Food & Drink

2012 Tasted Good: The Best New Restaurants That Opened In Charlotte

December 26, 2012 8:00 AM

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Charlotte always offers great food variety, but new options always attract Charlotte residents all over again. The best new restaurants opened in 2012 received rave reviews and offer their own unique take on the restaurant industry, even including a celebrity in the area. Take a risk and take a chance on opening your taste buds to some new cuisines and new approaches to dining out, and you may just like what you find. 


214 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 344-8878

Price: $10 to $18

A new spot for Spanish cuisine, Malabar brings class and style to Charlotte. It offers an express lunch option as a new option as well. Since opening, Malabar has expanded its services to provide corporate and private catering needs for events. With technology these days, it also provides a new online reservation feature with the ability to make reservations online. This provides more convenience to its customers, an added bonus for getting more people in its doors. Part of the Comte Restaurant Group, Malabar is worth checking out, even if you have never had true Spanish cuisine before.

(credit: Luna's Living Kitchen/Facebook)

(credit: Luna’s Living Kitchen/Facebook)

Luna’s Living Kitchen
2102 South Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 333-0008

Price: $7 to $15

Rarely heard of in Charlotte, Luna’s Living Kitchen is an all-organic restaurant. Even though it’s a vegetarian establishment, meat eaters give it only rave reviews. The diverse menu provides plenty of choices to its customers and keeps people coming back to try new dishes every time. The menu is always open for expanding, and Luna’s welcomes ideas from customers always. Locally owned and operated, the Colombian owner brings her native recipes and touches to the Charlotte scene. Cooking since age 15, this woman is the heartbeat of her restaurant, and it shows in every bite.

Related: Best Vegetarian Spots in Charlotte



127 N. Tryon St., Suite 8
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 919-1322

Price: $6 to $40

Providing Charlotte with a new american menu, 5Church opened in May boasting a familiar head chef from the area, Jamie Lynch, formerly from Barrington’s in Charlotte. Providing a casual atmosphere with modernistic style this restaurant offers a unique touch to the Charlotte area. The management team wants the place to be different than any other restaurant in Charlotte, and it has stood by that.

VBGB Beer Hall & Garden
920 Hamilton St.
Charlotte, NC 28206
(704) 333-4111 $3 to $10

Located at the NC Music Factory, VBGB Beer Hall & Garden has become a top hot spot in Charlotte. VBGB Beer Hall & Garden is not just any bar, nor is it just a bar. The food receives great reviews, and most entrees are affordable at less than $10. The layout and atmosphere are casual and welcoming, and so is the staff. Providing ample beer choices, the staff can help you explore your taste buds and introduce you to tastes you may not have heard of or ventured to try before.



e2 Emeril’s Eatery
135 Levine Ave. of the Arts, Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 414-4787

Price:$4 to $16

E2 Emeril’s Eatery is the second restaurant Emeril Lagasse has opened here in the Charlotte area [e2GO is the other]. Emeril Lagasse is a household name from his hit cooking show, “Emeril.” A hit at the restaurant seems to be the way you can interact with the chefs while they prepare the meals, every step of the way. E2 provides a touch of Emeril’s New Orleans style with a Southern flair. Expect excellent service and stunning dishes every time you visit this amazing new eatery.

Related: Best Chefs Heating Up The Culinary Scene in Charlotte

Lee Griffin, 27, resides in Charlotte, NC. After graduating from UNC Charlotte with a BA in Communications in 2007, Lee has been working full-time as an Administrative Assistant, and writing part-time for The Examiner. Outside of working, Lee loves to discover new music, travel when she can, and learn more about photography. Her work can be found at

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