You know how it goes: you agreed to meet for lunch, but choosing a spot within Charlotte’s booming food scene seems almost impossible. We’re helping out by calling out some of our favorite lunch spots by neighborhood, and have 20 picks for you in Elizabeth, Plaza Midwood and NoDa. Looking for lunch in a different neighborhood? Check our posts out here.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

NOTEWORTHY FAVORITES

Optimist Hall – NoDa
1115 N Brevard St.

Optimist Hall is abuzz with lunch goers all week long. Open vendors perfect for lunch include Papi Queso, Zukku Sushi, Bao and Broth, The Dumpling Lady and Village Juice. More to follow.

Haberdish
3106 N Davidson St.

Looking for a little something different for a leisurely lunch? NoDa’s Haberdish serves a weekday brunch menu, including their popular fried chicken, a biscuits section of the menu, savory sides, waffles and the ultimate sweet treat: a cinnamon roll served with milk caramel.

Lunch hours: Serving brunch until 2 p.m. on weekdays.

Sweet Lew’s BBQ
923 Belmont Ave.

In the nearby Belmont neighborhood, Sweet Lew’s offers a variety of smoked meats daily, including Lexington-style chopped barbecue, dry-rubbed ribs and smoked chicken. They’re served alongside five classic sides: collards, baked beans, mac and cheese, Carolina boiled potato and boiled peanuts. Check out their daily food specials here.

Lunch hours: Open daily at 10:30 a.m.

Moo & Brew
1300 Central Ave.

In the mood for a burger? Head to Plaza Midwood’s Moo & Brew. Favorite burgers include the Farmer’s Daughter with a Farm Egg, Peppered Applewood Bacon, Cheddar, Tomato, Bib Lettuce and house Sauce, as well as the Rocket Turkey with Chévre Goat Cheese, Arugula, Balsamic Fig Spread and Roasted Red Pepper. If a salad is more your style, they offer signature and customizable options.

Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

Deejai Noodle Bar
3629-103 N Davidson St.

Head to this Thai street food noodle bar for noodle dishes including pad Thai and boat noodles, plus poke bowl​​s, a lemongrass pork rice bowl and specialty sushi rolls.

Lunch hours: Open daily 12-3 p.m. expect Monday.

LUNCH HOUR

Viva Chicken
1617 Elizabeth Ave.

via Facebook

Viva Chicken’s varied and healthy menu makes it perfect for a quick lunch stop. Stick with the classic order of rotisserie chicken and sides, or opt for the popular quinoa stuffed avocado, Limena chopped salad or tacu bowl.

Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

Earl’s Grocery
1609 Elizabeth Ave.

In Elizabeth, Earl’s Grocery is the perfect lunchtime spot for dining and gourmet grocery shopping. Try the Banh Mi Sandwich or Harvest Salad, plus look out for daily specials (a dog, burger and soup of the day) posted on their Facebook page.

Lunch hours: Serving lunch from 11 a.m. Monday-Saturday.

Noda Bodega
1200 E 36th St

Expect a variety of pressed sandwiches, including favorites like the Italian Stallion. Stay up-to-date with specials on their Facebook page.

Lunch hours: Open weekdays at 11 a.m., Friday at 8 a.m.

Sunflour Baking Company
2001 E 7th St.

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Enjoy made-to-order served on hearth-baked breads. A favorite is the Black Friday with turkey, brie and house made cranberry apple chutney. Their fall menu also includes a fall harvest bowl and a gouda grilled cheese pressed on the panini.

Lunch hours: Open daily at 7 a.m.

Bang Bang Burgers
2001 E 7th St Suite D.

Another stop for burgers, Bang Bang offers multiple specialty burgers and sandwiches, plus a hearty burger bowl salad with your choice of a beef patty, chicken, black bean burger or salmon.

Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

Coaltrane’s Char Grill
1518 Central Ave.

Try the Fresco bowl with chicken, black beans, arugula, avocado, pickled red onions, queso fresco, quinoa and wild rice. On Monday, char-grilled wings are just $.75 each, and bowls and $1 off on Tuesday.

Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

TRIED & TRUE CLASSICS

Cabo Fish Taco
3201 N Davidson St.

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This popular spot in NoDa offers five salad options (ask for it served in a crispy taco shell), signature tacos, baja bowls and chef’s daily specials. Don’t miss the avocado pasta salad, a favorite side item.

Lunch hours: Opens daily at 11 a.m.

JackBeagle’s – NoDa
3213 N Davidson St.

Expect your choice of wings, a pulled pork salad, gourmet hot dogs, steak sandwiches and multiple twists on mac and cheese.

Lunch hours: Open weekdays at 11:30 a.m.

Brooks’ Sandwich House
2710 N Brevard St.

via Facebook

This Charlotte staple offers hot dogs and sandwiches, although most flock for a cheeseburger served “all the way” with chili, mustard and onions. Cash only.

Lunch hours: Open until 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Midwood Smokehouse
1401 Central Ave.

Satisfy your BBQ craving with a trip to Midwood Smokehouse. Try the Upstream or Midwood chopped salads, BBQ-style tacos or classic BBQ plates. They also have a gluten-sensitive menu.

Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

Three Amigos Mexican Grill
2917 Central Ave A

Your go-to for authentic Mexican cuisine, including $8.99 all-you-can-eat enchiladas (beef or chicken with rojo, verde, or poblano sauce) on Thursdays.

Lunch hours: Open 10:30 a.m. on weekdays, 11 am.m on weekends.

Akahana
1308 The Plaza

At this Plaza Midwood spot, enjoy classic Asian dishes, rice and noodle entrees and sushi rolls (some of which are buy one, get one free).

Lunch hours: Open Monday-Saturday at 11 a.m., Sunday at 1 p.m.

LUNCH SPECIALS TO KNOW

Sabor Latin Street Grill
NoDa (3205 N. Davidson St.), Elizabeth (415 Hawthorne Lane)

via Facebook
  • Monday: Three Amigos Burrito (your choice of Ground Beef or Shredded Chicken) & a Drink for $6,
  • Tuesday: $1 Tacos Autenticos on corn tortilla with your choice of ground beef, shredded chicken, black bean or veggie topped with cilantro & onion for only $1
  • Thursday: $7 Arepa & Empanada – a street food sampling of our favorites, 

Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.

The Roasting Company – Plaza Midwood
1332-B Central Ave.

  • Monday – Buffalo chicken wrap with 1 side, $8.99
  • Tuesday – Buffalo chicken sandwich with 1 side, $9.50
  • Wednesday – chicken pot pie (no veggie needed), $10.45
  • Thursday – chicken & dumplings with 1 side & cornbread, $8.99
  • Friday – BBQ meatloaf with 1 side & cornbread, $8.75
  • Saturday & Sunday – Nashville hot chicken sandwich with 1 side, $9.50

Lunch hours: Open daily at 11 a.m.