Ballantyne is growing crazy fast – so fast, it’s hard to keep up with all the new eats.
It would be challenging to hit all 200-plus dining options in the Ballantyne area, so we’ve narrowed the list down to a few picks for first-time explorers (or residents looking to switch up their routines).
Best Date Night Dinner: Gallery Restaurant
Where: Inside The Ballantyne, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Charlotte (10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway)
Money: $$$. Dinner entrees and steaks run $28-$56 and brunch entrees $12-$18.
Breakfast: 6:30-11 a.m. Monday-Friday
Brunch: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily
Dinner: 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday & 5:30-11 p.m. Friday & Saturday
Attire: Business casual or nice dress (no baseball caps)
Must Order: The menu changes seasonally, but look for the Sea Scallops with heirloom squash puree ($38), Bison Shortrib with smoked goat cheese and grits ($36), or the 12 ounce NY Strip ($46). Bonus points for a legendary burger with OMB-soaked gruyere ($18) and a delicious weekend brunch menu.
Best Italian: OGGI Ristorante Italiano
Where: The Shoppes at Audrey Kell (16646 Hawfield Way Drive)
Money: $$. Pastas are around $15-25, while entrees range from $20-32.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
Attire: Casual. The food feels fancier, but the restaurant/vibe is on the casual side.
Must Order: Gnocchi Shortrib Ragu ($24), Galician Octopus with mashed potatoes ($15), and a few cocktails (especially the Picante Tropicale, $14)
Best Mediterranean: Zeitouni Mediterranean Grill
Where: Toringdon Market (3419 Toringdon Way A-124)
Money: $. Sandwiches and pitas run $5.99, and platters range $10.99-13.99.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday; and closed Sundays.
Attire: Very casual.
Must Order: Please get the Shish Taqooq Special (it’s not on the menu, but ask for it. Marinated grilled chicken, spicy garlic, pickles, fries and tomatoes wrapped in pita then grilled and drizzled with homemade dressing.) Can’t go wrong with a Gyro, either ($5.99).
Best Easy Lunch or Dinner: Be’s Noodles & Banh Mi
Where: 11318 N. Community House Road
Money: $. Banh mi sandwiches are $7-$7.50, pho and vermicelli are $11-13, and rice plates are $9-$11.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday & 11 a.m. to 8 p.m Sundays
Attire: Very casual.
Must Order: Lemon Grass Grill Pork Banh Mi ($7.50), Sliced Filet Mignon Pho ($11) or Combination Thap Cam Vermicelli ($13). Gotta get a Vietnamese Coffee ($4) to go while you’re at it.
Best Brunch: Terrace Cafe
Where: Ballantyne Village (14815 Ballantyne Village Way, Suite 150)
Money: $$. Specialty dishes and benedicts run $10.50-18, while sweeter options range from $9-16.
Breakfast and Brunch: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Lunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Dinner: 5-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
Must Order: The Red Velvet Waffle, of course ($11, or with fried chicken for $17.) You’ll also love the Banana Cream Stuffed French Toast Sticks ($12.50) and the Shrimp and Grits with chorizo and Cajun-spiced shrimp ($17).
Best Patio Chillin’: Stone Mountain Grill
Where: 15719 Brixham Hill Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Must Order: Firecracker Shrimp to start ($9.99) then Tacos of your choice (Firecracker Shrimp or Jerk Chicken for $11.99, Baja Fish or Fajita Steak for $12.99). The double shell (hard blue corn, soft flour) is a nice perk.
Shout out to these two spots, better known for their original locations elsewhere in Charlotte but still bringing that A-game to the Ballantyne area.
Best Giant Tacos: Cabo Fish Taco
Where: 11611 N. Community House Road
Must Order: Honey Soy Glazed Salmon Tacos ($12.95) or BBQ Mahi Tacos ($12.75)
Best Barbecue: Midwood Smokehouse
Where: 12410 Johnston Road
Must Order: Carolina Pork Plate with mac & cheese ($9.50, small) or the Midwood Chopped Salad with smoked salmon ($16, large)
Still hungry? Keep exploring @goballantyne.
This paid content was created in partnership with Northwood Office. Cover photo via Gallery Restaurant.