New Charlotte Restaurants That Opened While You Were Out Enjoying the Sun

While you were out enjoying some well-deserved summer R&R, the Charlotte restaurant scene was hard at work. From Uptown to Plaza Midwood to South End, there were no days off for these newcomers, who are open and ready to serve up new concepts and spaces to enjoy long after your tan has faded. Read up on the hottest new charlotte restaurants open or coming soon:


The newcomer: Stoke Charlotte
Neighborhood: Uptown
Opening date: August 18

New Charlotte Restaurants

The scoop: Raising the bar on your standard “hotel restaurant/bar”, Stoke Charlotte has created an inventive and modern new concept in Uptown with an open kitchen and expansive bar. On the ground floor of the Marriott Center City, you’ll find Executive Chef Chris Coleman firing up entrees including the Charred Watermelon Steak, while happy hour-types munch on sharables, notably the Charred Octopus or the Stoke Family Ham and Cheese Board. Behind the bar, Todd Bayley is mixing up fresh takes on cocktails, including bottled and pressed (served similar to a french press coffee) versions. Make your reservations online here.

We can’t wait to try: Southern Swag pressed cocktail, Carolina Shrimp and Clams



The newcomer: Babalu Tacos & Tapas
Neighborhood: Dilworth
Opening date: July 25

The scoop: Dilworth’s restaurant row welcomed Jackson, Mississippi-based Babalu Tacos & Tapas to the old Cantina 1511 space on East Boulevard. Get your fill of Latin-inspired small plates, including appetizers, a la carte tacos and more. Before you hesitate to get over there because of parking, let us tell you about their daily valet service. Consider your lively lunch or patio happy hour planned. Visit them online here.

We can’t wait to try: Seasonal Watermelon Margarita, Braised Beef Short Rib



The newcomer: Essex Bar and Bistro
Neighborhood: Uptown
Opening date: August 10

The scoop: Appropriately situated on the corner of Trade and Tryon, Essex Bar & Bistro brings a much-anticipated fusion of handcrafted food and drink to Uptown. The first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful patio overlooking our city’s busiest hub, but you won’t be disappointed with what else you’ll find. Inside, grab a seat along the bar, flip through their cocktail book and try to make a seemingly-impossible decision. The food menu also includes bar classics and entrees with an international reach.

We can’t wait to try: Chorizo Stuffed Fried Olives, Tuna Poke Tacos



The newcomer: Hibiscus
Neighborhood: Myers Park
Opening date: June 25

The scoop: Indulge in a selection of Thai and Korean classics from the garden, wok and sea at the newly opened Hibiscus in Park Towne Village. The fusion restaurant’s menu includes South Asian comfort foods, an expansive sushi menu and fresh cocktails. See all of your options here.

We can’t wait to try: Bangkok Curry Noodle Bowl, Grandma’s Bibimbap



The newcomer: Blue Blaze Brewing
Neighborhood: West End
Opening date: June 25

New Charlotte Restaurants

The scoop: A new brewery is making a name for itself in the Queen City. What started out as a love for home brewing turned into a passion for authentic and locally-sourced brews for Blue Blaze Brewing founders Craig Nunn and Sven Giersmann. Under the direction of Master Brewer Steve Turner, the brewery offers five flagship beers along with a rotation of seasonal and specialty brews.

We can’t wait to try: The Blue Blaze™ Altbier and Amber Blaze™ Amber




The newcomer: Moo & Brew
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
Opening date: June 1

New Charlotte Restaurants moo & brew

The scoop: Get ready for a new level of burger cravings. An extension of their beloved annual festival, this beer and burger joint with a true neighborhood feel is a welcome addition to Plaza Midwood. Stop in for lunch, dinner or a cold beer with friends and family. See their party-worthy menu of starts, sides and creative burgers here.

We can’t wait to try: The Rocket Turkey Burger, Bleu Buffalo Nacho Fries



The newcomer: City Lights Rooftop
Neighborhood: Uptown
Opening date: June 2

The scoop: Charlotte’s largest rooftop bar boasts unparalleled views of the city and a sleek and sophisticated atmosphere. Come out for an unbeatable sunset and handcrafted cocktail, and stay for a lively late-night crowd. View their beverage menu here.

We can’t wait to try: Instagram-worthy Sparkle & Pop cocktail, the Wooftop Dog



The newcomer: Craft City Social Club
Neighborhood: Uptown
Opening date: June 2

The scoop: It’s pool party meets sophisticated fare at City Light’s sister restaurant. Described as , Craft City Social Club is your weekend getaway without leaving the city, with poolside cabanas available for rent and games to fuel your competitive spirit. Grab a table with friends to enjoy the menu of Nuevo-Latino cuisine from day into night.

We can’t wait to try: Lomo de Carne Anticuchos Skwers, grilled poolside



The newcomer: Coaltranes
Neighborhood: Uptown
Opening date: July 9

The scoop: New to the Epicentre scene is the Argentinean inspired menu at Coaltrane’s Char Grill. Sit at the open-air counters that open up to the lively hub and enjoy rotisserie meats and sandwiches, complimented by sides like red beans with chorizo and grilled corn on the cob.

We can’t wait to try: The Stuffed Avocado (pictured), 1/4 Roasted Rotisserie Chicken



The newcomer: Two Scoops Creamery
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
Opening date: August 18


The scoop: Get ready to make the hardest decision of the summer when you enter the doors of the newly opened Two Scoops Creamery. From their chalkboard of flavors, to toppings and dipped cones, the opportunity is truly endless and we don’t think you can go wrong. And apparently everyone was just as excited as us, as they have run out of a few flavors since their soft opening just a few days ago. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for an official Grand Opening date.

We can’t wait to try: Thin Mint Crunch, Not Your Mama’s Pumpkin Pie



The newcomer: King of Pops
Neighborhood: South End
Opening date: June 4

The scoop: Although half the fun is scouting out where everyone’s favorite popsicle truck will be, the King of Pops’ new location in South End ensures you’ll always be able to get your fix. Pop into their colorful shop (see what we did there?) for a cream-based or specialty pop, open daily on Dunavant Street.

We can’t wait to try:  Flavors change frequently, but currently craving Peach and Chocolate Sea Salt



The newcomer: Rai Lay
Neighborhood: South End
Opening date: June 25

The scoop: Feel like you’re walking the streets of Thailand at the second location for the masterminds behind Deejai Thai. Offering authentic Thai street food alongside sushi selections and other Asian specialties, Rai Lay gives South End neighbors a fresh new option for classic favorites and fresh cocktails.

We can’t wait to try: Tom Yum Khoung Nam Kon, Lad Nar noodle dish



The newcomer: Joe’s Doughs
Neighborhood: NoDa
Opening date: June 18

The scoop: What would make weekend mornings even better? An old-fashioned donut shop with a twist. While some of the flavor combinations may seem a little out-of-the-box, we promise you can’t go wrong. Tag along for one of their Donut Sundae parties for a cool treat: specialty donut and ice cream combinations. Follow along on Facebook to stay in touch.

We can’t wait to try: Goat Cheese Strawberry Balsamic, Banana Coconut Caramel Cake




Stay tuned! New restaurants coming soon:



Golden Cow Creamery

New Charlotte Restaurants golden cow


Ink & Ivy

ink and ivy


Allison Hancin
A Charlotte-loving adventure seeker with an appetite for discovering local finds. Always planning my next trip!