We’ve all been there: it’s lunch time, you’ve got a break in your hectic day and you could use a good mid-day meal. Uptown, the options are just about endless, from leisurely sit-down options to grab-and-go daily specials. To make your decision a bit easier, we’ve rounded up the best spots for an Uptown lunch, whether you’re celebrating with co-workers or grabbing a quick bite before your next meeting.
Did we miss your favorite? Please leave us a note in the comments below. Looking for lunch elsewhere around the QC? Scroll down to link to our other neighborhood posts.
LEISURELY LUNCH DESTINATIONS
327 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open at 11 a.m. everyday.
The scoop: Uptown meets down south at one of Charlotte’s premier eateries. Mimosa Grill’s lunch menu boasts a hickory grilled salmon BLT salad, plus options like low country shrimp and grits and pecan crusted NC mountain trout. And don’t forget their daily specials:
- Monday: Carolina pulled pork plate
- Tuesday: Southern fried chicken sandwich
- Wednesday: Springer Mountain smoked chicken
- Thursday: Baked lobster macaroni and cheese
- Friday: Uptown fish ‘n chips
As a popular spot, it’s best to make reservations online.
303 S Church St.
Lunch hours: Open 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday – Friday.
The scoop: Angeline’s power lunch (available weekdays 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.) features a prixe fixe menu for $25 person. Choose from a selection of salads and starters, followed by your choice of bolgnese, eggplant parmesan, multiple pizzas or honey-roasted turkey on ciabatta, and topped off with a chef’s selection of sweets.
Aria Tuscan Grill
100 N Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Monday-Friday, 11:30 AM-2 PM
The scoop: We have our eyes on the pan-roasted salmon chopped salad ($13), but if you’re looking for something heartier, Aria offers an assortment of paninis, pizzas, pastas and entrees. It’s best to reserve your table for lunch, book online here.
127 N Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open at 11 a.m. every day.
The scoop: Escape the mundane weekday lunch with a trip to 5Church, where you’ll find menu items like a local heirloom tomato and burrata salad ($13), popular yellowfin tuna sushi tots ($17) and a lamb burger with gorgonzola fondue ($15). View the full menu here.
Halcyon Flavors From the Earth
500 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open at 11 a.m. every day except Monday.
The scoop: Chef Jonathan Moore delivers refined farm-to-table fare within Uptown’s Mint Museum. Be on the lookout for updated menus weekly, but recent versions include a pork belly BLT and a pan-roasted chicken sandwich. A bonus? Mint Museum members save 10%.
Fin & Fino
135 Levine Avenue of the Arts
Lunch hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. every day except Sunday.
The scoop: Plan a mid-day escape to Fin & Fino, where the stunning interior feels like a vacation on its own. Favorite lunch menu items include the poke bowl and the Faroe Island salmon with tzatziki, black rice, acorn squash, lemon and kale. All sandwiches on the menu are served with a Fin & Fino house salad with local greens, caramelized apples, tomme cheese, lardons, candied pistachios and a citrus-fennel vinaigrette. Reserve your table online.
Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen
150 N College St.
Lunch hours: Open at 11 a.m. Monday – Friday
The scoop: At Rooster’s, the spit roasted Joyce Farms chicken takes center stage. If you’d like to mix it up, try the daily chicken bowl or a signature sandwich; while the Mac and cheese and margaux’s succotash are not-to-be-missed sides. Make your online reservations here.
235 N Tryon St.
Lunch hours: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday – Friday.
The scoop: Start with some Daily Cast Iron Biscuits for the table, then choose from a selection of salads with fried chicken, smoked trout or pan-roasted salmon, or the steamed mussels main dish. View the full menu here.
The Asbury is a well-loved spot, make reservations online to secure your table. Parking is available in the Fifth Third Bank garage. Restaurant guests pay just $5 for two hour parking with validation.
La Belle Helene
300 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open weekdays at 11:30 a.m.
The scoop: Settle in to this stunning Uptown beauty to enjoy lunch dishes like the classic Poulet rôti with fingerling potatoes or the Salade La Belle Hélène adorned with rôtisserie chicken, roasted potatoes, red grapes, walnuts, baby kale and mustard dressing.
Stay late or make a return trip for La Belle Helene’s apres midi featuring appetizer specials and artisan cocktails, French wines and local brews every Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. at the bar and terrace.
Basil Thai Cuisine
210 N Church St.
Lunch hours: Weekdays 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The scoop: While you can’t go wrong with an order of Pad Thai, why not stretch your taste buds and try a specialty like the spicy basil duck or three-flavored fish? Street parking is your best bet for easy access.
Sea Level NC
129 E 5th St.
Lunch hours: Open daily at 11:30 a.m., except Sundays
The scoop: Craving seafood? Sea Level’s lunch menu boasts a Peachy Salmon Salad, while the Sea Level Salad has fried oysters on top. Either way, don’t forget the corn fritters. They also have a build your own combination lunch featuring your choice of one or two small plates and a side ($9-14). View the full lunch menu here.
As for parking, they’ll validate parking in the Hearst Garage for two or three hours depending on time of day.
Essex Bar & Bistro
101 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.
The scoop: Don’t miss this Uptown hub with a patio overlooking the Trade and Tryon intersection. Lunch menu favorites include the warm Brussel sprout Caesar ($12) and the butter chicken flatbread ($14.)
301 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open weekdays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The scoop: A favorite among Uptown workers, this quick-serve counter serves up their famous burritos and nacho salads plus homemade tamales every Tuesday and Friday. The tamales usually sell out by 1:30 pm, so get there early to snag some! Bonus: pay with cash to save $.50.
435 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open weekdays 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The scoop: Since 1996, experienced deli owners have been serving more than 30 signature sandwiches to the hungry Uptown crowd. Choose a favorite or build your own. In a time crunch? Ordering is easy with their online option.
124 Brevard Ct.
Lunch hours: Open weekdays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., closed weekends.
The scoop: What many call the “best cheesesteak in Philly” makes this a popular spot, so expect a bit of a lunch crowd and limited seating.
French Quarter Restaurant
321 S Church St.
Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m. except Sundays
The scoop: Greek owners Panos and Toula Photopoulos have been serving what they call “comfort food with a touch of Cajun” at Uptown’s French Quarter Restaurant since 1986. A popular go-to is Monday’s special, the Cajun-style red beans and rice ($7.95). View all daily specials here.
Find street parking around Romare Bearden park for easy access.
Corner of 4th and Tryon
Lunch hours: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday – Friday
The scoop: Recently named one of the top 10 hot dogs in the nation, this well-known food stand is run by Victor Werany, or simply, Chili Man.” Look out for specials as well as vegetarian chili dogs on Wednesdays.
309 W 4th St.
Lunch hours: M-F 7:30am – 3:00pm
Sat 9:30am – 2pm, also open on Panthers home game days
The scoop: Since 1926, people have flocked to Green’s Lunch for their signature hot dogs served on steamed buns topped with mustard,ketchup, homemade cole slaw, freshly chopped onions and their secret homemade chili.
401 W 9th St.
Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m., except Sundays
The scoop: Affectionately known as “Al Mikes”, this Fourth Ward staple offers classics like a London broil sandwich and a note-worthy spicy crab soup.
QUICK LUNCH HOUR STOPS
Reid’s Fine Foods
121 W Trade St.
Lunch hours: Open weekdays from 7:30 a.m.
The scoop: Reid’s offers a full line-up of lunchtime sandwiches (the salmon BLT is a favorite), wraps and a build-your-own salad option. View the full menu here. Bonus points if you can score a seat on their sidewalk patio.
Don’t miss their lunch specials:
- Monday: Chef’s special ($9.99)
- Tuesday: Almost half price steak burger ($8.99)
- Wednesday: Lobster roll (seasonal) ($9.99)
- Thursday: Prime rib sandwich ($15.99)
- Friday: Philly cheesesteak ($11.99)
Rhino Market & Deli
400 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open daily from 7 a.m., Sundays from 9 a.m.
The scoop: No matter the hour of day, Rhino Market is a favorite for Uptown workers and residents. For lunch, don’t miss their signature sandwiches like the chicken torts or Italian. The streets surrounding Romare Bearden Park will be your best bet for easy parking.
101 S Tryon St Suite 120
Lunch hours: Open from 11 a.m. Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. on Saturday, closed Sundays
The scoop: As O-Ku’s more casual sister restaurant, Sukoshi is a go-to for quality rolls, poke bowls and more.
210 E Trade St.
Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.
The scoop: New-ish to the Epicenter, this build-your-own poke bowl spot also offers popular frozen boozy beverages for the late lunch weekend crowd. For convenience, park in the Epicenter’s attached parking garage.
Little Village Grill
710 W Trade St.
Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m. except for Sundays
The scoop: The accolades speak for themselves. Head to Little Village Grill for pitas, platters and gyros with fries on top. Get there early to snag a seat on their limited patio space.
230 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Closes at 3 p.m.
The scoop: A go-to for a quick sushi lunch. Choose from specialty rolls, classic rolls, combination specials and more. Try easy online ordering (pick-up only.)
Pie in the Sky Pizza
320 S Tryon St.
Lunch hours: Open weekdays at 10 a.m., closed weekends.
The scoop: Stop by for pies and slices made with fresh ingredients from local farmers’ markets. Cheese and pepperoni slices start at just $2.75 each. They also have specialty pizzas, pastas, subs and a variety of salads.
7th St. Market
224 E 7th St.
Lunch hours: Open from 7 a.m. on weekdays, 8:30 a.m. on weekends.
The scoop: This spot is perfect for a group because everyone can get what they want. Opt for gourmet grilled cheese, fresh juices and salads or even a sushi burrito at this food hall. View all vendors here.
A bonus? Park in the attached lot and have your parking validated for up to 90 minutes.
Looking to lunch somewhere else?