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visitor seeks charlotte NC's best local fare

Hi Charlotte hounds,

I've been searching around this board but all the 'best' posts for Charlotte seem to be about special occasions and so on. I'm looking for 3 recommendations of things I need to try when I am there for business in a few weeks. I live in NYC so I'm not after your best pizza or thai or fusion etc. I'm after real deal hopefully not too expensive must eats. BUT I wont have a car so I ask you to go easy on my wallet in terms of cab fare. Oh and I'll be staying uptown. Thanks so much I'm really looking forward to my brief trip.

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  1. -Ratcliffe on the Green on Tryon. Try the tasting menu - it's a great value. Local ingredients and they usually have pork belly from a local farm - Grateful Growers Farm. You must have some local pig while you are here - we love the pig.

    -Lulu on Central. Not far from downtown - just southeast of it. As I've said many times, it's my personal favorite in town. Southern food w/ a French twist. They have a Lulu burger that rivals nyc's The Spotted Pig's burger. Lulu's has housemade pimento cheese, sweet jalapeno relish, a fried green tomato all on a lovely challah roll. I've always loved their moules frites (choice between thai, portuguese or mariniere).

    -Price's Chicken Coop. Bon Appetit & Gourmet are big fans as are many locals. I've never been and it gets mixed reviews here. It's take out fried chicken w/ all the fixins.

    -Mert's Heart & Soul, uptown. Soul/Southern food.

    Enjoy your visit!

    4 Replies
      1. re: lynnlato

        Just to make it clear that Price's is take-out and $Cash$ only . Closed Sunday and Monday. Put me down as someone who can't understand the hype about Price's. It is good fried chicken, but the best in the South?

        1. re: lynnlato

          Heartily second Mert's. I'd also recommend Alexander Michael's on 9th and Graham, very cozy and historic place - one of the last we have. The wait staff there is awesome and they have more than just pub grub - you do have to try their fried pickles, though.

          1. re: lynnlato

            Zada Jane's is really good. Its close to Penguin off of Central Ave. Its bright and lively in there. The biscuits and apple butter are great! They have good breakfast and lunch and purchase their produce from locally farms in NC. The mimosa's are the best!!

          2. Also not too far is Penguin for fried pickles and great burgers. Get the burger "Southern style" with mustard, slaw, onions and chili.

            3 Replies
            1. re: HungryGrayCat

              I keep hearing that i need slaw/chili on everything, I love that idea, this is a standard caronlias' hot dog treatment too right?

              1. re: eatyououtofhouseandhome

                Yes it is. It's not chili like you're probably used to though; it's more like chili "sauce" so not too messy to eat.

                For a good Southern-style hot dog that you can walk to, try Green's Lunch.

                1. re: eatyououtofhouseandhome

                  We put it on burgers too, with mustard also appearing as a part of the mixture. If you see a burger described as a Carolina Burger, it will be topped with mustard, chili and slaw.

              2. thanks everybody! I'll see what I can do while I'm here.

                1. - Mert's is top of the list. Excellent soul/southern fare. Good lunch or dinner. (214 N College St)
                  - Blue is a good upscale spot for Mediterranean / Middle Eastern fare. Also has a bar full of hip young things and live jazz on the weekends. (5th & College)
                  - Dish is another southern comfort food spot a short distance away from uptown. Good chicken & dumplings, etc. (1220 Thomas Ave )
                  - Not really dinner, but Press is a comfortable wine bar with apps to share like cheese plates, etc. (333 W. Trade St.)
                  - Rira is an excellent Irish pub with decent pub grub. (Tryon & 5th)

                  1. Mert's was a great suggestion, 2 blocks from my hotel. Totally great eaten in my hotel room while wearing a robe and watch cable.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: eatyououtofhouseandhome

                      Were else did you eat? Im curious to here about it.

                      1. re: tcamclt

                        That was really about it, I was in and out of the queen city super fast, I had terrible bar-b-que at the airport but what was I thinking anyway?