With pickup options
January 19, 2021
Chef de Cuisine Whitney Thomas garnishes dishes like lamb kofta kebabs with edible flowers at Mico. Photo by Peter Taylor.
These picks are based on our 2020 Best of the Best Awards and 2021 50 Best Restaurants lists, and rolling editorial decisions.
The Asbury235 N. Tryon St.704-342-1193Chef Mike Long’s inventive menu mixes countryside favorites like biscuits and deviled eggs with bold flavors and contemporary techniques.Try This: The Chicken Sandwich and Sticky Biscuits
Sea Level NC129 E. 5th St.704-412-2616Concrete beams and rustic brick give an industrial feel to this seafood restaurant, which serves up dishes that are accessible, inventive, and sustainably sourced.Get This To Go: Weeknight Seafood Supper (3 courses)
5Church127 N. Tryon St.704-919-1322Top Chef alum Jamie Lynch’s innovative, seasonal menu includes morel mushroom flatbread and mint crusted lamb loin.Try This: Yellowfin Tuna Sushi Tots
McNinch House511 N. Church St.704-332-6159Guests order from a daily prix fixe menu (ranging from five courses to nine courses), choose their wine and entrées, and the staff takes care of the rest.Try This: Rosemary & Dijon Crusted Rack of New Zealand Lamb
Fin & Fino135 Levine Avenue of the Arts, Ste. 100 704-800-5680Come for the raw bar, but stay for bartender Brittany Kellum’s drinks. Then splurge on a slice of cheesecake.Get This To Go: Lobster & Shrimp Roll + To-Go Cocktail Kit
Haymaker225 S. Poplar St. 704-626-6116Enjoy locally and seasonally inspired dishes from North Carolina chef William Dissen in this bright, stylish space next to Romare Bearden Park.Try This: Billy D’s Fried Chicken Sandwich
Alexander Michael’s401 W. 9th St.704-332-6789The blackened catfish is cooked just right, the Cajun pasta is piping hot, and chatter fills the no-reservations dining room.Try This: What It Is (blackened chicken breast over rotini in Cajun cream sauce)
Forchetta230 N. College St.704-602-2750Chef Luca Annunziata serves lasagna just like his mom made it and carbonara as it’s served in Rome.Try This: Fagatoni (stuffed crepe purses with Maine lobster and mascarpone, vodka sauce, and Parmesan cheese)
Aria100 N. Tryon St.704-376-8880This restaurant serves up an extensive Italian menu in an elegant, modern space.Get This To Go: Pasta Dinner For Two(2 Caesar Salads, 1 Grandma B’s Lasagna, 1 Spaghetti + Giant Meatball, 2 Tiramisu, bread + beans)
Mico at The Grand Bohemian 201 W. Trade St.980-999-5550The South American-inspired menu is full of complex flavors and unexpected mash-ups like harissa creamed spinach and brown butter bread crumbs.Try This: Lamb Kofta kebabs + Flourless Chocolate Cake* Best New Restaurant
Red Salt by David Burke555 S. McDowell St.980-237-5354Celebrity chef David Burke is known for his Himalayan salt aging process for beef, and avant-garde approach to food presentation is on full display with bites like the maple-glazed bacon clothesline.Try This: 32-oz. Dry-Aged Porterhouse for Two* Best New Restaurant