Flickr/John
The Asbury
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Courtesy of Peter Taylor of ptpix.com 
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Sycamore Brewing
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
Keia Mastrianni/Thrillist
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1. Heirloom 8470 Belhaven Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28216

Chef Clark Barlowe is revolutionizing Charlotte’s culinary scene with his hyper-local concept featuring products sourced only from the state of North Carolina. Barlowe forages and scours the great state for the farm-direct ingredients featured on a menu that changes daily.

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2. The Asbury 235 North Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202

The Asbury is a modern southern restaurant, resting inside the historic Dunhill Hotel. Here, Executive Chef Chris Coleman gives Carolina favorites a modern twist, like his Cast Iron Biscuits served with bacon jam made using his grandmother’s recipe, or shrimp and grits with miso. The menu also features true southern staples like a fresh NC seafood boil and fried green tomatoes. The antique beauty of this restaurant is not to be understated, and you have the choice of either sitting inside or out on the stunning patio.

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3. Stagioni 715 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207

This is an updated take on a classic Italian bistro, with European elegance and a restrained seasonal menu. Using all local produce and proteins, the chefs at Stagioni craft a list of small, sharable plates inspired by classic Italian flavors, along with wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas. There's no guarantee what'll be there when you go, but definitely keep an eye out for the creamy housemade burrata and hand-rolled gnocci. There's definitely an upscale vibe within the space itself, but the atmosphere is relaxed an causal—no need to get dressed up. You will want to make a reservation, however, as this place gets rather busy. The upscale-yet-relaxed dining room features an Italian-inspired menu of surprising small plates and seasonal entrees along with wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas.

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4. Little Spoon 2820 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC 28209

There are giant bowls of coffee, homemade hot pockets, and thick slices of cinnamon toast, all backed up by hip hop beats on blast in the background.

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5. Landmark Diner 4429 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205

Family-owned for the last 25 years, the diner is the place for breakfast, Greek salads, or a slice of chocolate cake the size of your head.

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6. The Summit Room 1531 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

Sidle up to the bar for an expertly made cocktail named after one of the seven summits, or warm yourself by the fire with a selection of small plates including poutine made with North Carolina cheese curds.

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7. Pint Central 1226 Central Ave, Ste A, Charlotte, NC 28204

The roster of beers on tap at Pint Central reads like a greatest-hits list for local beers. With over 40 bottled brews, and 34 on tap, the Southern spot is a mecca for North Carolina's most devoted beer fans. The dog-friendly patio and the casual, rustic taproom provide ample space to chat over cold pints of jalapeño pale ale, or some of the lighter local wheat beers, while those who are less interested in hops can opt for a house cocktail or a glass of wine, instead (the bar is fully stocked with premium Carolina liquor). The food menu consists mainly of Argentinian-American tapas, like chicken empanadas or kimchi-topped pork belly, and on Mondays, tacos are just 1$, when paired with one of Pint Central's numerous bottled Latin American Beers.

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8. Heist Brewery 2909 N Davidson St, Ste 200, Charlotte, NC 28205

Though Heist fits the bill of a Belgian brewpub, the real attraction lies with bar manager and mixologist, Stefan Huebner. Watch him torch pecan wood in front of you while he makes you one of the best smoked Manhattans you’ve ever had.

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9. Thirsty Beaver Saloon 1225 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204

The juke box is always on point, and the low-brow grilled cheese sandwiches off the resident George Foreman Grill are the perfect compliment to watching “Hee-Haw” on the bar television.

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10. Soul Gastrolounge 1500 1/2 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205

Perched atop an art gallery, Soul is known for offering one of the best views of the city, both inside and outside the sassy gastrolounge. Sip a cocktail while taking in the skyline view, or settle into the bar with sushi and small plates,

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11. Salud Beer Shop 3306B N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205

Salud has over 600 beers from around the world and a thoughtful, rotating selection of beers on tap.

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12. Sycamore Brewing 2161 Hawkins St, Charlotte, NC 28203

Sycamore is focused on high-quality ingredients, which the brewer manipulates into small batch gems like the Peanut Butter Porter and tap favorites like the Bear in the Woods Brown.

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13. NoDa Brewing Company 2229 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205

NoDa Brewing was one of the first to stake a claim in Charlotte’s beer scene, and has since been producing quality beer from its microbrewery including the Hop, Drop and Roll, an American-style IPA which won the 2014 Gold Award at the World Beer Cup.

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14. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery 4150 Yancey Rd, Charlotte, NC 28217

Olde Meck is the largest still-operational brewery in Charlotte, featuring a remodeled Brauhaus (or, taproom) and spacious outdoor beer garden for an authentic German experience. Prepared using the German “Reinheitsgebot” beer purity law of 1516 that requires brews to be made only of malt, hops, yeast and water, the beer selection excels in the Copper amber ale, which is offered yearround.

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15. Triple C Brewery 2900 Griffith St, Charlotte, NC 28203

Triple C offers a laid-back beer-drinking experience in the middle of the South End, welcoming locals, visitors, and their furry friends alike on the pooch-loving patio. The cozy and industrial space offers a potent double-IPA all year around called the Baby Maker, which comes in at a whopping 8.5% alcohol by volume. They also offer seasonal brews along with the year round options.

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16. Lenny Boy Brewing Co. 2224 Hawkins Street, Charlotte, NC 28203

Lenny Boy Brewing's operation includes wild ales, delicately flavored alcoholic kombucha, and the only certified organic beer in North Carolina.