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

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!

 

 

Girls Weekend in Boone, NC

Two weekends ago I spent the weekend in Boone, NC with my college roommates. We had not all been together in years, so this reunion was so wonderful! After leaving college, getting real jobs, marrying, having kids, traveling for work, moving away, etc, it is difficult to see each other. The friendships are still there, though, and getting to spend an entire weekend together was refreshing and encouraging. And so fun! We are still all there for each other through tough times and joyful times, and that is a true gift.

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We rented a cabin and spent time catching up, drinking wine, and listening to the rain (oh, the rain!). On Saturday we ventured out for lunch at Eat Crow, a wine tasting and an afternoon drink at Grandfather Vineyard, and dinner at Bistro Roca (formerly Antler’s). Because of the rain, we stayed away from shopping or walking around town. Our experiences at each place on Friday were lovely. I would highly recommend lunch at Eat Crow – one of the best salads I’ve had, and all of the girls were happy with their chosen dishes. Grandfather Vineyard was charming, and has plenty of outdoor seating. The views of the vineyard and the river were great. Dinner at Bistro Roca was fabulous. I had the Wood Roasted Sweet Potato “salad,” which I copied slightly once I got home.

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(Thanks for letting me steal some of your pictures, girls! ;))

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Saturday (still plenty of rain) involved a spa treatment for everyone at Chetola Resort, cheap Mexican food for lunch, and dinner at The Gamekeeper. I’m not sure if Chetola is used to being able to accommodate that many treatments during the same time frame, but we all had massages and thoroughly enjoyed our time relaxing. We felt rather spoiled! (The grounds were set up for a wedding that day, and we all felt so sorry for the bride who had to get married during a flood. Awful, right?!) Dinner at The Gamekeeper was a worthwhile experience. I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Boone who is looking for a nice and different dining experience. The menu has some rare foods not found on typical menus. The elk and the ostrich were a hit, and the bread pudding for dessert was the group favorite.

The Gamekeeper Restaurant, NC

Being able to spend a weekend with my friends was wonderful and needed. We enjoyed the girl talk, caught up on each other’s lives, and had some cathartic conversations. We’re already discussing taking a cruise together in a couple years! Love you, Margaret, Neely, Allison, and Shannon!

Beach Trip: Part 1

We’ve spent the last week on Topsail Island with my parents and brother.  Now Todd’s family is here, and we’re spending a couple more days here with them!  This past week with my family was fun and relaxing.  But I have to be honest…we had a ton of rain and we were about to go stir-crazy at times!  Overall it was so good, and I have loved being in my favorite place. IMG_4895IMG_1418 IMG_1383 IMG_1404 IMG_1510 sunrise over topsail islandIMG_1481 IMG_1478 IMG_1409IMG_1448IMG_1459IMG_1493IMG_1495IMG_1494IMG_1512IMG_1543IMG_1544IMG_1546IMG_1547IMG_1531IMG_4898rainbow in topsail island IMG_1569IMG_1588IMG_1630I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend!  May your coffee be extra strong tomorrow morning!