Looking for where to go for lunch? Here’s a list of the best lunch spots in Charlotte and what to order from each.
Pinky’s Westside Grill
Funky burger joint once featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
Award: Best burger
Must order: The ‘White Trash Burger’ – Juicy five-ounce burger with provolone, fried pickles & onion rings and spicy ranch sauce ($5.50) and ‘Pimp’n Fries’ – homemade pimento cheese melted over crispy, seasoned waffle fries ($6.95)
Location: 1600 W Morehead Street
Rhino Market & Deli
Laid back sandwich shop and market with daily specials.
Award: Best grab-and-go sandwiches
Must order: The chicken torta – pulled chicken, avocado, provolone, jalapenõs, lettuce, tomato, mayo on ciabatta ($7.99)
Locations: Wesley Heights – 1500 W Morehead Street, Uptown – 420 Church Street
Fast casual Peruvian rotisserie chicken spot with multiple Charlotte locations.
Award: Best sauces
Must order: A ‘Tacu Bowl’ with chicken – cilantro infused or Jasmine rice, canary beans, salsa criolla (lime marinated onions and tomatoes), avocado, green onions ($9.40) and a side of fried plantains.
Locations: Elizabeth – 1617 Elizabeth Avenue, Park Road – 4500 Park Road, Ballantyne – 12206 Copper Way, Waverly – 11641 Waverly Center Drive
Old school sandwich shop loved by locals for over 36 years.
Award: Best sub
Must order: Go with their #1 most popular sub, The Daily Sub — roast beef, ham, turkey, provolone, lettuce, tomato, mayo, onion and oil and vinegar with a side of macaroni salad ($8).
Location: 3619 E Independence Boulevard
Anita’s Mexican Grill
No-frills, order at the counter Mexican restaurant located in a BP parking lot between a dry cleaner and a Subway.
Award: Best grab-and-go Mexican
Must order: Anita’s first-timers should order the $5.25 Speedy Gonzalez combo — taco, enchilada, rice, beans, chips and salsa.
Location: 2904 Yorkmont Road
Middle Eastern eatery serving up tasty halal bites like shawarma and kabobs.
Award: Best Middle Eastern lunch
Must order: The lamb shank served with rice and your choice of soup or salad ($11.99).
Location: 3117 N Sharon Amity Road
Sabor Latin Street Grill
A quickly expanding Latin street-style spot with a cheap tacos and mountains of nachos.
Award: Best nachos
Must order: The nachos – tortilla chips with refried or black beans, queso, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo & guacamole, plus your choice of protein ($7.95). Enough to share with a friend.
Locations: They have a total of 11 now. Find the closest one.
Casual rotisserie joint with daily lunch specials and house-made sauces
Must order: A 1/4 rotisserie white meat chicken plate served with 1 or 2 sides and cornbread ($6.89)
Location: Montford – 1521 Montford Drive, Plaza Midwood – 1332-B Central Avenue
Relaxed sandwich shop serving up no-frills, handcrafted sammies for over 27 years.
Award: Most loved by locals
Must order: The Pressed TCB – swiss, turkey, ham, bacon w/ mayo ($5.25)
Location: Elizabeth – 1931 E 7th Street
Agenda guide: Max serving up some of the best sandwiches in the city
A small Latin supermarket serving sneaky good sandwiches.
Must order: The chorizo torta – dry-age Mexican-style chorizo topped with avocado, lettuce, jalapeno, onion and queso asado ($9) or opt for the version with chicken ($7.50)
Location: Plaza Midwood – 4459 Central Avenue
Bang Bang Burgers
Mouthwatering burgers served on hand-shaped brioche style buns.
Award: Best burger
Must order: Bang Bang Burger – American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, homemade pickle and Bang sauce with fries($9.50). A double will cost you an additional $3.
Location: Elizabeth – 2001 E 7th Street
JJ’s Red Hots
Retro-style counter serve eatery specializing in all things hot dogs.
Award: Best hot dog
Must order: The ‘Uptown Downtown’ topped with chili, bacon, beer cheese, onion and mustard ($3.99)
Location: Uptown – 400 South Tryon Street, Dilworth – 1514 East Boulevard, Ballantyne – 15105 N John Delaney Drive
Lexington-style BBQ joint featured on BBQ Pitmasters and Destination America as the ‘Best BBQ in NC’
Award: Best BBQ plate
Must order: The Pig – Hickory slow-smoked pork (chopped or course cut) served with white or red slaw, hushpuppies and one side ($12)
Location: South End – 228 West Boulevard
Casual Mediterranean eatery offering shawarma bowls, hummus and house baked laffah.
Award: Most Instagram-worthy bowls
Must order: Yafo Shawarma – Shawarma chicken, tzatziki, cucumber and tomato salad, tahini, sumac onion and schug served as a bowl, salad or wrap ($10.99)
Location: South Park – 720 Gov Morrison Street, Plaza Midwood – 1331 Central Avenue
Totally authentic Vietnamese restaurant serving up steaming bowls of pho.
Award: Best pho
Must order: Pho Tai Nam – rare and well-cooked beef served in a rice noodle soup topped with fresh basil, bean sprouts, chili pepper and lemon ($5.95)
Location: 3019 Shamrock Drive
Brooks’ Sandwich House
Small roadside stop serving chili burgers out of a window.
Award: Best chili burger
Must order: A burger “all the way” – topped with chili, mustard and onions ($4/cash only)
Location: NoDa – 2710 N Brevard Street
Japanese restaurant with an all-you-can-eat sushi lunch buffet and a no-fuss atmosphere.
Award: Best sushi lunch buffet
Must order: The buffet, which includes a variety of fresh sushi and other hot asian dishes ($12.50)
Location: Dilworth – 2440 Park Road
Cozy Thai eatery serving up hot noodle dishes in Charlotte since 1988.
Award: Best pad thai
Must order: The pad thai lunch special served with a spring roll and jasmine rice. If you dine in, you also get soup and a drink ($10-14)
Location: Dilworth – 324 East Boulevard
Little Village Grill
Little Greek cafe offering pitas topped with french fries and gyros for under $5.
Award: Best gyro
Must order: Grilled chicken gyro topped with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato and onions ($4.80)
Location: 710 W Trade Street
Low key market and deli serving handcrafted sandwiches, salads and wraps.
Must order: The ‘Italian Stallion’ – proscuitto, finocchiona, capocollo, fresh mozzarella, basil and peppadew relish served on a baguette ($8)
Location: NoDa – 1200 E 36th Street
Reid’s Fine Foods
Gourmet grocery and deli serving grab-and-go lunch staples.
Must order: QC Chicken Salad – Spiedies chicken salad, bibb lettuce and tomato on whole wheat ($8.99)
Location: Myers Park – 2823 Selwyn Avenue, SouthPark – 4331 Barclay Downs Drive, Uptown – 121 W Trade Street
Po Boy’s Seafood Market
No-fuss seafood counter and market specializing in cajun and creole seafood eats.
Award: Best po’ boy
Must order: Alligator po’ boy – served on a 9″ hoagie with lettuce, tomato and your choice of mayo, tartar sauce or po’ boy sauce ($9.95)
Location: 3022 Freedom Drive
Luisa’s Brick Oven Pizza
Family-style pizza place with an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.
Award: Best pizza lunch buffet
Must order: The all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta and salad buffet ($8)
Location: Montford – 1730 Abbey Place
Dive-y strip mall Mediterranean joint with cheap lunch specials.
Must order: Chicken kabob lunch special, which comes with lentil soup, salad and chicken kebabs with vegetables and rice ($6.99)
Location: 5033 South Boulevard
Pasta & Provisions Wilmore
Hip pasta shop and deli specializing in fresh pasta and sandwiches topped with cured Italian meats.
Award: Most impressive sandwich stack
Must order: The Royal – capicola, sausage patty, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, oil and vinegar with mayo on a fresh hoagie roll ($8)
Location: Wilmore – 1600 S Mint Street
Neighborhood store and deli offering handcrafted, made-to-order sandwiches.
Award: Best neighborhood deli
Must order: #4 Turkey sandwich with bacon, pepperjack, tomato, lettuce and chipotle spread on your choice of bread, but I’d go wheat ($6.95).
Location: Eastover – 114 Cherokee Road
Need breakfast ideas too? Agenda guide: comprehensive list of the must-try breakfast spots in Charlotte