Charlotte’s top restaurant openings of 2018—and a few we’re looking forward to most

There’s been so many restaurant and bar openings so far this year in Charlotte that we have to ask, which ones have been the most impressive?

Kathleen Purvis, the food and drink reporter at The Charlotte Observer, sat down with CharlotteFive Podcast hosts, Sallie Funderburk and Alicia Thomas, to talk about those restaurant openings, others to look forward to, food trends and more.

If you haven’t already, make sure to go check out…

Kathleen says: “The thing about Bardo is it’s a very un-Charlotte, Charlotte restaurant. I hesitate to say that because people will think that I’m insulting Charlotte. This is a restaurant that you’d expect to come across in Chicago, which is where chef/owner Mike Noll came from, or you might expect to see it in a city where it’s much better known for it’s food scene.”

What to order: Eggs and Grains (poached egg, kale, escabeche), $12, and the Charred Shishito Peppers (xo sauce, toasted sesame, black vinegar), $9

RELATED: Get a first look at Bardo’s menu before it opens in South End this month

Yume Bistro

1508 S. Mint St.

Kathleen says: “They do a great bowl of ramen at lunch. They have a really nice sushi set up. They’re doing some really interesting things with a more complex Asian menu. And every time I’ve gone by there, it’s been packed at night.”

What to order: Tonkotsu Ramen, $14, and the Sakura Sushi Roll, $15

La Belle Helene

300 S. Tryon St., #100

Kathleen says: “That was something we really needed on the Charlotte scene. We needed a grown up restaurant. It is upper scale, not horribly expensive…It’s going to be an event-like dinner. The way they have it [the interior] looking like old Paris is amazing.”

What to order: Poulet rôti “Rouge Fermier” (aka the rôtisserie chicken), half for $24, whole for $48, and the La Belle Hélène Burger, $16

Siggy’s Good Food

1001 Belmont Ave.

Kathleen says: “One of the things I love about Siggy’s (and the upcoming Sweet Lew’s BBQ) is that they’re in an underserved area of town, in the Belmont neighborhood, that is an economically challenged area. Now we’re seeing some small, creative places going in there, and I would encourage people to please support that because neighborhoods need business and neighborhoods need life.”

What to order: Red Beets, Almonds and Goat Cheese Salad, $11, and the Organic Steak Sandwich, Grass Fed, $12