Eat, Drink and Tour Charlotte’s Culinary Scene
Dine around town with Charlotte's top tour groups.
by Beth Castle
There’s a reason Food & Wine, Thrillist, Eater and OpenTable consistently feature Charlotte in their “best of” roundups. Home to culinary incubators like Johnson & Wales University, the Queen City draws innovative chefs who, inspired by their own backgrounds, rethink local and regional delicacies. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or the rare Charlotte native, these local tours will help you discover (and rediscover) our thriving culinary scene.
Hop aboard the Taste and Glide Segway Tour to try some of Charlotte’s most popular eats like Mert’s Heart & Soul and 7th Street Public Market, or work for your fried chicken on Charlotte NC Tours’ three-hour Southern Food Bicycle Tour. Although stops vary for these excursions, they always feature bucket-list Charlotte restaurants, so you’ll get a taste of daily life in the QC.
Following all the hot new restaurants on Instagram? FEAST is for you. Focusing on restaurants that regularly garner rave reviews, this tour company tromps through neighborhoods like Uptown, NoDa, Plaza Midwood, Dilworth and South End and features restaurants that run the gambit—everything from upscale farm-to-table restaurants to casual dives. Block off about three hours for these walking tours.
Explore Uptown Charlotte with an expert guide in one of two excursions: Local to Charlotte, Rooted in North Carolina or The Spirit of Charlotte. During each one, you’ll sample chef creations and learn about the history of the city, but the second option includes cocktail, beer or wine pairings with each tasting (hence “Spirit” of Charlotte).
Satisfy your appetite for the arts while enjoying small plate and drinking pairings at the Mint Museum Uptown. The events, which are listed on the museum’s website, feature restaurants close to the Mint as well as Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth, which is connected to the museum. After dining, a one-hour, guided tour explores American, Contemporary and Craft + Design collections.
Additional Food Experiences
Looking for an over-the-top culinary experience? Plan your next night out around these popular dining excursions.
This pop-up culinary event features African-American chefs in the Charlotte region. Regularly sold out, the event features about seven courses (each from a different chef) with drink pairings for each. Watch for event announcements on their website or Facebook page.
Pair your top-tier meal with a treetop excursion on the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s Zipline and Dine Tour, which features a chef-curated, three-course dinner. Or, from May to September, check out the USNWC’s Paddle to Table dinner, which includes a guided flatwater paddle down the Catawba River.
Book a cooking class with local culinary celebrity Alyssa Wilen, whose classes dig into how to create dishes for Italian, Paleo, Tex-Mex, game day and more varieties. Her classes are a great date night option couples out on the town.