Charlotte Restaurants: Healthy, Casual, Lunch, Juice Bars, Caterer

I haven’t had time to post many new recipes lately, but I am providing more restaurant reviews and ideas around Charlotte!  All opinions are my own, and nothing is sponsored.  Because I record almost everything I eat, including when we go to restaurants, I want to share my eating-out recommendations.  I posted some fancier, foodie options last week.  Today, however, I am switching gears and giving a list of healthy, casual places.  And I am also including a catering company that I have worked with and personally recommend.

best restaurants in Charlotte

Luna’s Living Kitchen.  Todd took me here for my birthday lunch last year.  It is plant-based, organic, local, mostly raw food in a bright and pretty setting.  The atmosphere and food were both great.  I had an almond milk chai latte that was really really tasty.  It has been awhile since eating there, and I’m ready to go back soon!

best restaurants in Charlotte; Luna's Living Kitchen

Juice Bar.  Charlotte has 2 locations, one on Providence and one in Park Rd shopping center.  I have personally only been to the one on Park Rd, but I am sure they are both equally great!  I am a healthy eater, but for some reason I was scared to try fresh green juice.  But now I wish I had tried it sooner!  And I especially wish one of those locations was right down the street from my house!  I have had the Sweet Greens, the Orange You Glad, and the Sniffle Stopper shot – all fantastic. They also offer spring rolls, salads, smoothies, and other snacks.

best green juice in Charlotte

Juice Bar; Orange You Glad

Viva Chicken.  Unfortunately I always forget to snap a picture when we eat Viva Chicken!  We all love this restaurant, which is a huge bonus as a parent.  We typically order the Peruvian rotisserie chicken with sides (their green beans are my favorite) and get plenty of the dipping sauces.  If you only need one reason to try this place, let that reason be the sauces!  We also love the Quinoa Stuffed Avocado.  And most recently we tried their salads.  The Andina Quinoa Salad was amazing.  The Herbal Limeade was another hit – it is fresh and has lime, mint, rosemary, and basil!

Chop’t.  Todd and I ate lunch at Chop’t in New York when we were there a couple of years ago.  One just recently opened very close to our house and we couldn’t wait to go!  On a recent day when we were having a bunch of work done on our house, and Davis was in school, we took a little salad lunch break to get away from the chaos.  We were very impressed by the service and the food.  I love their salad concept – they toss all of the ingredients together, then chop them up as finely as you prefer.  Everything is evenly mixed and you don’t have huge pieces of lettuce hanging from your fork!  Todd tried one of their Hot-Top Salads, the Braised Greek (spicy Greek chicken and quinoa, millet, lentils; served hot over feta, olives, pita chips, kale, spinach, and cabbage). I made my own salad and included kale/leafy greens/cabbage mix, broccoli, tomato, cucumber, dried cranberries, blue cheese, chicken, and some kind of nuts.  So good!  Oh, and don’t forget to check out their creative wallpaper!

best salad place in Charlotte; lunch restaurants in Charlotte; healthy food in Charlotte

Reid’s.  Changing gears a bit and discussing a wonderful catering option in Charlotte!  Reid’s Fine Foods has been around Charlotte for years, but they have expanded their brand.  I have worked with their catering division on two events recently, and I was very pleased both times!  The food, service, and presentation were all wonderful.  I wanted to post it here in case anyone needs a suggestion for an upcoming event, work function, or wedding.  If you’d like my contact person, I will be happy to share!  Here are a couple of the photos of food they did for the recent CURATEclt gathering.

Reid's Fine Foods Catering, Charlotte NC; catering companies in Charlotte, NC

Reid's Fine Foods Catering in Charlotte, NCReid's Fine Foods Catering in Charlotte, NC

Charleston Trip and Restaurant Recommendations

Thanks to my parents who kept Davis and Kenan, and our sweet friends and hosts, Patrick and Maureen, we were able to spend a wonderful weekend in Charleston!  Todd had been traveling for work since last Sunday.  First he went to Arizona, then to Charleston. I met him there on Friday, and we spent some time with our friends who we hadn’t seen in a while.  Todd’s co-worker’s wedding was there on Sunday, so it was a perfect weekend to combine that with a getaway.

On Friday our friends took us to dinner at Red Drum in Mt. Pleasant.  We each had fish dishes, and they were delicious!  Maureen and I are both 18-19 weeks pregnant, so we called it an early night. :)

Patrick took us kayaking and paddle boarding on Saturday morning.  Those are some of mine and Todd’s favorite activities, so we were in heaven!  The weather and conditions were beautiful, and it was such a relaxing time.  I spent a few minutes silently talking to God and thanking Him for allowing us this life that we love so much.

kayaking in Charleston, SC

So far, bikinis are more comfortable than one-piece bathing suits, so I’m just rocking the bump! 

Later that day we grabbed lunch and headed to the beach!  It was plenty hot to sit on the beach, and we even swam in the water.

weekend trip to Charleston, SC

He may not appreciate me posting this, but it’s too good not to. ;) 

That night Todd and I went on a date to The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, and then out on King St for ice cream at Jeni’s (our first time) and a cocktail (water for me) at Macintosh.  I will never ever be bored with dating my husband!

Flash-Fried Shishito Peppers with Chipotle Dip; Brussels with Farro (I skipped the farro); (gluten free) Short Rib Pasta – all so delicious!

Jeni's Ice Cream

From left-right: Salty Caramel; Brown Butter Almond Brittle; Bourbon Salted Pecan; Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk

Sunday morning involved brunch at Poogan’s Porch, and a walk around downtown Charleston and the Battery.  It was our first time eating at Poogan’s Porch, and it was a fun experience.  The restaurant is charming, and overall the food and drinks were yummy!  I had a vegetable frittata with fennel topped with a baby kale salad, with a side of grits.  Todd had the chicken and waffles, which looked amazing.

18 weeks pregnant bump picture; brunch in Charleston

18 weeks pregnant; Charleston trip

We couldn’t stop mentioning how perfect the weather felt!

Todd’s co-worker was getting married that afternoon, which is one of the main reasons we made the trip.  Her wedding was outside beside the water, and it was very picturesque.  If you’re looking for a wedding or event venue around Charleston, it was the Creek Club at I’On in Mt. Pleasant.

wedding attire for wedding; 18 weeks pregnant

my dress (only $52, and also comes in patterns and a creamy white)

9caa857f9f983c2080f945077e16233b_best

I also wore this ring from Asos all weekend – I’m kind of obsessed

wedding at Cross Creek Club in Charleston, SC

wedding at Cross Creek Club in Charleston

We arrived back home around midnight last night, and finally got to see our favorite boy bright and early this morning!  As much as we loved the time away together, we truly missed Davis!

Charlotte Restaurant Review: For Foodies and Date Nights

best restaurants in Charlotte

Food, recipes, ideas of what to cook, what to eat, etc etc takes up a large majority of my brain space…possibly too much!  Thankfully, my husband and family love food as well, and trying new places to eat is something we all enjoy.  Todd and I try to go on date nights once a month, and we like to branch out and visit new-to-us restaurants.

I tend to post sporadically on here or on instagram if we try a different restaurant in Charlotte.  But I wanted to put together a more cohesive post…that will hopefully turn into a type of series.  Here are some of the restaurants we have enjoyed in the last 6 or so months.  This post is more focused on the nicer restaurants.  These spots are perfect for date nights, foodies, and those looking for a focus on atmosphere.  In the future I will write about more casual places, great lunch spots, juice bars, caterers, etc!  I have drafts planned for the next couple of weeks.  I wanted to break it up because this post is already too long.

This is not sponsored!  These are my personal and honest opinions. And please excuse some of the poor picture quality.  Most of these photos were taken in dark lighting. 

If you’re visiting our city, or you live here and are looking for some restaurant recommendations, check out this list!  I hope this is helpful!

Rooster’s.  We ate here for the first time with my cousin and her husband for her 30th.  The food is elevated comfort food, and we really enjoyed it!  It is heavier than the food I typically eat, but we still had a great time and loved the flavors.  It’s a great location uptown as well.

best restaurants in Charlotte

Fahrenheit.  Todd took me to dinner here for our 9th anniversary.  The food was delicious, and the views are fantastic!  We went back for drinks before eating at Rooster’s for Sarah‘s birthday.  It is a perfect spot to just have a drink as well.  If you haven’t been, you absolutely should.

best restaurants and bars in Charlotte

Fahrenheit Restaurant in Charlotte

CO.  We tried this recently for a last-minute date night.  We love Asian food, but I was craving something other than sushi.  This hit the spot and I’m dying to go back! CO is not really fancy, but I included it in this list, because of the atmosphere, and the food is a little more adventurous. Bonus – they have an entirely separate gluten free menu!  That is difficult to find, especially in Asian restaurants.  The food is Vietnamese, it is fresh, and the atmosphere and decor are excellent.  I had the Shrimp Spring Rolls and Beef Pho.  Todd had Pork Belly Steamed Buns and a Ramen Bowl.

best Vietnamese restaurant in Charlotte; pho restaurant in Charlotte

CO Charlotte Noodles and Sushi

CO Charlotte noodles and Sushi restaurant

OGGI.  My family went here for Mother’s Day lunch.  It was mine and Todd’s first time, but we had a wonderful experience.  The service was the best we’ve had in a restaurant in a while. I basically never eat pasta (gluten free), but I ordered one of their specials of the day.  It was pasta with a red fra diavolo clam sauce, calamari, shrimp, mussels, and clams. I enjoyed it!  The rest of the pasta is homemade, and everyone at the table seemed to enjoy each dish!  Todd had the lasagna, which is their second best seller.  My brother had crab ravioli, which is their top seller.

nice Italian restaurant in Charlotte; OGGI

lasagna from nice Italian restaurant in Charlotte, OGGI

Kid Cashew.  This place isn’t fancy, but it is foodie friendly.  My mom and I ate here for lunch recently, and we had a great experience!  It is located right in Dilworth, and has a really cool look.  If it had been a little warmer, we would have eaten outside on the patio.  The food is elevated, but homey and Southern, and delicious.  We shared the pork shoulder with a cilantro yogurt dipping sauce; their white beans braised with grape tomatoes; their beet salad; and their roasted brussels sprouts.  We did not order drinks, but we’ll have to go back after October, because I have heard great things about their fresh cocktails.

list of best restaurants in Charlotte; Kid Cashew for lunch

Kindred.  This place has become so famous, and I believe it deserves the fame.  Todd and I ate here on a date night in February, and we had a wonderful time.  The interior of the restaurant is beautiful and the look of the bar is so cool (I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of pictures on instagram!).  The vibe is not stuffy or snooty at all, even though the food and flavors are incredibly well thought-out.  Our servers were very kind, and they happily worked with my gluten intolerance.  We ate every crumb on our plates, and I would love to go back there soon!  Worth the drive to Davidson for sure.

best restaurants in Charlotte

beef tartare and bartender's selection cocktail; best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

Heirloom.  This is another restaurant that is a bit of a drive.  But worth it!  We experienced impeccable service and delicious food!  We ate here (unknowingly) during Restaurant Week, so we ate off the the prix fixe menu.  But they also sent out an additional course of charcuterie that was fantastic!  Everything – at least 95% – of the restaurant, not just the food, is sourced locally.  Salt from the Outer Banks, etc.  The passion for local ingredients is admirable and easily noticed when dining at Heirloom.

best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

best restaurants in Charlotte

…And now I’m starving. ;) 

 

Some others we’ve tried and enjoyed: 5 Church, The Summit Room, Good Food on Montford…We haven’t been to those places in the last 6 months, so I didn’t include them.  But if we go again, I will try to take pictures and write a mini review! 

Charlotte offers a plethora of culinary adventures!  I love living in a city with such a variety of restaurants, and I am excited to try some others soon!