Want to visit a place that has a little bit of everything? Charlotte, North Carolina, is the answer. This up and coming city is known for its old-meets-new vibe, along with its community feel. With that said, one area, in particular, has taken the best parts of the city and amplified it--South End.
One of the best ways to get acquainted with any city is its food scene--and boy, does South End have a good one. With local breweries and worldly eats, you’ll never get bored with South End cuisine. If you plan on dropping by, make sure to immerse yourself in some history and art and grab some food in between. Not sure where to go? Check out these recommendations!
For an eclectic food city like Charlotte, it’s natural to sample everything. Want an easy way to go about it? Get yourself a GiftYa card. With GiftYa, you can explore different cuisines with our many partnered restaurants. Know a foodie who wants to join? Get them one too!
101 W Worthington Ave I South End I barcelonawinebar.com
Craving a taste of something new but don’t feel like traveling across the globe to get it? We hear you. Incidentally, so do the owners of this unique South End. Wine bars are a quintessential part of Spanish culture, and Barcelona Wine Bar is passionate about staying true to it. So much so, they brought on a Barcelona expert to scour Charlotte’s local wine-sellers and breweries to assemble a collection reminiscent of the land. With over 400 wines to choose from--we’d say they’ve done an excellent job.
While they do have some mouth-watering choices for large plates, this restaurant is known for its tapas. Start with the Iberico ham and Manchego Croquettes or the Beef Tartare. Prefer plant-based options? There are plenty of options. Make a meal out of the classic Patatas Bravas, Eggplant Caponata, and Spanish Chickpea Cazuela.
Want to finish off with something sweet? Regulars love the Olive Oil Cake and Flan Catalana.
At the moment, Barcelona Wine Bar is open for takeout, outdoor, and indoor dining. Your safety is important to them, so rest assured, social distancing measures are in place.
“Food, ambiance, and service were all fantastic at Barcelona! First, the servers were very helpful to mark the menu with allergy-friendly items. We ordered exclusively tapas and loved everything we got--especially the Brussel Sprouts, Short Rib, Beet Salad, Sweet and Sour Fig Chorizo, and Spiced Beef Empanadas. The drive-by Gin and Tonic cart was both impressive and delicious. We will definitely return!” -Yelp Review
2135 Southend Dr. I South End I rootscafesouthend.com
Off to a day exploring Charlotte? Before you venture out to museums and historical sights, make sure you get in the most important meal of the day! For the ultimate breakfast in South End, Roots Cafe is the place to go.
An intimate space, you can expect some peace and quiet before you go about your day at Roots--excellent for the perfect work-eat balance or meditative moment. In addition to a quaint oasis, you can expect some mighty good food.
Something unique about this spot is their Sunday Supper. Though they’re typically open until three, Roots Cafe understands the importance of a good Sunday dinner. Pre-order a few days in advance to pick-up on Sunday and enjoy a beautiful meal with your loved ones. Each week features a new menu with the freshest options--you’ll never get bored!
If you’re looking for something nourishing to balance out your vacation splurges, we suggest ordering the Ancient Grains Parfait or The Whipped Ricotta Toast. Want to try something classic with a twist? You must try the Cornbread French Toast. For all of you die-hard savory breakfast people, don’t worry--there are plenty of egg-centric choices.
And, of course, no meal is complete without a quality beverage. With an extensive coffee selection and kombucha on tap, they’ve got you covered.
Roots Cafe is currently offering indoor and outdoor seating with limited capacity to keep its staff and patrons safe.
“My new favorite breakfast/brunch spot in Southend. I am not sure why it took me so long to try this spot, but it was everything. The ambiance is so cute, relaxing, and welcoming. The coffee is amazing--can’t go wrong with a vanilla cappuccino (extra shot, please). The most impressive food item on the menu: Avocado toast! The avocado, beets, and butternut squash are an outstanding combination of flavors. I was highly impressed and can’t wait to take another visit soon.” -Yelp Review
2000 S Blvd I South End I livingkitchen.com
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you know how difficult it can be to find an adequate meal at restaurants. Thankfully, food establishments are catching up with the movement and providing more options to those who identify as herbivores. Places like Living Kitchen are devoted to feeding the plant-based masses. The days of making do with a side order of fries are long gone. Now, some joints are completely sans meat.
Living Kitchen doesn’t just provide imitation animal protein options--they create an experience out of what we can get from the Earth. With a variety of apps, mains, desserts, and drinks, you’ll never be short on choices. And for those with additional dietary restrictions, there’s an abundance of gluten-free options.
For something new and exciting to start, order the sweet potato roll. For a favorite that’s served vegan, try their selection of pizzas. And of course, don’t forget dessert--turtle cake awaits!
“The absolute best vegan place to eat in Charlotte. We used to visit this place all the time when we lived in NC, so on a short trip back recently, we visited three times in three days. The food is always good, and they are particularly attentive to allergy considerations. Over the years, we have had almost everything on the menu, food, and drink, and there is nothing bad. They also serve alcohol. The staff is always attentive, knowledgeable, and efficient. Love this place.” -Yelp Review
2525 Distribution St I South End I c3-lab.com
If there’s one spot that captures all the South End portion of Charlotte has to offer, it’s Alchemy. What makes this particular spot special is its versatility--and not just in its menu. This American eatery doubles as a gallery. So get ready to be inspired. If you have one day left to pack in some culture, make the most out of your time and stop by.
Need some more motivation? Alchemy curates its menu with as much care as it does its art. And by the food’s presentation, you may not be able to tell the difference.
With options for plant-lovers and omnivores alike, you can take all of your friends along with a sound mind. Since this restaurant-gallery hybrid serves brunch, lunch, and dinner, there’s a ton to choose from. Looking for something to munch on while taking in the sights? Charcuterie is always a good choice. For something more unique to the space, grab a s’more indoors.
If you’re looking for a full meal, you’ve got everything from Souffle Pancakes to a Lion’s Mane Pasta. We strongly recommend you check it out!
“It was a creative, vegetarian-focused menu inspired by art. I went to try their coffee bar today to experience their coffee and art--my tastebuds were pleased with what the barista picked for me. I can’t wait to go back now and try their lunch/dinner menu. There is an art gallery as well as a coworking space you can work in during the day or rent for an event in the front of the building. Outdoor seating is available for you to enjoy your coffee or meal.” -Yelp Review
Whether you’re in town for a visit or are looking for new spots, these four restaurants perfectly capture Southend’s progressive, creative nature--and these are just skimming the surface. There’s much to explore, friends. What better way to begin than through our tastebuds? Bon appetit!