Lunch at the Lake is delightful. With many choices it’s more than worth the drive for a quick bite, a little day drinking, and award-winning experiences by the water.

Looking for other neighborhood lunch picks? Our series by the hood is here.

BIRKDALE/ HUNTERSVILLE

Eez Fusion
The sister restaurant of SouthPark’s Cowfish – Eez is a must-do and has something for everyone whether you’re a hardcore sushi expert or want to build your own stir-fry bowl everything is always fresh and delish.

Kung Foo Noodle
A great Birkdale option usually with little to no wait to get a seat. Beverages are served in Yeti-style cups and complement the many lunch options including budae jjigae and drunk noodles.

La Unica
Mexican meals are delivered to your table lightening fast as are the swimming-pool sized margaritas. Homemade salsa is fresh and spicy and there are lunch specials every Monday – through Saturday including real chalupas and pollo fundido.

Huntersville Honorable Mentions:

Pinky’s Westside Grill, Hawthorne’s Pizza, Metro Diner

CORNELIUS

Port City Club
One of the few places with lake views, Port City is known for its crab cake sandwich, charcuterie plates, crab toast, drink specials and ample parking (whether you arrive by boat or car).

Image: @PortCityClub

131 Main Lake Norman
Locals love the burgers and salads, if fish is your thing definitely opt for the fresh catch sandwich grilled over hickory wood, or the veggie burger fully loaded with a sweet soy glaze is definitely worth a try. The open fire pit is fun in the winter too.

Cowboy
Tenders, tacos and sandwiches, oh my! The Smokey BLT with its blackened beef tenderloin, tossed with smoky tomato bacon dressing has a cult following at the Lake. The big blue bowl with goat cheese and avocado tossed with lemon-blueberry vinaigrette is also a big hit.

Image: @EatatCowboy

Alton’s Kitchen + Cocktails
Lunch at Alton’s is always a treat in the best kind of way – comfortable, with a dash of pizzazz and friendly service. Their take on crab and shrimp Louie is amazing the treatment of the eggs and 1000 dressing is top notch, and the Idaho rainbow trout is so fresh and fine you’ll think you’re in Idaho. And, don’t forget ‘cocktails’ is in their name for a reason.

Image: @AltonsKitchenandCocktails

Hello, Sailor
With a name like that, how could you go wrong? Arrive by car or boat and enjoy the delicious and eclectic menu; make sure to start with the hush puppies which are almost a meal unto themselves.

DAVIDSON

Davidson Ice House
Build your own bowl with grain, lettuce, rice – add from multiple toppings and even consider a take-home meal to prep for dinner – and don’t forget one of their big warm cookies.

The Soda Shop
Old timey and fun – grab a booth and delight in a ‘happytizer’, wheat wrap or build your own burger – or just go straight to dessert and order a float, sundae or homemade pie.

Kindred
The milk bread. We could just end it here and that would be enough said. You can’t go wrong with any of the items on the lunch menu though the shrimp roll on said milk bread is divine. Even the pommes frites are next level.

The Pickled Peach
Part market, part café… sit outside or let the kids run on the lawn and enjoy the chopped butter lettuce salad, burrata or falafel.

DENVER

Savory Plum Bistro & Bakery
Known for the cobb salad and amazing pastries, including the coconut cake made with unbromated flour, grab a sandwich or panini on homemade bread.

Fresh Chef
Denver-dwellers can’t say enough good things about the kale salad… like all caps and multiple exclamation points worthy. Make sure to order the pimento cheese/guacamole dip appetizer, and the chicken salad is wonderful.

Guilties – Verdict Ridge Golf + Country Club
Open to the public and considered to have some of the best burgers in town, make sure to also try the smothered meatball bowl or the blackened seafood wrap.

The Foundry at Trilogy
A seemingly unconventional choice – many locals swear by anything from the ‘farm and garden section’ of the menu including the bacon and bleu wedge or the buttermilk crispy chicken. ‘Quick Strike Tuesdays’ is a thing as is Bubbly Sunday… we’re just sayin’.

Citrus The Diner
Sometimes you need breakfast all day, but there are also great bowls and the gluten-free French toast is a winner.

MOORESVILLE

J.J. Wasabi’s One of the longest menus you’ll see at the Lake, J.J. Wasabi’s, is in the historic area and focuses on fresh ingredients in a fun fusion-style. Everything from the sushi bar is good – definitely try one of the tempura baskets too.

Prickly Pear
True lunch by the Lake, try the tomarindo or carne asada. There’s often live music, and everything is better with a signature cactus margarita.

Patisserie Café
Any time of the day is great to visit the Patisserie, but lunch is delectable – try a crepe or tapas to share. The sides are fantastic, especially the garbanzo beans. But don’t leave without dessert. Try a cannoli = perfection as are the eclairs. Consider the crème brulee, or the showstopping key lime tart; the butter crust alone is enough before you get into the just-right-amount-of-tang tart.