Our Favorite Places to Eat in Charlotte, NC

Recognized as one of the most exciting up-and-coming big cities for food lovers by Food & Wine, Charlotte stands out for its abundance of forward-looking food projects, creativity and diversity. JWU’s Charlotte Campus is in the heart of the Queen City and steps away from some of the best food in the South. This list of Charlotte eateries near JWU includes some of our students' favorites. Multiple venues around the city have been founded, owned, or managed by JWU alums, meaning you’ll still be connected to the JWU community even off campus.

uptown charlotte, nc skyline at night

1. Root’s Café

2135 Southend Drive, Charlotte, NC 28204

Owned by JWU alum Craig Barbour '08, Root’s Café serves breakfast, brunch and lunch using locally sourced ingredients. Dine in and pair a delicious breakfast sandwich with a coffee or latte from local roaster, Enderly Coffee. This cozy café also provides online ordering for pickup and delivery.

2. Cuzzo’s Cuisine

3418 Tuckaseegee Road, Charlotte, NC 28208

Owner, chef and JWU alum Andarrio Johnson '00 has built a reputation for his unbeatable lobster mac and cheese. Stop into Cuzzo’s Cuisine on Soul Food Sundays to experience the go-to buffet where you can grab cajun fried chicken, corn bread, collard greens and other delicious southern food.

3. The Asbury

235 N Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Using locally sourced ingredients from small farms, The Asbury is dedicated to providing patrons with the best quality food. From classic Southern fare like the chicken sandwich and sticky biscuits to more modern dishes like the pan-seared mahi-mahi, executive chef and JWU alum Mike Long '09 prepares a vast selection of dishes.

4. McNinch House

511 Church Street, Charlotte, NC 2802

Enjoy a 4-course or 5-course meal in this unique 1892 Queen Anne-style home prepared by executive chef and JWU alum Matthew Shepard ‘13. For luxury dining at McNinch House, opt for the Chef’s Experience where you’ll enjoy wine pairings selected by the chef, sit at the chef’s table surrounded by the house china and crystal, and learn about the evolution of the recipes.

5. Benny Pennello’s

2909 N Davidson Street #100, Charlotte, NC 28205

Benny Pennello’s is home to a 28" pizza that can be enjoyed by the slice or as a whole pie. Open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, this is the perfect late-night spot after a night on the town. Focusing on the simple concept of creating a quick, two-handed meal with high-quality ingredients has made Benny’s a staple in Charlotte.

6. Church and Union

127 N Tryon Street Suite 8, Charlotte, NC 28202

Featuring colorful murals and bright decor, Church and Union has an upbeat ambiance with dishes to match. From dinner and dessert to brunch and cocktails, this restaurant has thought of everything — including a late-night menu. You’ll find JWU alum and talented sous chef Nicholas Wishart '17 here.

7. Community Matters Café

821 W 1st Street, Charlotte, NC 2802

Community Matters Café is more than a coffee shop. Here, you’ll get coffee and contribute to the good of the community, as the café partners with the Charlotte Rescue Mission. The café also has an assortment of tasty breakfast and lunch options. Stop in and say hi to JWU alums Ed Price '12 and Ashley Anna Tuttle '17.

8. Libations Kitchen & Bar

895 W Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

It can’t get more convenient than being part of the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Charlotte where many JWU visiting families stay. Featuring American comfort food, local craft beers and a menu containing only seasonal and regional products, Libations Kitchen & Bar is a great spot to relax and enjoy quality food.

9. Mert’s Heart & Soul

214 N College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

This husband-and-wife run spot serves tasty Southern soul food with unbeatable fried chicken and cornbread. Not only does Mert’s Heart & Soul whips up some of the best Southern food in the area, but they offer a selection of decadent Christmas cakes, including coconut, chocolate, strawberry and red velvet.

10. Pinky’s Westside Grill

1600 W Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28208

This neighborhood restaurant that fries up pickles and homemade corn dogs was featured on the Food Network show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Try some of the food Guy Fieri taste-tested at Pinky’s — like the Triple “G” Burger, the Viking Corn Dog and Greg’s Pickles.

11. Mac’s Speed Shop

2511 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203

If you’re in the mood for barbeque, Mac’s Speed Shop is the place to go. The venue even offers live music several nights a week. Enjoy classic Southern classics like hush puppies and hickory-smoked chicken at the picnic-style tables or sitting around the firepit.

12. The King’s Kitchen

129 W Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

In addition to partnering with local area ministries to provide job-training, life-skills and social etiquette workshops, The King’s Kitchen is known for its homestyle cooking and delicious mac-and-cheese. Indulge in the variety of seafood dishes, including shrimp and grits and pan-seared catfish.