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Authentic ethnic of ANY ethnicity except N.C. , IN N.C.

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Hoo boy. My English teacher would not approve of my first post - not clear enough.

OK, I'm looking for authentic ethnic food IN N.C., specifically anywhere between and including Winston-Salem and Charlotte, but not looking for BBQ, liver pudding or any other authentic southern specialty. (altho I DO like such things, a lot.)

Authentic Mexican, Peruvian, Hungarian, Senegalese... but not North Carolinian.

Especially hoping to find places that haven't made their food "safe" for the average American eater - left out the offal, or the fermented fish, or half the spices - or "fused" it with something else just to be trendy.

Help me out, and if you ever come to Vermont I'll make you pancakes w/ maple syrup and fried Lebanon bologna on the side.

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  1. Charlotte has a lot of places...many of them are discussed here:


    Meskerem is a good Ethiopian restaurant in Charlotte as well.

    Here an older post for Winston-Salem that may help:


    Meskerem Restaurant
    601 S Kings Dr Ste P, Charlotte, NC 28204

    1. There are many Vietnamese places in Greensboro too. Have been to any of them lately so I can't make specific recs. There's a large Vietnamese population there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sue in Mt P

        There are also many excellent Vietnamese and Thai places in Charlotte which have been written about extensively on this board.

        1. re: Sue in Mt P

          These are what I love in Greensboro:
          Van Loi on High Point Rd for good Vietnamese, as well as chinese bbq. Across the street is Banh Mi Saigon, a great Vietnamese Sandwich shop ($3 sandwiches and so delicious!).
          There's also a Filipino place called Purple Yam in the Fanta City food court on Market street. Only been there twice, but so far so good. In that shopping center there's also Rice Cake, a korean place that I've been dying to go to (but for some reason haven't).

          For more Korean there's Seoul Garden further down on market; pricey but authentic from what I've seen, and a Korean buffet behind Wendover...forgot what it's called but i'll look it up. The buffet has it's down moments, but you can also get BBQ and so far I haven't been disappointed.

          Seoul Garden
          5318 W Market St Ste C, Greensboro, NC 27409

        2. I'm veg, so leaving out the offal is probably going to make me happy. Also, second Meskerem - try the lunch buffet, if you're looking for cheap and don't mind eating vegetarian.

          That aside, for Mexican in CLT, try Tres Amigos (formerly La Casa de las Enchiladas). Best I've had so far, beats out the La Unica chain and Taqueria Mexico, by my tongue at least.

          There are several Salvadorian papusarias a little further east of the above-mentioned stop, El Pulgarcito being the big hit. Best as a lunch spot. Good luck, and if you find something mind-blowing, let us know!

          1. Kathmandu, a Himalayan restaurant, in Asheville if you ever make you way to the western part of the state.

            1. In Winston-Salem, Las Estrellas is generally considered the most authentic Mexican food, and I agree it's very good. It's located just off I-40 on Silas Creek Parkway.

              There's a great German restaurant in Yadkinville called, oddly enough, The German Restaurant. Yes, I said Yadkinville, of all places! :)

              In Clemmons, there's a tiny taqueria across the street from Lowe's Foods. Not much to the place--just a counter and a few small tables--but their food is great and very authentic. Their carnitas are the best I've had, and the tamales are out of this world. And for the adventurous you can even get brain or tongue tacos!

              Las Estrellas
              845 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston Salem, NC 27127

              1. WInston-Salem is a hotbed of good mexican. Las Estrella is good not the best. To me the main benefit is you can get tacqueria food with beer.

                Just a few stoplights away is el rancho with lovely lengua, asada, carnitas etc. try the tacos and huaraches. The meat market across the street has good gorditas and tacos. Most mexican places will have menudo etc. On waughtown go to the place across from the food lion and el paisano across from the fire station. el paisano has great sopes and burritos.

                On the northside go to taco riendo on reynolda for great gorditas.

                For Vietnamese the rec below for Van Loi is on point. definitely worth the trip. get the pho or the duck leg soup. They have the traditional best Pho around. Banh Mi Saigon is good but i think Pakse is better for banh mi.

                Pakse Cafe
                827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406

                Las Estrellas
                845 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston Salem, NC 27127

                2 Replies
                1. re: quazi

                  Quazi, where is El Rancho? Never tried it, but I will now!

                  Edit to add: Google says Sprague St. Is this the one you're talking about?

                  El Rancho
                  629 S Hamilton St, Dalton, GA 30720

                  1. re: quazi

                    I actually just tried Pakse Cafe this past week, and they definitely are good. I'm not sure if I think they're necessarily better than Saigon, but they definitely are good. I can't tell which one I really like better, they both have good aspects.

                    Also, I don't know if anyone has pointed this out, but in Chapel Hill there's an Ethiopian restaurant on Weaver Dairy Road called Queen of Sheba. Pricey at dinner but great at lunch, and did I mention it's delicious!? It's a full spice, eat with your hands, amazing meal and I go there literally any time I can.
                    My favorites so far are the lunch menu's lamb (or was it goat....) and the tomato salad. Try the Ethiopian Tea if you stop by. Very good.

                    There's also a chinese restaurant that does Dim Sum on the weekends called Hong Kong Restaurant in Durham. I'd have to look up the address though.

                    Queen of Sheba's
                    1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

                    Pakse Cafe
                    827 W Florida St, Greensboro, NC 27406