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72 Hours in Charlotte: I Need Neighborhood Recs!!

I will be in Charlotte this upcoming weekend and will be meeting friends coming in from around the country. We will be staying at the Aloft Charlotte Uptown at the EpiCentre.

I am looking for recommendations for can't miss places. Any and all meals are welcome (breakfast through dinner). We would actually prefer local gems rather than 5-star places. We are willing to drive upwards of 20 minutes outside the city, but anything within the city limits is a plus. Many thanks for all recommendations!

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  1. If you do a search you'll find lots of suggestions. As a word of caution, Charlotte is a pretty large city, and can be a confusing place to navigate. Here's a thread to get you started:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619151

    5 Replies
    1. re: carolinadawg

      Thanks for the post. I will definitely look at this link and the others on this board. Price's looks good as well. Any other local favorites that might not have been previously discussed? Any "must tries" before leaving Charlotte?

      1. re: liebersh

        Some of my personal favs are Dim Sum, on Central Avenue for dim sum (duh!), The Penguin for burgers and fried pickles, Lulu for french inspired, Nikko for sushi, Fran's on Park Road for updated home cooking, Commonhouse for pub grub, Osteria Coco in uptown for italian, Old Hickory House on N. Tryon Street for bbq, La Unica on both South Blvd. and Central Ave for mexican, Greens Lunch uptown for hot dogs, Simmons on Graham Street (uptown) for soul food. Also Yn (pronounced "wine") is a cool wine bar, although rather hard to find. Its next to a restaurant named 131 Main, on East Blvd. in the dilworth neighborhood.

        1. re: carolinadawg

          Gotta add Pho Hoa on Central (as opposed to Pho an Hoa also on Central) for Pho (duh!).

          1. re: southernitalian

            These are very helpful suggestions. I suspect our mornings will be filled with dining out at various breakfast venues, so all of your suggestions for quality nearby breakfast recommendations are most appreciated. Other than that, thanks again for all of your neighborhood gems. I suspect we will try out many of them. Please keep 'em coming and I will report back when I return early next week!

            1. re: liebersh

              For breakfast, it depends on what you're looking for. Greystone, on South Blvd. is good for a basic, diner style b'fast. Their biscuits are very good...try a fried chicken biscuit for a taste of the south. Zada Janes (previously mentioned by another poster) on Central Ave. is good for something more adventurous. And Cafe Monte, near Southpark mall is good for a more upscale , french cafe type experience.

    2. Is your time frame really just the weekend? Price's chicken coop is a can't miss place, but closed on weekends.

      1 Reply
      1. re: friek

        Actually, Price's is open 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Tuesday - Saturday. The OP should be aware its take out only. www.priceschickencoop.com

      2. Be aware the St. Patrick's Day parade is on Saturday. Lots of drunk college kids be make uptown a little rowdy.

        1. here are a few ideas in Charlotte, close to downtown/uptown:
          RiRas Irish Pub just re-opened on Tryon Street; Mert's Heart & Soul on College Street- you can walk to both of those from Aloft. In EpiCenter, Five Guys is great burgers if you haven't had elsewhere. Price's is great; Mac's Speed Shop is best BBQ in Charlotte, and great wings and beer, on South Blvd., Sullivan's steak house in South; Lulu Bistro on Central; Nikko Sushi also on South. Have fun!

          4 Replies
          1. re: ctbohmfalk

            I'm not really sure what I was trying to articulate when I typed "be make uptown a little rowdy" but you definitely DO NOT want to be anywhere near Ri Ra on Saturday. It will be mobbed with people partying after the parade well into the night. We were there this past weekend and had a great meal but a lot of the servers are very new, obviously very new to Ri Ra. Ours was a nervous wreck. I can't imagine you'd have much luck there on Saturday. Aside from being seriously underwhelemed with Price's, your other recs are solid.

            1. re: ctbohmfalk

              Has anyone been to Lulu since the chef change? Any recent reports?

              http://helendining.blogspot.com/2010/...

              1. re: HungryGrayCat

                Marc Jacksina, former co-owner & chef at Lulu, is now at Andrew Blairs and doing some VERY interesting stuff w/ executive Chef Blake. In fact, this would be the perfect place for the OP to check out with his friends. Andrew Blairs has an ecclectic menu (all kinds of deliciously crazy things) and a hip, clubby kind of vibe. It's comfortable and sofisticated all at the same time. Check it out:

                http://www.andrewblairs.com/

                1. re: HungryGrayCat

                  I was there this past Saturday and had the pork hash. It was ridiculously good. Pulled pork, sausage and bacon all from Grateful Growers. With onion and cherry peppers all topped with perfectly poached eggs. I think this topped the duck hash that they used to have on the menu. It was plentiful porky pleasure personified.

              2. From Uptown if you head down central ave to plaza midwood area you have a lot of options, often mentioned on this board
                Intermezzo- Pizza
                Penguin - fried pickles, dogs, open late
                Lulu
                Zada Janes - also has breakfast
                Cedarland - great falafel
                El Pulgarcito - pupusas
                some more options in that area:
                http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Char...