I grew up in an extremely Southern household in a quaint neighborhood in North Raleigh. If you need help imagining this, the decorations in the house include pictures of cowboys, tack (saddles, bridles, stirrups), boots, and family pictures. Family gatherings were something to look forward to, because the ladies in my family can COOK. When I arrived in Charlotte, I was ready to investigate the local Southern cuisine to see if it was just as good as the stuff I was raised on. Let’s take a gander, I think you’re going to like this as much as I do. Take a trip through my top spots for Southern eats in Charlotte.
Without a doubt, Haberdish is one of the hottest restaurants in the city right now. It’s always packed, you’ll usually even find a line wrapped around the building. Located in NoDa, locals flock here for a spin on Southern classics while enjoying a modern atmosphere. Sweet potato dumplings with brown butter, chicken and waffles, seared okra with bacon jam, kale grits, and banana pudding are just a few mind-blowing dishes the menu has to offer.
Two things to know: the management prohibits cell phones while ordering and it’s cash only. This is because Price's is super busy day in and day out, and they want to get you out the door with your glorious fried chicken as quickly as possible. In the heart of South End, this humble establishment offers as much Carolina style BBQ, fried chicken, hushpuppies, cole slaw, seafood, and sweet tea as your heart desires.
Owner Stewart Penick is a Boone, North Carolina native and brought the Southern recipes that he grew up with (and perfected) to his restaurants. We're blessed to have his red velvet chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits with whole fried okra on top.
Lunch and dinner are equally as divine, from the lemony crab cakes and cabernet brisket to the luscious array of desserts Mr. Penick’s wife dreams up. The Penick family takes so much pride in their restaurant, and it shows in the amazing flavors served each day.
Husband and wife team, James and Reneé, opened this spectacular place in Uptown and are bringing Charlotte some amazing Southern Soul food. Mert’s brings some of the best collards, chicken, mac n’ cheese, cornbread, and jambalaya to the table, hands down. The staff is so welcoming, and treats you like family when you stop in.
Blackfinn has several locations up and down the East Coast, and there are two in Charlotte. They have dishes that I know my grandmother, the best cook in the family, would approve of. Some of my favorites include: crackerjack popcorn with bacon and caramel, deviled eggs, homemade pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, peel-n-eat shrimp, and Cheerwine babyback ribs. You know when you get something as Southern as Cheerwine they aren’t playing around!
This establishment offers Southern food with a Costa Rican flair. The insanely yummy rotisserie chicken always hits the spot. Chicken with queso is an absolute must-try when you stop here. They offer a variety of Southern-style sides to go with your chicken, such as collards, yams, and melt-in-your-mouth cornbread. It offers next-level diviness, and it’s Montford location is a fun spot if you want to hang out with friends.
The story behind this place is very unique— the restaurant has a partnership with the locals of Sea Level, NC to bring fresh, sustainable seafood to the table. The initiative to support other local, small businesses shows how much passion goes into their menu. Known for their oysters, they ship them in daily to bring you a variety for oyster happy hour. Just look for the big chalkboard when you walk in to see what the day’s specials are. One of my favorite dishes on the menu is their shrimp and stone-ground grits, which are filling and buttery. Also, be sure to try the catfish reuben, steamed shrimp buns, and corn fritters!