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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

February 1, 2024

Where to find afternoon eats in Charlotte

Here are our favorite spots for a weekday lunch

By Ebony L. Morman

While Charlotte is home to a vibrant and growing food scene, finding a place to enjoy lunch in the afternoon can present a challenge because many restaurants only open dinner service on weekdays. Here’s a list of our favorite sit-down restaurants where you can meet with friends, have a work meeting, or treat yourself to lunch.

300 East, Dilworth

300 East’s trademark French onion soup. TM Petaccia/UP

Originally, The White Horse, 300 East has, in one form or another, been a thriving part of Charlotte’s historic Dilworth Neighborhood since 1975. In its current location since 1986, the restaurant has been a popular lunch spot, both as residents’ favorite place to walk to and a citywide destination. The menu is contemporary American, most renowned for its French onion soup, it’s The Usual open face sandwich (chicken salad, asparagus, mushrooms, and cheddar), pimento cheese platter, crab cakes, and innovative desserts. Drink offerings include beer, wine, and cocktails — including its signature Matilda Wong.

The Artisan’s Palate, NoDa

The Artisan’s Palate has several impressive salad options on its lunch menu. Kristen Wile/UP

The neighborhood restaurant, cocktail and wine bar is also home to an art gallery that features local artists. The lunch menu, which includes elevated comfort food, offers bacon-wrapped dates, warm marinated olives, spiced wine-poached pear salad, curry chicken salad sandwich, and more. The lunch menu, which is served tapas-style, is available Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The bar bites menu includes vegan empanadas, pork belly bao bun, and more. It’s available from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Drink offerings include beer, wine, and cocktails.

Calle Sol, multiple locations

Ceviche from Calle Sol in Plaza Midwood. Kristen Wile/UP

The Latin cafe and cevicheria offers a variety of dishes from Cuba and Peru. Menu options at both the Plaza Midwood and the SouthPark locations include classic ceviche, croquetas, Cuban fried rice, black bean soup, stuffed avocado, Miami cubano sandwich, bodied yuca, fresh quinoa, sweet plantains, and more. The restaurant also offers $9 lunch specials at both locations.

The Goodyear House, NoDa

With an historic aesthetic and plenty of outdoor seating, the Goodyear House has a menu that includes Southern classics with a twist. Marinated shrimp, al pastor wings, shrimp and grits, smoked cashew mac, pavlova, and more are on the menu. Beer, wine, and seasonal cocktails are also offered.

Hawkers Asian Street Food, South End

The restaurant has a menu that includes Asian Street food with bold flavors. Dim sum, egg rolls, rice and curry, and noodle dishes are on the menu. Beverage options include a variety of craft cocktails, beer, and wine.

Little Mama’s, SouthPark

Little Mama’s offers many fresh pasta dishes at lunch, including Fettucine al Burro with Italian butter and parm. TM Petaccia/UP

Inspiration for Little Mama’s menu comes from classic Italian-American recipes and Italian restaurants in the 1960s and 1970s. Visitors can enjoy dishes, such as goat cheese and mascarpone dip, eggplant parm sandwich, Tuscan salad, Insalata chopped salad, fresh fettuccine, lasagna, shaved Brussels sprouts, and more in a family-friendly environment. Wine and beer are also available.

The Loyalist Market, Matthews

The market is known for its cheeses and charcuterie but it also offers a full menu of sandwiches, salads, and snacks. Visitors can experience 20 charcuterie options and 40 artisanal cheeses along with a retail market that includes more than 60 local items. Diners can also choose from wine, draft beer, and more.

Margaux’s Wine, Pizza and Market, Pineville

Located in a 100-year-old building in downtown Pineville, the restaurant specializes in St. Louis-style pizza and a offers a vast selection of old world wines alongside its menu, which includes charcuterie boards, Sicilian pizza, chicken pesto pizza, apple pecan salad, fennel and orange salad, the Italian hoagie, and more.

Pasta & Provisions, multiple locations

Pasta & Provisions offers fresh pasta, prepared meals, and a retail market that offers groceries and wine and beer options. The dine-in or takeout lunch counter offers menu items, such as hot caprese pizza, Italian cold cut sandwich, meatball sandwich, cobb salad, kale salad, ravioli, cheesy garlic bread, and more. Lunch is available at the Park Road and Mint locations only.

Reid’s Fine Foods, multiple locations

Along with its restaurant menu, the specialty food store wine, provisions, meats, fresh meals, and gift baskets. Its extensive lunch menu includes salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, and sides. Wine options are available.

Rosemont, Elizabeth

One of the more popular lunch options at Rosemont is a French Dip and tomato soup combo. TM Petaccia/UP

The restaurant is inspired by classic wine-friendly fare from Italy, France, and Spain. With an array of comfort foods, the lunch menu includes soups, salads, handhelds, entrees, cocktails, draft beer, wine by the glass. There’s also a deli counter that’s equipped with grab-and-go items.

Salted Melon, South End

The market and eatery offers an all day menu with various dining options, which includes counter service, breakfast, lunch, brunch, seated dinner, and cocktail bar. The counter service menu is available for lunch. It includes avocado toast, hazelnut berry toast, sprouted salmon wrap, poke me bowl, artisan kale caesar salad, mint watermelon salad, and more.

Sea Level NC, Uptown

The restaurant offers items from North Carolina farms and coastal Carolina. The lunch menu includes Creole shrimp crunch, cast iron seafood dip, fried chicken, Carolina fish sandwich, clam chowder, blackened shrimp tacos, cole slaw, and more. Craft cocktails, spirits, and draft cocktails are available.

Stoke Charlotte, Uptown

Guests can enjoy their meal, which is prepared with local ingredients in a wood-fire oven, with a view of the open kitchen. Menu options are kale and broccoli salad, chicken BLT, southern fried chicken sandwich, shrimp and grits, chocolate torte, and more. Lunch is served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Complimentary parking is available.

Uptown Yolk, South End

Located in Vantage Southend, the breakfast and brunch restaurant offers menu items inspired by Southern classics. Guests can enjoy Southern waffles, shrimp and grits, Tennessee fries, brown butter biscuits, and more.

The Waterman, multiple locations

The casual environment at the neighborhood seafood restaurant includes nautical decor, daily oyster features, indoor and outdoor bars, and more. Many dishes draw inspiration from New Orleans, such as the seafood gumbo and the North Carolina trout with Creole gravy. Menu items are also made with responsibly-sourced products.

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