The Best Cheap Eats in Charlotte

The OpenTable Team

Because of its designation as one of the fastest-growing cities in America, finding quality yet cheap eats in Charlotte has become easier over the years. While the ‘80's culinary scene meant mostly "meat and potatoes" on the menu, the establishment of Johnson & Wales University and the Carolina Panthers football team has turned the city into a foodies’ haven. A visit to Charlotte means everything from classic burgers to Venezuelan arepas without a hefty bill. Plus beer enthusiasts can take their pick of the many craft breweries in town. But which restaurants attract the smartest and savviest diners from across North Carolina? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. We've gathered data from thousands of America's best eateries to discover where OpenTable's most knowledgeable diners love to enjoy their favorite meals. Check out these cheap eats in Charlotte for mouthwatering, yet affordable options. Then book a table and knock that hunger out of the park!

Restaurants:The Foundry at Trilogy® Lake Norman, Ri Ra Irish Pub - Charlotte, 37sol Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:American, Irish, Mexican / Southwestern
Neighborhoods:Denver, Uptown, Charlotte

The Foundry at Trilogy® Lake Norman

$$$$·American·
Denver
490 reviews
  • Casual
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for Groups
Those who have tried food at The Foundry at Trilogy were no doubt surprised that taste and cheap eats in Charlotte could work so perfectly together. The eatery offers healthy twistRead more
95% recommended
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Ri Ra Irish Pub - Charlotte

$$$$·Irish·
Uptown
578 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
This eatery is so authentically Irish that it was restored in Ireland before being shipped to America. Chandeliers, stone fireplaces, a soft ambiance at the bar and a flair for decRead more
87% recommended
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37sol Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Charlotte
180 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
The dedication to made-from-scratch dishes at 37sol Southwest Kitchen surely stands out more than their cheap eats in Charlotte designation. They offer Southern versions of SouthweRead more
90% recommended

Cantina 1511- Mooresville

$$$$·Mexican·
Mooresville
82 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Fit for Foodies
Anyone seeking the best cheap eats in Charlotte has no doubt visited a Mexican restaurant. If they haven’t gone to Cantina 1511, though, something is missing from their lives. The Read more
93% recommended

Nellie's Southern Kitchen

$$$$·Southern·
Belmont
944 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Good for a Date
  • Live Music
The giant spoon and fork outside of this location may not scream ‘Southern fare,’ but all that changes the moment guests walk in. Nellie’s Southern Kitchen definitely qualifies forRead more
90% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Reid's Fine Foods

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
391 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Live Music
For cheap eats in Charlotte, wouldn't it be easier to visit a grocer? At Reid's Fine Foods, that's exactly what patrons do. Reid's sells a variety of items to take home, but they aRead more
92% recommended
Hot Spot in Charlotte

Rusty Bucket - South Park

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
103 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Lunch
The extravagance of Rusty Bucket’s exterior – calling out in all directions thanks to its corner location – is enough to bring in even busy passersby. The interior is able to fullyRead more
87% recommended
Kid Friendly in Charlotte

Harry's Grille & Tavern

$$$$·American·
Steele Creek
361 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
  • Special Occasion
The bottom floor of a three-story building – complete with hard-to-miss red and black awnings – is where patrons come to enjoy Harry’s Grille & Tavern. Inside, the big red wall feaRead more
98% recommended
Great for Brunch in Charlotte
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Trio Restaurant - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
637 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
Brick oven pizzas – like the Mediterranean and roasted vegetarian – are far from all that's offered at Trio. Those who aren't feeling like Italian can enjoy Greek veggie wraps, CajRead more
96% recommended
Good for Groups in Charlotte

Stone Mountain Grill

$$$$·American·
Ballantyne
1,019 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Birthdays
The front entryway of Stone Mountain Grill screams ‘Southern vintage,’ and the inside stands firmly by this motif by featuring a working stone fireplace, gorgeous nature paintings Read more
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Pisces Sushi Bar & Lounge

$$$$·Sushi·
Midtown
486 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
Sushi lovers who want a little something extra will love Pisces Sushi Bar & Lounge. In addition to their culinary namesake, the eatery offers taste-bud-titillating options like sofRead more
96% recommended

Red Rocks Cafe - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
1,798 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Casual
A bright red covered patio, umbrellas and awnings are enough to draw anyone’s attention towards Red Rocks Café. The color scheme remains consistent on the inside – sticking to the Read more
94% recommended
Great for Lunch in Charlotte

Bulla Gastrobar - Charlotte

$$$$·Spanish·
Charlotte
790 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
In addition to a variety of imaginative cocktails, Bulla Gastrobar serves guests up with a contemporary and unique spin on traditional Spanish tapas. Grab the garbonzo frito, 'BullRead more
99% recommended
Outdoor Dining in Charlotte

Zen Fusion

$$$$·Fusion / Eclectic·
Dilworth
592 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Creative Cuisine
The soft lighting, relaxing colors and peaceful Buddha statue inside the entryway’s fish tank all help Zen Fusion live up to the former half of its name. When it comes to the latteRead more
97% recommended
Best Value in Charlotte

Civetta Italian Kitchen + Bar

$$$$·Italian·
Ballantyne
329 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for Anniversaries
The lighting, industrial overhead and worn-brick archway give Civetta Italian Kitchen + Bar the appearance of being pulled from a Mediterranean film noir. This unique décor provideRead more
88% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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Firebirds Wood Fired Grill - Charlotte - Northlake

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
775 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
Although it has locations scattered across America, North Carolinians and guests would view the Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in Northlake Mall as the one and only. Who doesn’t enjoy Read more
90% recommended

Essex

$$$$·International·
Uptown
1,034 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Tapas
  • Fit for Foodies
The international cuisine offered at Essex manages to hold its own against their impressive cocktails. Labeled as part lounge, part meeting place and part bistro, the eatery has a Read more
89% recommended
Good for Groups in Charlotte

Village Tavern - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
1,314 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for Birthdays
Smack dab in the heart of Southpark, the Village Tavern offers some of the most impressively plated dishes and a menu with offerings often unheard of in North Carolina. These incluRead more
95% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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New South Kitchen & Bar

$$$$·Southern·
Arboretum
839 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Casual
With fare created by a homegrown chef, New South Kitchen & Bar focuses on ingredients that are always sourced locally via natural farming techniques. This means seasonal menus thatRead more
98% recommended
Great for Brunch in Charlotte
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Bakersfield - Charlotte

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Charlotte
138 reviews
  • Hot Spot
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
Few restaurants have the byline ‘Tacos. Tequila. Whiskey.’, but that’s what makes Bakersfield so appealing to many. They specialize in Mexican street fare - something that's hard tRead more
100% recommended
Best Value in Charlotte