Eat & Drink

Fun Dinner Date Ideas for Couples & Families

Eating at home can be redundant, but thanks to the creativity of our local restaurateurs, chefs and mixologists, there’s plenty of variety to go around while we practice social distancing.

To help get your date night (or just a fun night) ideas flowing, we’ve started a list to tackle with your significant other, family, or even best pal of a roommate.

Under the Sea

The Waterman Fish Bar

The Waterman Fish Bar now offers carryout, curbside and delivery so you can enjoy classic seafood dishes in the comfort of your own home. To-go is available weekdays 4 to 9 p.m. and weekends noon to 9 p.m. Delivery is available for those within a 2-mile radius of their location and includes a $5 dollar fee, which goes directly to their staff relief fund.

Our recommendation: Order the Seafood Platter Dinner that includes beer-battered cod, fried shrimp, french fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, lemons and a side salad to feed four to five people, all for $35.

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YUME Ramen Sushi Bar

Sushi, anyone? From sushi and sashimi platters to fried Hiroshima oysters, Yume Ramen Sushi Bar has something delectable for everyone. Visit their website to satisfy your craving for lunch or dinner, takeout or delivery. Bonus: apply "STAYHOME" at checkout for 20% off any regular items and take advantage of half off all bottles of wine and sake.

Our recommendation: Their signature 'Haru' sushi roll has a little bit of surf, a little bit of turf and is the best of both worlds.

Table for Two Date Night

Good Food on Montford

Good Food on Montford is the date night of champions, so it is only fitting to bring it home during quarantine. From Pan-Seared Salmon to freshly made pasta to a Bag of (Steamed) Buns, they have all that you need for your table for two. Call 704.525.0881 between 1 to 8:30 p.m. to place your order for pickup between 3 to 8:30 p.m.

Our recommendation: Don’t forget the Biscoff Ice Cream, now available by the pint.

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Kindred

Led by rockstars Joe and Katy Kindred, Kindred is offering a special menu that will set the mood for any evening with your significant other. Dishes include but are not limited to the Skillet Burger, Smoked Bone-In Pork Chop, Rigatoni Alla Bolognese and Crispy Oysters. Located in Davidson, N.C., curbside pickup and delivery is available Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.

Our recommendation: Two words: milk bread. Don’t even hesitate.

Family Style

Mama Ricotta's

Serving Charlotte homestyle Italian food since 1992, Mama Ricotta’s is one of the go-to spots for takeout during quarantine. With appetizers, soups, salads, pizzas and pasta dishes, there’s surely something for everyone in your family. You know what they say, Mama knows best.

Our recommendation: Don’t miss the daily flash sales! Mama’s features larger servings of an item each day, like the classic Penne Alla Vodka or Eggplant Parmesan, made for four to six people to be reheated at home.

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Azteca Mexican Restaurant

Azteca Mexican Restaurant, known for serving delicacies such as shrimp, fajitas, nachos and seafood, is available for carryout or delivery from all four locations: Gastonia, Woodlawn, Smith Corners and Matthews. Whether you prefer dishes on the lighter side or cheesy options, their authentic Mexican food is made to please every member of your family.

Our recommendation: Make sure to order a bowl of their queso. There's no such thing as too much cheese and their queso is some of the best in town.

Comfort Food Carryout

Dish

In true Dish fashion, the team has different specials every day starting at 11 a.m. Options include Chicken n’ Dumplins, Cajun Meatloaf, Vegan Collards and Hush Puppies, to name a few. Be sure to follow them on Instagram to see the #DishoftheDay and call ahead at 704.344.0343⁠ to order.

Our recommendation: Sweet Lew’s BBQ will also be available while supplies last so be sure to grab items like Chopped Pork Barbecue and Fried Cod.

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Leah & Louise

Leah & Louise, a modern juke joint from James Beard-nominated Chef Greg Collier, along with his wife, Subrina Collier, and mixologist Justin Hazelton, is offering online ordering with quick and easy pickup or delivery Thursday through Saturday from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Just minutes from Uptown Charlotte at Camp North End, the team is offering items such as River Skins and Oxtail and Dumplings.

Our recommendation: Order the On My Way Home with smoked shrimp salad on house-made cornmeal brioche.

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Cuzzo's Cuisine

Cuzzo’s Cuisine is offering takeout Tuesday through Friday between 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Menu items include but are not limited to a Jerk Chicken Pineapple Bowl, Chicken Tenders and Rice & Beans, Jerk Shrimp, and Jerk Wings. Follow them on social media for daily updates and give them a call at 980.298.6811 to place your order.

Our recommendation: Don’t miss the family-size Lobster Mac Cheese that feeds four to five people.

Dessert First

Suarez Bakery

Cookies, doughnuts and cakes, oh my! If you’re looking for all the sweet goodies, check out Suarez Bakery, the dessert-focused bakery in Charlotte’s Park Road Shopping Center. Most of the in-store menu items can be ordered online or by calling their team at 704.525.0145 for everything else. Either way, they’ll get you the goods via takeout, curbside or delivery ($20 delivery minimum). Pro tip: order a 6-inch Vanilla or Chocolate Diplomat Cake online for takeout, curbside pickup or delivery, same-day or schedule for up to two weeks in advance.

Our recommendation: Pick up one (or a dozen) of their hand-iced sugar cookies featuring cute reminders like "Don't Touch Your Face" and "I Love You, But Stay 6 Feet Away From Me."

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Two Scoops Creamery

Now that the weather is warming up, cool down with ice cream from local favorite Two Scoops Creamery, which offers curbside pickup and delivery (4-pint minimum for delivery). Call ahead at 704.900.5792 to place your order from one of their three locations: South End, Plaza Midwood or Lake Norman.

Our recommendation: Have you tried the Blueberry Cheesecake? Just trust us.

Meatless Mealtime

Green Brothers Juice

Fuel up on all the vitamins and nutrients at Green Brothers Juice. They have smoothies, juices, wellness shots and acai bowls galore that can be picked up or delivered via ChowNow and UberEats. Bonus: make your favorite Green Brothers smoothies in your kitchen with their Smoothie Blends. These pre-packaged smoothie blends have everything you need to make one of their smoothies from the comfort of your own home — just add coconut water, almond milk or cold-brew (depending on the flavor).

Our recommendation: Their Crave-A-Bowl Acai Bowl features an almond-milk and cold brew coffee blend that is the perfect way to start your morning.

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Oh My Soul

Fully loaded sweet potatoes, Spirit Rolls, King Kong, and Chargrilled BBQ Vibs... what more could you want for a meatless meal? Oh My Soul’s full menu is only a call away. Give them a buzz at 704.891.4664 to place your takeout or pickup order.

Our recommendation: Don’t skip out on Sugarman’s kronuts (a croissant-doughnut pastry) and Pure Intentions Coffee.

Take and Bake at Home

Pasta & Provisions

With three locations in Charlotte (Providence Road, Park Road and Mint Street), Pasta & Provisions is supplying locals with fresh pasta, ravioli, pizza, bread and sauces during quarantine. Serving the Queen City and the Carolinas since 1992, all locations are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All locations are offering a call-ahead service to place an order for no-contact curbside pickup and free local delivery ($30 minimum).

Our recommendation: The Chicken Marsala that you can pop in the oven to heat. Dinner will be ready in no time!

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Let's Meat KBBQ

Bring on the meal kits! Each kit from Let’s Meat KKBQ feeds two people and comes with a variety of banchan (small side dishes) and sauces, a mushroom salad, soup, your pick of white or brown rice, and the meat of your choice. Also, in each order patrons will find an insert that details cooking instructions for pork, beef and chicken. Give them a ring at 980.299.4389 to order takeout or free delivery within 9 miles of their location (and specific areas on certain days). Bonus: they have alcoholic and non-alcoholic Korean drinks and local beers available as well.

Our recommendation: The spicy pork belly is to die for and is the perfect addition to your takeout bento box.

Party in the USA (at home edition)

Ace No. 3

With “burger, shakes, and beer” as the tagline, you know what to expect when frequenting ACE No. 3. Located in the Belmont neighborhood, online to-go ordering and pickup, daily between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m., is a breeze.

Our recommendation: go for “The Ace” and a side of onion rings.

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JJ'S Red Hots

Hot dogs and wings are the way to go with JJ’s Red Hots. Whether you choose to build your own or go for a signature hot dog, you can’t go wrong with this Charlotte staple. Don’t miss the family packs! They have three options - Triple D Family Pack, Smoked or Fried Wing Family Pack, and Triple D + Wings Bundle - that feed four to six people.

Our recommendation: Their Chili Cheese Coney hot dog was featured on the popular food show, "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives," and for good reason. The mix of house-made chili and shredded cheese can't be beat. Just make sure you have lots of napkins!

Shake it Up

Dilworth Tasting Room

Dilworth Tasting Room now offers cocktail kits in addition to wine and food options! For $10, they supply the juices, syrups and bitters for two cocktails and all you have to do is add your choice of liquor. Pick up the cocktail kit by 7 p.m. and join the Instagram Live at 8 p.m. for a step-by-step demonstration by the Dilworth Tasting Room crew. Options include Cucumber Fresco on Tuesdays, Oh, Honey Beehave on Thursdays, and Picante on Saturdays. Give them a buzz at 704.595.3337 between 3 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday to place your order.

Our recommendation: Your cocktail kit will pair perfectly with one of their delicious flatbread pizzas.

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Bardo

There’s no better way to amp up your weekend than with a Mimosa Kit from Bardo. The kits, available on Saturdays and Sundays only, include bubbles and your choice of enough fresh orange, grapefruit or passion fruit juice for two cocktails, because one is really never enough. Call Bardo at 980.585.2433 any time between 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. to place your order but remember, the Mimosa Kits sell out fast on the weekends. Bonus: looking for more options? Check out their menu online for details on the Buzz City Smash Cocktail Kit, No Fig Deal Cocktail Kit, and more!

Our recommendation: They have a 5 Spice & Korean Chile Rubbed Beef Brisket that can feed up to four.

Game Night

Noble Smoke

Take no prisoners — in Yahtzee or over the brisket. Good news is Noble Smoke is open for to-go orders every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Place your order online or give them a call and they will have it ready for pickup at the window by the yellow door facing Freedom Drive.

Our recommendation: Yes they are known for their proteins, Chopped Cheshire Pork, Prime Beef Brisket, Smoked Turkey Breast, and more, but don’t miss the Pan-Fried Corn. Seriously

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Sabor Latin Street Grill

Nothing says game night quite like nachos. Sabor Latin Street Grill is still serving those along with their mouth-watering tacos, burritos, bowls and street food options. Most of their locations are open for lunch and dinner until 9 p.m. and patrons are encouraged to order online for easy pickup.

Our recommendation: Check out their Family Meal Box that includes enough corn tortillas, protein, beans, rice, dips and chips to feed a family of six.

Fast Casual on Wheels

The Dumpling Lady

Now that we all seem to have a bit more free time, it’s only fitting that we use it to stalk the queen of dumplings. The Dumpling Lady food truck schedule is released every Monday on Instagram so be sure to follow them to catch her next pop-up. And of course, their brick and mortar is open every day at Optimist Hall from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., where you can place online orders or walk in old school style (while practicing social distancing, of course).

Our recommendation: We couldn’t possibly choose a favorite, so our suggestion is to order as many as you can to narrow down your go-to.

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Chilito Tacos

Don’t sleep on the Chilito Tacos. Known as “a taste of LA in CLT,” power team Hector González-Mora and Sara Akhavan Castellanos are serving up taco dinner kits AND breakfast tacos at local brewery, Resident Culture. Be sure to follow them on Instagram to see when they’ll pop up next!

Our recommendation: Watch out especially for those breakfast tacos; they are dynamite.

No matter how you spend your mealtimes, we do hope you grab a meal to-go here and there to not only mix things up at home to keep up morale, but even more so to support our hospitality community. Eating for a good cause? Sign us up.