Drive-In Restaurants In and Near Charlotte

And what to order at each

IF WHAT’S old is new again, these drive-in restaurants across Charlotte are as shiny as a 2021 penny. In the middle of the 20th century, after Americans became increasingly connected – and tied to their cars – with the creation of the Interstate Highway System, a new culture of roadside eateries thrived. Suddenly, drivers could eat dinner without leaving their vehicles. While the drive-through is omnipresent in our Fast Food World, the drive-in restaurant has faded away, a vestigial icon of our former selves. Luckily, not all of them have disappeared, and they became especially needed during a year under a pandemic. Here’s a look at some of our favorite Charlotte drive-in restaurants.


South 21 Drive In

3101 E Independence Blvd.

Celebrating its 65th year in business this year, this Independence Boulevard drive-in has clearly been doing something right. The spot is closed on Sunday and Monday because perfection needs a break.

Must order: When Guy Fieri stopped here on one of his many Charlotte visits with Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, he ordered the Super Boy. If it’s good enough for Fieri, who are we to argue?


BAR-B-Q King Drive-In

2900 Wilkinson Blvd.

Four years later, this spot on Wilkinson Boulevard opened, and it’s still serving chicken and fish like it has been for the past 61 years.

Must order: Can you stop in here and really not order the namesake barbecue plate? Just don’t forget its coveted sides and dessert.


Blackwood’s Drive-In

201 York Rd., Kings Mountain

You’ll have to drive a bit for this King’s Mountain spot, but this is a drive-in after all, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Maybe hit the hiking trail afterward to lessen the guilt here.

Must order: The homemade cherry lemon Sundrop



Categories: Food + Drink