided to make it a permanent menu at Milkbread. Another location is already planned for Plaza Midwood.

Glazed doughnuts in a box.
Doughnuts at Milkbread.
Kenty Chung

2. Bar à Vins

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3206 N Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28205
(980) 498-7935
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Caviar, potato chips, and a killer natural wine list? What more do you need? Bar à Vins is the hip new NoDa wine bar from sommeliers Natalie Stewart and Jeff Kellogg with a little help from Katy Kindred (of Davidson’s Kindred) who designed the interiors. All the cool kids in Charlotte will be there.

3. Ever Andalo

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3116 N Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 910-6543
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Ever Andalo is pleasing palates with Italian comfort. Owners Jeff Tonidandel and Jamie Brown have spent extensive amounts of time in Italian and wanted to share those experiences with Charlotte. They import many of the ingredients to offer items like Calabrian chilie parpadelle, fresh focaccia, and fettuccine all’Amatriciana.

4. Bird Pizzeria

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510 E 15th St
Charlotte, NC 28206

Kerrel and Nkem Thompson used their at-home time during the pandemic to perfect the East Coast-style pizzas they ate while living in Cleveland, Ohio. After hosting a series of pizza pop-ups in their home and a residency at Bond Street Wine Company, they opened a permanent location with a pick-up window in December 2021. Crowds now regularly gather on the street in front of Bird Pizzeria, with lines forming even before it opens. 

Pizza with pepperoni and basil.
Pizza from Bird.
Kenty Chung

5. The Royal Tot

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933 Louise Ave Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 684-3068
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The Royal Tot is a two-story tropical oasis soaked in beach cocktails. Claiming the largest rum collection in Charlotte, the Royal Tot features over 100 different types of rum with almost two dozen lush creations on the drink menu. Food includes lomi lomi, coffee-rubbed pork shoulder with pineapple salsa, champagne ice cream, and more.

6. 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

7. 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

8. Para Charlotte

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235 W Tremont Ave Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 812-0607
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Buzzy new restaurant Para sits in the South End neighborhood with a hip dining room and a small plate menu leaning heavily on seafood and Asian influences. Chef Alex Verica, formerly of Dot Dot Dot and the Stanley, says that he wanted the menu to incorporate as many local farmers as possible, while focusing on “a more global approach to the overall menu.” Items range from lobster toast with caviar to wagyu beef tartare with caviar to milk bread with foie gras, peanut butter, and jam. It’s an indulgent menu that’s sure to make a few rounds with the flashy Instagram crowds and folks looking to make it rain for a lobster shooter.

Warehouse dining room.
Para Charlotte.
Peter Taylor

9. Yunta

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2201 South Blvd Ste 130
Charlotte, NC 28203
(980) 495-2253
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Yunta offers Nikkei cuisine in a hip, modern setting. Nikkei food is Peruvian ingredients — tropical fish, quinoa, aji amarillo peppers — molded by Japanese techniques. Multiple chefs cite the modern preparation for ceviche as particularly indicative of the Nikkei style. And Yunta offers plenty of ceviche, along with pisco sours, shrimp croquettes, tostones, and more.

Ceviche at Yunta.
Yunta

10. 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.

11. 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

1. Milkbread

624 Jetton St #110, Davidson, NC 28036
Glazed doughnuts in a box.
Doughnuts at Milkbread.
Kenty Chung

Davidson cafe Milkbread is a spinoff of the pandemic project from Joe and Katy Kindred of acclaimed restaurant Kindred. To make takeout easy during COVID, Kindred offered items like fried chicken sandwiches, doughnuts, and salads — the idea was so popular that the owners decided to make it a permanent menu at Milkbread. Another location is already planned for Plaza Midwood.

624 Jetton St #110
Davidson, NC 28036

2. Bar à Vins

3206 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205

Caviar, potato chips, and a killer natural wine list? What more do you need? Bar à Vins is the hip new NoDa wine bar from sommeliers Natalie Stewart and Jeff Kellogg with a little help from Katy Kindred (of Davidson’s Kindred) who designed the interiors. All the cool kids in Charlotte will be there.

3206 N Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28205

3. Ever Andalo

3116 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205

Ever Andalo is pleasing palates with Italian comfort. Owners Jeff Tonidandel and Jamie Brown have spent extensive amounts of time in Italian and wanted to share those experiences with Charlotte. They import many of the ingredients to offer items like Calabrian chilie parpadelle, fresh focaccia, and fettuccine all’Amatriciana.

3116 N Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28205

4. Bird Pizzeria

510 E 15th St, Charlotte, NC 28206
Pizza with pepperoni and basil.
Pizza from Bird.
Kenty Chung

Kerrel and Nkem Thompson used their at-home time during the pandemic to perfect the East Coast-style pizzas they ate while living in Cleveland, Ohio. After hosting a series of pizza pop-ups in their home and a residency at Bond Street Wine Company, they opened a permanent location with a pick-up window in December 2021. Crowds now regularly gather on the street in front of Bird Pizzeria, with lines forming even before it opens. 

510 E 15th St
Charlotte, NC 28206

5. The Royal Tot

933 Louise Ave Suite 350, Charlotte, NC 28204

The Royal Tot is a two-story tropical oasis soaked in beach cocktails. Claiming the largest rum collection in Charlotte, the Royal Tot features over 100 different types of rum with almost two dozen lush creations on the drink menu. Food includes lomi lomi, coffee-rubbed pork shoulder with pineapple salsa, champagne ice cream, and more.

933 Louise Ave Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28204

6. 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

7. 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

8. Para Charlotte

235 W Tremont Ave Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28203
Warehouse dining room.
Para Charlotte.
Peter Taylor

Buzzy new restaurant Para sits in the South End neighborhood with a hip dining room and a small plate menu leaning heavily on seafood and Asian influences. Chef Alex Verica, formerly of Dot Dot Dot and the Stanley, says that he wanted the menu to incorporate as many local farmers as possible, while focusing on “a more global approach to the overall menu.” Items range from lobster toast with caviar to wagyu beef tartare with caviar to milk bread with foie gras, peanut butter, and jam. It’s an indulgent menu that’s sure to make a few rounds with the flashy Instagram crowds and folks looking to make it rain for a lobster shooter.

235 W Tremont Ave Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28203

9. Yunta

2201 South Blvd Ste 130, Charlotte, NC 28203
Ceviche at Yunta.
Yunta

Yunta offers Nikkei cuisine in a hip, modern setting. Nikkei food is Peruvian ingredients — tropical fish, quinoa, aji amarillo peppers — molded by Japanese techniques. Multiple chefs cite the modern preparation for ceviche as particularly indicative of the Nikkei style. And Yunta offers plenty of ceviche, along with pisco sours, shrimp croquettes, tostones, and more.

2201 South Blvd Ste 130
Charlotte, NC 28203

10. 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

11. 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

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