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Eat Black Charlotte: Explore These Incredible Black-Owned Restaurants!

I visited some of these places while in Charlotte for a partnership with the visitor's bureau. Others I tried out on my own. All I enjoy!

This post contains *affiliate links, which means I receive commissions for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. I only provide links to products that I use and wholeheartedly recommend.


When someone mentions Charlotte, North Carolina, you probably think of an urban banking center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and a gorgeous downtown skyline. All of which Charlotte has, for sure. But the city, also known by the moniker Queen City after the wife of King George III, Queen Charlotte, also has a host of Black-owned businesses to explore. In fact, I'd say Charlotte is an ideal spot for a weekend exploring Black-owned restaurants, bars, and beyond. So, let's get into where to eat, drink, and explore in Black Charlotte.

Getting To And Around In Charlotte

To get to Charlotte, you can fly into Charlotte Douglass International Airport (CLT), which is just a short drive from downtown. In addition, Charlotte is a 4.5-hour drive from Richmond, Virginia, about a 2-hour drive from Greenville, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina, and about 2.5 hours from Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.

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Black-Owned Restaurants, Bars, and Beyond To Explore in Charlotte!

While you're in Charlotte, don't miss the spots below. From brunch to an award-winning dinner option and a super vibey cocktail bar, Charlotte is home to some of my favorite Black-owned concepts in the country! To get a sense of what the city has to offer, check out my video on a full day of exploring Black Charlotte!

Black-Owned Places To Dine In Charlotte, NC

Uptowk Yolk is a popular brunch spot from well-known Black-owned BayHaven Restaurant Group. Expect delicious Southern breakfast staples, a full bar with brunch cocktails, and a really cute interior.

I love that Beyond Amazing Donuts does one thing and just does it well. This Black-woman-owned spot serves up donuts made with brioche dough and really creative seasonal flavors.

Hands down this is my favorite pizza in Charlotte. And considering how busy this spot usually is, I'd say many people agree. Bird offers carryout only, with a small covered parklet area in front to sit with tables if you do want to eat there. I recommend ordering ahead online as the wait can be lengthy.

If you like seafood, you have to try Jimmy Pearl's when you're in Charlotte. Their fish sandwich is so large it's intimidating, with tender fried fish that will melt in your mouth. I tried much of the menu, and everything was so well seasoned and perfectly cooked, never rubbery or overdone.

What The Fries operates out of a communal commercial kitchen alongside numerous other vendors. Order ahead online and pick up as it's carryout only, though there is a small shared seating area inside the building. Honestly, this setup is ideal for me as someone who wants fresh-cut loaded fries with all the toppings and sauces and then to sit and eat them in the car so no one can see me make a ridiculous mess as I inhale them.

Award-winning restaurant Leah & Louise pays homage to the Mississippi River Valley through a modern juke joint concept. The cocktails here are excellent, the music is always lively, and the food is even better. Make a reservation in advance for this spot that's great for a friend's meetup or date night.

Black-Owned Spots To Drink

This Black-owned coffee shop is super cute and designed to be a spot where you come, sip, read, and chill. There are lots of books there already that you can read, ample seating, and house-made syrups for some really fun and creative lattes if that's your thing.

Another very relaxed spot, The Pauline Tea Bar is ideal if you want to reset and take some quiet time. Order a pot from their wide selection of teas served in super cute pots, sit, and enjoy an escape.

This Black-owned listening bar from award-winning mixologist Justin Hazelton is a must-visit. Expect craft cocktails and great music, ranging from album-listening parties to DJs spinning. A listening bar is a concept that started in the 1950s in Japan, where cafes started sprouting up with a focus on high-quality sound for the ultimate listening experience, and Lorem Ipsum draws on that tradition in Charlotte.

Also Don't Miss

With two locations in Charlotte, this Black-woman-owned fitness studio offers everything from small group training to private fitness coaching. Slot in some time for self-care at one of their studios, and you'll definitely leave sweaty but empowered, as the coaching is super encouraging and tailored to your level of fitness.

Named for Charlotte's first Black mayor, the Gantt Center houses multiple rotating exhibits featuring Black artists in a gorgeous building uptown. Pop in to take in current works on display, and be sure to check out the gift shop for everything from books by Black authors to cute tees printed for the culture.

Looking For Somewhere To Stay In Charlotte?

While this hotel is NOT Black-owned, I highly recommend The Ivey's, located in uptown Charlotte, if you're looking for a bit of pampering. This luxury hotel in a former 1920s department store is super chic, the service is top-notch, and the lounge, which is a popular spot for cocktails in the evening and serves breakfast in the morning, is a vibe.

Charlotte, NC, surprised me in a good way, and I'm glad I had the chance to explore the city more in the last few years. Be sure to check out these incredible Black-owned spots, and if you have any questions, drop them in the comments below!

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