Chickpeas. Oil. Pita. These are the three things that make up the Mary Gross food pyramid. (Oh, and soft pretzels. Also, cake.)
But getting high-quality hummus and pita in Charlotte isn’t easy. My go-to place used to be Greek Isles, but then stupid Hot Taco killed them. (I don’t care about the controversial statues. I care that we now have another mediocre Mexican restaurant when all we really want is hummus.)
After the death of Greek Isles, I was forced to start my Charlotte hummus exploration. There are a lot of “best Charlotte hummus” lists out there but I don’t trust any list that features Zoe’s Kitchen and Brixx.
I found out quickly that the key to getting great Charlotte hummus is that you have to be willing to travel. Sure, you can get some dry, mashed up chickpeas at Brazwells. But what’s the point? After years of research, here are the official top five hummus destinations in Charlotte:
5. Kabob Grill (Dilworth)
Right in the heart of Dilworth, Kabob Grill has A+ hummus. The problem? Their pita is F minus minus minus. Why do they spend so much time making creamy, flavorful hummus and then pair it with stale dough triangles?
Pita: The worst.
Pro-tip: Step 1: Throw out pita. Step 2: Head across the parking lot to Harris Teeter. Step 3: Buy pretzel roll. Step 4: Dip and repeat.
4. Savor Café (Wesley Heights)
I didn’t want to put Savor on this list. They aren’t a Mediterranean restaurant. They aren’t a Middle Eastern restaurant. And their logo is the most heinous thing I’ve ever seen. (Did they try to make it look like a ransom note?!)
But I did include Savor on this list. Why? Because their hummus is damn good. Savor’s hummus is thicker than most other hummuses (hummis?) but the unique flavor makes stomaching their terrible logo worth it.
Pita: Warm grilled triangles
Pro-tip: Order the banana pudding. It will be featured in my next fatty-girl article about Charlotte’s best banana pudding.
3. Pita Kabob Grill (Matthews)
Is Matthews part of Charlotte? Let’s just say it is since it appears twice on this list. Pita Kabob Grill opened this summer and they’ve been so busy making delicious hummus that they still haven’t had time to update their website.
The pita is hot, the hummus is creamy and the service is pretty bad so don’t go to Pita Kabob if you’re in a rush. (And yes, I let the owner know about the slow service and he promised that he’s working on it.)
Until then, this might be your go-to take-out hummus place.
Pita: Large and fluffy
Pro-tip: Dip their spicy potatoes in hummus to add even more delicious carbs to your meal.
2. La Shish Kabob (Sheffield Park)
You know the hummus is going to be good when the restaurant spells it “hommos.” La Shish Kabob, off Independence, offers the cheapest, fastest hummus on this list. Sure, the inside looks like a convenience store that randomly decided to sell food, but who cares? The owner is awesome, the portions are large and their hummus is topped with chickpeas which makes my belly happy.
Price: $4.99 (s), $6.99 (m) or $9.99 (l)
Pita: Served hot, but not as fluffy as it could be
Pro-tip: They have your standard baklava but they also have another traditional Middle Eastern treat: Snickers Ice Cream Bars.
1. Kabab-Je (Matthews)
I rarely make my way down to Matthews. But when I do, it’s usually for hummus. Kabab-Je is my number one pick for hummus in Charlotte due to their fresh hummus, fluffy pita and cute bowls. One downside? Their restaurant is romantically lit so it was hard to take a good hummus glamor-shot for this article.
Pita: Fresh out of the oven and hands down the fluffiest in Charlotte
Pro-tip: The best hummus in Charlotte comes with long waits from 6-8 p.m. Try to get there by 5:30 p.m. to beat the other hummus fanatics (aka me).