Unique Restaurants In Charlotte: 11 One-Of-A-Kind Eateries And Cafes In Charlotte

by Jen
Unique Restaurants In Charlotte
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In this guide, we’re showcasing the unique restaurants in Charlotte that offer more than just great food. From dining in the dark to enjoying a meal surrounded by cats, each spot has its own special charm. Get ready to explore these culinary treasures that make Charlotte’s food scene truly one-of-a-kind.

Welcome to Charlotte, where every corner offers a new taste adventure. In this city, dining is about experiences that spark joy and curiosity. Charlotte’s array of unique restaurants invites you to step out of the ordinary and into a world where each meal offers an unforgettable experience.

Here, your dining table could be in the heart of a bustling sushi-burger fusion spot, or inside a cozy café filled with the gentle purrs of cats. You might find yourself enjoying gourmet dishes in the soft glow of rooftop lights, or tasting exquisite flavors in a setting that takes you back in time. Charlotte’s culinary landscape is diverse, vibrant, and endlessly surprising.

Beyond being mere eateries, these restaurants are gateways to new experiences. They challenge the usual dining routine and offer something that sticks in your memory. From the whimsical to the sophisticated, each restaurant on this list is a testament to the city’s love for culinary creativity. Let’s dive in and explore the most unique restaurants in Charlotte!

The top restaurants to visit in Charlotte right now

Unique Restaurants in Charlotte: 11 Incredible Charlotte Eateries

At Charlotte’s unique restaurants, you can indulge in a mix of classic Southern comfort food and inventive new flavors. Let’s embark on a culinary adventure, where each dish showcases the creativity and spirit of this dynamic North Carolina city!

1. Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Can’t decide if you want a burger or sushi? At Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at Universal CityWalk Orlando, there’s no need to make a choice.This restaurant stands out as one of the unique places in Charlotte to eat, thanks to its tri-fold menu. Menu items include top-notch gourmet burgers and beautiful sushi.

A standout is the one-of-a-kind hybrid known as ‘burgushi’, which creatively fuses sushi rolls with traditional burger components. The Cowfish is an experience in itself, featuring colorful, off-kilter decor and virtual aquariums that add to its quirky charm.

When it comes to the best food in Charlotte, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is a strong contender. Their menu is diverse, offering everything from Crab Rangoon Dip and Tuna & Avocado-Tini for appetizers to a variety of sushi rolls and burgers. For sushi lovers, there’s an array of choices like the Flamin’ Salmon Roll and Dion’s OMG! Roll.

Burger lovers can indulge in options like The Dynamic Duo and The Jalapeño Popper Show-Stopper. The restaurant also offers unique ‘Burgushi’ items, such as the Bison Burgushi and The All-American Bacon Double Cheeseburgooshi, blending the best of burgers and sushi into one dish!

Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at Universal CityWalk Orlando offers both top-notch gourmet burgers and beautiful sushi.
Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at Universal CityWalk Orlando offers both top-notch gourmet burgers and beautiful sushi.

2. Day and Night Exotic Cereal Bar

Step into Day and Night Exotic Cereal Bar and you’re instantly transported back to the carefree Saturdays of childhood. This charming spot is a nostalgic haven and one of the most fun places to eat in Charlotte. Here, the simple joy of mixing your favorite childhood cereals comes to life. The bar offers a delightful array of choices, from classic Fruit Loops to exotic varieties like blueberry pancake Captain Crunch from Canada.

Originating in Los Angeles in 2020, Day and Night has brought its unique concept to Charlotte, marking it as a first in North Carolina. The bar’s menu encourages playful creativity. Patrons can build their own cereal bowl or shake, adding toppings like granola, honey, or whipped cream for a personalized touch. For those seeking something different, the bacon flight with its array of flavors is a must-try.

As one of the unique restaurants in Charlotte, Day and Night stands out for its inventive approach to dining. It’s a place where each bowl is not just a meal but a joyful journey back in time. With plans to introduce Charlotte-themed menu items, the bar keeps evolving, ensuring that each visit offers a fresh and delightful experience.

Day and Night Exotic Cereal Bar in Charlotte is a nostalgic spot to mix childhood cereals.
Day and Night Exotic Cereal Bar in Charlotte is a nostalgic spot to mix childhood cereals.

3. Dining in the Dark Charlotte

Dining in the Dark in Charlotte offers a unique twist on dining, making it one of the most intriguing themed restaurants in Charlotte. This experience invites guests to eat in complete darkness, heightening their other senses. Guests are blindfolded, creating an atmosphere of mystery and excitement. The experience includes a secret 3-course menu, designed to surprise and delight the taste buds. The menu has three color-coded options: green for vegan, blue for seafood, and red for meat, and each option promises a journey of flavors, from starters to desserts.

This dining adventure is a sensory exploration as it challenges diners to rely on taste, smell, and texture over sight. The concept originated in New York and has become a popular experience in Charlotte. Guests enjoy carefully crafted dishes, guessing the ingredients as they dine.

As one of the fun restaurants in Charlotte, Dining in the Dark offers a memorable experience. It’s perfect for adventurous diners and those looking to try something new. The combination of mystery, delicious food, and sensory exploration makes Dining in the Dark a must-visit destination.

Dining in the Dark in Charlotte: where guests experience a surprise 3-course menu categorized by color—vegan, seafood, or meat
Dining in the Dark: where guests experience a surprise 3-course menu categorized by color—vegan, seafood, or meat | Source: https://dininginthedarkexperience.com/

4. RH Rooftop Restaurant

Looking for a dining experience with stunning views? RH Rooftop Restaurant is one of the most scenic places in Charlotte to eat. The restaurant, set in a massive three-story building, offers stunning views. Its all-season dining room features glam decor, plush seating, and large windows. The centerpiece is a working fountain, adding to the ambiance and creates a perfect backdrop for memorable meals.

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Menu highlights include the RH burger, lobster roll, and truffled fries. The food is described as divine, with each dish crafted to perfection. Guests enjoy their meals paired with fine wines like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. The attention to detail in both the menu and the setting makes dining here a luxurious experience.

As one of the unique restaurants in Charlotte, RH Rooftop Restaurant goes beyond just serving food. It’s an experience that combines fine dining with stunning interior design. The restaurant is part of a larger design gallery, showcasing beautiful furniture and decor. This integration of dining and design makes RH Rooftop Restaurant a must-visit destination. It’s perfect for those seeking a meal in a breathtaking setting.

RH Rooftop Restaurant is one of the unique restaurants in Charlotte.
RH Rooftop Restaurant features an all-season dining room, glam decor, plush seating, and a centerpiece fountain.

5. Fig Tree Restaurant

At The Fig Tree Restaurant, you’ll find more than just exceptional cuisine; you’ll step into a piece of Charlotte’s history. Located in the Elizabeth neighborhood, this restaurant is housed in the Lucas House, a pre-WWI Craftsman-style bungalow. The house, built in 1913, is a historic gem and inspired the restaurant’s name with its four Brown Turkey fig trees on the grounds. The ambiance of this century-old house perfectly complements the restaurant’s classic approach to dining.

Owners Greg and Sara Zanitsch have been at the helm since 2005, maintaining the restaurant’s reputation as one of Charlotte’s best restaurants. They live next door, ensuring their personal touch in every aspect of the restaurant. Their commitment to quality is evident in the seasonal, perfectly rendered menu that evolves constantly. Favorites like the elk chop remain, while new dishes are introduced to match the seasons.

The Fig Tree is renowned for its fine dining experience, which includes an award-winning wine list with nearly 975 different wines. This extensive selection, along with the Zanitsches’ passion for wine, adds to the restaurant’s allure. The couple’s dedication to impeccable customer service and their hands-on approach make dining here a truly personal and memorable experience.

The Fig Tree Restaurant  in Charlotte offers a classic dining experience in a century-old ambiance.
The Fig Tree Restaurant offers a classic dining experience in a century-old ambiance.

6. The King’s Kitchen 

In the heart of uptown Charlotte, there’s a restaurant that’s not just about great food but also about giving back. The King’s Kitchen stands out as one of the most unique Charlotte restaurants, blending Southern cuisine with a mission to help the community. Founded by notable chef Jim Noble, this establishment is more than a place to eat; it’s a beacon of hope.

The King’s Kitchen serves Southern-style dishes with a modern, healthier twist. Favorites like Aunt Beaut’s pan fried chicken and shrimp and grits are big hits. The menu reflects Noble’s commitment to using natural, locally grown, and organic products. But what truly sets this restaurant apart is its mission. All profits go to ministries that feed the poor. Moreover, the staff includes recovering addicts, former convicts, and high-risk youth, trained in the culinary arts to help them find jobs.

This restaurant is a prime example of unique restaurants in Charlotte for dinner. It offers an upscale dining experience with a purpose. The airy dining room, furnished with wood tables and elegant upholstery, adds to the appeal. The signature dishes, like the pan-fried chicken, are cooked to perfection, following traditional methods. Each meal comes with a choice of three sides, including Jesse’s Mac & Cheese and creamed corn.

The King's Kitchen in Charlotte stands out as a unique spot blending Southern cuisine with a mission to support the community.
The King’s Kitchen stands out as a unique spot blending Southern cuisine with a mission to support the community.

7. Supperland

A church-turned-restaurant is redefining dining in Plaza Midwood. Supperland has quickly become one of the unique places to eat in Charlotte. The setting, a mid-century church, retains its original charm with refinished floors and open rafters. Even the seating includes actual church pews, adding to the ambiance.

The menu at Supperland is a creative take on Southern classics. Dishes like sausage gravy, pot roast, and mac and cheese get a modern makeover. The restaurant is also known for its impressive cocktail program and a selection of local beers. The Karma cocktail and the 4G Negroni are just a couple of the standout drinks. The dining approach here is about sharing, reflecting a communal spirit.

As one of the unique restaurants in Charlotte for dinner, Supperland offers a relaxed dining pace. The prime ribeye, miso mac & cheese, and bone marrow broccoli are must-tries. Each dish is prepared with a focus on flavor and quality. The restaurant’s theme of a ‘church potluck’ is cleverly woven into its menu, offering a nostalgic yet upscale twist.

Supperland is a unique dining spot in a mid-century church.
Supperland is a unique dining spot in a mid-century church.

8. BATL Axe Throwing

In Charlotte’s vibrant South End, an exciting and unconventional dining experience awaits. Here, BATL Axe Throwing combines the thrill of axe throwing with a casual dining atmosphere, making it one of the coolest places to eat in Charlotte. This venue isn’t just about food; it’s about an engaging, competitive experience.

At BATL, guests can enjoy the unique sport of ax throwing, a fun and safe activity guided by expert coaches. It’s perfect for groups looking for something different. The venue is equipped with digital display screens and a licensed bar, enhancing the fun and competitive environment. Whether it’s a casual outing or a special event, BATL offers a memorable experience.

As a unique restaurant in Charlotte, BATL also caters to your culinary needs. They’ve partnered with Tony’s Pizza and Wings to deliver delicious food right to your throwing lane. You can pre-order your meal or even bring your own food, making it a flexible option for any group.

BATL Axe Throwing offers an exciting dining experience by merging axe throwing thrill with a casual atmosphere.
BATL Axe Throwing offers an exciting dining experience by merging axe throwing thrill with a casual atmosphere.

9. Mac Tabby Cat Cafe

In Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood, a unique cafe offers a delightful experience. At Mac Tabby Cat Cafe, you can enjoy a coffee and the company of adorable cats. This cafe is one of the coolest restaurants in Charlotte, combining a love for cats with a cozy cafe atmosphere.

Mac Tabby features a separate cat lounge where twelve adoptable cats roam freely. For a small fee, visitors can book a 60-minute session to relax and play with the cats. This unique concept not only provides a fun, relaxing environment but also helps cats find forever homes. The cafe space itself is free to enter, where you can enjoy a variety of beverages and local bakery items.

As a unique restaurant in Charlotte, Mac Tabby stands out for its community-focused approach. It’s more than a cafe; it’s a place that brings people and pets together. The cafe offers a full coffee bar with lattes, teas, and cold brews. You can work, socialize, or just unwind while watching the cats through the glass.

Mac Tabby Cat Cafe is a unique spot  in Charlotte offering coffee and the company of adorable cats.
Mac Tabby Cat Cafe is a unique spot offering coffee and the company of adorable cats. | Source: https://www.mactabby.com/

10. NarroWay Productions

Just outside of Charlotte, NarroWay Productions offers a unique blend of theater and dining. Known as “The Broadway of Christian Entertainment,” this venue provides an experience that goes beyond the usual. It’s a fun restaurant in Charlotte where live performances and a meal come together.

NarroWay features a variety of original, Broadway-style musicals, along with spectacular holiday shows for Christmas and Easter. The shows are family-friendly and run all year. What makes NarroWay stand out is the combination of talented actors, live animals, and original scripts. Each show is accompanied by a themed meal, enhancing the overall experience.

As a unique restaurant in Charlotte, NarroWay is more than just a dinner theater. It’s an immersive experience where guests can enjoy epic Biblical productions, mystery theater shows, and children’s shows. The venue is perfect for field trips, group events, and day trips. The cast’s southern hospitality, along with the inspiring music and themed meals, makes every visit memorable.

NarroWay Productions is "The Broadway of Christian Entertainment," offering a unique blend of theater and dining.
NarroWay Productions is “The Broadway of Christian Entertainment,” offering a unique blend of theater and dining.

11. Stroke

A unique concept has taken root in Plaza Midwood, blending miniature golf with a culinary twist. Here, you’ll find Stroke, an indoor golf course and lounge that stands out among unique restaurants in Charlotte. This 5,100-square-foot facility offers more than just a meal; it’s a complete entertainment package.

Stroke’s 9-hole putt-putt course is designed for all skill levels, offering both technical and easy play options. It’s an ideal spot for families, friends, or date nights. The course, created by fabrication company 8Lincoln30, showcases a sleek, mid-century modern design. The experience is further enhanced by the option of an annual membership, which includes a round of golf.

The food at Stroke is inspired by the Masters Tournament dining experience. The menu, crafted by Fresh Eats Catering, features small bites perfect for enjoying while playing. Options include spinach and artichoke dip, pimento cheese sandwiches, and specialty hot dogs. The ordering process is tech-savvy too, with orders placed via tablet and notifications sent by text when food is ready. Stroke’s bar adds to the allure, offering nine signature craft cocktails, beer on draft, and wine by the glass.

Stroke is a unique concept blending indoor golf with dining.
Stroke is a unique concept blending indoor golf with dining. | Source: https://www.strokeputt.com/

12. Biblio

In Charlotte’s Wesley Heights, a new dining concept, Biblio, is redefining the culinary scene. This restaurant stands out as a hidden gem restaurant in Charlotte, offering a unique experience where the wine list leads the culinary journey.

At Biblio, guests are greeted with a 500-bottle wine list upon arrival. The twist? There’s no food menu. Instead, the chef creates dishes curated to match the selected wine. This innovative approach allows for a personalized dining experience, where each wine’s story influences the flavors of the meal.

The wine list at Biblio is carefully curated, featuring bottles with intriguing backstories. Many of these wines are from winemakers who are women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This diverse selection not only offers a range of flavors but also stories that connect diners to the wine and its maker.

Biblio is one of the unique restaurants in Charlotte.
Biblio redefines Charlotte’s culinary scene as a hidden gem restaurant where an exceptional wine list guides the dining experience. | Source: https://www.biblioclt.com/

Frequently Asked Questions About The Unique Places To Eat In Charlotte

Welcome to the FAQ section of our Charlotte restaurant guide. Here, we answer your most pressing questions about Charlotte’s dining scene, helping you find the perfect spot for your next meal.

What restaurant in Charlotte resembles a church?

Supperland, a standout among unique restaurants in Charlotte, is housed in a beautifully renovated church. This restaurant combines a rustic, spiritual ambiance with a modern dining experience. The church’s original structure, including stained glass and wooden pews, adds to the charm, making it a visually stunning and memorable place to dine.

Does Gordon Ramsay have a restaurant in Charlotte?

No, Gordon Ramsay does not currently have a restaurant in Charlotte. However, Charlotte’s culinary scene is vibrant and diverse. You’ll find many unique restaurants in Charlotte offering exceptional dining experiences that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.

What famous North Carolina restaurant was founded in Charlotte in 1977?

The famous North Carolina restaurant Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits was founded in Charlotte in 1977. Known for its Cajun-seasoned fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits, Bojangles’ has become a beloved staple in the region. The restaurant offers a taste of Southern comfort food.

Can I find themed dining experiences in Charlotte?

Yes, Charlotte offers several themed dining experiences. For instance, Dining in the Dark in Charlotte provides a unique sensory experience where guests dine in complete darkness. This concept allows diners to focus on the taste, texture, and aroma of their food, creating a memorable and unique dining adventure.

A couple seated at a dimly lit table in Dining in the Dark, Charlotte.
A couple seated at a dimly lit table in Dining in the Dark, Charlotte. | Source: https://dininginthedarkexperience.com/

Are there any restaurants in Charlotte that combine dining with entertainment?

Yes, Charlotte boasts several restaurants that combine dining with entertainment. NarroWay Productions, for example, offers a unique blend of theater and dining, featuring Broadway-style musicals accompanied by themed meals. This combination of entertainment and dining makes for a fun and engaging experience.

What is a unique family-friendly restaurant in Charlotte?

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar is a unique family-friendly restaurant in Charlotte. It offers an innovative fusion of sushi and burgers, creating a diverse menu that caters to all ages. The playful and vibrant atmosphere of the restaurant, combined with its creative menu, makes it a hit with families.

Is there a restaurant in Charlotte where I can dine with cats?

Yes, Mac Tabby Cat Cafe in Charlotte offers a unique experience where you can enjoy coffee and the company of adorable cats. This cafe is not only a place for cat lovers but also helps adoptable cats find forever homes. It’s a cozy spot for relaxation, coffee, and feline friendship.

Are there any unique rooftop dining experiences in Charlotte?

RH Rooftop Restaurant in Charlotte provides a unique rooftop dining experience. Located atop the RH Gallery, this restaurant offers an elegant and serene setting with stunning views of the city. The menu features American classics, making it a perfect spot for a sophisticated dining experience with a view.

Final Thoughts On Unique Charlotte Restaurants

Charlotte is a city brimming with culinary surprises. From dining in a former church to enjoying a meal with a side of axe-throwing, the variety of unique restaurants in Charlotte is truly impressive. This makes it a top vacation spot on the East Coast for all types of travelers.

Each restaurant brings its own special flavor to the city’s dining scene. You’ll witness this through innovative food combinations, themed environments, or interactive experiences. These unique dining spots not only offer great food but also create memorable experiences for locals and visitors alike.

As Charlotte continues to grow and evolve, its restaurant scene reflects the city’s creativity and diversity. Whether you’re a resident, just passing through, or just flying from Charlotte, exploring these unique eateries is a must for a taste of Charlotte’s vibrant and eclectic culinary landscape.

The top restaurants in Charlotte for all types of travelers
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