7 College Bars and Restaurants That Local College Students Love

Check Out These Popular College Bars in Charlotte, NC

7 College Bars in Charlotte

The city of Charlotte, NC is home to a wide variety of colleges and universities. UNC Charlotte, Davidson College, and Queens University of Charlotte are just several prestigious institutions that call the city their home. Because the town is a buzzing metropolis, students can enjoy lunch and dinner at numerous restaurants around town. 

Do you have a friend or family member returning to college in the fall? Treat them with a virtual GiftYa card. GiftYa cards are completely customizable, and can be applied to a number of different restaurants around Charlotte. Whether your loved one is a sushi fan or an avid burger lover, they will enjoy using their GiftYa card at their favorite restaurant in Charlotte, NC. 


Johnny Burrito

Casual college spot serving delicious burritos and nachos to hungry students

Check out the Firecracker Chicken Burrito. Image courtesy of Yelp.


301 S Tryon St, Suite 55, Uptown

Looking for the best burrito in Charlotte, NC? Johnny Burrito is a popular hub for burritos, nacho salad, and more delicious foods that will fill you up after a long day of classes. Every Tuesday and Friday, you can also stop in for some homemade tamales. You can select your choice of ingredients from a number of rice, beans, protein, and cold fillings. Chips, salsa, and guacamole are also available as small side dishes. If you end up saving enough room for dessert, add a moon pie or oatmeal cream cookie to finish off your meal. 

“The food is absolutely delicious. I had the tamales with pork and red sauce which were delicious. I topped them with beans, rice, mushrooms, and several types of hot sauces. I finished about half and ate the rest for dinner.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Johnny Burrito. 


Little Mama’s

Laidback restaurant offering a hearty selection of Italian food

Treaty yourself to a hearty Italian dish. Image courtesy of Yelp.


4521 Sharon Rd, South Park

In the mood for some hearty, traditional Italian food? Stop by Little Mama’s in SouthPark. Inspired by old homestyle Italian restaurants in New England from the 60’s and 70’s, this restaurant will transport you back to the good old days. 

Little Mama’s offers a variety of Italian foods, including pasta, parmesan combos, and entrees. The Penne Broccoli & Chicken offers a savory combination of roasted chicken breast, broccoli florets, and penne pasta. The classic Chicken Parm features crispy chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, and tomato sauce. In addition to their hearty selection of Italian food, Little Mama’s offers a full cocktail, wine, and beer list. Whatever meal you choose, you are sure to leave full and satisfied. 

“I tried their Chicken Parmesan, and a side of Zuppa di Giorno...which was this creamy soup w/ Cauliflower. Well, am happy to say that both were Delicioso! In fact, I need to add that this was one of the best, yummiest Chicken Parmesan I've had in Charlotte! I loved their complimentary bun as well, and struggled not to have more than one.” - Yelp Review

Nakato Japanese Restaurant

Popular steakhouse in University City offering delicious meals prepared by Hibachi Chefs

Enjoy a plate of the Spicy Tuna Roll. Image courtesy of Yelp.


8601 University Executive Park Dr, University City

Nakato is a popular Japanese restaurant in University City known for its dazzling Hibachi grills and extensive sushi selection. Want to start your meal off with an appetizer? Try the Seaweed Salad or the Tuna Tataki. Up next, it’s time to order your sushi. The Spiderman Roll is filled with fried soft-shell crab, cucumber, and spicy aioli. For something a little crispier, try the Pacific Fried Sushi filled with crab stick, avocado, and yellowtail. Nakato also offers a wide assortment of hot appetizers and combinations. Hibachi, of course, is also offered. 

“I love when the chefs are creative and make dinner a real show. I had shrimp, scallops and squid. The seafood was fresh, seasoned and cooked perfectly. I would highly recommend this place and certainly come back to try other menu items.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Nakato Japanese Restaurant. 

Edgewater Bar & Grill

Contemporary restaurant located inside Hilton University Place

Share a charcuterie board with some friends. Image courtesy of Yelp


8629 JM Keynes Dr, University City

Located inside the Hilton University Place Charlotte, the Edgewater Bar and Grille offers a hearty selection of contemporary dishes with a Southern twist. You can stop by the restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether you want to enjoy a nice meal out with your partner or have some drinks with friends, you are sure to find a meal that leaves you feeling full and satisfied. 

If you’re coming with a group of friends, order one of their shared plates. The Southern Tenders are hand breaded and marinated in buttermilk. They also come with a hearty selection of fries. The Smoked Pork Rolls also make a great appetizer for your group. To finish your meal off, try the Ultimate Chocolate Cake or the Pumpkin Harvest Cheesecake. These sweet desserts are sure to make a satisfying finish to your meal. 

“Located in the Hilton University Place this is a fantastic hotel bar and even restaurant. The staff worked with a huge sense of urgency and awareness during a very busy night. The chicken quesadilla was one of the best I have had. The drink was of good strength and water refilled without having to ask.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Edgewater Bar & Grill. 


Boardwalk Billy’s Raw Bar and Ribs

Award-winning BBQ restaurant featuring shrimp tacos, burgers, and more

Fill yourself up with a bacon cheeseburger and some fried chicken. Image courtesy of Yelp


9005 JM Keynes Dr, University City

Boardwalk Billy’s offers a fine selection of fresh seafood and award-winning BBQ entrees. Guests can sit on the outside patio that just overlooks the lake as they enjoy some craft beer and slow-smoked Eastern Carolina BBQ pulled pork. Or you can try some Buffalo Wings, which were voted best in the city of Charlotte. Boardwalk Billy’s also offers an eclectic selection of sauces including Sweet Baby Ray’s, Chipotle Citrus, and Thai Sweet Chili. 

“The food here is fantastic. We got the cheeseburger and shrimp tacos. The cheeseburger was cooked exactly how I wanted it Med rare as requested, juicy, flavorful and not overwhelming. The tacos were cooked just right and very delicious.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Boardwalk Billy’s Raw Bar. 

Kindred Restaurant

Stylish hot spot offering casual sidewalk seating

Pictured above are the Crispy Oysters in dill yogurt and calabrian chile oil. Image courtesy of Yelp


131 N Main St, Davidson

If you’re in the mood for something upscale, yet laid back, stop by the Kindred. Sit back and relax as you enjoy some Scallops alla Plancha or the Squid Ink Conchiglie. Bringing the kids? Kindred offers delicious kids meals such as Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders, Grilled Cheese, Cheeseburger, and Pasta. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with a beer, such as the Burlesque Bitters or the Winter Melon Bitters. Ready for some dessert? Order the Peach Galette or the Milk Bread Cinnamon Roll. Even if it isn’t your birthday, you can also enjoy some Chocolate Birthday Cake. 

“The grub was all delicious and it was a nice change of pace to still be able to get some food from a favorite place. Really appreciate their hard work and being there to serve the public so let's serve them and as many other small businesses and restaurants as we can during this crisis.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Kindred Restaurant. 

The Fig Tree Restaurant

Upscale eatery in Elizabeth known for its sophisticated atmosphere

The Fig Tree Restaurant is the perfect destination for celebrating a special occasion. Image courtesy of Yelp.


1601 E 7th St, Elizabeth

Celebrating a special occasion? Make a reservation at the Fig Tree Restaurant. Appetizing and upscale meals like the Sea Bass and Lobster and Veal Chop are featured on the menu as entrees. The Filet Mignon and Fettuccine Pomodoro are also fine and delicious options to choose for dinner. The Fig Tree Restaurant also offers a wide selection of French, Austrian, German, Italian, Spanish, and American sparkling wines. For dessert, you also have a fine choice of cake, pastries, and ice cream. 

“My family and I got to enjoy the finest dining from the comfort of our dining room. My fiancé isn't keen on lobster but was raving over Fig Tree's Maine Lobster dish. His son doesn't particularly enjoy grains or veggies but he got the Lamb Tenderloin with the Pistachio-Mint cous cous and asparagus... Well, lets just say that the plate was licked spotless. I got the Fettuccine Arrabiata and it was so good that I had to share with my fiancé.”

Purchase a GiftYa card for The Fig Tree Restaurant.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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