From soul food to food that changes lives, check out some of our favorite places in the Queen City to get your grub on.
Delta’s: Opened just a few short months ago, Delta’s (pictured right) is Uptown’s newest soul food destination, offering an eclectic take on traditional African American cuisine in an upscale environment. Keep your eyes and taste buds peeled for signature menu items like smothered pork chops, soul folks dumplings (sautéed crawfish, collard greens, red cabbage, fennel, and sweet potato in a steamed dumpling), fried whiting over jambalaya grits, Cajun calamari and more. 525 North Tryon St. 704-612-2633. www.deltasrestaurant.com.
Mert’s Heart & Soul: Owned and operated since 1998 by James and Renee’ Bazelle, Mert’s is practically a Charlotte institution that’s earned a reputation for serving up Low-Country Southern fare. That said, pay a visit to Mert’s (which sports a casual, “downhome” décor) and you’ll notice a menu that’s chock full of dishes like shrimp and grits, shrimp creole, blackened pork chops, Charleston red rice and more. 214 N. College St. 704-342-4222. mertscharlotte.com.
Midwood Smokehouse: In search of North Carolina’s world-famous barbecue? Well, take a trip to Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood and check out Midwood Smokehouse. The restaurant serves traditional, Carolina-styled smoked pulled pork — as well as dishes from other regions, such as ribs, beef brisket, hot links and more. 1401 Central Ave. 704-295-4227. midwoodsmokehouse.com.
King’s Kitchen: King’s Kitchen is more than just a place to grab a bite to eat; this Uptown restaurant donates 100 percent of its profits to feed the poor — and provides employment opportunities to “Charlotteans in search of a new beginning.” When it comes to the food, King’s Kitchen serves Southern specialties such as dry-rubbed pork ribs, pan seared salmon with local pink eyed peas, boiled peanuts, skillet fried chicken and more. 129 West Trade Street. 704-375-1990. www.kingskitchen.org.
Soul Gastrolounge: If you’ve got a taste for a funkier dining experience, Soul Gastrolounge might just be what you’re looking for. Soul is famous for its extensive sushi and tapas menu (featuring items like shrimp ceviche, sticky veal short ribs, roasted bone marrow, and more) and for treating diners to nightly house and soul music from a rotating cast of DJs. 1500 Central Ave. 704-348-1848. soulgastrolounge.com.