Now that you’re living in Charlotte, North Carolina, it’s time to get better acquainted with your surroundings. That includes checking out the local culinary scene. You might think that North Carolina is all barbecue and soul food, but start exploring some of the dining options in Charlotte, and you’ll quickly see that’s not the case. Start with these dining and nightlife spots that we think outshine the rest.
American and Japanese Food Collide: The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
It doesn’t seem like burgers and sushi would go together—or maybe even should—but The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar proves otherwise. Instead of forcing its customers to choose between American comfort food and the Japanese version, they put both burgers and sushi on the same menu—and sometimes the two even overlap in a category known as “burgushi.” Try the Cowfish Bento Box with a mini burger and four-piece sushi roll if you simply can’t pick one or the other.
Get Your BBQ On: Mac’s Speed Shop
At least one stop on your self-guided food-tasting tour should be a typical Southern barbecue restaurant, and Mac’s Speed Shop is just that restaurant. Its chefs are probably known best for their pulled pork, which comes stuffed inside of tacos, sandwiches, and wraps, or piled atop platters. Locals also highly recommend the tender brisket and, on the side, a serving of classic green bean casserole.
Guy Fieri Approved: Cabo Fish Taco
When culinary bigwig Guy Fieri has something good to say about a restaurant, everyone should listen. And he has only good things to say about Cabo Fish Taco, a restaurant he featured on his Food Network Show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. He got an insider look at the taco-making process and was lucky enough to sample the final product—which you can do now, too. Try the barbecue mahi taco and the corn salsa.
Sip Cocktails on the Patio: Soul Gastrolounge
If all you’re really craving is a stiff drink and a pretty view, then Soul Gastrolounge can accommodate. Bartenders put out artisanal cocktails in a softly lit lounge area, but when the sun is shining, feel free to sip yours on the patio. Locals appreciate the innovative dinner menu almost as much as the drinks, and highly recommend you try some of the tapas and sushi. The lamb lollipop, Asian glazed pork belly tacos, and sashimi tuna tacos all garner rave reviews.
Where Chess is Larger Than Life: VBGB Beer Hall and Garden
When locals want good beer and a rowdy atmosphere, they know where to go: VBGB Beer Hall and Garden. The bartenders pour craft beer from the ever-rotating taps and dole out mixed drinks, and that’s only half of the fun. With ample indoor and outdoor space, the beer hall and garden provides games to play with friends, like typical corn hole or giant Connect Four, Jenga, and chess.