Best restaurants open for lunch in uptown Charlotte, NC

Angeline’s is among the restaurants in uptown Charlotte with patio seating available. Courtesy of Angeline’s As more businesses reopen in Charlotte in the next month, employees will return to offices — and that means they’re going to need lunch. While COVID-19 forced the shutdown of many uptown restaurants while those […]

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Angeline’s is among the restaurants in uptown Charlotte with patio seating available.

As more businesses reopen in Charlotte in the next month, employees will return to offices — and that means they’re going to need lunch.

While COVID-19 forced the shutdown of many uptown restaurants while those workers went remote, some new local food spots have opened in their place, serving coffee, pasta, salads and sandwiches.

Of course, some standby favorites such as the Halal Cart and Sandwich Club still sling flavor-filled bites throughout the week, so there’s plenty of options to find your next favorite lunch spot uptown.

From a nostalgic cereal bar to hot fried chicken, these uptown restaurants are open for a midday bite to eat and offer classic comfort food and options out of the ordinary.

The best spots to eat lunch uptown

Angeline’s

Location: 303 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Italian

What to know: The restaurant inside the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel is open for lunch on weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Don’t miss the Whipped Ricotta, with lavender honey, lemon oil, pistachios and Italian bread ($12).

How to order: Make reservations for in-person dining, takeout, 704-445-2540

The Bella Ciao

Location: 201 S. Tryon St., Suite 101 Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Italian

What to know: When Vapiano closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it reopened under a new name: The Bella Ciao. The owner ended the franchise agreement amicably, so you can expect the same food items, plus a few new menu additions — quinoa bowls and spaghetti ice cream sundaes. All pasta, pizza dough, sauces, dressings and desserts are made in-house, so you can grab a fresh Italian meal on your lunch break or stay for dinner.

How to order: Dine-in, delivery, takeout, outdoor patio seating, (704)-332-2440

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Vapiano reopened as The Bella Ciao, and features an updated menu and interior, including a mural from Greensboro mural artist Jeks. Courtesy of The Bella Ciao

Bernardin’s Restaurant

Location: 435 S. Tryon St., #100, Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. weekdays, so you can pick up a Grilled Portobello Mushroom Salad ($14) or a Cajun Chicken Sandwich ($10) for lunch. Gluten-free options are available.

How to order: Dine in person, takeout, (704) 332-3188

The Capital Grille

Location: 201 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: When you want to treat yourself to a fancy lunch, you can pick up a bowl of Lobster Bisque ($14) or a Seared Salmon salad with avocado, mango, tomato and champagne vinaigrette ($21).The restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. weekdays.

How to order: Make reservations to dine in person, takeout, (704) 348-1400

Cowbell Burger and Whiskey Bar

Location: 201 N. Tryon St., Unit 1010, Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

What to know: Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available at this gourmet burger spot that opens at 11 a.m.

How to order: Reserve a table for in person dining, curbside pickup, takeout or delivery via Uber Eats, 980-224-8674

Day & Night Exotic Cereal Bar

Location: 127 Brevard Court, Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: cereal

What to know: While 2020 bid farewell to Melt in Your Mouth Cupcakes due to COVID-19, Day & Night Exotic Cereal Bar moved into the space, offering sweet breakfast treats for your lunch cravings. The idea initially started as a food truck in Los Angeles and has since expanded into Charlotte. Order a premade bowl, create your own bowl or grab a post-lunch cereal shake. You’ll find everything from Froot Loops to Honey Nut Cheerios, as well as exotic cereals from around the world.

How to order: Dine-in, takeout, outdoor patio seating, (980) 298-6006

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Skip getting a salad and pick up a sugary cereal bowl or milkshake instead.  Courtesy of Day & Night Exotic Cereal Bar

D9 Brewing

Location: 650 E. Stonewall St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: drinks

What to know: Part brewery, part coffee spot, D9 brewing brings fun to both your morning and evenings. Need a midday pick-me-up? Head to the Savoy apartment community on Stonewall Street to order a cup of Javesca Coffee, available from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. Expect lattes, cappuccinos and cold brew.

How to order: Dine-in, delivery, curbside pickup, outdoor seating

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Whether you’re craving coffee or a post-work happy hour, D9 brewing has something for any time of day. Courtesy of D9

Essex Bar & Bistro

Location: 101 S. Tryon St., Suite 14, Charlotte, NC 28280

Menu

Cuisine: global

What to know: Patio seating is available at this upscale spot near the Spectrum Center that opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays. Try the Lamb Kefta with tahini, hummus, red cabbage, grilled tomato, onion and zucchini ($15) or Braised Short Rib flatbread ($14) for a filling lunch.

How to order: Make reservations for in-person dining, takeout, delivery, 980-406-3857

Famous Toastery

Location: 330 S. Tryon St., Charlotte NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: This breakfast and brunch restaurant closes at 1:30 p.m. right now, so plan accordingly.

How to order: In person, takeout, 980-237 8081

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The Famous Toastery on South Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte. Catherine Muccigrosso [email protected]

The French Quarter

Location: 321 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American/Cajun

What to know: This Greek-owned spot that’s been serving Charlotte since the 1980s opens at 11 a.m. The menu features daily lunch specials, along with salads, sandwiches and burgers.

How to order: In person, takeout, 704-377-1715

Gino D’s Pizza

Location: 224 E. 7th St., Charlotte, North Carolina 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Italian

What to know: You’ll find this pizza and salad spot inside 7th Street Public Market, but it’s closed on Monday. You’ll also want to pick up a few cinnamon sugar knots (3 for $3) to save for a mid-afternoon treat.

How to order: Delivery, takeout, 704-900-5202

Golden Cow Creamery Uptown

Location: 601 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu: ice cream flavors, waffles

Cuisine: brunch, dessert

What to know: This locally owned ice cream shop opens and has the waffle irons cranking at 10 a.m. on weekdays, so you can carry out your fantasy brunch after finishing up your morning meetings.

How to order: In person, delivery, takeout, 980-949-6040

Graham Street Pub & Patio

Location: 400 S. Graham St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: You’ll find a menu full of soups, salads, burgers and tacos at the restaurant near Bank of America Stadium, which opens at 11 a.m. Patio seating is available.

How to order: In person, takeout, 980-218-9228

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Graham Street Pub and Patio in uptown Charlotte. Sallie Funderburk CharlotteFive

Green’s Lunch

Location: 309 W. 4th St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: Even though the property where Charlotte’s oldest restaurant sits is up for sale, owner Joanna Sikiotis doesn’t plan on going anywhere. It’s open from 7:30 a.m.- 3 p.m., to fulfill all your hot dog and burger cravings.

How to order: In person, takeout, 704-332-1786.

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Green’s Lunch has been open in Charlotte since 1926. Alex Cason CharlotteFive

Gyu-Kaku

Location: 650 E. Stonewall St., Unit A, Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Japanese

What to know: This Stonewall Station restaurant will take your temperature for COVID-19 safety upon entering. The doors open for lunch at 11:30 a.m., when you can grill your own meats or pick a ready-to-eat set of Beef Sukiyaki Bibimbap ($10.95), Ramen ($10.95) or other options.

How to order: Make reservations for in person dining, takeout, delivery via Uber Eats or DoorDash, 980-585-3012

Halal Food Truck

Location: 101 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Mediterranean, halal

What to know: The truck opens daily at 11 a.m. to serve up Lamb Gyro ($5.99), Falafel over Rice ($4.99) and more.

How to order: Line up in person or delivery via UberEats.

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You’ll find the original Halal Food Cart uptown at 101 N. Tryon St. Jennings Cool

Halfpenny’s Cafe

Location: 301 S. Tryon St., Suite 30, Charlotte, NC 28282

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: This casual spot in Two Wells Fargo is open for breakfast, as well as lunch, and closes at 3 p.m. Expect sandwiches, hot dogs, soup and salads.

How to order: In person, takeout or delivery, or delivery via GrubHub, 704-342-9697

Horace’s Hot Fried Chicken

Location: 329 S. Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28282

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: Though Horace’s hot fried chicken is based on the legendary “hot breakfast revenge,” you can order for delivery or pickup at the Visit Charlotte kiosk in the Wells Fargo Plaza from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. Expect fried chicken, sandwiches, wings and sides. Per the chef, you should order a side of ranch with your wings, and “you gotta try the pickles.”

How to order: Delivery, takeout, 980-579-9284

Johnny Burrito

Location: 301 S. Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28282

Menu

Cuisine: Tex Mex

What to know: You’ll find this fast-casual spot under the Two Wells Fargo Atrium, down the escalators and to the right. It opens at 11 a.m. Pro tip: if you’re paying by cash, your burrito lunch will be 50 cents cheaper.

How to order: In person, fax in advance for pickup or 10-person minimum delivery, 704-371-4448

La Belle Helene

Location: 300 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: French

What to know: Though La Belle Heleneclosed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, The 5th Street Group gave the uptown space a second life. Led by Top Chef alumnus Jamie Lynch, the restaurant underwent some minor cosmetic updates and menu perfection prior to reopening in May 2021. Dine on lunches with Lynch’s twist on classic French cuisine prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

How to order: Dine-in

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La Belle Helene is a French brasserie in uptown Charlotte. Courtesy of La Belle Helene

Mellow Mushroom

Location: 255 W. Martin Luther King Blvd., Charlotte, NC, 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Italian

What to know: The well-known pizza chain opens at 11 a.m. weekdays. In addition to the pies, you’ll find salads, hoagies and sandwiches. Gluten free and vegan options are available.

How to order: In person, curbside pickup, takeout or delivery, 704-371-4725

Mert’s Heart and Soul

Location: 214 N. College St.,Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Southern/Lowcountry

What to know: This staple for Southern comfort food has been featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” It opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays, and you can pick up family sized meals to feed a group.

How to order: Dine-in, takeout, delivery, 704-342-4222

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Mert’s Heart and Soul is owned by James Brazzelle. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Mico

Location: 201 W. Trade St., Charlotte NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: global

What to know: This restaurant inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte features globally inspired flavors. Business casual dress is required.

How to order: Reservations are encouraged to dine in, 980-999-5550

MOA Korean BBQ

Location: 128 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Korean

What to know: Invite your favorite coworkers for a quick uptown lunch escape to MOA, a new Korean BBQ restaurant at the corner of South Tryon and West 4th streets. Lunch menu items include lunch boxes (protein, vegetables, stir-fried white rice, fried tofu roll, Mandoo and choice of soup or salad), bulgogi, bibimbap and Japchae. MOA will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

How to order: Dine-in, takeout, 704-503-9412

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MOA Korean BBQ in uptown Charlotte. Courtesy of Sean Kim

RedEye Diner

Location: 210 E. Trade St., Charlotte NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: Expect to find standard diner fare at this restaurant located in the Epicentre. It’s open 24-7.

How to order: Dine in or takeout, 980-585-2867

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The bright red neon lights of Redeye Diner stand out in the Epicentre shopping center. Susie Webb

Red Ginger

Location: 401 S. Tryon St., Suite 130, Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: Japanese

What to know: You’ll find hibachi and sushi selections at this restaurant that’s closed Mondays. The rest of the work week, it opens at 11 a.m.

How to order: In person, takeout, 980-819-8837

Roosters Wood Fired Kitchen

Location: 150 N. College St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: This locally owned restaurant featuring wood-fired cooking is closed on Monday, but you can stop in to grab lunch or pick some up starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

How to order: Make a reservation to dine in, takeout, 704-370-7667

Sandwich Club

Location: 435 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC, 28202

Menu

Cuisine: American

What to know: This fast-casual restaurant inside The Green is open weekdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and has seasonal specials.

How to order: In person, takeout, curbside pickup, delivery via ChowNow or DoorDash, 704-344-1975

Tupelo Honey

Location: 101 S. Tryon St., Suite 130 Charlotte, NC 28280

Menu

Cuisine: Southern

What to know: The scratch-made comfort-food restaurant that serves brunch all day at Bank of America Plaza opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays. Street parking and nearby parking garages are available.

How to order: Dine-in, takeout, 980-270-7268

Waterbean Coffee

Location: 300 S. Tryon St., #150, Charlotte, NC, 28202

Menu

Cuisine: drinks

What to know: After grabbing lunch at the Latta Arcade or in the French Quarter, you can now also get a caffeinated beverage from the nearby Waterbean Coffee (in the space formerly occupied by Parliament Espresso & Coffee Shop) to get you through the afternoon. This location, which is the eighth — and largest — for the brand, offers espresso, lattes and more.

How to order: Dine-in, takeout, outdoor patio seating, 980-355-0513

New Uptown restaurants coming soon

Employees who work uptown can also look forward to new restaurants, coming soon, which will service French and global cuisine.

Coquette

Location: 500 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Cuisine: French

In December 2020, Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth closed its doors. The Mother Earth Group plans to reopen a new French fast-casual restaurant uptown in 2022.

Mariposa

Location: 500 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202

Cuisine: global

Spanish for butterfly, Mariposa represents evolution and will be based on creator Jill Marcus’ travels. This multicultural culinaria will serve mezze — or small shareable plates — including ceviche aguachile, piri piri chicken and gulluh paella.

Did we miss a spot? Let us know at [email protected]


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Jessica is a writer fueled by coffee, cookies and long walks in the Magic Kingdom. She’s often found exploring the culinary scene (mostly pasta) and traveling. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jessicaswannie.

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Heidi Finley is a writer and editor for CharlotteFive and the Charlotte Observer. Outside of work, you will most likely find her in the suburbs driving kids around, volunteering and indulging in foodie pursuits.

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