When you have an extra $20 laying around, why not leave that soggy sandwich or anemic salad in the fridge and turn your lunch into a culinary experience?
We’ve rounded up 10 Charlotte restaurants with lunch splurges that make your midday meal a unique treat — and might even leave you with leftovers.
100 N. Tryon St.
Aria’s three-course express lunch provides a decadent three-course tasting of the menu for only $8.99. Portions are hearty enough to fill you up without leaving you in a food coma when you head back to the office. Mix and match the appetizers and main courses for a unique dining experience each time you come for lunch. Choose from the following options to curate your meal:
- Choice of salad or soup:
- Caesar – Romaine Hearts, Focaccia Croutons, Parmesan Dressing
- Arugula – Gorgonzola, Salt-Roasted Beets, Poached Pears, Lemon Vinaigrette
- Seasonal Soup
- Choice of main:
- Penne a la Vodka — Crushed Tomato Cream Sauce, Ricotta
- Mimo’s Meatballs — Mascarpone Polenta, Red Sauce, Parmigiano
- Carbonara — Handmade Fettuccine, Pancetta, Parmigiano, Cracked Pepper
- Hand-made Orecchiette — House-made Fennel Sausage, Toasted Garlic Broccoli Rabe
- Dessert: NY-Style Cheesecake — Dark Chocolate Sauce
311 East Blvd.
Copper offers lunch-sized versions of both its traditional and modern Indian cuisine menus during the work week. Try one of Copper’s three traditional Indian meals served with naan bread, rice and a side salad or soup for $11 for a vegetarian entree or $12-14, depending on your choice of meat.
Traditional meal choices include:
- Tikka Masala
- Goan Curry
- Punjabi Tadka Masala Vin d’ Alho
Adventurous lunchtime diners can choose from a limited selection of lunch-sized portions of Copper’s Modern Indian Cuisine menu, which are served with soup or a side salad. Options include:
- Black Sesame-Apricot-Chili Glazed Chicken Tikka served with Roasted Pepper Creme and Market Vegetables ($14)
- Amritsari Battered Cod, Nigella, Coriander, Makhani, Masala, Garbanzos ($14)
- Goat Cheese Kofta, Potato-Goat Cheese Croquette, Semolina Crust, Tomato-Honey Sauce ($14)
- Methia Kabab “Meatballs,” Lamb Meatballs, Fenugreek, Mushroom Medley Curry ($17)
321 S. Church St.
French Quarter Restaurant has a different home-style lunch special for less than $10 for each day of the work week.
Fans of New Orleans style cuisine should opt for:
- Monday Red Beans and Rice- Cajun Style ($7.95) — served with your choice of andouille sausages or smoked cocktail sausages
- Tuesday Chicken or Shrimp Creole Special ($7.95) — served over rice and topped with creole sauce
Those craving healthy comfort food will love:
- Thursday Baked Chicken lunch ($8.50) — all natural, hormone-free chicken served with mashed potatoes and gravy and broccoli, topped with Hollandaise sauce
3106 N. Davidson St.
Have a hearty brunch at Haberdish each Tuesday-Friday until 2 p.m. The Haberdish brunch menu features special weekday-only options like:
- Daily Quiche du Jour (market price)
- Tater Tot Benedict with Edward’s Country Ham ($13)
- Chicken Biscuit Sandwich ($8) — served with slaw and house-made bread and butter pickles.
Don’t get too full on your entree — the brunch menu also features a limited dessert menu, with options like banana pudding ($6) and a waffle sundae ($8).
9510 University City Blvd., #101
Lunch buffet highlights include:
Broaden your horizons with the Passage to India lunch buffet ($8.99) available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Even the pickiest eaters will find something from over 30 healthy and decadent Indian food and snack offerings, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.
- Chilli Fish — tilapia with spices and peppers
- Pani Poori — deep fried crepes with savory fillings
- Vegetable Biryani — spiced rice with vegetables
1100 E. Metropolitan Ave., Suite 120
Pisces Sushi boasts an all-you-can-eat sushi lunch special ($12) from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Choose from over 25 sushi rolls from the menu and a variety of kitchen items such as:
- Fried Pork Gyoza
- Garlic Noodles
- Fried Shrimp Shumai
129 E. 5th St.
Sea Level’s lunch combination plates allow diners to choose from a selection of either one ($9) or two ($14) small plates, served with a choice of side. Entree choices include seafood favorites such as:
- Fried Oyster or Fish Taco
- Clam Chowder
- Shrimp Steam Bun
- Fried Chicken
- Pork Belly Steam Bun
Southern inspired sides options include:
- Adult Grits
- Corn Fritters
- Braised Greens
101 W. Worthington St., Suite 100
Can’t decide what you want for lunch? Superica’s lunch special includes two entrees, rice and beans for $11.99. Come hungry or expect to bring your leftovers back to the office. Mix and match entrees from a selection of:
- Enchiladas —Cheese, Picadillo, Mole, Chicken Verde, Chicken Suizas or Vegetable
- Nachos — bean and cheese nachos, jalapeños, guacamole, sour cream
- Salad — small house salad with creamy oregano dressing
- Soup — cup of Chicken Tortilla Soup or Pozole Verde
- Hard Shell Tacos — Picadillo or Chicken Tinga
- Taco Al Carbon — pork carnitas with guava glaze, grilled chicken or steak, smoked onions, flour tortillas
324 East Blvd.
Thai Taste’s lunch menu consists of a variety of curries, noodle dishes and stir fries that are customized with your choice of protein. Each freshly cooked Thai lunch meal is served with a spring roll and jasmine rice. If you have time to dine in, Thai Taste will treat you to complimentary soup and iced tea with your lunch special.
Prices range from $10-$15, depending on whether your dish is made:
- Vegetarian ($10)
- With pork, chicken, or beef ($10)
- Squid or shrimp ($12)
- Seafood ($14)
14835 Ballantyne Village Way, Suite 140
Let your sandwich special transport you to the Mediteranean at Zinicola. The Zinicola lunch menu is full of options for a properly portioned mid-day Italian feast, and all are under $15. Cheese lovers shouldn’t miss the
- Caprese Panini ($9) stuffed with tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and pesto served with roasted rosemary potatoes
- Eggplant Lasagna ($12)
- Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pasta ($14)