Charlotte Restaurants on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

A Look at Queen City Restaurants Featured on Food Network

Charlotte Restaurants on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Charlotte Artie Beaty

For a lot of people, the favorite of visiting a new city is finding new restaurants. Little local joints can be the best way to find out about a city's food character. In recent years, it's been much easier to scope out these places thanks to the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Spikey-haired Guy Fieri travels the country, stopping in at the very best diners and drive-ins (and of course, dives) from across the country.

Several Charlotte spots have been fortunate enough to make the show over its run. So which Charlotte restaurants has Guy stopped in? Here's a list of some of the best. Of course, if you talk to most any Charlottean, they'll tell you they knew about these places all along.

Landmark Restaurant Diner
4429 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205

It's technically a Greek restaurant, but you'll find dishes from across the globe at Landmark. Guy fell in love with the spanakopita. The dessert case here is truly impressive, with over 200 items fresh daily. Many people call this one of the best diners in Charlotte, this was the first classic "Greek diner" in town.

Cabo Fish Taco
3201 North Davidson St.
Charlotte, NC 28205

Tucked away on the northern tip of Charlotte in the NoDa neighborhood, you'll find a little piece of California - with a Carolina twist of course. While the west coast is known for fish tacos, Cabo is where you'll get our version. The barbecued mahi-mahi is worth the visit.

Bar-B-Q King
2900 Wilkinson Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28208

Also featured on the Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate," Bar-B-Q King has been a Charlotte staple since 1959. The barbecued chicken is what brought Guy Fieri to town, and he called it some of the best he's ever had. This place is "old school" all the way - curb service, drive-up and cash only! It's similar to another spot later on this list - South 21 Drive-In.


1220 Thomas Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205

Dish is one of those "reminds you of mom's kitchen" joints where Southern comfort food is king. The chicken and dumplings were what Guy Fieri was after here, and they didn't disappoint. The prices are affordable, and if you come more than once, you're family.

Jake's Good Eats
12721 Albemarle Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28227

Jake's is a former gas station turned local institution. Guy's favorite was the blackened flounder with country ham grit cakes. If you're looking for something different, try the venison quesadillas. It's country style dining with a relaxed family atmosphere.

South 21 Drive-In
3101 E Independence Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28205

"Serving Charlotte Since 1955" is their tagline here, and when somewhere has been around that long, there must be a reason. The "Super Boy" - their take on the classic double burger - is the highlight here, as is the onion rings. It's another "old school" place with classic curb service, similar to Bar-B-Q King earlier on the list.

Penguin Drive-In

1921 Commonwealth Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205

The Penguin is known for its incredible burgers and hot dogs, but if you have to choose a "signature" dish, it would be the fried pickles. Since 1954, Charlotteans have been lining up to take in the Penguin's specialties. The pimento cheese here is fresh - and divine. The hot dogs and burgers here aren't standard-issue either, with plenty of specialties on the menu.

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