Hottest Spots to Dine, Drink & Dessert in Charlotte

Hottest Spots to Dine, Drink and Dessert in Charlotte North Carolina

Dinner scenes from Chef Rocco Whalen’s Fahrenheit Restaurant. Photograph by Peter Taylor.

If you have read my posts about Charlotte (top shopping spots and #DesignCharlotte) you know I’m in love with this city and all it has to offer. Whenever I have dinner with my girlfriends or a date night with Geoff  we head to Center City because of their strong food scene. I like to eat healthy most of the time, but the dishes at some of these places are works of art and it’s a splurge I just make a part of my overall eating plan. Here are my favorite Uptown spots for dinner, cocktails and desserts. Oh and check out Charlotte Restaurant Week where over 120 places (including 5 star dining) offer 3 course meals for $30-$35! Next one is in January. This is a fun way to break out of the restaurant rut and try somewhere new. Click on any of the suggestions below for their menus so you can plot out your gastronomic journey.

Best Places to Dine, Drink and Dessert in Charlotte North Carolina


Top Places to Dine, Drink and Dessert in Charlotte North Carolina

Spring rolls at Basil


Basil : Refined Thai with a great atmosphere and incredible food.

Aria: A Tuscan grill with a warm, modern vibe. Reserve the chef’s table, which seats eight and is almost in the kitchen. Great wine selection.

Halcyon: A celebration of artisinal farms, dairies and wineries from the Carolinas. A seasonal farm-to-table dining experience. It’s located within the Mint Museum.

5Church: A place to be seen. Speakeasy meets sophisticated decor. If you are a foodie and like complex dishes you will love.

Roosters: Farm-to-table dining sourced locally. Fresh, simple dishes. Great ambiance.

BLT Steak: A classic steak house. Even if you shun carbs you need to try the crusty bread popovers topped with seasalt (I died and went to heaven). Fantastic service.

The Asbury: Southern recipes seemingly passed down from generations but then spun upscale. Intimate, cozy setting.

Enzo: Located in the Epicentre, Enzo Asian bistro has really high quality salmon and tuna sashimi (I judge every sushi restaurant by this). Good service. It turns into a club at night. 

Fahrenheit: Another place to be seen. Created by celeb Food Network chef, Rocco Whalen, and situated on the 21st floor of the Skye condos on Caldwell Street, the dishes are classified as inventive American cuisine. A favorite of the Carolina Panthers. I left that restaurant as a fan of Rocco’s.

Vida Mexican Kitchen: Located on one of the most vibrant corners in Uptown, Vida is evolved Mexian cuisine with a bright, fun atmosphere. Try the hand-crafted guacamole and their signature Skinny Margarita.

Blue: Upscale Mediterranean cuisine. The olive bread is incredible. Fab live jazz. I really enjoyed my entire experience at this restaurant.

Hottest Places to Dine, Drink and Dessert in Charlotte, NC

The decor is speak easy meets sophisticated at 5Church.


Rooftop 210: An open-air, rooftop venue on the top floor of the Epicentre that offers a spacious layout, contemporary design,  and views of the Charlotte skyline.

Fahrenheit : Listed twice because they have incredible food, but even if you don’t dine here you need to have a craft cocktail and take in the 360 degree views of the city from their expansive outdoor seating area. A must.

Ri Ra Irish Pub: Celtic pub with a vintage 19th century bar

Mortimers: Known as the neighborhood pub of Uptown. Great beer selection.

Bubble: Bring your bodycon dress and a smile. Charlotte’s premier champagne bar for the 20-somethings and beyond has an extensive champagne and wine list along with interesting cocktails and small plate offerings. Oh and a barbie wall! Seriously fun after a great meal at one of the above restaurants.

Dandelion Market: Taking its name from the famous outdoor market that thrived in Dublin back in the early 70’s, Dandelion Market provides a place for friends to gather in a cozy pub setting.

The Wooden Vine:  Wine Bar & Bistro has an amazing selection of wines from all over the world hand selected by  in-house Court of Masters Sommelier, Sarah Argento. This Wine Spectator Award of Excellence wine list features something for everyone.

Hottest Spots to Dine, Drink and Dessert in Charlotte, NC

Because who are you if you don’t have a vintage barbie wall? Bubble champagne bar

Hot spots to dine, drink and dessert in Charlotte North Carolina

Details at Bubble champagne bar

Hot spots to dine, drink and dessert in Charlotte North Carolina


Bar Cocoa: A delectable Dessert Boutique for lovers of all things sweet. Bar Cocoa offers premier dessert and chocolate shopping. They also offer renowned cooking classes at Cocoa Lab. The experience is all centered around the irresistible taste, appeal and the drama of desserts.

Dean and Deluca: Doesn’t need much explanation. It’s open late so you can enjoy your dinner and then scope out one of their delectable dessert offerings. A staple in Uptown.

Hot Spots to Dine, Drink and Dessert in Charlotte North Carolina 

Hottest spots to dine, drink and dessert in Charlotte North Carolina

The most delicious gelato at Bar Cocoa

Hot spots to dine, drink and dessert in Charlotte North Carolina

Rainbow macaroons at Bar Cocoa

I thought this guide would be a nice addition to the #DesignCharlotte campaign created by Marriott to highlight all of the amazing things Charlotte, NC has to offer (I am collaborating on this project with them). To learn more about it and for a chance to win a trip anywhere in the country, click here for details. When dining, make sure to photo your food porn for Instagram and use hashtag #DesignCharlotte.

Below is a short, fun video I did about Center City and the 7th Street Market. xx CC’

Chelsea Charles

This is a sponsored conversation on the hottest spots to dine, drink & dessert in Charlotte written by me on behalf of #DesignCharlotte. The opinions and text are all mine.