Sure, summer may be winding down, but the dining (and shopping and flying) scene is revving up. Here are 10 of the newest places in Charlotte:

Cafe Moka 

7416 Waverly Walk Ave, H3
Named for the Port of Moka in Yemen, this new coffee stop in the Waverly development offers espresso, frozen lattes, creamy smoothies, pure fruit smoothies, teas and hot cocoas. Don’t forget our summer intern’s recommendation: Peach Rose summer tea, for a fruity and refreshing kick.
Photo by Deanna Drogan

Timed Out Escape 

12239 N. Community House Road

This new 3,000-square-foot escape space in Ballantyne opened in July with two rooms: West (you have to protect the family homestead) and Precinct (time to track down police detectives who have vanished). Two more rooms are coming soon: Depth (dive down to an “underwater” research station) and Mystery Room (yet to be determined based on guest feedback). You have 60 minutes to get out.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

1920 Camden Road

Get a taste of Jeni’s first scoop shop in North Carolina, open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily.  The official grand opening party for the new artisan ice cream shop is Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. with a celebration offering free scoops. What will it be — Salty Caramel or Brown Butter Almond Brittle? Read more about the local shop here.

CharlotteFive files


3607 Whitehall Park Drive, Ste. 1200

One of Charlotte’s newest breakfast and lunch experiences, Sizzlewich X Waterbean Coffee, offers a fast-casual breakfast and lunch menu with Banh Xeo, or Vietnamese crepes. Waterbean’s coffee is poured here as well. The menu is loaded with Sizzlewiches/Banh Xeo combinations, all with the same base of provolone cheese, scallions, lettuce and special sauce. The offerings include the Ham Sizzlewich, the Super Sizzlewich (with ham, turkey, bacon and salami) and the Vegetable Sizzlewich (with mushrooms and onions).

Interior of the new Sizzlewich in Charlotte, NC. Courtesy of Tony Vo.

La Belle Helene

300 S Tryon St.

This French fine-dining restaurant brings a classic homage to Parisian brasseries, Belle Epoque menu included. Chef Michael Rouleau will serve up specialties like a chicken dish featuring Poulet Rouge chickens from Joyce Farms in North Carolina, along with daily roasted specials, such as  suckling pig, that guests can see on the rotisserie. The restaurant has opened with soft opening hours for dinner, with brunch and lunch service to come. The interior is gorgeous.

Dramatic lighting stands out in La Belle Helene’s muted colors of dark green, black, white and gray. Photo by Kathleen Purvis