Charlotte offers couples an array of unique date ideas. Diners can enjoy a plethora of fine Southern-influenced dining options, showcasing the produce bounty of the Piedmont region alongside fresh daily coastal catches. Couples on a date can also enjoy craft brews and liquors at regional microbreweries and distilleries, or catch national touring bands at hip venues such as the Evening Muse or the Fillmore Charlotte, one of the premiere venues of the AvidXchange Music Factory entertainment and nightlife complex. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


© Haymaker

Haymaker is a Southern-influenced farm-to-table offering from executive chef William Dissen, located in Uptown Charlotte near beautiful Romare Bearden Park. The LEED-certified restaurant is known for its unique seasonal fare showcasing the production bounty of Appalachia and the Piedmont region, supplied with daily farm-fresh deliveries and structuring its kitchen around a traditional brick hearth. Seasonally-changing menus are available at dinner seven days a week and brunch service on the weekends, showcasing artisanal fare such as wild-caught North Carolina grouper, crispy duck confit, and herb dumplings served with root vegetables and braised greens. House-cured charcuterie boards are also served up, along with a rotating selection of fine wines and draft beers and a carefully-curated list of unique cocktails. At brunch, diners can choose from options such as bacon fat beignets, cornmeal-fried catfish, and housemade granola and yogurt parfaits.

225 S Poplar St, Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 704-626-6116

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2.Hello, Sailor

Hello, Sailor
© Hello, Sailor

Hello, Sailor is a clever Southern-style restaurant in Cornelius, acclaimed by regional and international publications such as Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, GQ, and Garden and Gun. The chic, stylish restaurant features ample natural lighting and sleek decor, serving up a rotating menu of fried fare and fresh fish entrees, including Carolina shrimp calabash platters and ghee-broiled king crab. Dates can share appetizers such as yuzu honey butter hushpuppies and deviled crab dip or split raw platters highlighting East Coast oysters, Florida blue crab claws, and king crab bites. Bahn mi sandwiches, lobster rolls, and skillet burgers round out the restaurant's casual fare offerings, complemented by delectable desserts such as hummingbird cake and classic housemade vanilla soft-serve.

20210 Henderson Rd, Cornelius, NC 28031, Phone: 704-997-5365

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© Kindred

Kindred is a sleek and intimate chef-driven dining destination in Davidson, helmed by acclaimed executive chef Joe Kindred, a James Beard Award semifinalist. The restaurant, which was opened to the public in 2015 by Kindred and his wife Katy, is housed within a renovated town pharmacy building and showcases a delicious seasonally-changing menu of upscale comfort entrees, including housemade pasta dishes served up with the restaurant's signature oven-baked milk bread clusters. Diners can choose from options such as venison tagliolini, fennel sausage and tomato rigatoni, and squid ink conchiglie. Land and sea entree options include golden tilefish, scallops a la plancha, and duck breast served with Southern-style sweet potatoes. A selection of seasonal cocktails is available to complement all meals, along with high-quality desserts such as milk bread cinnamon rolls and Meyer lemon sorbettos.

131 N Main St, Davidson, NC 28036, Phone: 980-231-5000

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4.Bonterra Dining and Wine Room

Bonterra Dining and Wine Room
© Bonterra Dining and Wine Room

Bonterra Dining and Wine Room is a delicious upscale New American restaurant and bar in Charlotte's Dilworth neighborhood, housed within a beautiful restored 1800s church building. The restaurant, which is helmed by restaurateur John Duncan and executive chef Blake Hartwick, serves up a seasonally-changing menu of hearty Southern fare at dinner service throughout the week, highlighting entrees such as Georgia chicken breasts with buttermilk mashed potatoes, fried lobster tails with North Carolina honey-soy reduction, and tomato confit gnocchi with shaved truffle cream sauce. Steaks are also served up from the restaurant's wood-fired brick oven, along with shareable charcuterie plates featuring regional cheeses and house-cured meats. A curated list of North Carolina craft beers is available to complement all meals, along with an impressive wine by the glass menu and more than 200 reserve wine bottles offered in the restaurant's wine cellar.

1829 Cleveland Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203, Phone: 704-333-9463

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5.Sea Level NC

Sea Level NC
© Sea Level NC

Sea Level NC is the vision of seafood restaurateur Paul Manley, known for his work at various oyster bars throughout the Carolinas. The restaurant, which is located within Charlotte's Hearst Tower, is best known for serving up North Carolina's only farm-to-fork oyster on the half shell, served up as part of a sustainable fishing partnership. Excellent seafood offerings feature fare harvested from local North Carolina farms and coastal fishers, with only non-threatened species on the menu. Couples can choose from entrees such as fried North Carolina catfish, Thai-fried grilled salmon, and classic shrimp and grits or share plates of Calabash shrimp, Maine mussels, or squid chow chow with signature sweet-and-spicy sauce. Lobster rolls, catfish reubens, and shrimp po'boys are also available at lunch and dinner, complemented by an impressive draft list and high-quality cocktails and mocktails.

129 E 5th St, Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 704-412-2616

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© Sukoshi

Sukoshi is an elevated fast-casual sushi joint in Charlotte, owned and operated by Kimball Brienza and Steve Palmer, the duo behind popular sister restaurant O-Ku Sushi. The restaurant, which is named for a Japanese word indicating "a little," is known for its 30-minute omasake experience, featuring chef's sushi selections at the restaurant's casual-dining bar. Classic nigiri and sashimi selections are available throughout the day, along with specialty rolls stuffed with ingredients such as poached lobster, serrano peppers, and freshwater eel. Larger entrees include land and sea options available as rice bowls or over greens, stuffed with fare such as sukoshi shrimp, crispy tofu, edamame, and squid ink. In addition to the restaurant's full-service dining room, order-ahead carryout is available for dates looking to cozy up together on the couch over high-quality takeout.

101 S Tryon St Suite 120, Charlotte, NC 28280, Phone: 980-495-3800

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7.O-Ku Sushi

O-Ku Sushi
© O-Ku Sushi

O-Ku Sushi is one of Charlotte's most popular sushi joints, located within the city's hip South End market destination Atherton Mill. The restaurant, which is inspired by sister facilities in Charleston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C., showcases innovative twists on traditional Japanese fare, including dishes prepared with seafood sourced directly from Tokyo and Hawai'i's best fish markets. Selections from executive chef Michael Chanthavong include traditional maki, nigiri, and sashimi, served up alongside specialties such as duck confit buns, otoro or wagyu tartare, sashimi tacos, and Bang Island mussels prepared with spicy yuzu aioli. A Queen's Feast tasting menu highlights three-course chef's selections, paired with premium imported sakes and regional wine and beer selections. Complimentary valet parking is available for all guests.

2000 South Blvd #510, Charlotte, NC 28203, Phone: 704-594-1922

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8.Clean Catch Fish Market

Clean Catch Fish Market
© Joshua Resnick/

Clean Catch Fish Market is a full-service fish market and restaurant in Charlotte's hip Tranquil Court real estate development, located within upscale neighborhood Myers Park. The market, which is helmed by restaurateur Bill Ryan, serves up wild-caught fish sustainably sourced from North Carolina and around the world, including fish from prime areas such as Massachusetts, Alaska, New Zealand, and the Faroe Islands. Diners can choose from an impressive selection of daily fresh fish catches, served up alongside a full menu of sushi and sashimi and raw oyster bar selections served with mignonette and cocktail sauces. Prepared entrees include jumbo lump crab cakes, fish and shrimp taco kits, and Faroe Island salmon burgers, with organic and sustainable wines available to complement all entrees.

2820 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC 28209, Phone: 704-333-1212

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9.Lenny Boy Brewing Company

Lenny Boy Brewing Company
© Lenny Boy Brewing Company

Lenny Boy Brewing Company is one of Charlotte's premiere microbreweries, originally opened in 2011 as a non-alcoholic kombucha production company in the city's historic South End district. Since 2013, the company has been the American Southeast's only certified organic kombucha producer, serving up delicious variants of the health-conscious probiotic drink, including flavors such as ginger, beet, strawberry, lavenderade, and blueberry yerba mate. That same year, the company also began producing their own alcoholic brews, including now-flagship ales such as their Citraphilia IPA, Life in the South Southern Lager, Ground Up Coffee Stout, and Dat Pale American Pale Ale. A wild ale series is available on tap at the company's taproom, which showcases periodic trivia nights, community festivals, farmer's markets, film showings, fitness events, and art shows. Growler fills, pints, and flights are served up Tuesdays through Sundays at the taproom, which also showcases food from The Hunter's Wife and Poppy Handcraft Popcorn.

3000 S. Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28217, Phone: 980-585-1728

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10.Doc Porter's Distillery

Doc Porter's Distillery
© Doc Porter's Distillery

Doc Porter's Distillery is a craft microdistillery in Charlotte, named after the grandfather of head distiller and owner Andrew Porter. Porter, who co-owns the distiller with his wife Liz and co-distiller Zack Fuller, strives to craft fine vodkas, gins, and bourbons, eschewing processed ethanol spirits in favor of high-quality locally-sourced North Carolina grains. All liquors are produced in house, including the distillery's signature Doc Porter's Vodka, its High-Wheat Bourbon, its chamomile and cucumber-infused gin, and its oak barrel-aged rye whiskey. Couples can visit the distillery's public facility on Friday and Saturday afternoons and take tours of the company's distillation process, with tastings and merchandise sales available afterward. Visitors can also purchase the company's collaborations with local businesses, including bourbon-roasted coffee beans produced in collaboration with Waxhaw's Sospeso Coffee Roasters.

232 Peterson Dr, Charlotte, NC 28217, Phone: 704-266-1399

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11.Anne Neilson Fine Art

Anne Neilson Fine Art
© Anne Neilson Fine Art

Anne Neilson Fine Art is a charming gallery located in Charlotte's high-end SouthPark neighborhood, within the luxurious Shops of Morrison retail complex. The gallery, which was opened in 2017, represents the works of more than 40 internationally-recognized artists, with a focus on emerging and established artists alike working in a wide range of mediums and styles. Exhibitions throughout the year are opened with special event evenings, rounded out by a full lineup of events such as wine tastings, lunch and learn workshops, and pop-up shopping events. All guests can feel good about purchases, as a portion of all gallery sales are donated to partner nonprofit organizations benefiting the arts and the greater Charlotte community.

532 Gov Morrison St #110, Charlotte, NC 28211, 532 Gov Morrison St #110, Charlotte, NC 28211

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12.The Punch Room

The Punch Room
© The Punch Room

The Punch Room is the signature cocktail bar of the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, located on the hotel's 15th floor in a scenic speakeasy-style space. The bar, which is open Wednesdays through Saturdays into the late night hours, showcases an intimate 37-seat space with decor evoking the splendor of 19th-century cocktail lounges. An extensive cocktail menu highlights classics and new favorites, prepared with rare and local fruits, vegetables, and herbs and fine international liquors. High-concept punches are also available, along with a selection of regional draft beers and an impressive wine list available by the glass or by the bottle. Creative artisanal small plates include options such as beef cheek wontons, poached quail eggs, green curry prawns, and locally-sourced charcuterie boards. Couples can also share a selection of gourmet desserts, including options such as pecan pie cheesecake, gingerbread cake, and maple bourbon pot de crème.

201 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 704-547-2244

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13.The Evening Muse

The Evening Muse
© The Evening Muse

The Evening Muse is one of Charlotte's most acclaimed music venues, acclaimed by publications such as Creative Loafing and Elevate Lifestyle as the city's best independent concert hall. The intimate venue, which opened to the public in 2001 in the city's NoDa Arts District, hosts a full roster of touring bands across a wide variety of genres, including pop, rock, indie, alternative, blues, Americana, folk, hip-hop, reggae, ska, and jazz. Guests ages 21 and older can enjoy an excellent selection of wines, beers, and spirits during concerts, which are hosted in a stage area with noted high-quality acoustics. Though concerts are all ages, all guests must present legal government-issued identification for admittance. General admission seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

3227 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205, Phone: 704-376-3737

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14.The AvidXchange Music Factory

The AvidXchange Music Factory
© bernardbodo/

The AvidXchange Music Factory is a full music and entertainment complex in downtown Charlotte, home to two performance venues today, including the 5,000-seat Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, opened to the public in June of 2009. Guests can also enjoy a wide variety of pop, rock, rap, and R&B acts at the Fillmore Charlotte, which also opened to the public in 2009. Other venues within the complex include the intimate Underground venue, the stand-up-focused Comedy Zone, and WORLD Nightclub, which hosts nationally-renowned DJ sets on Friday and Saturday nights. Dining options include Mexican joint La Revolucion, 820 Pizzeria and Bar, and the VBGB craft beer hall and restaurant.

1000 North Carolina Music Factory Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28206, Phone: 704-916-8970

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15.Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
© Herr Loeffler/

Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is the flagship theatrical venue of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, which was opened to the public in 1992 and serves as the resident venue for regional arts organizations such as the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Dance Theatre, Opera Carolina, Charlotte Shakespeare, and the Queen City Theatre. The 2,118-theater is home to state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment and world-class acoustics, showcasing a spectacular 2,400-light fiber optic lighting network throughout its audience seating area. Theatergoers can enjoy a full seasonal lineup of diverse performances at the theater, including the center's flagship PNC Broadway Lights Series, which presents touring Broadway musical performances.

130 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 704-372-1000

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16.Stoke Charlotte

Stoke Charlotte
© Stoke Charlotte

Stoke Charlotte is an elegant Southern fare dining destination in Charlotte, helmed by executive chef Chris Coleman, best known for its work at the Dunhill Hotel and the farm-to-fork restaurant The Asbury. The upscale soul food restaurant, which offers all-day service, is centered around fare prepared in the restaurant's 600-degree wood-fired hearth oven, showcasing rustic entrees carefully crafted with regional Carolina produce. Dinner entrees include chili-sorghum-glazed pork shanks, scallops in smoked butternut squash bisque, and braised lamb tagliatelle. Cheese and charcuterie board service is also available, along with shareable small plates such as homestyle deviled eggs, Southern-style hushpuppies, and pretzel brioche. Brunch is served up throughout the week as well, complemented by an extensive regional draft list and a selection of high-quality handcrafted cocktails.

100 W Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202, Phone: 704-353-6005

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17.Soul Gastrolounge

Soul Gastrolounge
© Soul Gastrolounge

Soul Gastrolounge is a stylish gastropub and lounge in Charlotte known for its unique globally-influenced fare and hip, intimate atmosphere. The lounge, which is open nightly from 5:00pm to 2:00am, showcases DJ sets each evening after 10:00pm and serves up a full menu of internationally-influenced small plates, including full sushi, sashimi, and nigiri menus. Unique tapa choices range from Asian-glazed pork belly tacos and shrimp ceviche to Rocky Mountain oysters and Dirty South nachos prepared with fried chicken skins, pimento cheese fondue, and jalapeno-pickled okra. Delicious flatbreads are also served up, along with internationally-influenced skewers, Mediterranean-style dip trios, and grilled pita sandwiches and paninis. An extensive cocktail menu also plays up global influences, infusing ingredients such as tamarind-infused cocchi, saffron, guava, and fine Japanese whiskey.

1500 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205, Phone: 704-348-1848

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17 Best Places to Visit in Charlotte On a Date

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