Vida Cantina
Vida Cantina

Vida Cantina

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.vidacantina.com/
  • Phone: 7049718432
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch Daily: 11am - 4pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4pm - 11pm, Friday - Saturday: 11am-12am Sunday: 4pm - 10pm Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11am - 4pm;
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Chris Swinyard
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: Now offering catering services by request.
  • Private Party Facilities: Spice up your next social gathering by celebrating with Vida. From corporate events and company meetings to birthdays and holiday parties, the experienced event coordinators at Vida will help you flawlessly pull off an event catered to your needs with a flare that's uniquely Vida. That means completely customizable party plans, including various seating options for parties of any size, Vida’s evolved Mexican cuisine, festive atmosphere, exceptional service and specialty handcrafted margaritas. Please feel free to contact our event coordinator directly: Andrea Jones Sales and Marketing Manager ajones@vidacantina.com 704-971-VIDA (8432) 704-971-8435 fax
  • Private Party Contact: Andrea Jones 7049718432

Getting there

  • Cross Street: College Street
  • Public Transit: We are on the light rail line at the Bobcats Arena/EpiCentre stop.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: There are various parking lots available within walking distance to Vida ranging from $5-20. There is also a valet at the front of the EpiCentre that charges $20 for the night.
A word from Vida Cantina
Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina is uptown Charlotte's first Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, serving traditional Mexican cuisine alongside handcrafted cocktails, an extensive list of tequilas and signature Skinny Margaritas. Vida is located at Charlotte's most vibrant corner - the intersection of Trade and College Streets - Vida is the perfect location to enjoy specialty Mexican fare for lunch and dinner.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Vida Cantina reviews from OpenTable diners
60 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (34)great for outdoor dining (24)hot spot (24)great for lunch (23)fit for foodies (17)vibrant bar scene (17)special occasion (12)late-night find (11)scenic view (10)neighborhood gem (9)kid-friendly (5)romantic (4)great for brunch (2)notable wine list (2)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    A great restaurant for patio seating and people watching, the guacamole, shrimp tacos and grilled corn were disappointing but mojitios were tasty and service was on par.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Great weather so we ate outside. Fantastic service and, as always, very good food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but been better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I have always loved Vida but this time the shrimp tacos were a little drier than normal. Could have been an off night though. Overall it was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sangria
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Red sanngria was awesone. Customer Service was great. Loved the Guac.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyable spot in Uptown
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Good ambience, service, and food. Best when you can dine outside. Inside is a little noisy. Good lighting, comfortable seating. Enjoyed very much.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • cold food
    sallllllllllllll
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    food was cold. ordered a quesidilla with goat cheese and spinach. it was cold. so were the black beans and rice
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistently Great
    CatherineVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Vida is my favorite restaurant Uptown. After moving to the southern side of Uptown, my old friends from the large bank north of Trade&Tryon know they can always guarantee I'll make the trek to meet them at Vida for lunch. Great service, and I love the carnitas tacos. Chips are flavorful and the salsa is great.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food!
    MDS1
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great food, great service! Will definitely be coming back!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Excellent service, great food, great location what else is there to say.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome awesome
    LoveVida
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    I always enjoy myself at Vida, whether it's for lunch or happy hour on a Thursday. The experience is consistent and I recommend this resturant to all my friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall Good
    MS1025
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Great service. Friendly waiter. Food was good even though the chicken in my enchilada was pureed. I expected small chunks or shredded for a mid to higher end restaurant. Restaurant should validate parking.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My Take on the Resturant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The food was tasty, not what I would expect in Mexican Cantina, by the time it was served it was bit cooled, The taste was bland, Had to ask for Hot pepper to life in food. Salt was very low, yet no Shaker. Waitress was energetic, Music was so LOUD, could not understand the conversation. Decor and layout was good, I thought who ever designed it could not get over being Tradition or Contemporary. If any thing add more speakers, turn the music down a bit, add more staff for casual walk by and stoking conversations. Need to add definitely some charm (SPICE'S) to menu items. (Not took it out of a can heated and served it. The food needs character. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    Rebkop21
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We visit Vida at least once a year when we are in Charlotte. It's our " go too". This year we had a little attitude from the hostess but didn't let that ruin our evening. My husband had the tortilla pie which is my fav! It was delicious! I had the chicken and corn enchiladas. My dish was pretty good. For an app we had guacamole which was fabulous and also enjoyed the red sangria!!!! We left full & satisfied.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lion
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    lovely! service was great fodd was great. would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vida was so-so
    FoodieMeVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Went to Sunday Brunch at Vida. Unfortunately, there was SO much construction uptown that just finding a parking spot took over 30 minutes. We ended up doing valet ($15). We sat outside thinking it would be fun...unfortuntately, there was a a huge truck outside doing some sort of sewer work....extremely noisy. The food was so-so (nothing to brag about), service was very good. Highlight was a good view of some iconic downtown buildings. I can say I've given Vida a try, but not likely to come back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a hit
    SCsFoodyLou
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    One of my fav places for lunch and Cinco de Mayo! Always a repeat with groups/friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food and Service
    Spannman
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Make sure you go to any event before you eat because to food is so good
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great service
    SCgirl
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    This was the best Mexican food I've had in a long time. The guacamole dip was very creamy, fresh chips were nice and crispy. I ordered a Sangria with my dinner and it complimented the food nicely. My friend and I ordered 3 tacos and our waitress informed us that we could mix and match since the selection was big. Wait staff was great! Give it a try, you won't be sorry!
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is our stop in Charlotte!
    Sgchoate87
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    This is our go to place in Charlotte. We are usually in town for a concert and it's our fave! The food and service is always consistently great! We will be back in Sept!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Very good lunch menue - always consistent. Service just ok
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding!!!
    love2eat
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Wonderful waitstaff and wonderful food. The location was great for nightlife. Lots of things we wanted to try on the menu.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • killer dishes
    yummyVIP
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    spicy food yet amazingly tasty shrimp tacos were delicious and the services was stellar the pork and queso appetizer was spicy as heck but supper supper tasty we could not put it down. the enchiladas were a bit dissapointing the filling was bland and it seemed like just steamed shredded beef had no real essence to it. the chips and salsa were very tasty and also it was awesome how well they acomodated for my 5 year old daughter.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expecting more
    MackVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    I've been to Vida Cantina's casual restaurant and bar next door before and was impressed. I expected an even better experience at their full service restaurant but was incredibly disappointed. Two of us ordered the carnitas entree and the meat was dry, overcooked, and tasteless. When we brought it to the server's attention he was ambivalent and said that the dish "should not be dry" because he had eaten the carnitas before. He did not offer to take the dishes back (we were celebrating two birthdays at the table so I didn't want to make it an issue) so we washed the meal down with drinks. Speaking of drinks, I seem to recall having a greater selection of tequilas and margaritas from the cantina next door (like jalapeño infused).
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worst food not Mexican food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    From the menu and name this looks like a Mexican food restaurant but it's so amercanized this cloud never wear the name "Mexican food" it's a disgrace and should get a new menu or a more suitable name. The enchiladas tasted like they were covered in mayonnaise
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food!
    cotter
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Enjoyed the food and atmosphere. Perfect spot to start a night out in Uptown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Mexican Food
    GAgirlfoodie1
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    This was our first time to visit Vida Cantina. Our food and service was very good. I was disappointed in my margarita. I did not like the skinny margarita & returned it for a house margarita, which was a little better but still not a great margarita. We will go back. It's in a great location. Great for people watching.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lunch special is fab
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    2nd time here for lunch. Server was having an 'off' day. Quality mexican food. Nice shaded patio. Will be back!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Great good and service. Always consistently good food, love the corn!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 445 reviews are from the Vida Cantina reviews archive.
  • AAAAA+
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    The food is always fresh and delicious at Vida's. Our server Jennifer is outstanding and always goes above and beyond for her customers. Thank you, Jennifer!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Mexican Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    It's not California or Texas, but its pretty good for Charlotte Mexican food. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High end Mexican
    tfossum
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Food was great- amazing Guacamole! Price good and lots of food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ashley
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We had a light lunch on the patio. It was very good as well.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Horrible Service
    Nicola9297
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We took our mother here for Mothers Day and the service was horrible. The waitress misunderstood a request regarding a pitcher of margarita. She thought we wanted 2 and we only wanted 1 pitcher. Apparently, she thought when we said was that going to be enough for the table, she thought was wanted another (simple miscommunication). When we told her she got upset & argued that we said that we wanted another one. We told her that was not the case and she wanted to continue to debate about it. Reluctantly, she took away the second pitcher. She came back to take our order w/ a very poor attitude & very little patience with the elderly people we had with us. Food was bad. Had to wait for the check for over 15-20min ..could not find our waitress.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not very impressed
    Otu229
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Stopped in here after the movies with some friends. It tries to be "upscale" Mexican but I think they just charge more & serve it on a pretty looking plate. 3 tacos for $15... They barely had filling & honestly with so many other good places to choose from with good size portions for you money, I would skip this place. I had one of there margaritas made from their homemade mix & was not impressed. That should be a staple at any Mexican joint. Maybe they were just having an off night but I see no other reason to stop in again. Also, we ordered guacamole as an appetizer & it came out in the worlds largest bowl with about 1/4 full, already mixed up. It was good (not great) and sort of tasted like the avacados that are pre-smashed in a bag.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cinco de Maio
    FMSC
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    Had reservation and arrived early, seated immediately. Very crowded, it was Cinco de Maio. Food was excellent, noise level very high.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cinco De Mayo
    Drdsoliman
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    We had a 6PM reservations and we waited 20 minutes to be seated which was a little bit too much but given that it was cinco de mayo and the walk in wait was 2 hours.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice Find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    A friend of mine recommended this place for lunch before our Sunday matinee show. I had never been but was anxious to try a new spot. We sat outside as it was a gorgeous day. The food choices were ok, but I would have liked it had they had a choose your own taco combo choice (i think it was available during the week); fortunately my friend ordered ones I wanted to try so we swapped one of the 2 with each other. Guacamole was tasty, and the mojito was was also good. It was a nice casual place and I am glad I got to try it. It is a quick easy place to go before a show or just to sit outside and people watch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food!
    Beazer
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Found this restaurant by accident a year ago but come back often, food is excellent and margaritas are the best!
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    Disapointed
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    We had called ahead and asked if we could use GC at Vida Cantina vs Vida Vida and the mngr said they honored both. Once seated our waiter pointed out our GC were for Vida Vida. I explained I talked to the mngr prior to arriving. After that the waiter seemed fine and provided adequate service. The food not so adequate. Very dry, it looked like it had been sitting for awhile before we received. My son in law commented before it was delivered doesn't it seem it's taking along time. I commented it's peak dinner time on a sat. I don't mind waiting on food as long as it's good. It was a sat night, a lot going on so the wait for arrival of food is not the issue. Anyway very disappointed in the food. Dry, no taste, and nauseating.
    Special Features:
    Scenic View
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Yummy Easter Brunch
    cinco
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Away from the bustle of typical holiday fare we enjoyed our Easter Lunch Mexican style fresh salads and good seafood choices the guacamole was excellent!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.