Charlotteans have gotten a little giddy over the recent arrival of chains like the Mediterranean hotspot Cava (from D.C.) and constant-line-out-the-door Shake Shack (from New York City). As much as I love supporting local, it’s kind of fun to watch people go berserk over the restaurants (and brands) they miss from their own hometowns, or from their college towns, or from their travels.
We polled our CharlotteFive readers, and these are 10 of the chains people are dying to see in Charlotte:
The first In-N-Out hamburger joint was introduced in California in 1948. Today, people rave about the fast-food burger/fries/shake trifecta.
If you’ve lived in the Lowcountry, you’ve been to Hometeam. There’s an emphasis on fresh and local ingredients, and BBQ everything — from BBQ salad, to BBQ nachos, to BBQ sandwiches.
This community-owned grocery has locations in Carrboro, Hillsborough and Chapel Hill and stocks North Carolina-roasted coffee beans, partners with NC hunger relief organizations, serves up a themed hot bar, and more. The vibe is a little hippy-ish, like an Earth Fare.
This Canadian-based fast-food restaurant whips up coffee and donuts, with an emphasis on fresh coffee crafted from 100 percent Arabica beans.
Headquartered in California, the Houston’s menu is heavy on American classics, and items range from brisket to freshly baked bread. The sit-down restaurant even has a dress code — collared shirts are suggested for the gentlemen visiting.
This international fashion company features a bright variety of men’s, women’s and kids’ fashions. As one Charlotte-area reader put it, “For the love, why do we have four H&Ms and zero Zaras?!”
This “salt of the earth” establishment based in Greensboro only offers Certified Angus Beef, plus craft beers (ah, the name makes sense now) and locally grown ingredients.
This grill headquartered in Florida stresses seasonally inspired menu items and rustic cooking techniques. Special menus are also available for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-sensitive guests and lactose/dairy-sensitive guests.
This fast-casual mecca for salads and warm bowls pretty closely resembles Cava, and was created in Georgetown. The mission: To serve “simple, seasonal, healthy food.”
Headquartered in Illinois, this American restaurant chain first opened as a hot dog stand in 1963 — it was called “The Dog House.” Today, the restaurants feature hot dogs (chili included), burgers, salads, sandwiches and even pasta.
What are you hungry for?
Featured photo: Michael Ainsworth/AP