Eating & Drinking

BEEN THERE! WANNA GO THERE!

TOP #1

naturalcultured

This expansive garden, set on the east side of the UNC-Charlotte campus, has numerous different features. Start with the seven-acre Van Landingham Glen, which houses a collection of North Carolina plants. There's a two-story rain forest. In the summertime, check out the three-acre Harwood Garden. There's also the McMillan Greenhouse complex, which has eight different themed rooms. The best thing is, it's all free.

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TOP #2
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Pie Town

recommendation by robertc

This sleek, contemporary pizza joint - which actually resembles a wine bar more than a pizza place - has plenty of fantastic white pizzas and a handful of organic red sauced-ones. The bacon and egg white pizza is definitely worth a shot. And they're all under $10. There's also a lot of pasta dishes that sounded fantastic, but we didn't try any. This place is a hot spot amongst the hipster young professionals in town, so keep that in mind if you've got kids.

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TOP #3
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Penguin Drive-In

recommendation by robertc

Charlotte is reportedly one of the least healthy cities in the US, and it's likely solely because of places like those local institution. The Big Block burger is this joint's highlight. It's surely caused a couple heart attacks through the years. Try it "southern style" chili, slaw, mustard, onions, and a boat load of cheese. Other hightlights include the black bean burger, sweet potato fries, fried pickles, and, of course, hot dogs. And it's all dirt cheap.

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TOP #4
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Price's Chicken Coop

recommendation by robertc

It's tough to find good Soul Food outside of the south. So if you're anywhere down here, you've got to try at least one spot. And in Charlotte, this is the one. Locals rave about the juicy fried chicken, which is admittedly some of the best I've ever had. The place is always packed, with a line stretching outside the door on most occasions. And there really isn't a dining room, so if it's too crummy outside to sit out front, you've got to take your meal elsewhere.

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TOP #5
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The Thirsty Beaver

recommendation by robertc

There's nothing fancy about this honky tonk. Don't come in here ordering some fancy cocktail. The bartenders will probably not even know how to make it. But the do serve ridiculously cheap beers (usually of the PBR or Schlitz persuasion). They do make a pretty mean bloody mary, though (some of which are served with a piece of pickled okra on top). And they're quite stiff. The jukebox is free and full of country music.

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