By Amanda Lea
With a culinary scene so rich in gastronomic diversity, the best way to fully immerse yourself in the Queen City’s culture is to let your taste buds be your guide. Here three local foodies invite you to cave to your cravings at their favorite haunts.
Name: Jessica Bentley
Instagram & Twitter: @SliceofJess
In Charlotte: 5 years
Breakfast: Amélie’s French Bakery. As soon as you step foot into this wonderfully wonky French bakery, you will be whisked away to a land of sugary confections, cascades of chocolate and savory delights. I honestly recommend everything on their menu; I promise you will not be disappointed.
Lunch: Burger 21. My go-to handhelds are the Gruyere Burger or the Tex-Mex. Come hungry because these burger beasts are massively delicious. Insider tip: They make all their milkshakes from scratch to order, and I suggest dipping your fries in them; it’s heavenly. Oh, and did I mention they have a sauce bar for your dippin' pleasure? Yes, please.
Dinner: 204 North Kitchen & Cocktails. Are you looking for a restaurant that feels like home and serves comfort food elegantly with a twist? As a recipe developer and home chef, this is my go-to joint when I am not in the mood to cook, yet feel like a home-cooked meal. One of my favorites is the Heritage Breed pork tenderloin served over succotash, smashed sweet potatoes and corn puree. Yum. Finish your night with the grand finale: their seasonal berry cobbler.
SUGGESTION: The Punch Room. If you’re seeking a cocktail rendezvous like no other, visit the The Punch Room, located inside The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. The masterminds behind this marble bar are experts in captivating guests with an imaginative palate and innovative cocktail recipes. It’s an experience every Charlotte resident should have.
What I love about being a Charlotte Foodie: Every meal is an adventure, and I'm so grateful to be along for the ride. Charlotte's culinary scene is booming, and it's very exciting to watch the city grow and be intertwined in the mix. We have so many talented chefs and extraordinary restaurant concepts; it is a true honor for me to call Charlotte my home.
Name: April Smith
Instagram & Twitter: @clteats
In Charlotte: 10 years
Breakfast: French crepes at The Original Pancake House
Lunch: Chicken- and quinoa-stuffed avocado with yucca and plantains at Viva Chicken
Dinner: Pork sandwich and pimento cheese fries at Midwood Smokehouse
What I love about being a Charlotte Foodie: I love being a foodie in Charlotte because of the amazing growth that the culinary scene has experienced within the last five years or so. When I first moved here, there were not many options for great food in Charlotte. But now, there are dozens of really amazing restaurants and new concepts opening each week. It's been pretty awesome to watch.
Name: Chrissie Nelson Rotko
Instagram & Twitter: @chrissie_beth
In Charlotte: 4.5 years
Breakfast: Cheddar biscuit and a coffee or chai latte at Sunflour Baking Company
Lunch: On workdays, because I work Uptown, it’s the spicy tuna lunchbox from KO Sushi. It’s so quick, affordable and delicious! On weekends, I prefer brunch to lunch, so I’d have to say Vivace’s Sunday brunch or Bistro La Bon’s smorgasboard.
What I love about being a Charlotte Foodie: I became a Charlotte foodie four years ago to learn more about the new city I lived in. I love that you can explore a city through its food and drink, and Charlotte has a unique food scene that’s really fun (and delicious) to eat and drink my way through. Plus, the community I discovered through blogging is incredible; there is such a talented and supportive network of food bloggers who I’m lucky to call my friends!