Best Restaurants

Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Charlotte dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Charlotte Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.


Plaza Midwood
Bistro La Bon

Flawlessly blending texture, flavor and presentation, Bistro La Bon's "edible art" is a must for discerning diners. The seasonally changing menu features farmers market fresh fare, as well as made-from-scratch breads, gnocchi and pastries. The perfect meal begins with starters such as black risotto with calamari fusilli or curry red lentil hummus and continues with entrees like caraway crusted Scottish salmon with warm Mediterranean vegetables or filet mignon with russet and sweet potato gratin.

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Named for the Greek goddess turned bird whose Winter Solstice mating ritual inspires harmony across the oceans, Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth inspires similar feelings of satisfaction among guests. A proud part of the Mint Museum, this inspiring eatery transforms seasonal local ingredients into exquisite dishes like the Filet of Frivolity, grass-fed filet mignon served with a "Farmers' Market Basket" and pommes de terre, and Vegetable Tagine, Moroccan spiced chickpeas, saffron couscous and roasted asparagus.

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Fourth Ward

Celebrated by many and considered the best Thai restaurant in Charlotte by most, Basil Thai is an Uptown favorite with an alluring cosmopolitan atmosphere. Dine in for lunch or dinner for consistently fresh and outstandingly flavorful fare. Specialties include the traditional Pad Thai, Crispy Red Curry Duck and Volcano Shrimp topped with the signature three-flavor sauce. Noodle and rice dishes and delightful salads also receive rave reviews, while exotic cocktails provide the perfect accompaniment.

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A mainstay for Charlotte foodies, this tapas restaurant serves simply perfect plates within an atmosphere that is warm, elegant and relaxing with striking industrial touches, contributing a contemporary edge. Start with small plates like the American farmhouse cheeses with truffle chutney or scallop butternut squash risotto. Then, move on to the pork tenderloin, served with fried macaroni and cheese, or flounder accompanied by a tasty root vegetable cake. Decadent seasonal desserts ensure a satisfying finish.

Read more about Good Food on Montford →


You don't have to stick to Uptown if cutting edge cuisine is what you seek. No, tremendous places like Upstream are proof positive that venturing out is its own reward. Here, "dayboat seafood" reigns supreme, and the kitchen rarely fails to impress with its impeccible preparations of miso-marinated Hawaiian monchong and chestnut-crusted wild Scottish salmon with sweet potato gnocchi. Sushi lovers will adore their specialty rolls, and the jumbo shrimp and mango ceviche is a spicy experience worth trying; meanwhile, those with more terrene palates find solace in dishes like brick oven-roasted Carolina quail.

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In a small shopping center near South Park Mall you'll find this dynamic American bistro that's tiny size (it seats under 50) and smartly appointed dining room make for a cozy yet elegant night out. Owner-chef Bruce Moffett privileges local and organic ingredients, and he has earned a sterling reputation in Charlotte's culinary circles thanks to well-conceived dishes like organic chicken with creamy mashed potatoes, herb-rubbed veal with potato-bacon dumpling, and pancetta-wrapped rabbit tenderloin. Seating on the patio is available when the weather cooperates.

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Lovely Murano glass and original artwork enhance this restaurant, located in the base of the Hearst tower, and an outdoor patio provides additional dining. From luscious starters such as mozzarella layered between fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil to flavorful meats, fish, and pastas, the kitchen boasts satisfying Tuscan cuisine. Try the agnolotti alla piemontese (ravioli stuffed with roasted veal, braised Swiss chard and parmesan). Wine list available.

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