Charlotte’s top restaurant openings of 2018—and a few we’re looking forward to most

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There’s been so many restaurant and bar openings so far this year in Charlotte that we have to ask, which ones have been the most impressive? Kathleen Purvis, the food and drink reporter at The Charlotte Observer, sat down with CharlotteFive’, Sallie Funderburk and Alicia Thomas, to talk about those restaurant openings, others to look forward to, food trends and more.  If you haven’t already, make sure to go check out…


1508 S. Mint St.

via bardorestaurant on Instagram

Kathleen says: “The thing about Bardo is it’s a very un-Charlotte, Charlotte restaurant. I hesitate to say that because people will think that I’m insulting Charlotte. This is a restaurant that you’d expect to come across in Chicago, which is where chef/owner Mike Noll came from, or you might expect to see it in a city where it’s much better known for it’s food scene.” What to order: Eggs and Grains (poached egg, kale, escabeche), $12, and the Charred Shishito Peppers (xo sauce, toasted sesame, black vinegar), $9 RELATEDGet a first look at Bardo’s menu before it opens in South End this month

Yume Bistro

1508 S. Mint St.

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Kathleen says: “They do a great bowl of ramen at lunch. They have a really nice sushi set up. They’re doing some really interesting things with a more complex Asian menu. And every time I’ve gone by there, it’s been packed at night.” What to order: Tonkotsu Ramen, $14, and the Sakura Sushi Roll, $15

La Belle Helene

300 S. Tryon St., #100

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Kathleen says: “That was something we really needed on the Charlotte scene. We needed a grown up restaurant. It is upper scale, not horribly expensive…It’s going to be an event-like dinner. The way they have it [the interior] looking like old Paris is amazing.” What to order: Poulet rôti “Rouge Fermier” (aka the rôtisserie chicken), half for $24, whole for $48, and the La Belle Hélène Burger, $16

Siggy’s Good Food

1001 Belmont Ave.

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Kathleen says: “One of the things I love about Siggy’s (and the upcoming Sweet Lew’s BBQ) is that they’re in an underserved area of town, in the Belmont neighborhood, that is an economically challenged area. Now we’re seeing some small, creative places going in there, and I would encourage people to please support that because neighborhoods need business and neighborhoods need life.” What to order: Red Beets, Almonds and Goat Cheese Salad, $11, and the Organic Steak Sandwich, Grass Fed, $12 RELATEDMediterranean-style cafe to serve coffee, wine, beer and organic food in Belmont neighborhood starting Sept. 4

Coming Soon

Sweet Lew’s BBQ

923 Belmont Ave.

via sweetlewsbbq on Instagram

Note: Projected to open by mid-November

Optimist Hall

340 E. 16th St. 

via optimisthallclt on Instagram

Note: Projected to open by the end of the year or in early 2019. Warning: The food hall might not open around the same time.


  1. Both Bardo and Yume weee underwheleming. Ironic that they are located next door to eachother. Food is over priced, the service is mediocre, and you leave still hungry–especially Bardo. I’ll pass on those. Stick with Futo Buta and the oth er multitude of tapas restaurants in Charlotte.

  2. upper scale, not horribly expensive… rôtisserie chicken — half for $24, whole for $48. Okay.

    Charlotte — esp. uptown Charlotte, South End., Dilworth– caters to mostly the finance folks and the moneyed elites. The discrepancy between the riches and the working class is ever so widening, not to mention the diminishing middle class. I’d like to see a hole-in-the-wall restaurants, a diner, not a contrived upscale diner or chain, or a bistro, affordable and welcoming to all, not stuffy or pretentious.

    Is Charlotte really even a “city”? Seems more like a simulated city.


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