Eat & Drink

18 Places to Get Asian Cuisine in the Queen City

As the city of Charlotte continues to grow, the Asian food scene is also rapidly exploding.

With an increase of trendy bubble tea shops and Korean barbecue restaurants, even seasoned diners will find new and exciting Asian dishes to try in the Queen City.

Photo courtesy of Taste of Shu

Taste of Shu

Neighborhood: SouthPark

The owner, Jian Fang, opened Taste of Shu in 2015, with a mission to “let you have the cuisine taste from thousands of miles away.” With a focus on Chinese Szechuan food (a style of Chinese cuisine originating from Sichuan Province), customer favorites include menu items like fried diced chicken with dried pepper Chongqing-style and grilled whole fish.
Order the: Beef in hot broth and pan fried dumplings

Photo courtesy of Baoding

Baoding

Neighborhood: SouthPark

This modern Chinese restaurant opened in 1993, and has been serving authentic Chinese dishes like moo shu (pork), chicken lo mein and hunan beef. Immediately upon entering the modern Chinese restaurant, your eyes will be drawn to a lit-up bar with a beautiful neon tree. Besides the unique atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home as the staff are friendly and the service is always quick.
Order the: Szechuan beef

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Open Rice

Area: Blakeney Shopping Center

After growing up in Hong Kong, the owners at Open Rice wanted to bring some of their favorite Cantonese dishes (Char Siu, Hong Kong style roasted duck, bubble waffle and milk tea) to the Queen City. There is something for everyone to enjoy – from traditional street food to noodle dishes to a bubble waffle.
Order the: Char siu (a Cantonese pork) and the cast iron kimchi fried rice

Japanese

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Yume

Neighborhood: South End

Owners Tony and Rosena love Japanese cuisine and have always dreamt of bringing the taste of Japan to Charlotte. Hence, the name “YUME,” which means “dream” in Japanese. From a sip of Hibiki Whisky, to a bowl of traditional Tonkotsu ramen, Yakitori, or a beautiful platter of sushi and sashimi, you can always find fresh, authentic and creative dishes at YUME.
Order the: Thai curry ramen

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New Zealand Cafe

Area: Matthews

Don’t let the name fool you. New Zealand Cafe is a sushi gem located off of Sardis Road in Matthews. Sushi and the specialty rolls are a customer favorite, but they also offer plenty of options such as bento boxes, seafood dishes and hibachi steak entrees. Pro tip: Call ahead for pickup orders as the waits on the weekends can get to over an hour.
Order the: Sushi boat

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Red Sake Eastern Kitchen and Sushi Bar

Neighborhood: Ballantyne

Red Sake has been serving signature sushi rolls and main entrees like shaking beef and rice and noodle dishes to the Ballantyne community since March 2020. If you want a more intimate experience, make an Edomae-style (where fish is marinated and preserved for a few days) omakase reservation with Chef Robin. You can choose an 8- or 12-course meal at the sushi bar with up to four guests max. To make an omakase reservation, you’ll need to call 72 hours in advance.
Order the: Truffle and lotus sushi roll

Vietnamese

Lang Van

Neighborhood: Plaza Shamrock

This is hands down one of Charlotte’s most well-known and beloved Vietnamese establishments. Owner Dan Nguyen always welcomes guests in like family. She and her staff are known for putting love into every dish served. A customer favorite is the #45, a vermicelli bowl with a combination of charbroiled pork, shrimp, imperial roll, lettuce, cucumber, mint, and bean sprouts, served with a sweet sour sauce. With so many options on the menu, first-timers can talk to the server about what they like, and they’ll recommend something wonderful for you.
Order the: Vermicelli noodles and vegetable hot pot

Doan’s Restaurant

Neighborhood: Madison Park

Family owned and located in the Archdale Marketplace strip mall off of South Boulevard, Doan’s Restaurant is a casual and cozy spot that offers Southern Vietnamese-style pho and other Asian fusion eats.
Order the: Singapore noodles and pho

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Pho Hoa

Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood

Known as the Vietnamese noodle soup destination, this spot offers a wide variety of pho and many other specialties. Their signature broth is made from locally sourced ingredients, produce and spices to create the perfect, warm bowl of pho. Devour other popular items like the array of rice plates and vermicelli bowls.
Order the: Pho tai

Indian

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Chaat ‘n’ Dosa

Neighborhood: Ballantyne

Chaat ‘n’ Dosa is a pure vegetarian Indian restaurant with a mix of Northern and Southern Indian flavors. This is a great place to go with friends so you can share multiple dishes and order pretty everything on the menu. Chaats, or Indian street food dishes are under $5. The crunchy puris stuffed with boiled potato bits, chick peas, moong, onions and topped with housemade chutneys are a must order.
Order the: Samosa chaat

Curry Gate

Neighborhood: North End District (across from Camp North End)

Curry Gate opened in 2020, offering Indian and Nepali cuisine. The menu is compiled of tandoori specialties, tandoori breads, and Nepali dishes. Anyone who loves authentic Indian food will fall in love with this hidden gem. At the end of your meal, save room for a hot Nepal tea and Gulab Jamon for dessert.
Order the: Bhindi masala

Copper

Neighborhood: Dilworth

Located right off of East Boulevard in a historic bungalow, this Indian restaurant is the perfect place for date night. Copper offers a modern dining experience with bold Indian flavors. Weekday specials include protein (chicken, lamb, seafood, fish, etc.) with a side of naan, rice and your choice of salad or soup, and sauce.
Order the: Lamb kozhambu curry

Korean

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MOA Korean BBQ and Bar

Neighborhood: Uptown

Visitors have the option to choose from the highest quality of Korean barbecue meats with a grill-at-your-table experience. In addition to the tabletop barbecue, there’s a number of a la carte dishes like bibimbab and Korean tacos. Pro tip: Make sure to ask about the whole cow special.
Order the: Kimchi bulgogi nachos and marinated prime rib

Pepero Korean Restaurant

Area: Matthews

As you enter the grocery store on the side of the building, there is a small restaurant with dine-in seating for guests to enjoy a full menu of authentic Korean dishes. From starters like yaki mandu (Korean dumplings) and seafood pancakes to beef bulgogi, there are plenty of tasty items to choose from. After you indulge in all of the wonderful Korean dishes, stock up on your favorite Asian snacks, fruit and grocery items.
Order the: Jab chae (Korean stir fry noodles)

Choi’s Korea and Wing

Area: Montclaire South

This family and locally owned Korean restaurant was established in 1995, offering authentic Korean food and Chinese food. The casual restaurant has vegetarian and gluten free dishes to accommodate guests with allergy sensitivities. Customer favorites include bulgogi and spicy pork bibimbap (Korean rice dish)
Order the: Korean spicy wings

Thai

Rai Lay Thai - Photo courtesy of Jessica Hodnett

Rai Lay Thai

Neighborhood: South End

If you’re looking for Thai street food, Rai Lay should be at the top of your list. Since pad Thai is one of the most popular Thai dishes, Rai Lay chose to dish out two different versions: pad Thai and crispy pad Thai. Inside, you’ll find a full bar with specialty cocktails, select draft beer, wine, and sake lists to complement any menu item.
Order the: Green curry bowl and crispy pad Thai

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Deejai NoDa

Neighborhood: NoDa

With a beautiful ambiance, friendly service, and an authentic selection of Thai street eats and noodle bowls, this family-owned restaurant is a staple in the NoDa community. Pro tip: Save room the mango sticky rice. You won’t want to share it, it’s that good.
Order the: Drunken noodles and spicy basil stir fry

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Thai House

Neighborhood: University City

Over the last 20 years, Thai House in Charlotte has worked hard to deliver the best dining experience for locals and visitors. Inside, the atmosphere is calm with Thai music playing in the background, and delicately placed handcrafted teak wood pieces throughout the dining area. They offer daily lunch specials that are served with soup and a fried spring roll.
Order the: Panang curry with shrimp