Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Charlotte_native

International Flavors...

21 posts in this topic

Following a discussion about The Avenue and a new Thai Restaurant going in, I thought it would be a good time to start a thread about Charlotte's international cuisine. We actually have a lot of amazing and genuine international restaurants. A couple of years ago a group of friends started 'Ethnic Night'. One January we went to a Korean restaurant that I happened upon one day at lunch. Group of 10 went for dinner on a Wednesday -- had so much fun we decided to do it every week on Wednesday. General assumption was that we'd run through our small cities selection rather quickly. It went on for a year and was quite surprising to find how much there was out there.

Peruvian, Brazillian, Ethoipian, Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Dim Sum, Costa Rica, French, German, Italian, Dominican (probably the most fun of all -- they opened an adjacent dance floor and gave us island dance lessons spur of the moment), Cuban, Japanese, Mexican Taqueria, Mexican coastal, Pho, Korean, Indian, Bosnian, Malaysian...I'm sure I'm forgetting some. For most of these there are multiple restaurants in town.

So start talkin', I'd love to discover some new places.

The Dominican place is on Central Avenue near Eastland Mall. Tucked away in a little strip mall -- they have two slots, one is the restaurant, the other is a nightclub on the weekends. There were about 15 of us (big gay group), we had a bunch of drinks and ended up dancing with the staff for a couple of hours. Best dish -- Coco Fish -- whole fried fish finished with a coconut sauce. Dessert Tres Leches.

IMO, for the best food and most genuine food, get out of the middle of town and head to where our international communities are. We made sure to not let appearances or location in the city dissuade us from going. I'm pining for some of this food now as I'm thinking about it...off to Dim Sum...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Dim Sum is great, now you've got me craving it!

I'll give a couple of recommendations out. For Colombian food, try Los Paisas on South Blvd. behind the Panda Express. They have many typical Colombian dishes as well as a great lunch special everyday. For Peruvian, its a bit of a haul, but Genaro's on 74 in Indian Trail is as good as it gets. If you like rotisserie chicken, you have to try this place. It is the best outside of Lima, bar none! My wife and I were there this weekend and they told us that they are opening another place in Pineville, so I'll try to keep ya'll up to date with it. There is also a Peruvian place on Independance called Machu Picchu that is supposed to be good. The guy who owns it used to own Mily y Lalo's in South Charlotte, which had great ceviche and jalea (fried seafood platter). We haven't tried it out yet, but we hope to make it soon.

Also, if you haven't been to Plaza Fiesta yet, you should make the trip down to Carowinds Blvd to check it out. They have a lot of Latin American food there and there is a Peruvian shop called Antojitos Peruanos that has great tamales and empanadas, as well as many Peruvian desserts, including the best cookies in the world, alfajores.

Looking forward to hearing other recommendations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Korean. There is a place on Albemarle Road just before W.T. Harris -- tucked away in a small strip center beside a grocery store (I can't remember the name) and across from McDonalds. It is aptly named 'Korean Restaurant'. Every time I've been I've been the only gringo...was taken there by an Asian nieghbor and good thing, I would have had no idea what to order as there is almost no English in the place or on the menu. Traditional Korean serves small app dishes and kimchee when you sit down and their was fantastic. We had Bim Bom Bap which is a very hot rough ceramic pot with rice pressed in the filled with veggies and a raw egg on top. The rice crisps from the hot bowl and the egg cooks on top. We also had something that sounds nasty but was great -- seafood pancake. Yum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Middle Eastern - Kabob Grill on East Blvd is great and always one of my favorite spots, but there's a Halal market on Central past Eastway called Cedar's that is really awesome. It's smokey and a bit scary, but hey - that's part of the charm. I'm in Saudi Arabia right now, and the local food here is only a notch better, but I suppose that's to be expected.

Indian - Everyone likes Copper...so do I. But when I want some real spice, I go to Suruchi's downtown in 129 W Trade building on the Church St. side. I am usually the only US-born person in there. Prices are good, the food is plenty, and be prepared to sweat - they don't hold back on the spice. The naan bread isn't the best in the world, but the rest of the food makes up for it.

Greek - Greek Isles, hands down. This is fancy greek, but not too fancy. Not the same old Gyro shop. I usually order Youvetsi - one of the tastiest, most tender lamb shanks you'll ever put in your mouth served over Orzo pasta. And don't forget the Saganaki - flaming cheese. It comes with a little show. Opa!

Vietnamese - I've only been to one Vietnamese restaurant in town - Hoa Pho on central. I probably wouldn't be the one to judge whether this place was good in comparison to real Vietnamese food, but I love it.

Americanized Chinese - yeah, it's probably not authentic, but Ginbu 401 is my favorite joint when I want what most americans think of Chinese food. The meat is recognizable and crispy when it's meant to be - not the same old soggy mystery chicken that most chinese takeout restaurants have.

Italian - On two totally opposite sides of the spectrum - Villa Antonio (fancy, authentic - one of the best Italian restaurants I've ever been to) and Open Kitchen (when you want tons of food, homestyle dishes, and a killer local-joint type atmosphere)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heck yes. Great thread!

Indian - I'm not that big on Copper, because I like traditional Indian food. They're Indian Fusion. I gotta vote for Maharani in Midtown (Kings Dr.) and Situl behind Park Road Shopping Center. Also Sangam up in Cornelius just off I-77 at Exit 28.

Italian - Mama Ricottas also in Midtown on Kings.

Thai - Thai Taste on East is my favorite for dinner. Thai House (University, Matthews, and soon Epicentre) for lunchtime take out. Monsoon on South Blvd next to Home Economist is good, but not my favorite. Is the Thai place over on East/Scott still there - Thai Thai I think it was called - behind Brixx?

Cuban - I love Cuban food but it's not common. Has anyone tried the Cuban place on Albemarle Rd near where Central comes out?

Chinese - Only one place we go is Soho Bistro in the Hearst Tower. It's not gooey, saucy, fried Chinese. They have all the same stuff you would look for at a Chinese hole-in-the-wall, but it's not as heavy.

Mexican - Azteca on Woodlawn! Take the Lynx. Drink and eat. Mariachi band. Birthday stripdance by the waiters. Take the Lynx home. Cabo Fish Taco doesn't count, but I can't NOT mention it. Noda represent!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cuban - I love Cuban food but it's not common. Has anyone tried the Cuban place on Albemarle Rd near where Central comes out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vietnamese - Lang Van!! at Eastway and Shamrock...don't be scared by the exterior (I've never been at night though) but it is an amazing place that relies completely on word-of-mouth and regulars. The hostess/owner will ask you a few questions if you don't want to deal with the menu and bring you something excellent, and she'll remember you and what you ordered next time (and guilt trip you a little about how long its been), guaranteed.

Thai - Thai Taste, though Thai House at university was really excellent the one time I went.

Japanese/Sushi - Nikko, on south blvd. They have some excellent specialty rolls and considering the upscale vibe of the place, its not too terribly expensive.

Italian - Frankie's on morehead. Good service, great lunch specials that give you a ton of food. There's a huge range allowing you to eat relatively cheap or go a little fancier.

Cajun (does this count?) - Boudreaux in NoDa. Well I'm just a sucker for anyone that offers multiple types of gumbo and jambalaya and always remembers to serve it with cornbread.

I still haven't found a mexican restaurant I like here...I guess I need to go try Azteca. I also can't seem to find a decent no-frills seafood place near uptown but that's not ethnic...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I still haven't found a mexican restaurant I like here...I guess I need to go try Azteca. I also can't seem to find a decent no-frills seafood place near uptown but that's not ethnic...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Greek - Greek Isles, hands down. This is fancy greek, but not too fancy. Not the same old Gyro shop. I usually order Youvetsi - one of the tastiest, most tender lamb shanks you'll ever put in your mouth served over Orzo pasta. And don't forget the Saganaki - flaming cheese. It comes with a little show. Opa!

Vietnamese - I've only been to one Vietnamese restaurant in town - Hoa Pho on central. I probably wouldn't be the one to judge whether this place was good in comparison to real Vietnamese food, but I love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Meskerem for Ethiopian food on Kings Drive is great. It reminds me of Indian but heavier. Definitely communal eating so go in a large group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cedars- on Central like mentioned before has great Lebanese/Medditeranean , less expensive than Kabob Grill on East, but it shows in the atmosphere. I still favor Cedars as i think it has a better bang for your buck than Kabob Grill, and you'll actually be eating with ethnic people not sure why that scares so many people.

Dragon Court- inside of Asian Corner off Sugar Creek and Tryon, they are the only other place that has Dim Sum, besides Dim Sum on Central to my knowledge. A little scary for the non-adventurous type, but I agreed it's good to extend ourselves outside of just areas like Uptown, Dilworth, Southpark, etc. Don't be scared people you might feel a little uncomfortable at first but these kinds of places really aren't all that bad, they are just culturally different then what we're used to.

Le's Sandwiches and Cafe- Also in Asian Corners this is not a sit down and eat spot, but it has great Bahn Mi, which is like Vietnamese version of a sub sandwich. They are quite good, and you might surprisingly like it as I know a lot of westerners that try it and think they are delicious.

Hong Kong BBQ- Also in Asian Corners, this is where a lot of Asians get there roast duck and roast pork. Like what you see in China Towns, they have roasted ducks hanging from the window. Defiantly a cultural shock for most people.

Mizuho - Way more traditional then Suhi 101, Nikko's, or Ru San's. This is no frills Japanese food done by Japanese with a large Japanese clientele. Located on the backside of McMullen Creek market in Pineville of 51. They certainly have Sushi, but the main focus are homestyle Japanese, like Ramen, Udon, Grilled Mackerel, Soba, Tempura, Katsu.

Musashi- On Johnston Road near where it turns into Park Rd. Small quaint, inside of a small strip mall with a Bi-Lo I think. Great Japanese food, they have sushi again but the prices are cheaper than Nikko's, and that's not the main focus. Your probably not going to find any crazy rolls here. But the Udon is excellent, as well as some of the more traditional Japanese fair like Grilled Makerel. Just be sure to come in with an open mind. Large Japanese following. Near Pineville.

Meskerem- On King Dr next to CD Warehouse has great Ethiopian, for someone that's open enough to try Ethnic food but doesn't exactly want to feel like they're in a totally non-english speaking environment this place is great. My favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Charlotte.

Cho Kwon Garden- On Independence near Sardis, has good Koren food yet is very welcoming to non Korean, the owners can speak fluent English. A bit more pricier than Korean/Kyoto on Albermarle and PePeRo on Monroe, but the portions are large and this might be a better option for groups and people new to Korean food. I've seen a good mix of Koreans and Americans eating here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vietnamese - Lang Van!! at Eastway and Shamrock...don't be scared by the exterior (I've never been at night though) but it is an amazing place that relies completely on word-of-mouth and regulars. The hostess/owner will ask you a few questions if you don't want to deal with the menu and bring you something excellent, and she'll remember you and what you ordered next time (and guilt trip you a little about how long its been), guaranteed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of Asian Corners, I love those fresh dumplings in the supermarket. I guess they are bean curd, and others are meat & egg. Yummy!

I have to give a shout out to Mohsin & Ahsin's Halal Shish Kabab House here in the Derita community (Sugar Creek and Mallard Creek).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Following a discussion about The Avenue and a new Thai Restaurant going in, I thought it would be a good time to start a thread about Charlotte's international cuisine. We actually have a lot of amazing and genuine international restaurants. A couple of years ago a group of friends started 'Ethnic Night'. One January we went to a Korean restaurant that I happened upon one day at lunch. Group of 10 went for dinner on a Wednesday -- had so much fun we decided to do it every week on Wednesday. General assumption was that we'd run through our small cities selection rather quickly. It went on for a year and was quite surprising to find how much there was out there.

Peruvian, Brazillian, Ethoipian, Thai, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Dim Sum, Costa Rica, French, German, Italian, Dominican (probably the most fun of all -- they opened an adjacent dance floor and gave us island dance lessons spur of the moment), Cuban, Japanese, Mexican Taqueria, Mexican coastal, Pho, Korean, Indian, Bosnian, Malaysian...I'm sure I'm forgetting some. For most of these there are multiple restaurants in town.

So start talkin', I'd love to discover some new places.

The Dominican place is on Central Avenue near Eastland Mall. Tucked away in a little strip mall -- they have two slots, one is the restaurant, the other is a nightclub on the weekends. There were about 15 of us (big gay group), we had a bunch of drinks and ended up dancing with the staff for a couple of hours. Best dish -- Coco Fish -- whole fried fish finished with a coconut sauce. Dessert Tres Leches.

IMO, for the best food and most genuine food, get out of the middle of town and head to where our international communities are. We made sure to not let appearances or location in the city dissuade us from going. I'm pining for some of this food now as I'm thinking about it...off to Dim Sum...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those that aren't that familiar with Indian check out Maharani on Kings (in the same shopping center as Melting Pot). They have a lunch buffet for $9.00 that they don't 'dumb down' from really great traditional Indian. It changes daily as well (with a few staples like Tandoori Chicken). It is a great way to try a handful of dishes, vegetarian as well as chicken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Tried Jerusalem Cafe today on Sharon Amity between Albemarle and Central. Awesome hole-in-the-wall. Shares a building with an Halal market. Generous portions, huge plate of olives right when we sat down. Gyros, kebabs, hummos. I had a falafel sandwich/wrap and stuffed grape leaves which were fantastic. Great no frills place. Tons of food for 2 for $25 -- could have fed 4 of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tried Jerusalem Cafe today on Sharon Amity between Albemarle and Central. Awesome hole-in-the-wall. Shares a building with an Halal market. Generous portions, huge plate of olives right when we sat down. Gyros, kebabs, hummos. I had a falafel sandwich/wrap and stuffed grape leaves which were fantastic. Great no frills place. Tons of food for 2 for $25 -- could have fed 4 of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Middle Eastern - Kabob Grill on East Blvd is great and always one of my favorite spots, but there's a Halal market on Central past Eastway called Cedar's that is really awesome. It's smokey and a bit scary, but hey - that's part of the charm. I'm in Saudi Arabia right now, and the local food here is only a notch better, but I suppose that's to be expected.

Indian - Everyone likes Copper...so do I. But when I want some real spice, I go to Suruchi's downtown in 129 W Trade building on the Church St. side. I am usually the only US-born person in there. Prices are good, the food is plenty, and be prepared to sweat - they don't hold back on the spice. The naan bread isn't the best in the world, but the rest of the food makes up for it.

Greek - Greek Isles, hands down. This is fancy greek, but not too fancy. Not the same old Gyro shop. I usually order Youvetsi - one of the tastiest, most tender lamb shanks you'll ever put in your mouth served over Orzo pasta. And don't forget the Saganaki - flaming cheese. It comes with a little show. Opa!

Vietnamese - I've only been to one Vietnamese restaurant in town - Hoa Pho on central. I probably wouldn't be the one to judge whether this place was good in comparison to real Vietnamese food, but I love it.

Americanized Chinese - yeah, it's probably not authentic, but Ginbu 401 is my favorite joint when I want what most americans think of Chinese food. The meat is recognizable and crispy when it's meant to be - not the same old soggy mystery chicken that most chinese takeout restaurants have.

Italian - On two totally opposite sides of the spectrum - Villa Antonio (fancy, authentic - one of the best Italian restaurants I've ever been to) and Open Kitchen (when you want tons of food, homestyle dishes, and a killer local-joint type atmosphere)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone been to the food court at the revamped mall beside Carowinds? It supposedly has a very diverse mix of Latin American food, but I haven't tried it yet.

Punta Canta on South Blvd has some great plantains...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone been to the food court at the revamped mall beside Carowinds? It supposedly has a very diverse mix of Latin American food, but I haven't tried it yet.

Punta Canta on South Blvd has some great plantains...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone been to the food court at the revamped mall beside Carowinds? It supposedly has a very diverse mix of Latin American food, but I haven't tried it yet.

Punta Canta on South Blvd has some great plantains...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.