Spend 24 Hours Supporting Asian-Owned Businesses in Charlotte
In Charlotte, there are so many exciting, rich and diverse Asian-owned businesses that need your patronage.
by Alice Lee
As you’re making weekend plans or simply thinking about what to eat next, here’s a 24-hour guide on how you can support Asian-owned businesses in the area.
Jumpstart your morning with Dim Sum, a large range of small dishes that’s typically enjoyed family-style for breakfast or lunch, at Dragon Court near Eastway Park. Make sure to order the Shrimp Rice Noodle Crepes, Steamed Roast Pork Buns, Deep Fried Chive Biscuits and Stuffed Bean Curd, too.
After you’ve gotten your morning fill, pick up a Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich with meat, fresh herbs and pickled veggies) from the local favorite Le’s Sandwiches & Cafe right next door. Trust us, you’ll want to save this for lunch the next day.
Next, head over to Asian Market just five minutes away to get your grocery shopping done. The supermarket opened in 2020, featuring handmade baos, an expansive assortment of fresh produce, live seafood and an ever-rotating buffet line of Chinese dishes you can order as part of a lunch box with steamed rice.
Now it’s time to get that haircut you’ve been putting off. Call ahead and schedule an appointment with owner and hairstylist Binh at Binh Beauty Salon in Plaza Midwood. Binh only accepts cash so you may need to stop by an ATM beforehand.
After you’re done, head down the street to ShareTea on Central Avenue for a pick-me-up bubble tea. Keep it classic and get the fresh milk tea with bubbles, or get a customer favorite: the Wintermelon Tea with light ice. If you thought Starbucks drinks were incredibly customizable, you haven’t been to a bubble tea shop. You can personalize your drink with countless topping options (boba, pudding, herbal jelly, aloe vera, etc.), add fresh milk foam, adjust the sweetness level and specify the amount of ice in your drink.
No matter the weather, grab a bowl of noodle soup or pho (rice noodles with beef broth and herbs) from Pho Hoa; head over to South End for Khao Soy (noodles in a spicy and sweet coconut-based broth) at Rai Lay; or opt for Vegetable Ramen at YUME in the Gold District. Red Ginger, a Japanese steakhouse in Uptown, has popular hibachi and bento box lunch specials. If you’re open to venturing a bit further south, check out the Niu Rou Mian (beef noodle soup) at Taste of SHU in Quail Hollow.
Spend the next few hours getting pampered at Midtown Nails. Then pick up cacti or tropical house plants at The Cactus Club in South End. You might’ve spotted Cactus Club around town doing pop-ups from their cool green bus. If you’re craving something sweet, stop by Matcha Cafe Maiko in South Charlotte for all things matcha. Or have the sweets come to you when you order delivery from Tiff's Treats. Choose from a selection of frozen desserts, brownies and warm cookies.
There are countless dinner options to choose from in the Queen City. Go for the Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) at Gyu-Kaku in Uptown, sushi at Yamazaru in South End or Japanese food at Musashi in South Charlotte. For authentic, handmade dumplings, the Dumpling Flight at Sun's Kitchen is a must-try. Or check out Botiwalla at Optimist Hall, an Indian street food concept from James Beard-nominated chef Meherwan Irani. From the Lamb Burgers to the Chicken Tikka, there’s no shortage of delicious Indian food to try.
No evening is complete without a nightcap, or several. Try the Yogurt Soju (Korean distilled alcohol with Yakult yogurt drink) at Seoul Food Meat Company and a craft cocktail from Hawkers Asian Street Food in South End.
There’s no doubt you’ll end the day looking great, feeling great and feeling very, very full.