GUIDE: 25 Black-Owned Restaurants and Dessert Shops in Charlotte

Spots range from longtime favorites to 2020 newcomers
Charlotte, Nc March 12th Food And Staff Including Chef Greg Collier At Leah And Louise. Photographed In Charlotte Nc On March 12th, 2020. Photo By Peter Taylor
Smoked lamb rib at Leah & Louise. Photo by Peter Taylor.

Leah & Louise
301 Camp Rd. (Camp North End)
The Memphis-style juke joint is third concept from husband-and-wife team Greg and Subrina Collier and the first restaurant to open in Camp North End. Greg, the James Beard-nominated chef and Soul Food Sessions co-founder, serves soul food he grew up on in Memphis.

Uptown Yolk
224 E. 7th St. (inside 7th Street Public Market)
The Collier’s breakfast-focused uptown spot serves cheesy grits, fried chicken sandwiches, and 17 other options that are good any time of day.

Mama Gee’s
509 Beatties Ford Rd.
This take-out-only spot is owned and operated by a Ghanan family, so it’s the most authentic jollof rice and tomato stew you’ll get outside of West Africa.

Mert’s Heart & Soul
214 N. College St.
This uptown eatery is where you take Mom and Dad when they’re in town. Mert’s housemade seasonings set the “Southern Fried Chicken” here apart, alongside its cornbread (and two other sides) that accompanies it.

1501 South Mint
1501 S. Mint St.
The bodega’s on-site food truck focuses on street food reminiscent of the owner’s Dominican heritage and childhood in the Bronx. Get corn tortillas loaded with carne asada, carnitas, or chicken—so much meat that every taco comes with a fork to scoop up the leftovers.

BW Sweets Bakery
5821 E. W.T. Harris Blvd.
The dessert bar is full of grab-and-go goodies like brownies, donuts, and 16 flavors of cake slices. There are whole cakes, too, if you have a crowd at home and a special occasion.

Popbar Charlotte
3123 N. Davidson St., Ste. 102B
Customize your own gelato, yogurt, or sorbet popsicle with drippings and toppings at Kia and Clarence Lyons’ counter-serve spot in NoDa.

The Mitin Shiro Wat At Abugida In Charlotte, Nc. Photographed In Charlotte, Nc On 21mar18. Photographs By Peter Taylor

The mitin shiro wat, a traditional Ethiopian dish with berbere spices, at Abugida. Photo by Peter Taylor.

Abugida
3007 Central Ave.
Yodite Tesafye and her brother Zemaf serve Ehtipian food in this Plaza Midwood spot. Find the city’s best injera, a spongy flatbread made from teff flour.

Caribbean Hut
9609 N. Tryon St., 200 W. Woodlawn Rd.
Get a true taste of the islands with the curry goat, or stay in more familiar territory with the jerk chicken, blackened with spices.

Soul Central
2903 Central Ave.
Order from a rotating daily menu of soul food at this tiny counter-serve joint. Owners Joe and Kathleen, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, put an island twist on traditional Southern fare.

Bedder, Bedder & Moore
3501 South Tryon St.
This uptown deli bakes their own bread daily, builds salads to order, and makes all of their soups from scratch.

Cuzzo’s Cuisine
3418 Tuckaseegee Rd.
This no-frills eatery, owned by cousins Andarrio Johnson and Anglee Brown, serves seafood, wings, and their famous lobster mac ‘n cheese.

Freshwaters Restaurant In Charlotte, Nc. Photographed In Charlotte, Nc On 21mar18. Photographs By Peter Taylor

Many of the recipes at Freshwaters are family recipes. Photo by Peter Taylor.

Freshwaters
516 N. Graham St.
Owners Sharon and Cliff Freshwaters serve crab cakes, cornbread, and their best seller, the blackened Cajun catfish.

La’Wan’s Soul Food Restaurant
7520 S. Tryon St., Ste. 19
Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers players frequent this spot for the fried chicken, catfish dinner, and smothered pork chops.

LuLu’s Maryland-Style Chicken and Seafood
2400 Tuckaseegee Rd.
The name, LuLu’s, is a nod to owner Jay Davis’s mother, and the Baltimore native makes the best (and only) Maryland-style crab cake in Charlotte.

Members Only
2413 Central Ave.
Get local craft beers, grab-and-go bottles of wine, and specialty cocktails including The Members Only, Luc Belaire sparkling wine topped with cotton candy. Owner Kimberly Wilkinson also opened Juice Box Charlotte in NoDa in November 2017.

Juice Box Charlotte
3100 Davidson St., Ste. 101
Johnson C. Smith University grad Kimberly Wilkinson owns this natural juice bar and wellness shop that serves cold press juices and smoothies, plus an assortment of CBD products.

Queen’s Coffee Bar
1720 Pegram St.
Raina Purvis’s Belmont coffee shop also serves kombucha, and ginger beer, as well as bagels, muffins, and ice cream.

Sage Restaurant and Lounge
505 E. 6th St.
Get upscale soul food like collard green eggrolls and chicken and waffles at this First Ward restaurant, lounge, and loft.

Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe
2001 E 7th St.
Dr. Tony Martin, a native of Guyana and owner of Anntony’s, says the oxtails remind him most of home, but the quarter chicken and island wings are the most popular items on the menu.

Seafood Connection
630 University Center Blvd.
Chef Jamie Walker fills to-go boxes with seafood smothered with his blend of butter and secret seasonings. Stop by for brunch and feast on shrimp or salmon tacos, shrimp and grits, or lobster and waffles.

STATS Restaurant and Bar
3425 David Cox Rd.
Get upscale bar food like buffalo chicken empanadas and crab grilled cheese sandwiches at this sports bar and lounge hybrid.

11 19 19 Whathtefries 0019 (1)

People stand in line in 35-degree weather for baskets of loaded fries at the popular What the Fries food truck. Photo by Peter Taylor.

What the Fries
Food Truck / various locations
Founders Jamie Barnes and Gregory Williams serve burgers, too, but with toppings like lobster mac and cheese and steak and shrimp hibachi fry, a basket of fries counts as a solid meal.

Veltree
7945 N. Tryon St., Ste. 110
Chef Velvet has cornered the market on vegan soul food with plant-based versions of chicken drumsticks and chicken and waffles.

Burney’s Sweets & More
1200 N. Davidson St., 318 E. South Main St.
Kimberly Johnson owns the uptown and Waxhaw locations of this Elizabeth-based bakery that’s known for its fried stuffed croissants.

Categories: Food + Drink