Essex

4.5
1083 Reviews
$30 and under
International
Welcome to Essex Bar & Bistro, where the cocktail is king. Charlotte’s newest uptown craft cocktail bar and gastropub, Essex is part bistro, part lounge, and part meeting place. We’ve put as much care into the craft of cocktailing as we do our menu of international cuisine, which are designed to complement master mixologist’s liquid creations. Located in the heart of uptown Charlotte at Trade & Tryon, and only steps away from Spectrum Center. Essex is the perfect place for happy hours, evening cocktails, after-dinner drinks, or a late night rendezvous.
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Private Dining

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Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1083 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Don’t make a reservation because it doesn’t matter. I made mine for 7:15 and left at 8:05 once we still hadn’t been seated.

AS
AmberS
Richmond
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service2ambience4

The food was amazing per usual so we really enjoyed that! Our waiter was okay; not as friendly as the last person we had when we went to Essex a few months back but overall we had a nice time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food5service1ambience3

Waitress was soooo slow and acted out of it... but the food was amazing

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great as always..best lamb lollipops in the city!

MA
vipMelanieA
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience3

Made reservations via opentable easter weekend. All online presence said closing at 10 pm. Arrived for 645 response and was told by host, we are closing early in 10 mins so order your drinks and all foods immediately. Server took 10 mins to notice us. Explained it was holiday and thats why they were closing early. Not completely unreasonable. At all. Had open table or anything we found online warned us we would have picked different night. Had host been friendlier about it may not have felt burned. Had a round of drinks and went to McCormick and shmicks.

PG
PGimagination
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We booked a table for 6 today at 6.30pm. When we were seated, the server informed us that we had to order everything by 6.45 since they close at 7pm due to Easter. It was rather ridiculous! Eventually they agreed to closing it out at 7.00pm. The servers were wonderful and tried to be accommodating. All our food came all at once with the drinks and the desserts. That was a pity since the food was so good but because it all came together!, it has blended together in my mind!
Why did they not tell us they close early? We could have made the reservation for 6.00 pm or chosen another restaurant!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time coming here and I was very impressed. I like the layout of it and the food was amazing. Definitely a great brunch spot and view of uptown.

H
Hannah
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat on the patio so it was loud from the streets but so nice!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, food and drinks were great.

MR
vipMcRamba
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great variety of menu selections, and what we ordered was very tasty —Greek salad, warm Brussels Sprouts salad, steak, lobster macaroni and cheese and cheesecake. Our server was great, too. Negatives were an overpriced cocktail ($28 for a gimlet either is highway robbery or a huge oversight) and an outdoor patio area that is not well equipped for cold weather.

C
vipCruiser48
Louisville
24 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our overall experience was great! Food was delicious but it seems like the main dishes were not complimented with sides (in terms of the price )and one could order sides for an upcharge. I had the grouper which was lovely but with nothing else so I ordered the rice per our servers suggestion. Other than that it was very nice.

r
randyl
Charlotte
5 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience4

The food was pretty good, the service was less than great, the setting / ambiance was ok, but it was not terribly crowded, but super loud. The wait person was very nice while at the table, but she was mostly MIA and in the weeds the entire time we were there. Manager had her working outside and inside and not giving her any real help or support. Lazy manager.....

f
felicia
1 review
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The food was mediocre for the price. The food came out oddly fast. Almost as if it were pre made. The view was nice and the outside part is nice but overall I think it was overpriced.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Boyfriends mother was in town from California

JE
JENNIFERR
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Don’t waste your money , food subpar,, overpriced, the chef doesn’t put any love in the food , taste straight outta the microwave, the sliders are gross, the calamari mediocre, the shrimp in grits yuck ... the charcuterie just okay , the drinks just okay , barely give you enough alcohol,,, don’t go! There’s a reason they are the only place in Charlotte with availability on a Saturday night!!!

NB
NonisBelly
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Outstanding as always! My grilled octopus was exactly as I remember it, the teen loved the flatbread and her parents had the delish chicken skewers. Great evening all around!

SH
SarahH
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and atmosphere! Definitely recommend the humus dip it's amazing !

DZ
DZCGEG
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience and good food and cocktails. Our group had a good experience and all said that we would return.

BH
BelindaH
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The atmosphere and food was great. Its a small plate establishment meanimg its appetizer size dishes but I was impressed with the amount of food.

Essex
Responded on March 9, 2021

Hi Belinda, thanks for the great review! We hope you join us again soon for dinner!

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MB
MeaganB
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Butter chicken is freaking delicious!!! Service was great and really awesome bar.

Essex
Responded on March 9, 2021

We're so glad to hear! Thanks for your review Meagan

Report
s
sbzcmajcm
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience3

It was just okay. Nothing special just okay.

Essex
Responded on March 9, 2021

Hi, Please send me an email at events@essexnc so we can further discuss your visit.

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TR
TyrenR
Charlotte
10 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall2food4service2ambience3

Essex was a nice overall and the food was the best thing. Service was extremely slow and it was only a handful of patrons there.

Essex
Responded on March 7, 2021

Hello Tyren, I am sorry service was not the best, I have spoken to your server and the manager on duty about this to make sure it doesn't happen again!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall3food5service3ambience3

Add a brunch menu

PM
PamelaM
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were having a very small gathering to celebrate a birthday. The service, and food was good. We’ve dinned at Essex several times and we definitely be back.

Essex
Responded on March 2, 2021

Thanks so much for your review Pamela! We can't wait for you to come back and visit us!

Report
TC
TheCoreFour
Tampa
18 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Food was excellent . Server was good but not that personable or knowledgeable.

Essex
Responded on March 7, 2021

Hi, We're happy to hear you liked the food but we're sorry to hear that service was lacking. We hope you will give us another chance to wow you!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience3

It was raining, and their website states that they offer Valet parking but they don’t and admittedly have not for two years. The closest parking is at the Epicenter which is a bit sketchy.
The menu on their website is out of date and not what is being offered in the restaurant. The charcuterie plate may as well have been a platter I picked up at the local Food Lion and the server didn’t even know what meats and cheeses were there. She did get the ham right, but the “gouda” was actually an aged goat cheese.
We used to like this place, but I don’t see us ever going back.

CW
CotyW
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The wife and I come here a few times a year and we love it every time we come. Food is always terrific, drinks are great and we always look forward to coming back!

Essex
Responded on February 21, 2021

We're so happy to hear you enjoyed everything! We hope to see you again soon!!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The butter chicken was great. Order an extra side of rice if you want proportion

Essex
Responded on February 16, 2021

We're so happy to hear you loved the Butter Chicken! We hope to see you again soon!

Report
OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great experience. Enjoyed the heat lamps on the patio.

Essex
Responded on February 27, 2021

We're glad to hear everything was great! The heat lamps always make the patio more enjoyable during the colder months!!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Key West
2 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines lunch. Great experience!

Essex
Responded on February 16, 2021

We're happy to hear you had a great time!! Please come back to see us soon!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The website says there is free valet parking. It was rainy when we got there and the hostess informed us that there was not valet due to Covid. That’s understandable, however, it would be helpful if the website was updated. Because there was no valet we had to find parking and so wasn’t seated until about 8:40 pm. Our reservation was at 8:15. The back door to the restaurant connected to the Omni parking garage was locked so we had to walk around in the rain. The server gave us last call right away because of the state mandate. Overall it was a pleasant experience. The food and cocktails were good. The server was polite and fairly attentive.

Essex
Responded on February 16, 2021

Hello, We're sorry for the miscommunication about the valet parking. On our website we state "*Valet may be unavailable during city events or construction. Call to confirm." Unfortunately COVID has affected our valet services at the moment and it is out of our control. We will have our website updated so hopefully we will not confuse anyone else. Thank you for the feedback and we do hope to see you again soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We will never eat there again. We sat down and took them 10 minutes to greet us and we walked out. They serve the table next to us before they even talk to us. That table was sad after us they only came to us when they noticed we had nobody to serve us very unprofessional walked out the door went to the restaurant next-door in and out in 45 minutes fantastic service I will never eat or walk into Essex again thank you for your time

CS
ChadS
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always this place does NOT disappoint! Must get the Butter Chicken!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Was very nice , server could’ve been better but other than that the food and venue was nice

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice!!

C
Cris
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Good food,drinks, and service! I would recommend.

SF
SeanF
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were great. Grouper and Lamb lollypops were highlight.

Essex
Responded on January 16, 2021

Hi Sean! Thanks so much for your review. We're so glad you loved everything and we hope to see you again soon!

Report
OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charlotte
5 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sad to see how quiet downtown was but the staff at Essex didn’t disappoint. Great food and service. Highly recommend!

Essex
Responded on January 16, 2021

We're glad to hear you had a great time! We can't wait to have you dine again!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience3

The restaurant was out of multiple items that we ordered causing us to have to re look at the menu and order other items. The food portions were a little small for the price.

Essex
Responded on January 16, 2021

Hi, I'm sorry to hear that your recent dining experience with us wasn't great, Please send me an email events@essexncdotcom so we can further discuss.

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e
elkat
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I was running a bit late on my nye reservations but they were super flexible and got me in with no issues!
Service and ambience was great but all of my friends and I received dishes that were cold.

Essex
Responded on January 16, 2021

Hi, We're happy that you were accommodated with no issues, but sad to hear some of the dishes came out cold. Please send me an email events@essexncdotcom so we can further discuss the situation!

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FAQs

Essex is rated 4.5 stars by 1083 OpenTable diners.

Essex does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://www.essexnc.com/gift-cards-1/essex-gift-cards.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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