Restaurant history runs deep in the Queen City, with an array of classic institutions that have been committed to serving gastronomical grub with a hefty dose of of their own irreplaceable flair for years. Here I’ve compiled 10 timeless restaurants that have undeniably impacted the Charlotte food scene.
2710 N. Brevard St.
Established in 1973, Brooks’ has been Charlotte’s go-to burger joint for decades. This small, unassuming eatery dishes out a variety of goodies from breakfast through dinner. Adding chili to your order is a necessity, and I suggest getting their “cheeseburger all the way.”
900 E. Morehead St.
Located in the heart of Dilworth, Art’s serves a noteworthy blend of hearty breakfast foods and home-style barbeque lunches. Fan favorites include home fried potatoes, biscuits, mac & cheese, and their Southern fried chicken plate (it’s their Thursday special). There’s a good reason this eatery has been around since 1976.
601 S. Kings Drive, Suite AA
This family-style Italian restaurant has served Charlotte’s kin since 1992. With a variety of housemade items (mozzarella, breads, pastas, and desserts, to name a few), this restaurant has a sure-fire method of melting its way into your heart. I recommend their mozzarella and tomatoes, chopped salad, literally all of their pastas, and homemade tiramisu.
1614 Camden Road
When it comes to satisfying those fried chicken cravings, Price’s has been Charlotte’s go-to poultry joint since 1962 and is one of the oldest businesses in Charlotte’s posh South End community. The must-try entrée is their 1/4 chicken that comes with coleslaw, French fries, hush puppies and a roll.
4538 South Blvd.
“Famous for steaks since 1958,” Beef ‘N Bottle is a Charlotte standard. Be prepared to warp back in time to the mobster era, parallel to a scene from “Goodfellas.” Steaks are cooked to order and sides are served separately, encouraging patrons to share amongst other guests at the table. You can’t go wrong with a medium-rare filet, house salad with homemade blue cheese, and the loaded baked potato topped with bacon and cheese.
235 N. Tryon St.
Located inside the historic Dunhill Hotel (built in 1929), the Asbury is a newer concept on this list (est. 2014) but deserves recognition. Here you’ll find modern, yet rustic dishes that are sourced from local purveyors. The menu changes seasonally, allowing guests to experience the freshest elements of the season served in the most graceful of ways. They offer deviled eggs that change at the chef’s whim on a daily basis — and are a must try. Also try their warm kale salad and sticky biscuits.
4009 South Blvd.
This classic burger window has been serving double-stacked cheeseburgers, mounds of delicious fries, and old-school root beer floats since 1975. There are a few booths and a stand-up window where you can enjoy your lunch, but with lines normally formed around the building, I usually ask for mine to be boxed to-go. The Zack’s special is my favorite, paired with a malted shake.
410 W. 9th St.
Serving Charlotte since 1983, Al Mike’s has had its fair bit of practice when it comes to creating the “Cheers” experience in the QC. Grab a seat at the bar and chat with the regulars. The spicy crab soup is a must, along with the blackened chicken breast over rotini in a Cajun cream sauce (a.k.a. What It Is) and their housemade quinoa black bean burger on grilled pita.
309 W. 4th St.
Serving Charlotte since 1926, Green’s is the perfect pit stop for your pre-season tailgate celebrations. Find a variety of items like hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, breakfast entrees, salads and fries. As for breakfast, the sausage and egg sandwich on a biscuit is a favorite.
2900 Wilkinson Blvd.
If you’re looking for a timeless drive-in that still serves its cuisine the same way it did back in yesteryear, this is the diner for you. Since 1959, flocks of foodies have been lining up their cars to get a bite of the famous BBQ dipped chicken, onion rings (dunk them in BBQ sauce), cherry limeade soda and hush puppies. You can also find this place featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” on the Food Network.