On the Road

Charlotte’s Growing Culinary Scene

By: The Local Palate

Like a family expanding its faction, Charlotte’s culinary scene is growing household thanks to the sister concepts of many seasoned restaurateurs. Ingenuity paired with creativity is at the helm of these thriving expansions popping up across the Queen City. With some of Charlotte’s most beloved mainstays exploring fresh takes and new cuisine, who’s to say the perfect family can’t exist?

Anchoring the Plaza Midwood neighborhood is Soul Gastrolounge, an eclectic tapas concept paired with a late-night vibe—complete with an in-house DJ—serving dishes from sushi to ceviche. Downstairs sits the aptly named Sister, a European-café-inspired concept. Owners Andy and Lesa Kastansas describe Sister as a “daytime, all-inclusive version of Soul” offering lunch, coffee, and pastries with a few favorites from upstairs gracing the menu.

Across town on Montford Avenue, chef Brad Moffett’s Good Food on Montford serves as a neighborhood staple, plating their infamous coconut and green curry mussels alongside seasonal cocktails and craft beer. One of a myriad of concepts hailing from Moffett’s restaurant group, Bao & Broth opened among the inaugural food stalls in Optimist Hall. Known for ramen and a unique array of bao buns, Bao & Broth showcases the breadth of possibilities Moffett and his team offer the city in search of the newest and most acclaimed cuisine.

Meanwhile, James Beard-nominated chef Joe Kindred and his wife Katy of the eponymous Kindred, have opened the first of two planned milkbread locations. Complementing Kindred’s selections of upscale Southern fare, milkbread features an array of chicken sandwiches (with plant-based substitutions), a tautology of toasts, and an iteration of milk bread as doughnuts, served solo or by the dozen.

Bardo creates an unparalleled dining experience with a chef-driven tasting-menu concept named for the Tibetan Buddhist sense of a state of existence between death and rebirth. Enjoy a rotating assortment of three-, five-, seven- and twelve-course spreads amidst street-art adorned walls in an intimate space. Vana, Sanskrit for forest, features laid back plates perfect for sharing. The burrata is set off by the subtleties of the accompanying roasted squash while the rich and buttery flavors of bone marrow is complemented by a sweet-yet-tart essence of onion marmalade served with sourdough bread, all the handiwork of chef and partner Michael Noll with his team.

Jamie Brown and Jeff Tonidandel began their legacy in 2009 in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood with the soon-to-be-reimagined Crepe Cellar followed by the opening Growler’s Pourhouse, Reigning Donuts, Haberdish, and Supperland.

Haberdish has gained popularity for its take on chic Southern cuisine paired with expertly crafted cocktails. After a few years of serving favorites like hush puppies with sweet tea butter and cauliflower steak with delectable smoked chimichurri, Supperland follows suit with upscale Southern dishes like miso mac and cheese, wagyu pot roast, and vegetable pot roast.

From classic eats to experimental concepts, these Charlotte restaurant families welcome eager diners with open arms.

Learn more about the Queen City’s newest eats at Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority’s website.

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