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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 Tastemaker 20. 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 20 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
For 2 people today
Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM

The Foundry at Trilogy® Lake Norman

$$$$·American·
Denver
423 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Groups
  • Neighborhood Gem
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
92% recommended
Best Service in Charlotte

Ri Ra Irish Pub - Charlotte

$$$$·Irish·
Uptown
529 reviews
  • Casual
  • Bar Seating
  • Cozy
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
83% recommended

37sol Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Charlotte
122 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
  • Bar Seating
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
81% recommended

Cantina 1511- Mooresville

$$$$·Mexican·
Mooresville
67 reviews
  • Casual
  • Fun
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
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
Kid Friendly in Charlotte

Nellie's Southern Kitchen

$$$$·Southern·
Belmont
838 reviews
  • Comfort Food
  • Live Music
  • Neighborhood Gem
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
89% recommended
Great for Brunch in Charlotte

Reid's Fine Foods

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
324 reviews
  • Casual
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Happy Hour
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
83% recommended
Great for Brunch in Charlotte

Rusty Bucket - South Park

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
64 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
88% recommended
Good for Groups in Charlotte

Harry's Grille & Tavern

$$$$·American·
Steele Creek
301 reviews
  • Casual
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
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
96% recommended

Trio Restaurant - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
577 reviews
  • Great for Lunch
  • Comfort Food
  • Neighborhood Gem
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
100% recommended
Best Value in Charlotte

Stone Mountain Grill

$$$$·American·
Ballantyne
953 reviews
  • Casual
  • Comfort Food
  • Good for a Date
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
85% recommended
Kid Friendly in Charlotte

Pisces Sushi Bar & Lounge

$$$$·Sushi·
Midtown
449 reviews
  • Casual
  • Sunday Lunch
  • Good for Anniversaries
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
Kid Friendly in Charlotte

Red Rocks Cafe - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
SouthPark
1,624 reviews
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
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
91% recommended

Bulla Gastrobar - Charlotte

$$$$·Spanish·
Charlotte
523 reviews
  • Tapas
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
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
96% recommended
Fit for Foodies in Charlotte

Zen Fusion

$$$$·Fusion / Eclectic·
Dilworth
495 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Casual
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
100% recommended
Best Overall in Charlotte

Civetta Italian Kitchen + Bar

$$$$·Italian·
Ballantyne
281 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • 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

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill - Charlotte - Northlake

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
612 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Special Occasion
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
89% recommended

Essex

$$$$·International·
Uptown
909 reviews
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
  • 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
81% recommended
Scenic View in Charlotte

Village Tavern - Charlotte

$$$$·American·
Charlotte
1,236 reviews
  • Casual
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for a Date
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
91% recommended

New South Kitchen & Bar

$$$$·Southern·
Arboretum
767 reviews
  • Local Ingredients
  • Casual
  • 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 thatRead more
96% recommended
Best Service in Charlotte

Bakersfield - Charlotte

$$$$·Mexican / Southwestern·
Charlotte
89 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Bar Seating
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
Hot Spot in Charlotte
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