Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >
Feb 20, 2007 12:54 PM

Diner or Dive within 1 hour of Charlotte, NC

I am looking for great diners or "dives" nothing fancy, just great home cooked food and owners with charisma to be featured on a national cable show. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. This is a great opportunity for a small business but will certainly not spoil anything about it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Not sure about Charlotte, but Bell Brothers in Winston-Salem is as good as it gets.

    1. A short list of suggestions:
      In Charlotte: The Penguin (sounds like exactly what you're looking for), Mert's Heart and Soul, the Coffee Cup (of course), Hugo's Diner (Charlotte Observer Helen Schwab discovered it has a really interesting menu late at night), the Landmark, South 51, and Bar-B-Q King.
      Near Charlotte: Keaton's in Statesville for a start, although I could probably also come up with a long list.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathleen purvis

        I'm going to check out The Penguin, but ideally it would be outside of Charlotte, so we don't have two stories in the same town. If you have more ideas for places outside Charlotte, I'd love to hear about them. We're looking for really good home cooking, a diner type place that has been around for a long time and good characters with a good story.
        Thanks for your help.

        1. re: kathleen purvis

          Also, we can't do any more BBQ, alathough I love the look of Keaton's.

        2. Are you looking for a meat and 3 kinda place? or anything as long as it has character?

          3 Replies
          1. re: jlwnc

            Yes a meat and three kind of place and I'm leaning towards Mabry's Cafe in Gaffney. It can't be in Charlotte, we already have a place there.


            1. re: Bryna

              I strongly urge a visit to Bell Bros. even if for personal enjoyment and not the show.

              1. re: jlwnc

                I have never been a fan of bell bros. Always perceived it as heavy and greasy the one or two time i went. Did not think it worth the diversion. I would try meta's or murphy(fried fish or the pork chop)

          2. There are several little diners in Cherryville, NC which is about 45 minutes to an hour west of Charlotte. I lived there for a few years and the "Shake Shop" is the best. Great burgers and always crowded!

            1 Reply
            1. re: anna65

              Black's Grill and Family Carry Out are pretty good too.

            2. Shake Shop - Spindale, NC
              M&R Barbecue - Granite Quarry, NC
              Beacon Drive -In - Spartanburg, SC