Top 10 restaurants for a classy (but not too fancy) first date in Charlotte, ranked

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A while back, a friend of mine told me, “Nobody goes out to eat on first dates anymore. The reason for this is that people meet online and then set up something more casual so that they can bail quickly. Something like coffee or a quick drink somewhere. Dinner is so old school.”

Well, for those old school people that have dinner first dates, here are the top 10 restaurants for a classy (but not too fancy) first date in Charlotte, ranked.

(1) Foxcroft Wine Co

Neighborhoods: Dilworth & Foxcroft (two locations)

Grab a bottle of wine for $30 and no corking fee. The new Dilworth location has excellent nooks with a cool vibe. Tapas style food provides chit-chat topics so that there’s no awkward lull in conversation. (Full Agenda story here w/ 19 photos)

wine-bar-at-foxcroft-wine-co-dilworth

(2) Alexander Michael’s

Neighborhood: Fourth Ward

Cozy. Unique. Different. Under the radar, so you’ll seem “in the know” by choosing this restaurant.

@lexmoor via Instagram

@lexmoor via Instagram

(3) Customshop

Neighborhood: Elizabeth

Arguably one of the top restaurants in Charlotte. Excellent optionality pre- or post-meal (Customshop, Passion8, Earl’s, Elizabeth Creamery, etc). Small bar area, but cool bar area.

customshop ginger devil

(4) Rooster’s

Neighborhoods: SouthPark and Uptown (two locations)

BBQ chicken is heavenly. Either location works – Uptown or SouthPark. The original SouthPark location is across the street from Cowfish and Chuy’s so you have the option of walking there after the meal if things are going well.

dinner-at-roosters-charlotte

(5) RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila

Neighborhood: Myers Park

Margaritas. Arguably the top patio in Charlotte. Couple this with a drink at the intimate Stagioni bar next door.

RuRu's Charlotte

(6) Kid Cashew

Neighborhood: Dilworth

Tapas style. Ton of hot spots within walking distance before or after the date (JJ’s Red Hots to Lebowski’s to Summit Room).

kid-cashew-dining-room

(7) Soul Gastrolounge

Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood

Hippest place in Charlotte. It doesn’t feel like Charlotte here. Tons of walkable bars from Soul. Excellent tapas style dishes and view of the city. (Full Agenda photo essay here)

Soul-central-ave

Photo via Tara Lilly

(8) King’s Kitchen

Neighborhood: Uptown

Amazing backstory – 100% of profits from sales to feed the poor in the Charlotte region.

kings-kitchen-sweet-potato-fritters

via Tara Lilly

(9) Vivace

Neighborhood: Midtown

Underrated patio area. Massive space with two bars so that you can grab a drink before or after dinner. Parking is a nightmare, take advantage of the valet. Solid bar bites menu if you’re looking for a long date with small plates (served from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, $4 – $6).

Vivace brunch

(10) Deejai Thai

Neighborhood: Myers Park

Go to Bond Street Wines for a glass of wine before your meal (it’s about 40 yards away).

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).