The Blake Hotel is a modern symbol of Charlotte’s growth over the last two decades; and with that growth comes a lot of exciting places to eat, drink, and have fun, according to Adam Parrish at the Blake Hotel. A number of great, local watering holes have popped up over the last couple of years in Charlotte, and Adam tuned us in to his favorites.
One of Charlotte’s top restaurants is the Cajun Queen, a New Orleans restaurant and bar that’s been consistently voted among the city’s best. Not only do they have a fantastic Cajun menu their full bar serves up those famous New Orleans drinks, like Hurricanes and Sazerac Cocktails. The Cajun Queen features a live jazz seven nights a week. Another well-known restaurant in Charlotte’s historic Elizabeth District is the Fig Tree, which offers gourmet new-American cuisine. However, it’s their impressive wine list – over 200 bottles, updated weekly – and their tasting flights that make this restaurant a great place to sample different vintages.
Within the Elizabeth District are several bars and restaurants that capture the essence of local Charlotte. The Philosopher’s Stone Tavern is a casual tavern with patio seating serving a wide range of pub food till 2am, and offering games like foosball, ping-pong, and cornhole. Most importantly, they have two full bars with a range of domestic microbrews and imports and daily food and drink specials. Hawthorne’s wins over locals by offering New York-style pizza and a full bar with ridiculously affordable drink specials, patio seating, and several flat-screen, hi-def TVs. Zada Jane’s is a warm, funky corner cafe serving up light food during the weekdays with a modest wine and beer selection.
Another district worth exploring is NoDa – Charlotte’s Historic Arts District. Here on North Davidson between 35th and 36th Streets you’ll find a variety of unique shops and art galleries as well as a variety of different restaurants, serving up anything from Mediterranean mezes to Baja-style fish tacos. Most of the restaurants in NoDa also have specialty bar selections, whether you’re looking to sip on margaritas at Cabo Fish Taco, specialty cocktails at Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen, or microbrews at the canine-friendly Dog Bar.