8 of the best places to eat in Davidson, from an exquisite patio setting to a casual frozen custard spot

Photo by Jessica Bentley

Earlier this month, we expressed our thoughts on the 10 best places to wine and dine in Cornelius. As promised, here is our suggestions for dining in Davidson. Per the usual, this is not a catch-all list. If your cherry-picked establishment is not listed below, fill us in by commenting below!


445 S. Main St., Davidson

When should you visit? If you’re craving a big fat burrito with chips, this cantina should be on your radar. Ordering is simple with choices of Plain (beans + cheese, $7.25), Regular (the Plain + lettuce and salsa, $8.25), Major (the Regular + guacamole and sour cream, $8.95) or Fish (grilled fresh fish with rice, black beans, sour cream and lettuce, $10.95). Side note: The Quesadillas ($8.95) are pretty stellar as well.

What should you order? If it’s your first visit, we suggest ordering a Major Burrito (might as well go all the way, right?). For vegetarians I recommend choosing the Pure De Papas (mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized onions. Meat Eaters are encouraged to try Carnitas or Carne Deshebrada. Remember to pair your entrée with one of their house-made margaritas!  

Davidson Ice House

416 S. Main St., Davison

When should you visit? Specializing in vegetarian and vegan options, we usually dine here with our herbivore friends. Chef creations (composed of a base, protein, a plethora of veggies, spread and house-made sauces) range from $8.95 – $10.95 and $6.75 for kids’ portions.

What should you order? The Brule is my favorite (named after chef and owner, Jenny Brule); it’s got the perfect mix of grilled chicken thighs, grilled corn and slaw, caramelized onions, roasted black beans, tickled pink onions, firecracker pimento cheese and spicy green sauce. Jenny… if you’re reading this… can I have the recipe for that green sauce (I’m seriously obsessed)?

FlatIron Kitchen & Taphouse

215 S. Main St., Davidson

When should you visit? I’ve spent many of my “mom’s nights out” here with my girlfriends (read our full restaurant review on my blog). We grab a few cocktails, appetizers to share and consistently have a fantastic time. This establishment serves as a great location for family get-togethers, drinks after work or a lazy Sunday night dinner.

What should you order? The Flatiron Burger ($17) is a delectable feast, topped with bacon-onion jam, pickles, lettuce, tomato and melted American cheese on a brioche bun. It’s served with fries and you can add a farm egg for just a buck (I highly recommend it).

Kindred Restaurant

131 N. Main St., Davidson

When should you visit? When my husband and I have a babysitter for date night, Kindred is at the top of our list for an exquisite dining experience (there’s good reason they’ve been recognized in Bon Appetit, Food and Wine and more). We like to sit on their charming patio, under the soft lights and among their garden of fresh herbs. We’ve never had a bad experience here… which keeps us coming back for more. I have yet to check out their sister concept in Cornelius, Hello, Sailor, but I plan to and will fill you in with all the deets once we do!  

What should you order? The Milk Bread is a no-brainer (and comes to your table once you sit down, if you want more it’s $5). It’s moist and exceptionally tasty. We typically order a bunch of things to share… so other suggestions include the Duck Fat Potatoes with aioli ($8), Crispy Oysters with dill yogurt and Calabrian chili oil ($13), and Spring Onion Rigatoni with fennel sausage ($18). If you have room for dessert, the Milk Bread Cinnamon Roll with cream cheese icing is to die for ($7).

Um, YASSS. 🙌🏽

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Lake Norman Cottage

200 N. Harbor Place Dr., Davidson

When should you visit? Wine and food pairings on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 6:30 p.m. This adorable wine bar is comfortable and inviting, with a patio overlooking the harbor. Even if you can’t join them for a full tasting, a glass of wine on their patio with your fur baby is an absolute delight.

What should you order? Their wine and food tastings are $25 per person (please call to make a reservation) and come with an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Make sure to carve out some time to sit back and relax… as you won’t want to leave.  

North Harbor Club

100 N. Harbor Place Dr., Davidson

When should you visit? Do you have out-of-town guests or in-laws you’re trying to impress with a killer water view? Brunch on their patio is pretty popular. Hello mimosas and Lake Norman breeze. Brunch is offered Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.–2:45 p.m.

What should you order? The Fried Green Tomato BLT ($10.50) comes with Nueske Bacon, arugula and goat cheese on focaccia (LOVE goat cheese and bacon paired together, don’t you?) and their Croissant French Toast ($10.50) is a great choice for breakfast devotees.

Summit Coffee

128 S. Main St., Davidson

When should you visit? I often come here to work on my writing in a laid-back setting (guess where I am right now?) or to grab a cup of joe before strolling through the Saturday Farmer’s Market.

What should you order? They have Avocado, Almond Butter and Hummus Toasts ($7 each) if you’re looking for something to eat with your coffee. If you’ve never had their Lavender Latte ($4.50), it has the perfect trace of lavender and cardamom.

Whits Frozen Custard

428 S. Main St., Davidson

When should you visit? If your taste buds are in the mood to be overwhelmed with happiness, then stop by this freshly-made-sweets shop for a joyous experience. Custard is denser than ice cream and results are extra creamy and oh-so-decadent desserts.

What should you order? We usually go for the flavor of the week ($3.25 for one scoop in a cake cone or cup – you can check their online calendar before your visit). If you’re in the mood for something extravagant, they also have Banana Split, Brownie Blitz or Strawberry Shortcake options ($5.50 each).

Note: Please don’t shame me for not including Famous Toastery in this roundup. Their food is consistent and flavorful (and once you’re finally seated… service is generally decent), but the extremely long wait-times have led me to trek elsewhere for breakfast.

On my radar: I haven’t personally had the pleasure of dining at these establishments yet, but they are on my list! If you’ve tried them, let us know your thoughts in the comments below:

Il Bosco Ristorante and Bar

Mandolino’s Artisan Pizza

The Pickled Peach

Restaurant X

Featured photo: Jessica Bentley


  1. I’m looking forward to trying Davidson ice house, that pic of the Brule looks amazing!
    Il Bosco is a great little place for date night. I haven’t been there for some time, but I’ve always enjoyed it.
    Pickled Peach is one of my favorite lunchtime spots. The white bean hummus sandwich, with avocado, is my absolute fave!

  2. The Pickled Peach is fantastic!! You should definitely try it out, and it is very vegan and vegetarian-friendly. I basically agree with the whole list, except for North Harbor Club. Not a fan.

  3. I live in Davidson, but prefer the eating in Charlotte.
    However, with all due respect to Alysia(earlier comment), I find North Harbor to be the all around consistent winner for lunch, brunch, or dinner
    Kindred is good, but way over hyped and priced, as is Hello Sailor in Cornelius

  4. Mandolino has delicious rectangular “grandma’s” style pizza. Cooked to order, crispy, and when my husband and I eat there, we have enough for a second meal. They do not sell slices.

  5. Mandolino has delicious rectangular “grandma’s” style pizza. Cooked to order, crispy, and when my husband and I eat there, we have enough for a second meal. They do not sell slices.

  6. Dani is fantastic for sushi, and has a large menu including vegetarian friendly dishes and very good for kids, too.

  7. The food is great at Kindred, but over-priced and too loud! Can’t even have a conversation inside. Try Restaurant X. Consistent tasty food, funky setting, great service!

  8. Love Pickled Peach!!! A casual spot with great ambience and food. Lots of great salads, soups and sandwiches. They are opening a juice bar soon, too.

  9. You should definitely try Il Bosco, the favorite of many folks in Davidson. It’s quiet, unpretentious, with no Muzak and no over-the-top decor: just good food, served by courteous and attentive staff.

  10. You never tried the Pickled Peach and consider your report a fair analysis. Try it the next time you’re in town.


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