The holidays may take center stage this month, but with all that Charlotte’s culinary scene is serving up you’ll want to leave room on your plate for more.

Here’s the latest QC foodie news from new restaurant openings to new menus and events:



NoDa Brewing Company at CLT Douglas – Open Now

Your flight delays are about to get much better. NoDa’s new taproom is now open in Concourse A at Charlotte Douglas Airport.


Shake Shack, Blakeney – Open Now

The latest Charlotte location for Shack Shake opened in South Charlotte in mid-November. In addition to their classic burgers and chicken sandwiches, the Blakeney Shack will serve the local Pie Oh My Concrete  (vanilla custard with slice of Suárez Bakery seasonal pie) and donate 5% of sales to Loaves and Fishes.


Sweet Lew’s Barbeque – Opens December 5

At this old service station turned smoke shack, Lewis Donald and Laura Furman Grice will satisfy Charlotte’s hunger for authentic North Carolina barbecue when they open on December 5. Sweet Lew’s is home to a 450-foot smokehouse where award-winning recipes smoke over a blend of hickory, pecan and peach woods. The menu includes chopped pork, dry rubbed pork spare ribs, smoked chicken, Brunswick stew, combination platters, classic sides and daily specials. Find them at 923 Belmont Ave.


Ilios Crafted Greek – Opening Soon

Fans of Ilios Noche will recognize many of the dishes and flavors that will grace the menu of sister concept Ilios Crafted Greek expected in South End in December. The casual eatery will open at 1524 S. Church St. Follow along on Instagram for the latest.


Sukoshi – Opening soon

The fast-casual concept from the owners of O-Ku is expected to open soon at 101 S. Tryon Street. Perfect for workday lunches, Sukoshi will specialize in small plates of fresh sashimi, specialty rolls, grab-and-go-sushi and customizable salads and bowls.


Yafo Kitchen Dilworth – Targeting December Opening

Get ready Dilworth, the latest Yafo location is expected to open in December at 1231A East Blvd. There, they’ll serve signature and create-your-own bowls, salads and pitas brimming with Mediterranean and bold Middle-Eastern flavors.


Little Big Burger, Rea Farms – Open Now!

Portland-based Little Big Burger has opened its newest location in South Charlotte. The fast-casual concept is known for their cooked-to-order burgers, truffle fries and root beer floats. Find them at 9904-F Sandy Rock Pl.


New tenants announced for Optimist Hall – Opening early 2019

The part food hall, part retail destination, part creative office between NoDa and Uptown announced four new vendors last week. The Dumpling Lady, Pet Wants, Archer Paper Goods and cocktail bar Billy Sunday join already announced tenants including Fonta Flora Brewery, Papi Queso and Suárez Bakery. Optimist Hall is expected to open in early 2019 at 340 E. 16th St.




New Executive Chef, Donuts, Coffee & More Happenings at Upstream Seafood 

Upstream’s new Executive Chef, Sam Diminich

In SouthPark, this popular eatery is abuzz with exciting news. Recently appointed as Upstream’s new Executive Chef, Sam Diminich will reinvent the menu to feature a balance of traditional and contemporary flavors with a focus on local ingredients. Guests can expect favorites like the Sake Marinated Tuna, Sweet and Sour Calamari and Chef Sam’s Wood Oven Roasted Oysters to remain on the menu, and can also look forward to the return of Diminich’s Sesame Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna.

Looking for a way to sweeten up your weekday mornings? Upstream’s got just the thing. Monday – Friday from 7 – 10 a.m., stop by the Upstream Morning Cafe for hot Counter Culture Coffee, a variety of teas, scones and treats from Your Mom’s Donuts. Read more about the exciting collaboration here.

Last but not least, Upstream and other Burke Hospitality Restaurants are bringing a bit more joy to your holiday gifting by offering a $15 gift card when you buy one for $100. One for you, one for me as we like to say. Other participating restaurants include Harper’s Restaurant and Mimosa Grill.


Consider Dilworth Tasting Room For Your Next Morning Event


Looking for a new place to host a company or community breakfast meeting? Dilworth Tasting Room, already a favorite for small plates, dinner and drinks, now offers space for private breakfast events. Call or email to book your date.


Sip On The Latest Culinary + Cocktail Trends of 2019 at Angeline’s and Merchant & Trade

Merchant & Trade’s Beet It Cocktail

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ fifth annual Culinary + Cocktail Trend Forecast revealed the trends to look out for in 2019 – like the use of fermented ingredients. Enjoy the trend in action at Angeline’s with the Plum Tuckered (Wild Turkey 101, Plum Shrub, Grand Marnier, Simple, Transatlantic Bitters) and Merchant & Trade, with the Beet It (Absolut Vodka, Domaine De Canton, Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, Lenny Boy Beet/Kombucha).


Get Rewarded When You Give at Vivace 

Through December 31, when you purchase $100 in Vivace gift cards, you’ll get a $20 gift card redeemable at the Charlotte or Raleigh Vivace location, as well as other Urban Food group establishments Avelina, Chow and Coquette + Vivace Charlotte/Raleigh. Stop by or purchase online.


New Cocktails at WP Kitchen + Bar

It’s toasting season, and WP Kitchen + Bar has just the thing to help you get in the spirit. Stop in for a taste of their new cocktails: the Apple Jack, the Last Sunset and the Red Voodoo Margarita made with Jose Cuervo Silver, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, fresh cranberries and a red wine reduction.


Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen Will Serve Saturday Brunch Starting December 8

Charlotte’s go-to spot for hands-on cooking classes will begin serving Saturday brunch in their stunning South End location on December 8. From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. each Saturday, guests can dine on a blend of sweet and savory dishes including The Morning Buzz (coffee-rubbed short ribs, grits, poached eggs and hazelnut hollandaise) and Pancake Tacos (pancakes filled with house bacon and scrambled eggs served with spiced maple syrup for dipping). Other options include grain bowls, stuffed French toast, sandwiches and bakery items like the Apple Crisp spiced with fresh turmeric, ginger and almonds.




Louis Roederer Champagne Tasting
Tuesday, December 4 | Reid’s Fine Foods SouthPark | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Join special guest Donny Hackett of Louis Roederer Champagne for a complimentary tasing of three wines: Louis Roederer Brut Premier, Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs Brut and Louis Roederer Cristal. Let the celebration continue with wine or dinner in Reid’s dining room.


Beer vs. Wine Dinner
December 4 | Vin Master Wine Shop | 6:30 p.m.

At this four-course tasting, you decide whether beer or wine best complements each dish. Who will win out? Preview the full menu here. $35 in advance, $40 day of event. Call 704.307.5565 or email [email protected] to reserve your seat.


Impact Hunger – One Dinner, Thousands Fed
December 6 | Project 658, 3646 Central Ave. | 6 p.m.

Eat out to do good at this three-course banquet and silent auction that helps to end hunger in Charlotte and around the world. The evening includes hors d’oeuvres, live music and a meal prepared by Zagat Platinum Award winning Executive Chef Luca Annunziata. $75 per person.


Zinicola’s One Year Anniversary & Chef’s Surprise Birthday
December 7 | Zinicola | 6:30 p.m.

Help South Charlotte’s Zinicola celebrate their one-year anniversary (and the Chef’s birthday!) with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, a three-course meal paired with wines, assorted desserts, music and dancing. $125 per person.


Urban Bricks Grand Opening
December 8 | 210 East Trade St.

Don’t miss your chance to welcome Urban Bricks to the neighborhood with free pizza from 12 – 2 p.m. and enter to win free pizza for a year.


Teddy Bear Tea
December 8 – 16 | The Westin

Make plans to have high tea for a cause at The Westin. Weekends during December, guests can enjoy bottomless mimosas, tea sandwiches, dessert displays and a special kids menu. The fun continues with visits with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, adoptable Build-a-Bears and ornament crafting. $58 for adults, $38 for children and free for those under two. A portion of all proceeds benefits families in medical crisis at the Hospitality House of Charlotte. Call 704.335.2103 to reserve.


Bubbles & Bites Cooking Class
December 8 | Mimosa Grill | 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Special guest Mark Orsini leads this cooking class just in time for the holidays. Learn how to whip up bites ideal for entertaining, and the bubbles to serve with them. The class includes tastings, recipes and wine pairings. $48 per person. Purchase online here.


The 18th Annual Santé Christmas Dinner Shows
December 9, 16 and 23 | Santé, Matthews

Santé’s annual three-course dinners include festive entertainment from Carolina Voices carolers. Dinners will be held on December 9, 16 and 23. $50 per person. Call 704.845.1899 to reserve your seat.


Best Kept Secrets of Bordeaux Wine Dinner
December 11 | Aix en Provence | 6:30 p.m.

Laure Levesque of Queen of Wines leads guests through an exploration of wine and cuisine at the “Best Kept Secrets of Bordeaux” wine dinner. Call 704.332.1886 to reserve your seat.


Soul Sisters “Inspired”
December 12 | Loft & Cellar | 6 – 9 p.m.

In celebration of Southern fare, 10 black female chefs will each craft a dish inspired by influential women. Between bites, connect with neighbors over flavors and stories. $80 per person.


Bubbles and Salty Snacks
December 13 | Assorted Table Wine Shoppe | 6 p.m.

Who knew this pairing would be a hit? Assorted Table Wine Shoppe leads this tasting and discussion of five sparkling wines paired with fried chicken and popcorn. $35 per person.


Resident Culture Brewing Company Beer Dinner
December 16 | The Cellar at Duckworth’s | 1 p.m.

The brewers at Resident Culture and The Cellar’s Chef Fred Quinones team up for a six-course dinner using products from Wild Hope Farms in Chester, SC. The special menu was designed to complement the brewery’s unique beers. Preview the full menu here. $75 per person.




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