Since its 2011 debut Charlotte’s 7th Street Public Market has enticed some of the city’s most talented food purveyors and boutiques to set up shop. “We have been meticulous with which vendors we have here,” says executive director Mike Restaino. “Each vendor is an expert at what they do, and they’re all putting everything on the line for their business.” Today, the market is bustling; filled with busy shops and convivial camaraderie between sellers. The baker uses salt from the salt shop, the wine store does tastings with the cheese monger, and the chocolatiers use coffee beans from the coffee brewer. It’s the kind of place where you’ll want to wander for a while before picking your purchases. Before you go though, check out our guide. Filled with helpful tips and tempting snacks, this will help you navigate the artisanal offerings—and track down just what you want.
7th Street Fresh Produce Farmers’ market style booth featuring a varied selection of fresh farm produce at fabulous prices. Opened at the Market: April 2013 Most popular items: Containers of freshly cut fruit for a steal, and asparagus and avocados for a buck cheaper per bunch than at large grocery store chains. Insider tip: They offer their biggest assortment on Saturdays.
barCHOCOLATE European style chocolate shop with small batch bon-bons and irresistible macaroons. Opened at the Market: April 2013 Most popular items: Salted caramel bon-bons. Insider tip: barCHOCOLATE locally sources as many of their ingredients as possible—even the pollen used in their Bee Pollen Pralines comes from Berry’s Apiary in Indian Trails. www.barchocolateclt.com
Bonsai Fusion Sushi Counter offering creative sushi made fresh to order Opened at the Market: July 2012 Most popular items: Fatal Attraction roll (shrimp tempura inside, topped with tuna, salmon, and kabayaki sauce) and Sushi Burrito (fresh tortilla filled with spicy tuna, edamame hummus, fresh veggies, jalapeno, and avocado with chipotle-honey sauce). Insider tip: Open until 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, making it easy to stop in to pick up sushi for dinner. www.facebook.com/pages/Bonsai-Fusion
Charlotte Tea & Spice Co. Tea vendor selling loose teas, spices, and spice blends. Opened at the Market: April 2012 Most popular items: Chocolate chai tea and Early Grey lavender tea. Insider tip: The shop’s peach oolong tea is perfect for warm days when chilled and served over ice. www.facebook.com/charlotteteaspiceco
Cloud 9 Confections Bakery serving up sweet treats and wedding cakes. Opened at the Market: December 2011 Most popular items: Custom wedding cakes and the tuxedo brownie—a freshly baked brownie, topped with cheesecake, cream cheese icing, and chocolate ganache. Insider tip: Beat the lunch rush and stop by between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. for a sweet treat. www.cloud9confections.com
Eden Flowers Blooming boutique offering floral arrangements, fresh cut flowers, plants, and locally made gifts. Opened at the Market: September 2012 Most popular items: Grab and go fresh cut flower arrangements for $10. Insider tip: Call ahead the day before to schedule for children to come in to create their own floral basket or arrangement. www.edenflowersnc.com
Greeneman Farms Upscale farm stand offering fresh natural meat, dairy, produce, and dry goods, exclusively from North Carolina. Opened at the Market: July 2012 Most popular items: Their Amish-made jams, jellies, or honey. Insider tip: If you’re looking for authentic country ham, get here on at the beginning of the week—their tasty hams are delivered every Monday. www.greenemanfarms.webs.com
Local Loaf Stand serving gourmet, restaurant-quality brunch and lunch sandwiches at diner prices. Opened at the Market: May 2013 Most popular items: Brunch: Chicken and the Egg (fried chicken breast served with Cheerwine chipotle honey glaze, cave aged cheddar, and a soft poached egg on a house-made biscuit). Lunch: The Cuban (slow-roasted pork and honey ham, with cranberry mustard, pickled cucumbers, melted Swiss, and crispy fried pork rinds). Insider tip: Virtually every ingredient Local Loaf uses is made in-house: Hams, pastramis, and bacons are cured on site, while breads and rolls are made from NC milled flour. www.localloafcharlotte.com
Meat and Fish Company Boutique butcher and fine seafood company offering Wagyu and Kobe beef, wild game, and seafood from around the world. Opened at the Market: Original vendor, December 2011 Most popular items: 28-day dry-aged steaks and jumbo lobsters. Insider tip: Fresh day boat seafood from the North Carolina coast arrives on Tuesdays and Thursdays. www.meatandfishcompany.com
Not Just Coffee Local hipster hangout, serving pour-over coffee, wines by the glass, extensive tea list, and espresso drinks. Opened at the Market: December 2011 Most popular items: Caramel latte with caramel from scratch. Insider tip: Come prepared to wait a few minutes—the baristas take their time handcrafting each perfect beverage. www.facebook.com/notjustcoffee
Pure Pizza Organic, gourmet pizzeria with some of the top gluten-free crust in the city. Opened at the Market: April 2012 Most popular items: The chorizo pizza (chorizo sourced locally from Wild Turkey Farms, tomato, onion, cilantro, radishes, and lime) and the wild mushroom pizza (shiitake and oyster mushrooms, garlic, and mozzarella, topped with truffle oil). Insider tip: World-renowned baker and Johnson and Wales professor, Peter Reinhart developed the dough recipes for Pure. www.purepizzaclt.com
Salts of the Earth Salt shop offering unrefined, natural, sea, and flavored salts from all over the world. Opened at the Market: March 2013 Most popular items: Black truffle salt and Pearls of Africa (naturally small round salt crystals that look like pearls, harvested in Lake Assai in Djibouti). Insider tip: In addition to its 7th Street Market location and online store, be on the lookout for Salts of the Earth’s salt truck coming soon! www.salts-of-the-earth.com
Small Keys Boutique selling eco-friendly, hand-made beauty, bath, and baby products. Opened at the Market: June 2013 Most popular items: Coco-mint body mousse, and vegan soaps. Insider tip:Don’t find the scented soap that you are looking for? The owner is happy to custom blend products for the exact fragrance you’re seeking. www.facebook.com/smallbeautykeys
The Sorting Table Unusual and wonderfully diverse wine shop owned by a self-proclaimed wine-nerd. Opened at the Market: December 2012 Most popular items: Armida Winery’s, Poizin, a full-bodied zinfandel with notes of chocolate, mocha and slight toffee ($14.99). Insider tip: Stop by Tuesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. for Tuesday Night Wine Flights. Five dollars gets you five tastings, plus a $5 coupon off any bottle purchased that night. www.thesortingtableon7th.com
Viva Raw Chic bar serving delicious raw, organic cold-pressed juices. Opened at the Market: May 2012 Most popular items: Green Clean juice made of kale, apple, celery, cucumber, lemon, and parsley. Insider tip: Belly up to the juice bar on Wednesdays when Scott Harris, resident juice mixologist, invents new elixirs. www.viva-raw.com