The Best Cheap Eats in Charlotte

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!

The OpenTable Team
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
Party Size
For 2
Date
Time
7:00 PM

The Foundry at Trilogy® Lake Norman

$$$$·American·
Denver
520 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual

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 twists on Southern delica...

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Good for Groups in Charlotte
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Ri Ra Irish Pub - Charlotte

$$$$·Irish·
Uptown
576 reviews
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Good for Groups
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 decorations on holidays...

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37sol Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Charlotte
303 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 Southwest fare, so anyone w...

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Cantina 1511- Mooresville

$$$$·Mexican·
Mooresville
108 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Kid-friendly
  • Good for a Date

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 exterior building is...

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Kid Friendly in Charlotte
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Nellie's Southern Kitchen

$$$$·Southern·
Belmont
946 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Live Music
  • Good for a Date

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 for cheap eats in Charl...

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Reid's Fine Foods

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
577 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch

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 also offer menu servi...

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Outdoor Dining in Charlotte
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Rusty Bucket - South Park

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
190 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Casual
  • 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 fully pay the check that ...

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Kid Friendly in Charlotte

Harry's Grille & Tavern

$$$$·American·
Steele Creek
445 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • 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 features caricatures of...

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Neighborhood Gem in Charlotte

Trio Restaurant - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
687 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch
  • 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, Cajun shrimp and grits,...

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Great for Brunch in Charlotte
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Pisces Sushi Bar & Lounge

$$$$·Sushi·
Midtown
559 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Authentic
  • Casual

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 soft shell crab, pork g...

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Red Rocks Cafe - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
2,076 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion

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 eatery’s namesake – ...

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Great for Lunch in Charlotte

Bulla Gastrobar - Charlotte

$$$$·Spanish·
Charlotte
1,354 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Tapas

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, 'Bulla' Burger and a deli...

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Most Booked in Charlotte

Zen Fusion

$$$$·Fusion / Eclectic·
Dilworth
723 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion

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 latter, the combination o...

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Best Value in Charlotte
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Civetta Italian Kitchen + Bar

$$$$·Italian·
Provincetowne
329 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem

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 provides a relaxing spot to...

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Firebirds Wood Fired Grill - Charlotte - Northlake

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
1,094 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic

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 eating out after a d...

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Essex

$$$$·International·
Uptown
1,195 reviews
  • Good for Groups
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Lunch

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 wide range of offeri...

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Scenic View in Charlotte

Village Tavern - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
1,285 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Lunch

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 include Thai chicken nach...

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New South Kitchen & Bar

$$$$·Southern·
Arboretum
952 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
  • Comfort Food

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 that can change with the...

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Fit for Foodies in Charlotte
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Bakersfield - Charlotte

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Charlotte
208 reviews
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies

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 to come by in the Sou...

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Best Value in Charlotte

Stone Mountain Grill

$$$$·American·
Ballantyne
1,015 reviews
  • Good for Groups
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion

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 and folksy overhead ...

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