Calamari Creations

Deep-fried squid with a side of marinara may give you flashbacks to 1990s chain restaurants, but don’t dismiss this traditional Mediterranean dish yet.


The calamari at Dressler’s features a Thai twist with a salty-sweet peanut glaze.

Chris Edwards

Recently, Charlotte chefs have been serving up succulent and skillfully created calamari dishes. We’ve found three great local spots where you can dig into the squid—no red sauce allowed.

Calamari Tempura ($16)
While the menu is changing at this uptown Asian-fusion restaurant after the departure of chef Bryan Emperor, this boldly flavored calamari dish is staying put. Lightly fried and served over seaweed salad, the tender calamari is topped with a savory yet sweet Japanese cream reduction.
505 E. Sixth St., 704-910-4877

Thai Crispy Calamari ($11)
Dressler’s Restaurant

For this popular dish, chef Scott Hollingsworth fries thick and delicate strips of calamari before coating them in a semisweet Thai peanut glaze. Drizzled in a mild wasabi aioli, this appetizer comes with almost a dozen strips—but you won’t want to share.
1100-E Metropolitan Ave., 704-909-6295

Calamari with Fried Olives and Peppadew Peppers ($9.95)
Blue Restaurant

Borrowing inspiration from the rustic flavors of Northern Africa, chef Gene Briggs uses chickpea flour to fry plump rings of calamari alongside green olives and peppers. The resulting dish is hearty, with plenty of crunch—and perfect for dipping in its accompanying creamy lemon-harissa sauce.
206 N. College St., 704-927-2583

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Glory Kitchen Spices Things Up

Glory Kitchen spice blends are now available throughout Charlotte

Cider Fest, Oktoberfest, Fall Fest, and More

Once fall hits, it seems like there are festivals every weekend; just further proof that fall is probably the best season for foodies

A 3rd Location for Queen City Q

Charlotte's purveyor of pork, brisket, and ribs is expanding yet again - this time, a bit outside town

Happy (Belated) National Taco Day

Pork, beef, tofu, fish, chicken - everything is at home on a tortilla with fixins' that'll make all your taco dreams come true

We invite your responses and discussion. Please refrain from personal attacks, profanity, commercial promotion, or non sequiturs.

Add your comment: