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Any good Charlotte restaurants for solo diners?

I'll be in Charlotte for a few days for business this July and want to know good places for eating dinner solo. My company is cheap so the entrees should average under $20. I eat almost everything except red meat--love Mexican, American, Italian, French, Malaysian, etc. As long as the food is good and the place is friendly to solo diners, I'd love to hear your recommenations.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. What are are you staying? Cuisine Malaya on Elizabeth definitely fits your price requirements and has a varied offering; I like the mango shrimp, the basil beef and the roti canai. I would also recommend Copper (Indian with a gourmet twist and maybe too pricey at dinner), i which is an asian restaurant with very interesting entrees. If you're not from the south, Lexington BBQ is a don't miss, while inexpensive, it is an hour drive from Charlotte. I would do any of those solo. In general, I would be less inlcined to dine alone in uptown, but okay with that most anywhere else in Charlotte.

    http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/...
    http://www.cuisine-malaya.com/menu.html

    1 Reply
    1. re: jlwnc

      thanks for the suggestions! i'll be staying near the airport but don't mind driving for good food.

    2. If you're uptown and do want to stay there, I'd recommend some places with a fun bar atmosphere where you can still get a full menu. Maybe Arpa for tapas. Their lounge is very nice. Also, I've eaten alone at the Cosmos Cafe, though it was for lunch; they have a wide range of prices. Nikko has a nice sushi bar you can sit at (just outside of uptown) but you'd very quickly hit your budget there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: concordcourtney

        why didn't i think of it sooner? bars are a good bet (for the obvious reasons). i'be been to nikko the last time i was in town and enjoyed it (i'm not from the nc area; is that area considered uptown?). now i want to see all the other great restaurants that charlotte has to offer. what type of cuisine does cosmos cafe offer?

        1. re: will_forfood

          I believe Nikko is officially in the South End. But I work uptown and we get to Nikko for lunch some days in just a couple minutes.

          Cosmos Cafe has a little bit of everything (everything in the Cosmos?). They have decent, basic sushi, and small plates of all different ethnic persuasions. It's a fun, hip sort of vibe: colorful interior, fun music.

          http://www.cosmoscafe.com/

      2. love mexican?
        well... the best mexican i have ever eaten outside of chope's bar and grill in new mexico is called tacqeria mexico on south blvd. don't go there if you are expecting anything fancy or if you want to be in a mexican joint with any other gringos. you won't be disappointed. it helps if you know a little spanish as the wait staff can speak very little english.

        4 Replies
        1. re: scpierce

          I'd second Taqueria Mexico. A real hole in the wall on South Blvd. near where Arrow wood road intersects it. Great authentic mexican. Friendly people. I love the chicken mole, and the Chile Rojo. Also, try Mert's Heart & Soul is southern food. Its downtown & quite good. Please try Price's Chicken Coop on Camden Rd. just off of West Blvd. http://www.priceschickencoop.com/
          A real Charlotte institution. Take-out only. The place is usually jammed, but they get you in & out quickly. Best fried chicken! They do more of a lunch business, but are opened in the early evening. I usually pick one up w/ a tea & head to nearby Latta Park in the Dilworth neighborhood for a great outdoor meal.

          1. re: scpierce

            you don't know how happy this makes me! having moved from l.a. to a city that doesn't offer authentic mexican food (the way you describe, which is the way i like), i'm definitely there! do they serve alcohol?

            1. re: will_forfood

              Just beer - negra modelo, dos equis, etc. And anyone who raves about Taqueria Mexico is right - I need to get my TM fix at least 1/week! La Unica used to be a favorite when it first opened on Central - but haven't heard anything good about it lately.

              As for solo dining, I find most places in the city are pretty easy to eat alone - like you just mentioned earlier, eat at the bar. Bartenders are usually a friendly bunch and a good one will make sure your entertained.

              My recs? Downtown or nearby - Carpe Diem, Lulu, Ratcliffe on the Green has been getting good press. If you're looking for a casual atmosphere, definitely check out the Plaza Midwood neighborhood - Dish - good southern, comfort food or the Penguin, the best burgers in town. They serve fried pickles (trust me, they're good) and their jukebox is like no other in town - think punk, rockabilly, 80's alternative.

              Hope that helps.

              1. re: pinogirl14

                Oh! we just went to Carpe Diem this past weekend for the first time and loved it. I remember taking special notice of the bar on the way out and thinking how nice it was. In fact, we mentioned returning just to eat/drink in the bar.

          2. Hope I'm not too late. I saw the posts about Taqueria Mexico and thought I should chime in. Taqueria Mexico is great, but closer to uptown (and me) is La Casa de Las Enchiladas on South Blvd near Clanton. It is authentic Mexican, so says my Mexican co-worker (my clue was the entire menu was in Spanish--thank goodness for the photos of each item). Luckily I do speak Negra Modelo.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Slappy

              Something else not to miss at Tacqueria Mexico is the seafood soup; it's the most expensive thing on the menu, at $10, but it'd run $15 or $20 anywhere else and it's fantastic.

              You might also try Ben Thanh for Vietnamese food. Cusine Malaya is closed right now pending remodeling, but it re-opens on the 28th of July and I'd second it; it's some of the best sushi in town and very reasonably priced to boot.