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Oct 20, 2007 08:49 AM

Three days in Charlotte - suggestions please!

My husband and I are traveling to Charlotte the first weekend in Nov. for work and pleasure. We are staying downtown and need ideas for dinner, lunch and brunch around town.

(1) On Thursday night we will be a little lower energy having flown all day and probably wish to stay in downtown city center area. Are there any good bistros or such? I am very adventurous, my husband a little less so but I can usually pacify him if there is something with beef or pork on the menu. :-)

(2) On Friday we will be at a business meeting somewhere near Billy Graham Parkway and South Tyron Street?? Are there any good places for lunch fairly close by? We will have an hour or so to get a working lunch and would like to sit down and attempt to relax between work sessions. We are very open to any ideas here and will have a group of 3 or 4 people.

(3) Work is finished and we are on our own to explore the city on Friday night and Saturday!!! We are staying downtown but would entertain any suggestion around town as we will have a car! We would love to have a nice dinner and either casual or upscale will work - we are flexible ---ideas??? Having never been to Charlotte it would be nice to discover a local secret spot. Thanks for your suggestions!!

(4) Breakfast on Saturday downtown area - we are at the Marriott???

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  1. Prices Chicken Coop is a MUST for great fried chicken. Nothing fancy,just good fried bird.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Spreadhead

      Yumm!! We won't miss it! Where is it located?

          1. re: mommy3esq

            Just be aware that Price's is take-out only. You can't eat there. There are a lot of restaurants in Charlotte with good food and lots of atmosphere. Just do a search on this site. Read brentk's posts.

    2. On Thursday, consider Ratcliffe on the Green in the 435 South Tryon Street ( The chef works with local produces when planning his menu, sothe ingredients are fresh and often organic. You will always find pork and beef on the menu in Charlotte!

      Sadly, the are where your meeting is being held (the Embassy Suites?) is not a good place for food. It's more office-park central than retail. This would be a good day to drive to go to Price's Chicken Coop. Or, if you can fight the traffic, take Woodlawn (Billy Graham changes it's name to Woodlawn on the oher side of I-77) to South Blvd, take a right, and go about 2 miles (past Tyvola Rd) to Bill Spoon's Barbecue. It's (IMO) the closest to thing to Eastern NC cue in the city. Anyway you look at it, an hour will be tight here because the Billy Graham/Tyvola area is always congested. If you go to Prices, you'll have to picnic because that's take-out only. If you want fancier, your best bet it to go back to the city center.

      Other good places in "uptown" for dinner: Aquavina, Coco Osteria, Arpa (for tapas), Sonoma Modern. Not far from the city center on Elizabeth Avenue is The Customshop (reservations a must) or Terra on Providence Rd. Walking around the city is nice on weekends - visit the Mint Museum of Craft & Design, the Bodyworks at Discovery Place, hang out at the park at The Green.

      For breakfast, our favorite local spot, The Coffee Cup, has moved to a new building so I am not sure it's as good as it used to be, but they make the best grits and biscuits in town. They are now in a nsty looking office building at the corner of McDowel and Third.

      You can get a good, bad for you hot dog a Greens (4th street between Church and Poplar) or I like Matts Chicago Dog, also at the Park on the Green.

      4 Replies
      1. re: hazardnc

        Great suggestions! I had heard that Ratcliffe on the Green was a must and I am really looking forward to the fresh local ingredients. I will checkout the other ideas - esp. the Customshop sounds intriguing. My husband loves biscuits and gravy so we will have to hunt down the Coffee Cup in its new location. I appreciate all the great suggestions! I am disappointed that there is nothing wonderful near our meeting site but we may just have to make the trip to Bill Spoons! Thanks again!

        1. re: mommy3esq

          Speaking strictly from personal experience, customshop is a bore. If you're heading in that direction, I'd really recommend Carpe Diem ( instead, which is just next door. For my money, the food and atmosphere were way better than customshop.

          1. re: concordcourtney

            I second Carpe Diem. It's a local gem and always wonderful.

            1. re: lynnlato

              I third Carpe Diem. Wonderful food, and a truly wonderful interior. We had them cater our last Christmas party.

      2. For your lunch near Billy Graham, if you go down Tryon towards downtown, you will come to an intersection with Clanton Road. Take a right and go up to the next light. Bedder, Bedder, & Moore is there and it's a great little lunch delicatessen place. Another good lunch place is Azteca Mexican Restaurant, very close to your BG Pkway/Tryon intersection. It's actually attached to a Days Inn but gets GREAT reviews.

        1. Lunch suggestions are perfect - thanks! Carpe Diem looks amazing on the website - the menu is impressive as well - perfect!!!

          1. I was in Charlotte last week and had an excellent meal at Blue Restaurant and Bar. It was a vendor sponsored event so I didn't see the check, but their menu is on-line at

            5 Replies
            1. re: LabRat

              I did hear that Blue was worth a look - the live music catches my attention as much as the appetizer menu. I thought it might be nice for a light bite and a cocktail. Any other info on Blue?

              1. re: mommy3esq

                It's a very pretty restaurant, they certainly put a lot of work into it.

                1. re: southernitalian

                  Blue is alright. Nice/bustling scene, on my one visit the food was pricey, good but not mind-blowing. Other suggestions....

                  Uptown/close to your hotel:
                  SOUL FOOD: Simmons Fourth Ward a soul food/hole in the wall for delicious fried pork chops and charming staff. Or Merts Heart & Soul (closer to your hotel and less hole in the wall feel. Good spot for brunch)

                  ARPA, nice selection of Tapas. Right near Trade and Tryon in the heart of things.

                  COPPER, upscale Indian/fusion place in Dilworth (about 10 min. from uptown) on East Boulevard. Not super pricey compared to white table cloth scene but pricier than your local Indian spot. Excellent, creative food.

                  CARPE DIEM In Elizabeth, also close, less than 10 min.

                  FIG TREE in Elizabeth on 7th St., also less than 10 min. Good, fine dining a bit overpriced. But your husband could definitely get some meat -- maybe even elk as they had on the menu last time I was there. It's also in a lovely old house. Better than the uptown chains in charm and feel.

                  LULUs... about 10 min. away from uptown on Central Ave. in Plaza Midwood. Small French-ish bistro with delicious, extragavant burger and other nice plates. small place. Yummy for dinner or brunch.

                  Also good for brunch; Pewter Rose, on South Boulevard in Dilworth. Each brunch starts off with a hot butterscotch chip scone. Yummy yuppie spot with Southern eccentric touches.

                  1. re: keech6

                    Let me second LULU's. We enjoyed it so much on our first visit that we returned the next night and enjoyed it again.

                2. re: mommy3esq

                  I thought Blue had good food, but awful service. It took them 4 tries to get us the right bottle of wine. And though it was not crowded, we had to wait way too long at every stage of the meal for a server.I've only been once of course, but the food wasn't great enough for us to take another chance. Plenty of other good recs listed here to try.