Essex

4.5
1046 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 1046 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
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipmariar
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We loved it!!The shrimp tacos were great, also the Mediterranean dip that comes with a baguette.
The plates are not too big. You must order an entree.

b
biglawboy
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As everyone knows, the warm brussels sprouts chicken salad is the best thing on the menu. It's probably unfair to the rest of the menu but I only order that Every. Single. Time. #delicious

Essex
Responded 6 days ago

Now we try not to play favorites, but the warm brussels caesar is one of the best. Maybe you'll just have to order two dishes next time!

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ET
EddieTaz
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For an uptown location, this is a great value. I highly recommend

Essex
Responded on November 17, 2020

Thank you for the review! We hope you will dine with us again soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Me and my fiancé had an amazing time.

Essex
Responded 6 days ago

So glad to hear it! We hope to see you soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Playlist was great! Service was great. Tables by windows are not date friendly with spacing around table and seats being so low. But really glad the hostess let us move to a different table and overall a great date!

Essex
Responded on November 17, 2020

Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. We are so glad to hear you enjoyed the music and the service and that you were able to move to a table that was better suited for date night. We hope to see you again soon!

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SS
SonjaS
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and really great food! Comfortable seating as well.

Essex
Responded on November 17, 2020

Thank you for the review! We are so glad you enjoyed your experience at Essex and hope to see you again soon!

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WC
vipWilliamC
Charlotte
7 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

It was nice that Essex had a covered patio. Unfortunately, as the weather gets cold, it will be difficult for food to stay warm. Lukewarm food is only so delicious. I would suggest turning on the heat lamps sooner vs. later.

Essex
Responded on November 9, 2020

Thank you for the feedback William. We are happy to turn on the heaters upon request. The unseasonably warm weather in November has had many guests enjoying the patio without them. We hope you will be back to visit us again soon!

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MF
vipMiaF
Charlotte
35 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food was great! Hostess was a bit snippy, but our waitress was attentive and helpful.

T
Timar
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful experience. The food was delicious and we were served in a timely manner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I am 5 months pregnant and had a craving for their hummus of all things. Best hummus ever. Seated quickly, noise level was great, service amazing, and food great. Always recommend the butter chicken!

Essex
Responded on October 26, 2020

Thank you for the review! The butter chicken and hummus are always great choices. We hope to see you the next time the craving hits!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Greensboro
5 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice ambiance, great food and friendly staff. We were able to sit outside and enjoy dinner on the patio. I will definitely visit again!! The only thing I didn’t let was while eating a panhandle walked over the patio asking for a handout. Of course, not the restaurants faulty fault but it just caught us off guard as we were eating.

Essex
Responded on October 26, 2020

Thank you for the review! We are so glad you enjoyed the food and service. I apologize that you were interrupted during your meal, unfortunately there is little we can do to control that. We hope you will be back to visit us again soon!

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KC
KCVA
Cleveland
24 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Great service. Interesting menu but food was not spectacular.

Essex
Responded on October 26, 2020

Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience. We hope you will give us another chance to blow you away in the future!

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EH
EricH
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Small portions for the money. Described later as a tapas style portion. Ordered extra dirty martini which was billed 20 dollars and never did get olives with it.

Essex
Responded on October 26, 2020

Than you for the feedback Eric, we are tapas-style with items that are meant to share. I apologize that you received a dirty martini without olives. I wish that we could have made it right at the time of dining, but hope you will give us another chance in the future!

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N
vipNancy
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous brunch and superb service!!

Essex
Responded on October 19, 2020

Thank you Nancy! We hope you will visit us again soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food with amazing flavors!

Essex
Responded on October 19, 2020

Thank you! So glad you enjoyed!

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LC
vipLizC
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived in Charlotte from Cali with no real idea of how Covid would affect things. We didn't expect to need reservations to find a place to eat at 8pm. After wandering around and getting rejected at multiple restaurants, we found an immediate reservation available for this awesome place! We loved all of our food. Everythign was really good. The staff were all lovely and attentive. Our drinks were great. The ambiance on the patio was great. Our first night in NC was a success :) We would definitely come back here again!

Essex
Responded on October 26, 2020

Thank you for the review Liz! We are so glad we were able to make your time in North Carolina memorable with the food and service. Please come back to visit us the next time you are in Charlotte!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Love it and will definitely be back very soon

Essex
Responded on October 5, 2020

Thank you! We can't wait to see you again soon!

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JS
JeramiahS
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food was fantastic, and the service was terrific. I will definitely be returning.

Essex
Responded on September 28, 2020

Thank you Jeramiah! We can't wait to see you again soon!

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MF
MartaF
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

The food was good; I specially enjoyed the beet salad. I also had the Kefta entrée and it was very good; however, my husband had the lamb lollipops and they were overcooked. Drinks were good as well. Service was very good!

Essex
Responded on September 28, 2020

Thank you Marta. I am so sorry to hear that the lamb chops were overcooked. I hope that you will give us another chance in the future to show you a 5-star dining experience!

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MC
MelodyC
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For my first time, it was a great experience. I would definitely go back.

Essex
Responded on September 28, 2020

We are so glad to hear that Melody! We hope to see you again soon!

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PM
PamelaM
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was great, the food was good, and overall I would recommend this restaurant.

Essex
Responded on September 28, 2020

Thank you Pamela, we are so glad to hear that. Please come back and visit us soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Good atmosphere, great service, okay food, and the prices moderate.

KB
vipKristinB
Seattle
12 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

The food was mediocre at best (however, the lettuce wrap appetizer was very good) and the service was sub-par. Ambiance was “upscale diner”.

Essex
Responded on September 28, 2020

Hi Kristin, Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. I am sorry to hear that the service was sub par. The server you had was just finished training and it seems there is some more work to do. I hope you will give us another chance to show you a 5-star dining experience in the future!

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KK
KristineK
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Besides the outside protesters, going into Essex been graded very coldly by the hostess. She brought us to our seat without saying a word and just placing the rolled silverware in a pile. I am served that this is how she treated everybody that came in. Our waiter could not be more friendly the food was satisfactory but we were disappointed since we had two referrals that we “must“ visit this restaurant.

Essex
Responded on September 21, 2020

Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. I am sorry that you were not welcomed warmly by the hostess. This will be addressed to make sure everyone is receiving great customer service from the moment they walk in the door. I hope that you will give us another chance in the future!

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MR
MelanieR
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Patio was very nice ambiance and drinks and apps were great! I have eaten here in the past as well and food is always great!

Essex
Responded on September 28, 2020

Thank you Melanie, we hope to see you again soon!

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CC
CrystalC
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience2

Went to celebrate a birthday just me and my boyfriend and we couldn’t even be heard talking I couldn’t hear him half the time bc it was so nosy the food was great but all and all it could have been better.

Essex
Responded on September 21, 2020

Thank you for the feedback Crystal. I am sorry that it was too loud for you to enjoy conversation while you were dining with us. The weekends can get loud and busy, I hope you will come visit us during the week sometime when it is a little quieter.

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KL
vipKL13
Charlotte
4 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Essex is one of the best spots in Uptown to get a nice dinner & drinks. It's admittedly a bit pricey, but you will leave very satisfied. If you sit outside, you'll hear activity within the city, as it's located at Main & Main, so only sit out there if you don't mind some background noise and commotion.

Essex
Responded on September 21, 2020

Thank you for the great review! We are so glad to hear you are a fan of Essex and hope to see you again soon!

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T
Tori
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a girls night out and absolutely enjoyed ourselves! Our waiter Dre was amazing/fun and the food was totally worth every penny. I will be back again very soon. We had Lamb chop lollipops which were out of this world good. Also there flat bread and drinks we outstanding.

Essex
Responded on September 21, 2020

Thanks for the great review Tori! I am so glad to hear that Dre took amazing care of your group and you enjoyed the food and drinks. We hope to see you again soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous as always!!! Never disappoints for brunch or dinner! Sweetest waitress and the best place to be

Essex
Responded on September 14, 2020

Thank you for the great review! We hope to see you again soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved the food so much I came back two days in a row! My second experience I had the pleasure of having Tia again! I can not say enough about the level of amazing service she provides! It was extremely busy Sunday and she handled everything seamlessly! The food was so delicious, the service was fast and the drinks were made to perfection!

Essex
Responded on September 8, 2020

Thanks so much for the great review! We are so glad you had a wonderful experience and we hope to see you again soon!

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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

My most recent experience at Essex was HORRIBLE. I have been to Essex a handful of other times before and it has been great, but this last visit was the absolute last time I will ever step foot in that restaurant. The service was deplorable. From the second we walked in to the second we left. The hostess had a horrible attitude as did our server. Furthermore, they were out of about 6 things that we tried to order, which is just simply unacceptable. Especially since they were not busy and had only a handful of tables. Our waitress hardly paid us any attention and was not apologetic at all for the delay in our drinks and food. We received food before our drinks and our food came out at various different times. It got so bad I had to call the manager over to give her the feedback. Still no apology from our server even after that happened. Also, to add to that, we saw our server talking to the manager after the manager spoke to us and she never came back to our table. I typically tip between 20-25% sometimes 30% if service is exceptional, I did not tip a single penny. The manager took 50% off our bill and even told us she did not add gratuity to our bill because she did not think our server deserved it, if that tells you anything at all. Very disappointed in my experience since Essex was a place I really liked and always recommended to people.

Essex
Responded on September 14, 2020

Thank you for the feedback on your recent experience at Essex. As management, we take responsibility for not being properly staffed. Holiday weekends are typically some of the slowest and this year that was not the case due to COVID. We should have been more prepared for an influx of business so your service did not have to suffer. I understand that you were disappointed with your experience, and rightfully so, but I hope that you will give us another chance.

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F
Forde
Charlotte
7 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent and original food in a unique location in Uptown Charlotte

Essex
Responded on September 8, 2020

Thanks for the review! We hope to see you again soon!

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E
Eric
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We arrived for our reservation and were seated quickly. It went downhill from there. We waited for about 10 minutes for a server. When she came, we were informed that the menu posted on their website was inaccurate. We were directed to scan the qr code on the table. I understand menus are limited because of COVID, but that shod be updated on the website. The waitress left to get our waters, after another 10 minutes of waiting, we left.

Essex
Responded on September 14, 2020

Thank you for the feedback on your experience at Essex. I apologize that we missed the mark on customer service. As management, we take responsibility for not being staffed appropriately and being out of some of the items on the menu. Holiday weekends are typically some of the slowest and this year that was not the case due to COVID. We should have been more prepared for an influx of business so your service did not have to suffer. I hope that you will give us another chance in the future.

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Good food, the service seemed a little scattered. They brought us food that was meant for someone else. The drinks were delicious. Our waiter was hard to hear bc of the mask and seemed irritated. The food was small plates but large enough to share with four ppl. Great chicken skewers & their bread with the dip trios is fabulous.

SM
SherryM
Charlotte
6 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I met a friend for lunch on the patio. I felt very safe in current CoVid19 environment, had excellent service and the food was great!

Essex
Responded on August 25, 2020

Thank you for the review Sherry! I am so glad we were able to provide you with a safe and tasty lunch during this time. Please come back and see us soon.

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MW
MichaelW
Western NC
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Service started off slow- but after a while, it got better and was not an issue. The food is very flavorful. The Bang bang fish was outstanding.

RB
RichardB
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent choices for small plates. Curried chicken and Brussels sprouts Cesar are excellent choices.

Essex
Responded on August 31, 2020

Thank you Richard! We hope you will be back to see us soon!

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JM
JonneshaM
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The atmosphere was great. The food was outstanding. I will definitely be coming back and recommending it to friends and family.

Essex
Responded on August 17, 2020

Thank you! We are so glad to hear that. See you soon!

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f
foodiecy
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall3food5service1ambience3

Our waiter seemed to want to be somewhere else. We go to Essex quite a bit and while we enjoyed our food as always the service was not that great.

Essex
Responded on August 17, 2020

We are so sorry to hear that your server seemed distracted when you dined with us. I hope that you will give us another chance soon!

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OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very polite and courteous staff, the service was quick and the grilled octopus and lamb chops are amazing

Essex
Responded on August 17, 2020

Thanks for the great review! We hope you will come back and see us again soon!

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FAQs

Essex is rated 4.5 stars by 1046 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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