If you are looking for one of the top foodie cities in North Carolina, Charlotte is high on the list! This dynamic city is one of the fastest growing in America, so its food scene is vibrant, varied and has restaurants available at every price point. However, if you do not feel like sifting through hundreds of reviews to find a spot to sate your appetite, I’ve curated a list of five great restaurants to try. You can kick off your trip to the Queen City as soon as you pick up your rental car from Alamo at Charlotte Douglas International (CLT) Airport.
5 Restaurants for Foodies in Charlotte, NC
This fine dining restaurant sources all its ingredients and products right in North Carolina. A true farm-to-table establishment with a global spin, Heirloom offers a local foodie experience with international flair. Heirloom’s Japanese-inspired offerings like the Maitake mushroom bisque and Koji duck confit will give you a mouthwatering taste of Asia without leaving Charlotte.
Despite the nod to international fare, Heirloom is committed to supporting local vendors. This is best seen in their wine and beer list: nearly all the liquors on it are supplied by distilleries within the state (please enjoy responsibly; do not drink and drive).
While Heirloom has outdoor patio dining available, they are also have indoor dining, and tables have been placed six feet apart. Another reason to visit the restaurant is its location, northwest of Charlotte’s center in the Coulwood district. Bonus: Well-known attractions like the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Carowinds amusement park are only a short drive away.
Leah & Louise
Leah & Louise specializes in Southern fare and its menu is deeply influenced by the history and cuisine of cities like Memphis and New Orleans. With classic Southern dishes like grits and catfish, this restaurant is a must visit. Let it be known that the grilled okra and the brownin’ chicken are my favorite items on the menu.
The sights and sounds of the restaurant are just as enjoyable as the food. Leah & Louise pays homage to juke joint culture, so if you’re a blues music enthusiast, it is the place to be for great tunes and good vibes. Juke joints were bars/clubs that were safe spaces for African Americans socialize in the early 20th century.
Located in Charlotte’s Camp North End retail development, there are loads of activities to do around the complex before or after you eat, such as shop: Feminist Goods specializes in women’s apparel and Good Postage sells stationary. Leah & Louise has outdoor dining on their patio and tables are six feet apart. Masks must be worn at all times when not at your table.
Located in The Dunhill, Charlotte’s only historic hotel, this modern-but-rustic restaurant is in the heart of the city’s commercial district. Named for Louis Asbury, Sr. (the architect who designed the hotel), The Asbury combines the local food movement with traditional Southern dishes. This serves as a tribute to Charlotte’s Southern roots and the culturally diverse New South.
Menu offerings include fish and fowl and delectable desserts like the oatmeal crusted spiced ganache tart (say that 5 times fast!). The pan-roasted salmon accompanied by squash bisque is divine! While The Asbury doesn’t currently offer outdoor seating, you can take your food to go and dine al fresco at the many parks nearby. Be sure to check out Marshall Park, First Ward Park, Fourth Ward Park or Romare Bearden Park for green space, fountains, walkways and more.
Mert’s Heart and Soul
One of the most-frequented restaurants Charlotte, Mert’s Heart and Soul is considered one of the best spots for Southern soul food in the Queen City. It’s so good that the restaurant was even featured by renowned American chef Guy Fieri, making an appearance on the 22nd season of his television show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
Operated by a husband and wife duo, James and Renee Bazelle, the menu is meant to be reminiscent of the food James grew up eating in his home state of Georgia. As such, the menu includes lowcountry dishes like shrimp creole, smoky barbecue beef ribs, and Southern fried chicken breast.
Mert’s is in Uptown Charlotte and within walking distance of attractions like the Discovery Place Science center and McGlohon Theater. While indoor dining is not currently available at Mert’s, its central location means you can take your food to go and eat it in nearby Romare Bearden Park. When you are done, check out the nearby Levine Museum of the New South to learn more about the city’s rich history.
La Belle Hélène
With the motto “food is the celebration of life,” you know you are in for the ultimate foodie experience. La Belle Hélène is a warm and inviting restaurant in bustling Uptown Charlotte that offers an authentic French look, feel and flavor.
Whether stopping in for a leisurely lunch or a sumptuous dinner experience, the authentic brasserie-style menu will have something for everyone. Dishes like the moules-frites, croque monsieur and bouillabaisse have a certain je ne sais quoi and will immediately transport you to Paris! LBH has takeout and delivery options available, so make sure to take advantage.
Charlotte’s food scene makes it one of the best places in the South to fill your belly. The above restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg, so get eating!
Alamo COVID-19 FAQS
Is Alamo open during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?
Yes. Alamo is an essential services provider that remains open to meet critical transportation and personal mobility needs.
How do I rent a vehicle from Alamo during the COVID-19 outbreak?
To streamline your rental experience further and enable you to safely practice social distancing when picking up your rental vehicle:
- You can skip the counter (for select locations) in advance after activating Online Check-In. Then, you can go straight to your car without visiting the counter or kiosk.
- Another option is Alamo’s Self-Service Kiosk at select locations. All you need to check in is your driver’s license and credit card. When you’re finished, just show your rental agreement and driver’s license at the exit booth before you hit the road.
What steps are being taken to clean the rental cars?
Clean vehicles have always been important to us, but at this moment in time, we know vehicle cleanliness is even more critical. Each rental vehicle is thoroughly cleaned between every rental and backed with the Complete Clean Pledge. This includes washing, vacuuming, general wipe down, and sanitizing with a disinfectant that meets leading heath authority requirements, with particular attention to more than 20-plus high-touch points including:
- Key / key fob
- Steering wheel
- Steering column
- Seat belts
- Center console
- Door interiors
- Door pockets
- Interior door handles
- Exterior door handles
- Seat pockets / seat surfaces
- Areas between seats & consoles
- Areas between seats & doorjambs
- Cupholders / compartments
- Instrument panel
- Accessory panel / touchscreen
- Rearview mirror / side mirrors
- Visors / visor mirrors
- Dashboard / vents
- Gear stick / gear shift
- Trunk release
- Among other high-touch areas
As part of the Complete Clean Pledge, we've also extended our already rigorous cleaning protocols to our shuttles and rental locations.