Unfortunately the team here at GoBeyond SEO aren’t Charlotte natives. That makes finding amazing local restaurants a challenge. For all our fellow transplants, here are our go-to tactics for finding new restaurants to try in Charlotte:
Billy – Word of Mouth
Recently my wife and I have completely changed our diets so it’s not as easy as it used to be to find a great place to eat. Luckily for us a few co-workers have also recently made dietary changes, and James is our resident Vegan, whose wife by the way is an insanely good Vegan baker.
Most of the time I ask people around the office where we should eat. On recommendation, so far we’ve been to Bean & Luna’s, which are strictly Vegan and Vegetarian respectively, and have also had our fair share of smoothie and Vegan options at various restaurants around town.
James – Internet
“If you can’t eat meat, cheese, milk, eggs, or fish, what do you eat?” To which, I always reply, “Whatever I want.”
Yes, I’m a v-v-v-v-veeegan. The dreaded V word. So when it comes to finding a new restaurant to try, I focus on those dietary restrictions, preferably seeking out an all Vegan or at the very least an all Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant. Happy Cow is a great source for area Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants. I’ve relied on it numerous times when out of town, and their reviews are typically spot on. Google Maps is an obvious contender; just let the automagic finish typing “Vegan Restaurants in Charlotte“ and you’re all set. Urbanspoon is another great source. For me, reviews are key before trying a new restaurant. Just because it’s Vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy. I like to review the menu as well, avoiding greasy diner food, which is only good for coffee and cigarettes at 2am.
If you’re looking for good Vegan/Vegetarian eats in Charlotte, I’d have to recommend Luna’s Living Kitchen (Raw Vegan eats and drinks), the highly underrated ZiZi’s Vegan Restaurant To Go, Woodlands (only the best Vegetarian Indian Cuisine in town), and Lang Van (tied for the Best Vietnamese in town with Ben Thanh).
Brian – Local Magazines
I’m a sucker for a good “Best of” list. And Charlotte’s local newspapers and magazines don’t disappoint. Recently, Charlotte Magazine put out their BOB (best of the best) Awards for 2015 and there are some HUGE winners there.
Just a few are:
Best Use of Cauliflower – The Blue Taj
Best View of the City – Fahrenheit (and they have some good cocktails too)
And I’m dying to try the BOB winner for best restaurant repping NC, Heirloom. But I can’t rave about that one just yet.
Charlotte’s Best Bartender, Bob Peters (@bobthebartender), graced the cover, and while I haven’t been to see him at The Punch Room yet, the cocktails he created at Pisces Sushi were out of this world unbelievable.
Pisces is still a restaurant worth checking out as Bob is so generous with his knowledge. The staff at Pisces continues to create excellent craft cocktails like the only real Sazerac in town and their signature Pocket Fours, both with homemade simple syrups.
Now that I think about it, I first heard about Pisces in another local magazine a while back. Thank goodness I did because now I can tell you about their Pork Belly Buns. Easily the best use of pork belly in Charlotte.
So next time you see one of those free, fancy magazines lying around, grab it and search for some awesome Charlotte restaurants – you won’t be disappointed!
Trish – Crowdsourcing and Social Media
For me, when I want to find a new place to eat I usually do one of two things. First, I’ll use Urbanspoon (aka Zomato). If you’re not familiar with it, Urbanspoon/Zomato is an app that lists all local eateries and can be searched by type of food, pricing, desired atmosphere (i.e. family friendly). Additionally, it has a ‘shake’ feature that will pick a place for you based on your location and preferences. It also shows reviews of each place, so you can avoid undesirable spots.
The second thing I do is crowdsource on my social media outlets. Most people who follow or friend me on the interwebs are people with whom I’ve dined before. They have an idea about my preferences and can recommend accordingly. I can also get specific about my needs for the meal in question. For example, I’ll ask Charlotte area parents for places that offer healthy options that kids will actually eat. I may also ask my fellow craft beer drinkers what local eatery has the best beer selection. I have found that these options work best for me.
Ali – Google Search
Like most of Charlotte, I’m not a native. When I moved here about 3 years ago, I had to do my research to find good places to eat. Whether it was finding awesome Chinese delivery, delicious sushi, some authentic Mexican, or a place to get LEGIT Buffalo chicken wings, Google search became my hero.
On Google, I would search for “Chinese delivery near me” and would receive a list of local Chinese delivery restaurants to try. Plus, it gave me reviews of what other people said, such as “don’t get the Rangoon. I say just Rangoon because it is definitely missing the crab” or “super-fast delivery and food is always great!” These helped me narrow down my choices to find the best option. Google also helped me find Buffalo bars – like Tavern on the Tracks, Lebowski’s and Towne Tavern – where I could eat amazing Buffalo chicken wings and chase them down with a Blue Light or Genny Light while watching the Bills beat the Dolphins!