Eat & Drink

Charlotte Late-Night Food Worth Staying Up For

The post-drinks dinner has come a long way since the days of drive-thrus and hot dog carts. Here’s where to get late-night food in Charlotte, well into the night.

Photo by Taylor Harding

Famished after an evening on the town or hankering for a meal after midnight? Charlotte can deliver. The after-hours eats at these eight restaurants are worth staying up late for.

If You’re Craving: Breakfast 

Head to: The Diamond. Opened in 1945 as the Diamond Soda Grill, the restaurant reopened in 2011 as a diner serving up casual comfort foods. On Fridays and Saturdays between midnight and 4 a.m., breakfast foods like omelets and Belgian waffles replace the regular menu of fried pickles, burgers and hot dogs. For the ultimate late-night indulgence, go all in with the Diamond In the Rough: Scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese served between two piping hot waffles.

Photo courtesy of McKoy's Smokehouse

If You’re Craving: Barbecue

Head to: McKoy’s Smokehouse. The popular BBQ joint serves up Carolina ’cue until 2 a.m. The late-night menu includes pulled pork that was smoked over pecan wood for 14 hours, pulled chicken, burgers and wings along with traditional Southern sides such as sweet potato fries, coleslaw, fried okra and mac-n-cheese.

If You’re Craving: Classic Diner Fare

Head to: Midnight Diner. Set against the backdrop of Uptown, the gleaming 1950s-style diner is complete with checkerboard floors, vinyl booths and Formica tables that make it feel like throwback to an earlier era. All of the items on the menu from steak and eggs and buttermilk pancakes to burgers and spaghetti are served 24/7. In true diner style, the coffee is always on.

Amélie's French Bakery and Café - Photo by Kyo H Nam Photography

If You’re Craving: A French Pastry

Head to: Amélie’s French Bakery. When you need to satisfy a sweet tooth at 3 a.m., check out the bakery case at Amelie’s. Colorful macarons, pecan sticky buns, chocolate croissants and tea cakes are among the freshly baked goods available at all hours of the day and night. The NoDa location is open 24 hours (other locations, including Uptown, close earlier) and also serves heartier fare including soup and sandwiches until the wee hours.

If You’re Craving: Greek Food

Head to: Landmark Diner. The Plaza Midwood favorite was featured in an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” for its spanakopita, a Greek dish made with spinach, feta cheese and phyllo dough. Order it—or other popular dishes such as a hot open roast beef sandwich or reuben cheeseburger—until 3 a.m. on Friday or 4 a.m. on Saturday. Breakfast is served all day.

Pork Belly Tacos at Soul Gastrolounge - Photo by Justin Smith Studio Photography, courtesy of Soul Gastrolounge

If You’re Craving: Sushi

Head to: Soul Gastrolounge. Small plates are served until 2 a.m. in this hot spot in the heart of Plaza Midwood. Order dishes like Asian glazed pork belly tacos, sticky veal short ribs, lamb lollipops and anchovy fries to share or sample some of the house-made sushi. For a sweet accompaniment to the craft cocktail menu, the banana phyllo turnovers can’t be beat. 

Bulgogi Tacos at Seoul Food Meat Company - Photo courtesy of Seoul Food Meat Company

If You’re Craving: Barbecue with a Twist

Head to: Seoul Food Meat Company. A Korean-inspired southern barbecue joint brings together two different cuisines to create inventive dishes like Sriracha cracklins, kimchi vinegar slaw, Ramen mac-n-cheese, soy garlic wings, pulled pork and beef ribs. Grab a table in the bustling dining room or sit on the expansive patio. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, supper service runs until 2 a.m.

If You’re Craving: Decadent Entrées

Head to: Fahrenheit. Thanks to a location on the 21st floor of a high rise, it’s possible to nosh on signature entrees like slow braised American wagyu short ribs and pepper crusted ahi while taking in stunning views of Uptown. Order from the dinner menu until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday or savor a decadent dessert and a glass of wine against the backdrop of the city lights. 

If You’re Craving: Chicken and Waffles

Head to: RedEye Diner in the Charlotte EpiCentre. This 24-hour-a-day eatery serves up Southern favorites like chicken and waffles, as well as breakfast fare, burgers and perfectly crisp waffle fries. The classic 1950s diner vibes are an added bonus.