One of Charlottte’s busiest streets — saturated with places to eat, drink and shop — still has quite a few under-the-radar restaurants.
The big picture: Because South Boulevard goes through South End, one of Charlotte’s most popular neighborhoods, we don’t think of it as a place with hidden gems. But if you go past some of the recently-developed, flashier parts of the street, you’ll find food that’s just as good and often less expensive.
Driving the news: This Twitter exchange got us thinking about restaurants that get overlooked on that stretch of road.
My thought bubble: Charlotte’s ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mentality the source of many locals’ gripes, especially as institutions like Bill Spoon’s and Mr. K’s closed during the pandemic. In the wake of all that, I’m making an effort to support what’s already here, because there’s a lot.
- Share your favorite underrated Charlotte restaurants by emailing me at [email protected].
The restaurant sits in a small South Blvd shopping center and serves some of the freshest poke around, and at a great price.
What to order: A bowl with two proteins is $10.95 or get three proteins for $13.59. I usually go for spicy tuna and salmon, and I try new toppings each time.
Exact location: 3609 South Blvd., Ste. D
The bright-orange restaurant serves authentic Mexican, and went viral when local influencer Wynee Bermudez posted their birria tacos on TikTok last year.
What to order: The birria tacos are a must-try. They’re thick and packed full with toppings, and great for dipping and extra flavor.
- If you’re looking to take it a step further, try their birria ramen. The dish has the same incredible flavor in a different form.
Exact location: 5234 South Blvd.
The Vietnamese restaurant has been serving Charlotte since 2002. Its menu has classic items including pho and bubble tea.
What to order: The menu is extensive, so it’s hard to narrow down. Depending on your mood, we suggest: any of the pho options, garlic chicken wings or chim cút chiên bơ (quail).
Exact location: 5215 South Blvd. B.
The restaurant has four locations, one of which is South Blvd adjacent over on Woodlawn. It’s often lauded as the best Jamaican restaurant in Charlotte.
What to order: Go for one of the curry dishes. The plantains and cabbage are popular sides.
Exact location: 200 W. Woodlawn Rd. Ste. D.
Chicken King is in a small nondescript shopping center with mom and pop feels and great American food. It’s on Nations Ford Road, so again South Blvd-adjacent, but too good to leave off the list.
What to order: We tried their juicy fried chicken sandwich with fries. Their hotdogs are also popular items on the menu.
Exact location: 5201 Nations Ford Rd.