Food + Drink

Food & Drink

  Readers' ChoiceBurger PenguinPizza BrixxSteakhouse Morton’sVegetarian selection Zada Jane’sComfort food DishBreakfast Original House of PancakesBrunchPewter RoseBarbecue Mac’s Speed ShopTaco joint Cabo Fish TacoCoffee shop (non-chain)Dilworth Coffee HouseLate-night diningPenguinHotel restaurant Ember GrilleNew restaurant M5Caribbean Anntony’sIndian CopperItalian Mama Riccota’sJapanese/Sushi NikkoMexican Cantina 1511Seafood UpstreamSouthern/Soul…

Service

  Readers' ChoiceYoga/Pilates studio Iron Butterfly PilatesSpaThe Spa at Ballantyne ResortBarbershop Emerson JosephSalon Modern Salon & SpaDry cleaner Long'sFlorist Elizabeth House FlowersCaterer Something ClassicConcierge serviceSimply Done Eyebrow wax/shaping    Parvin's SpaA great eyebrow wax is like a great haircut. You can't put…

Spa Treatments

 Body TreatmentPumpkin Pie & Sweet Wine Body Scrub The Spa at Ballantyne ResortFollowing a soft dry scrub, an aesthetician exfoliates and rehydrates your dry skin with a yam and pumpkin enzyme peel, almond and mineral treatment, ten grains and spices…

Best of the Burbs: North

 Brunch Toast Café If you want weekend brunch at family-owned Toast, show up early to avoid the line of patient diners wrapped around the little mustard-colored house. They're likely waiting for their turn to have made-from-scratch raspberry and walnut pancakes.…

NASCAR

 DriverJimmie JohnsonTo become the champion you must beat the champion. That's what Jimmie Johnson did en route to winning the 2006 and 2007 Sprint Cup championships. Considered a rising star in 2001, and handpicked by Jeff Gordon to join the…

Essentially Charlotte

 Readers' ChoiceSkyline view Bentley's on 27Picnic spot Freedom ParkFestival Festival in the ParkInternational event Yiasou Greek FestivalFree event Pops in the ParkNoteworthy event of last 12 months Light RailGossip/rumor Prostitution in SouthParkPublic gardenWing Haven Gardens and Bird SanctuaryWing Haven qualifies…

Nightlife

  Readers' ChoiceSports bar Picasso'sPub Ri RaDance club ForumSmoke-free bar Loft 1523Hotel bar Bar 10 at the WestinPlace to hear jazz BluePlace for karaoke Jackalope Jack'sMartini selectionTherapyBeer selection Flying SaucerLive music venue Amos' Southend Trendy barM5M5 is a restaurant and bar,…

Worth a Second Look

Appearances often mislead in restaurants—sumptuous décor conceals poor service, beautiful presentation hides bad food. Appearances mislead at Pollo Inka, too, but in a different direction. Housed in a former Thai restaurant, its gabled, wooden exterior is charming but hardly brings…

Dream Band

 Bass Ron Brendle Ron Brendle is Charlotte's best known bass player for a reason. Bass players are often overlooked within bands, but Brendle's skillful play demands attention. His jazz trio, Big Octave, is a local favorite, and Brendle can also…

Sports Bars

 Place to watch the Pittsburgh SteelersDixie's TavernTwo words: Iron City. That should tell Steelers faithful all they need to know. The tables have built-in buckets to better accommodate the $1 bottles shipped from Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania. The menu is Cajun, but…

Small Plates

 OverallScallops at Las RamblasWhen Executive Chef Blake Hartwick wants to send out a special dish to a VIP, this is what he chooses. Two perfectly grilled diver scallops (the grilling makes the difference) with a dash of sea salt over…

Arts & Culture

 PerformerNicholle RochelleNorth Carolina Dance TheatreCertainly you've seen Nicholle Rochelle's image. Her ecstatic grand jeté graces all NCDT marketing materials this season; her pristine extension dots the "i" on Charlotte Culture Guide billboards. But if you haven't seen her in person—seen…

Family & Kids

  Readers' ChoiceKids' clothing Fancy PantsKids' haircutsGreat ClipsPlace to buy birthday cake Edible ArtFamily outing Discovery Place/U.S. National Whitewater Center (tie)Park for kids Freedom ParkPlace to go on a rainy dayDiscovery Place Place you wish were around when you were a…

Handbags

 Inexpensive but cool EileenAs a boutique that actually boasts handbags under $100, it's a no-brainer why South End's Eileen is the top pick for inexpensive (yet totally chic) handbags. You'll mostly find larger shoulder bags and totes (love the Melie…

Best of the Burbs: South

 Wine barUnder the GrapeA handful of wine shops and bars have sprouted in recent years, but Under the Grape has the formula down. Owners Barb and Henry Tyree understand that the typical wine drinker isn’t a sommelier, so they offer…

Shopping

 Readers' ChoiceWomen's boutique The Pink HangerMen's fashions Paul SimonWomen's shoes Nordstrom Men's shoes NordstromVintage clothing Hong Kong VintageMaternity clothing Beaux BellyEvening gowns NitsaStore to buy jeans NordstromJewelryHand PickedStylish gifts PaperSkyscraperAntiquesMetrolinaFurnitureBoylesBike shop/repair Black SheepHardware StoreBlackhawk HardwarePet store Pet SmartBookstore Barnes &…

Sports

  Readers' ChoiceProfessional athlete Steve SmithComeback athlete Vinny TestaverdeAthlete with a heart Steve SmithNASCAR driverDale Earnhardt Jr.Golf course Quail Hollow ClubDriving rangeLeathermanBowling alley George Pappas' Park Lanes Player on top of his gameJacob CogginsThe Charlotte Eagles have consistently been one of…

2008 Best of the Best

 View the CategoriesFood & Drink Best of Food & Drink: Small Plates  Shopping Best of Shopping: Handbags  Essentially Charlotte Family & Kids Best of the Burbs: North Best of the Burbs: South Service Best of Service: Spa Treatments  Sports Best of Sports:…

Sushi for Superheroes

Anyone who's ever come across Nikko owner Joanna Nix knows that she is, well, uninhibited. But this? This is a surprise.For ten years, the original South End location of Nikko was a cozy spot—no more than a dozen tables—known for…

Barbecue, Far Eastern-Style

 From Brazil and South Africa to Lexington and Kansas City, every culture has its own time-honored barbecue tradition. Korea is no exception. Whether boneless (bulgogi) or bone-in (kalbi) these sweet, marinated beef ribs will satisfy carnivores of every nation.The waitress…

The Chicken King

Steve Koutroulakis came over from Greece in 1977, worked in restaurants, then finally bought his own place, Chicken King. I had been driving by the Chicken King at Plaza and Parkwood for years and never stopped. Shame on me. It's…

Shockingly Southern

 Chef Chris Edwards deconstructs chicken and dumplings.As a transplant from the hinterlands of the Northeast, otherwise known as Buffalo, Boston, and Philadelphia, there are things I cannot hope to understand about the South. NASCAR is one—for the life of me…

Falafel Surprise

Falafel, made from fried spiced chickpeas, is served with a tangy yogurt sauce while the kafta arayes (think crispy pita filled with spiced ground beef and served with chopped pickles) is a highlight on the menu.Those unfamiliar with Lebanon may…

Charlotte Restaurant Guide

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