When it comes to the dinner table, there’s nothing we crave more than the classics. For Southerners, that means fried chicken, pimento cheese, pecan pie, and all those other scrumptious dishes that feel like home. Of course, this is the New South, and Charlotte’s culinary players are always looking for ways to revamp these traditional dishes. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite Southern foods and found the Queen City restaurants that are adding a few modern upgrades, pushing these dishes (and their faithful fans) out of their comfort (food) zones.
Sweet Tea What better way to upgrade a classic refreshment than to spike it? At Boardwalk Billy's Raw Bar & Ribs, enjoy a twist on sweet tea with Deep Eddy's Team Time, featuring Eddy's Sweet Tea Vodka, Deep Eddy's Lemon Vodka and house sweet tea.
Pimento Cheese This chunky spread of cheddar cheese, mayo and pimento peppers has thousands of variations and Terrace takes advantage of its versatility. First, find it at breakfast inside the spicy chicken biscuit and at lunch and dinner as an appetizer warmed up atop fried green tomatoes and in assorted sandwiches and the "twisted burger."
Fried Green Tomatoes Even if this greasy, tart appetizer sounds a little alien to you, Dish, in the funky Plaza Midwood neighborhood, has cleverly tucked it into a BLGT sandwich. The horseradish dill sauce is the perfect complement to the traditional appetizer.
Fried Chicken It's takeout and cash only, and lines form quickly, but it's worth the wait to dig into fried chicken from Price's Chicken Coop. A local favorite, Price's bird (1/2 chicken dinner) has received national attention. Add highly regarded sides like slaw and hushpuppies and you're ready to go.
Barbecue North Carolina is known for its barbecue and Charlotte highlights the best of the best. Discover the Saucy World of Charlotte Barbecue guides you to your options.
Shrimp and Grits What could be more Southern than shrimp and grits? Mert’s Heart and Soul offers up its stone-ground grits covered with popcorn shrimp, onion, tomato and brown sauce in its Shrimp & Grits w/Toasted Foccacia Bread. The restaurant's appearance on "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives" took notice of its Soul Roll, an egg roll stuffed with diced chicken, rice, collard greens and black-eyed peas.
Pecan Pie Tupelo Honey comes strong with its Southern menu, but the ending is worth the journey when a slice of Brown Butter Pecan Pie with its dark chocolate sauce is delivered to the table. Or get a sneak peek at brunch with the Pecan Pie French Toast with fresh blueberries, whipped cream and chunks of pecan pie.