Spice-O-Meter: 6 Charlotte Dishes Ranked By Heat

International options, from mild to raging


5: Vindaloo

The Blue Taj
One of the spiciest dishes in the world, Indian vindaloo—also spelled “vin d’alho”—relies on reshampatti chili peppers for heat. This restaurant considers this to be the hottest dish on its menu, so order with caution.
Cool down: Sip on mango lassi to assuage the sting.

4: Ceviche

Machu Picchu
Pineville and Matthews
Servers at Machu Picchu ask how much spice you can handle. If you go full-bore with the rocoto chiles, a full-bodied heat complements the potent tang of the dish’s lemon juice marinade.


3: Pork and Chives Dumplings

The Dumpling Lady
Various locations
Born in China, Zhang Qian uses spices from her home—primarily Sichuan peppercorns, which leave a tingly sensation after a tray of pork-and-chives dumplings. Stop by her new Optimist Hall location for a larger menu than her food truck’s.

2: Kimchi Slaw

Seoul Food Meat Co. 
South End
Korea’s favorite side dish varies in spiciness depending on the ratio of cabbage and other veggies to chili paste. This one leaves you with a mild sting.

1: Crispy’s Favorite Bánh Mì

Crispy Banh Mi
Various locations
Raw jalapeños give this Vietnamese sandwich a low-grade heat. The more seeds you eat, the hotter.


0: Wienerschnitzel vom Schwein

Waldhorn Restaurant
You can expect flavor from German cuisine: tangy vinegar, rich brown gravy on potatoes. Don’t expect any heat. Crispy breading gives Waldhorn’s pork wienerschnitzel a satisfying texture, but if you want spice, dip it in mustard.

Illustrations by Betty Turbo

Categories: Food + Drink, In Print