25+ essential Uptown lunch spots when you can’t decide where to eat

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It’s a daily Monday through Friday dilemma for thousands of Uptown workers — Where am I going to eat lunch today?

Let’s break it down…


THE CLASSICS

Quick to-go options everyone loves

Chili Man

Vic Werany’s legendary hot dog cart was recently named #1 in the country by Money magazine. Catch him slinging specialty dogs during the Uptown lunch rush (11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) Tuesday through Thursday near the corner of S. Tryon and E. 4th Streets.

Halal Food Cart

Expect to wait in a winding line during peak hours at this landmark food cart at the corner of Trade & Tryon. The chicken and lamb combo ($5.99) is their most popular dish. Cash only.

Related Agenda story: Halal Food Cart’s $6 Chicken and Lamb Combo makes me want to wait in that Uptown line each day

Johnny Burrito

Head to the basement of Two Wells Fargo (down the escalator in the atrium) to find this hidden gem. You’re guaranteed to run into a huge line but it moves fast. Save $0.50 if you pay in cash.

Bonsai Fusion

The popular sushi counter at 7th Street Public Market is home to an Instagram-worthy sushi burrito ($10) made with spicy tuna, edamame hummus, spring mix, carrots, beets, cilantro, jalapeño, avocado and chipotle honey sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Related Agenda story: Have you tried the sushi burrito?

sushi-burrito-at-bonsai-fusion-charlotte-sushi

Green’s Lunch

Charlotte’s oldest restaurant (serving Uptown since 1926) is probably best known for its budget-friendly hot dogs topped with secret homemade chili and all the fixings.

Related Agenda story: 38 iconic restaurants that have been serving Charlotte for 20+ years

Avenue Market

You have to be in the Uptown lunch know to find this low-key Korean takeout counter inside a convenience store on Church Street. Servings are huge and cheap.

Related Agenda story: There’s a Korean takeout counter inside an Uptown convenience store

Pie in the Sky

The simple to-go counter inside historic Latta Arcade is a favorite among Uptown workers looking for Charlotte’s best pizza by the slice.

Related Agenda story: Top 5 pizza joints in Charlotte, ranked

Little Village Grill

The tiny Greek fast food counter on W. Trade is nothing new. They’ve been slinging burgers, pitas, subs and fries since 2009 and consistently have a line out the door. Bonus: The gyros come topped with fries.

Related Agenda story: Little Village Grill is the place to be for no-frills food under $5.15 in Uptown

little village grill falafel

Rhino Market

When the eclectic westside market put down roots in Uptown, people rejoiced for a go-to sandwich counter. The chicken torta is popular, but I’m partial to the Tofu You (pictured).

Reid’s Fine Foods (COMING SOON)

The iconic gourmet market is making its triumphant return to Uptown with the opening of its third location. Reid’s operated out of the space now occupied by 7th Street Public Market from the 1990s through 2010. They’re back Thursday, July 26 at 7 a.m.


Still can’t decide? We’re not done here. Here are more Uptown lunch options based on specific search criteria.

When you want ambiance…

Gorgeous dine-in restaurants open for lunch service for more formal meetings and dates

Haymaker

Farm-to-table restaurant with views of Romare Bearden Park

haymaker-bar-area-restaurant-charlotte

Angeline’s

Modern Italian restaurant adjacent to the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel

Alexander Michael’s

Casual, cozy neighborhood restaurant in a historic building in Fourth Ward

Rooster’s

A Charlotte classic and Uptown banker favorite

Halcyon

Elegant farm-to-table restaurant adjacent to The Mint Museum (closed for renovations until August 2, 2018)

The Asbury

Modern Southern restaurant in the historic Dunhill Hotel

braised-pork-cheeks-at-the-asbury

Sea Level

Upscale seafood restaurant in Hearst Tower

La Belle Helene (COMING SOON)

Upscale French brasserie opening July 31

bar-at-la-belle-helene-french-restaurant-charlotte


When you want something healthy…

Light, fresh options for smoothies, salads and more

Rico’s Acai

Keep it light with a big bowl of frozen pureed fruit topped with chopped fresh fruit and add-ons like Nutella, almond butter and coconut flakes. Find the truck parked on the Tryon side of the surface lot next to the Gantt Center (directly across the street from the Duke building).

Crisp

Charlotte’s original build your own salad bar inside historic Latta Arcade is guaranteed to have a line out the door, but it moves fast. Head across the street to Romare Bearden Park for a nice little al fresco lunch.

Green Brothers Juice

Swing by one of two Uptown locations — inside Bank of America Plaza and Duke Energy Center — for a selection of juices, acai bowls and smoothies.

green-brothers-juice-charlotte-smoothies


When you’re with a group and no one can agree on anything…

Central food hubs with something for everyone

Brevard Court / Latta Arcade

The century-old sister developments have managed to preserve their architectural integrity while maintaining relevance today as a bustling retail marketplace filled with casual eateries.

Related Agenda story: 18 places to eat and drink in Uptown’s historic Latta Arcade and Brevard Court

7th Street Public Market

The multi-vendor indoor market is like a grown-up food court featuring all local restaurants. Check out Orrman’s for grilled cheese, Zia Pia for pasta, Pure Pizza for pies made with locally-sourced ingredients, Hazelnuts for sweet and savory stuffed crepes and Bonsai for sushi and poke bowls. See all vendors.

Related Agenda story: A quick newbie’s guide to the 7th Street Public Market

inside-7th-street-public-market

Overstreet Mall

Uptown buildings are connected with an intricate network of tunnels and skywalks that can take you from the Duke building all the way to Hearst Tower without ever stepping foot outside. Inside, you’ll find a string of mall-style food court eateries — everything from McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A to local options like Green Brothers Juice.

Related Agenda story: Overstreet Mall: A guide to everything in Uptown Charlotte’s skywalk network

The EpiCentre

This nightlife club hub sees plenty of action during the day too with 20+ chain and local eateries located in the multi-level development. Check out Red Eye Diner (from the same ownership team behind Midnight Diner), Vida Vida taco bar and Libretto’s Pizzeria. See all EpiCentre dining.

epicentre-charlotte-alley

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Katie Levans
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Co-Founder and Creative Director