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Jan 23, 2011 03:53 PM

West/SW Charlotte (NC) eats?

My family moved to the West Charlotte side of town (from AZ) six months ago. We cook at home almost always but would like to start sampling nearby non-chain eateries. Other than Pinky's, where can we go for good but casual dining? Especially interested in really good East Asian food. (Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Singaporean... I have a weakness/fondness for noodle dishes especially)


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  1. Can you be more specific about where you're looking and why? Are you visiting? Will you have a car? West and southwest Charlotte isn't the greatest part of town for food. East Asian means Indian? Saffron is an Indian restaurant off S. Tryon Street near I-485 that is good....technically, that is SW Charlotte.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jla1960

      edited my OP. Thanks for the recc on Saffron, I'd seen it on another post on the board and it's already on the list :)

      1. re: micapu

        Ok, other places you might consider (although not on the west side) are Thai Taste, Copper, Monsoon and Vietnam Grill.

        Thai Taste
        324 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

    2. Get a big bowl of Pho at Saigon Palace on South Blvd. Fantastic stuff!

      Saigon Palace
      5215 South Blvd Ste B, Charlotte, NC 28217

      8 Replies
      1. re: GodfatherofLunch

        the only friends we've made in town so far rave about Saigon Palace! Thank you for the recc, we'll have to check it out.

        Is the West/SW side really such a food desert here in Charlotte? I'd hoped there were a few good hole-in-the-wall mom & pop East Asian places to patronize near our home...

        Saigon Palace
        5215 South Blvd Ste B, Charlotte, NC 28217

        1. re: micapu

          It is a bit of a wasteland, sadly. We lived over that way 15 years ago and it hasn't progressed much since then. There is a decent Cuban place on S.Tryon/York Rd. just south of Carowinds Blvd. It's called A Piece of Havana. They have good cuban sandwiches, media noche and empanadas. Also a nice bar and decent decor. Great service too. It's isn't Miami, but it'll do in a pinch and is family-owned.

          A Piece of Havana
          11126 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28273

          1. re: lynnlato

            I used to work out there (off of Westinghouse, way out) and it really is a bit of a wasteland with the exception of Saffron. Mac's Speed Shop has a location out there. Charlotte has a lot of excellent Asian food but not so much in the SW side of the city.

            Mac's Speed Shop
            2511 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

            1. re: southernitalian

              I forgot about Mac's opening a location out there. Good suggestion, SI!

              Over near McMullen Creek Shopping center there are quite a few Asian options and it's not a far drive from SW Charlotte. There is Wan Fu (Chinese), Thai House and Viet-Thai Noodle House and Bombay Grille.

              I heard a dirty rumor that Bangkok Ocha is closed - I hope this isn't true. Does anyone know?

              1. re: lynnlato

                Totally a little dirty rumor. I just called and they're open. Probably already packed at 11:11 am.

                1. re: southernitalian

                  Good! There lunches were so busy so that's why I found it so surprising.

                2. re: lynnlato

                  any specific reccs for Mac's? Having read on here how the locals find Charlotte 'cue to be lacking, I wouldn't mind knowing what the best or can't miss options are. Thanks!

                  1. re: micapu

                    Mac's is a decent 'cue place. I haven't been to the new location on the SW side, but assuming it's the same as their Southend location it's a good and well-priced meal. I do like their brisket and their wings are pretty good. The atmosphere is lively and casual. It's not "serious 'cue" by any means but it will satisfy the craving. I think McKoy's Smokehouse has a slight edge over Mac's. It's up on Old Pineville Rd., just around the corner from the original Mac's location on South Blvd. But Charlotte certainly isn't known for having great 'cue.

                    In reading your post below, I'd say that Mac's definitely fits the bill for what you're looking for. Enjoy!

        2. It's not Asian but La Wans Soul Food restaurant located at
          7705 South Tryon Street is pretty good.

          1. Near Pinky's on Morehead is Savor Cafe, a good little Southern bistro type place. Its very good. Right next door to the World Famous Open Kitchen, which I could only recommend if you're from Charlotte....

            As stated there really isn't a whole lot in West Charlotte, but LaWan's Soul Food on S. Tryon at Arrowood is delicious.

            Cuisine Malaya, just outside of downtown, is a great Malaysian restaurant. They also have pretty good sushi, but go for the Malay dishes. By the way, if you like things spicy, they usually won't make it hot unless they know can always get some chilli paste on the side.

            88 China Bistro on E. 4th St. is one of the best Chinese restaurants in the city.

            Sadly, great noodle dishes are hard to find here. I keep hoping a noodle shop will open up, but none have yet. Korean is also lacking...

            Cuisine Malaya
            1411 Elizabeth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204

            5 Replies
            1. re: billyjack

              Really Billy? There are 4 or 5 Vietnamese places that routinely get recommended on this site for their pho and other dishes. The problem is the OP's location in SW Charlotte. He or she will need to drive a little, but there are plenty of great Asian places in Charlotte. I passed a Korean place on Independence the other day on my way to Super G. Does anyone know anything about it. BTW, the pho place in the Super G shopping center still isn't open.

              1. re: southernitalian

                You must have misunderstood what I was saying....and I never saw SW Charlotte, I saw West Charlotte and Pinkys. So I'm thinking Morehead, West Blvd, Wilkinson area. If I lived near Pinky's I'd rather drive to Elizabeth than Ayrsley, hence my recommendations.

                I also never mentioned Vietnamese - it is one of my favorite cuisines and I"m a big supporter of most of the places in town (I frequently recommend Vietnam Grille on here). In fact I love all of Charlotte's Asian offerings and I agree there are plenty of great Asian restaurants. Just not in what I consider West Charlotte.

                The Korean place on Independence is Chowon Garden. Its been mentioned a couple of times here, you should try it. There is also one in Windsor Square in Matthews. And I believe PePeRo is still open on Monroe Rd. Those are the only 3 Korean restaurants I know of, surprising given the Korean population here.

                1. re: billyjack

                  thank you all, we'll add Savor Cafe & LaWan's to the list. We're just a couple of miles N from the airport, so we're definitely in West Charlotte but I figured I'd ask about SW as well, since maybe the demographics in Steele Creek might've driven a few places to open up nearby. We really do cook almost all of the time, have a tight budget & a young, picky child. We hate chain restaurants and would just like to know of a few places we can pop into/get takeout from on the rare days we're too tired to cook or we're out shopping in the Costco area. Places where we don't have to dress up, fight crowds, or drive across town to get a good meal ;)

                  1. re: micapu

                    You might want to venture across the river into Belmont. I live in west Charlotte and there are several casual places in downtown Belmont, as well as Gastonia. We like Sammy's Neighborhood Pub, Old Stone Steakhouse, and Jax in Belmont, and Sakura and Lotus in Gastonia.

                    1. re: micapu

                      Did someone already mention BBQ King's chicken? Their fish sandwich is good too. Barbecue is good if you want a sandwich for lunch, its not the type people wax poetic about but its good. Anyway, you're close to one of the few remaining drive-ins, check it out.