Charlotte is a vibrant and fast-growing city that’s coming into its own. This includes our culinary offerings and the identity of our dining scene. What are we known for? What makes Charlotte restaurants and chefs so different from other cities? These are the questions we’re still answering, but thanks to some new restaurants — as well as tried and true favorites that consistently bring their A-game — the Queen City is turning out some impressive, destination-worthy dining options.

The restaurants listed below offer a variety of cuisines at various price points, but all are helping Charlotte further establish itself as a formidable foodie city. First, you’ll see the best spots that opened in the past year. Keep scrolling and you’ll see our Best of the Best section, the stalwarts that helped build the restaurant scene and are working to keep it thriving.

All Time Best

La Belle Helene

Est. 2018 | Uptown

No passport required for this authentic French brasserie where they bring on the butter
The anticipation for La Belle Helene’s opening was off the charts. The good thing is it lived up to the hype. For your first dinner, order the roasted chicken served with rosemary and garlic Yukon gold potatoes. This dish is meant to show off the rotisserie, which was custom-made in France. In addition to amazing food, the space at La Belle Helene, named for a French opera, is breathtaking and even boasts a bathroom created for patrons to take a memorable bathroom selfie… which may be the only thing basic about this spot.


Est. 2018 | South End

A great date spot perfect for conversation and cocktails
Bardo made a big bang when it came on the culinary scene. With mixologist Amanda Britton behind the bar and chef Michael Noll in the kitchen, Bardo hits with a one-two punch. Chef Noll can be seen from the exposed kitchen preparing small plate dishes such as the tempura maitake (which will make you rethink mushrooms), and delectable desserts like the ginger carrot cake. Amanda creates cocktails meant to bring out the flavors of Noll’s dishes, such as the Cool Beans cocktail made with Fernet Branca, Mexican cinnamon, and cold brew from local purveyor Pure Intentions Coffee.