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Eating like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina Dining Picks

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com

The Asbury
One of the highlights of our entire trip, The Asbury surprised our taste buds and challenged us to try new things. Although the atmosphere was more formal than the other three places on this list, the staff was highly accommodating to my toddler. My dad couldn't get over his delicious crab and Benton's ham plate, while I was glad that I tried both the rabbit confit and the pea and basil orecchiette. Don't forget to leave room for dessert!

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com


Check out my complete review here. And then put it on your Charlotte must-visit list!

7th Street Public Market
We ate here for lunch on our first day after hearing great things from several people who live in the area. If you're looking for a one stop shop for a variety of tastes, the Public Market will be your go-to place, as there are several restaurants under one roof.

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com

Choose from sandwiches, sushi, crepes, cheeses, and pizza, or grab a beer at the brewery area. The Market also boasts a small handicrafts shop up front, and a butcher and fresh fruits and veggies in the back. Everything is locally sourced--something I loved!--so you'll feel like you're contributing to the community even if it's your first time here.

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com


My dad, Britton, and I ordered from Orrman's Cheese Shop in the back after we'd done a few loops. We'd also eyed the sandwiches from the shop up front (the line was too long and very slow) and the pizza from the booth in the middle (it was closed on Sunday despite there being people everywhere). My dad and I both got the smoked mozzarella, proscuitto, and tomato grilled cheese, while Britton opted for the homemade peanut butter and blackberry jelly sandwich. Both the grilled cheese and the PB&J were crazy delicious, though, at a price tag of $25 for three simple sandwiches (including 1 bottle of water and a small bag of chips), I expected something amazing.

The Market is very convenient to Discovery Place, the Levine Museum of the New South, and several of the other places on my family-friendly guide to Charlotte. It's a little pricey and crowded during peak hours, but the food is quite delicious.

Nan and Byron's
On our last night, we headed over to Nan and Byron's for dinner--and I couldn't have chosen a better place to end our trip. Named after the couple in Grant Wood's American Gothic painting, Nan and Byron's is a trendy and casual restaurant with crowd-pleasing favorites. (Fun fact about the painting: Nan was actually Wood's sister, while Byron McKeeby was his dentist!)

Instead of bringing out bread (like most places do), our waiter started us off with a basket of the most amazing flavored popcorn.

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com


My dad and I both chose the tacos (I got half beef, half chicken, while my dad got all four of his with chicken), and I was very happy with my choice. We both decided that the chicken tacos were slightly better than the beef--it had to do with the seasoning and overall balance of flavors. The plates were gigantic and came with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream: my dad and I could've easily split one.

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com


They had a standard children's menu (chicken nuggets, burgers, etc.), and Britton wanted the grilled cheese with peas and carrots. I had a few bites of hers as well--no cheese product here! The grilled cheese was perfectly done on thick bread and had a creamy white cheddar inside.

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com


The vibe was casual and fun, and there were patrons of all ages there during dinner. I would've felt equally comfortable there on a date as I did with my toddler (who is not the quietest dining partner). Our waiter was friendly and accommodating throughout the meal and made sure that we always had fresh sweet tea and plenty of ice. The building itself was nicely renovated: before it opened as Nan and Byron's, it was another restaurant, and before that, it was a service station. The renovation has kept many of the original service station elements, which adds a fun element to your dining experience.

Queen City Q
If you're looking for a casual place for Southern favorites, Queen City Q is worth a visit. My dad and I are both huge fans of barbecue, and we'd been looking forward to trying out the different sauces that the restaurant offers. It's located on the other side of the same building as the 7th Street Public Market, so the area is rife with great eating choices.

The interior was decorated in a kind of faux-country style with the televisions built into wooden barn sides. Our waitress wasn't particularly effervescent, but she was efficient, keeping our drinks refilled and promptly bring out our food.

I got the hand-pulled pork platter with two sides (the fried okra and the mac 'n' cheese). As a born and raised Southerner, I am extremely familiar with barbecue--and this was some delicious stuff. I could've eaten the pulled pork sans sauce since the spices were done so well. However, you can't put bottles of BBQ sauce in front of me and expect me to pass them up.

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com


Thus began our tasting series--I liked that the restaurant offered up multiple sauces, but I wished they'd had a traditional vinegar sauce. The others (mostly ketchup based, though there was one mustard) were quite good. Definitely sample all of them!

Eating Like Royalty in the Queen City: Charlotte, North Carolina | CosmosMariners.com


Which of these restaurants would you be most interested in trying?
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