Rainbow pancakes from Original Pancake House

This list is comprised of some of my family’s favorite places to eat around the Queen City! Some are nicer; some are casual. Each place has a special spot in our life, and we highly recommend each place, for different reasons. Many times the “reasons” are because our picky eaters delight in the “not fancy chicken nuggets” or the “this is totally kraft mac n cheese” or “they have the good crayons that don’t break if you press hard, mom!” I know yall feel me on this, right?! Anyways, check out the (not sponsored BTW) list and let me know some of your faves too!

  • Blaze Pizza…This is a new favorite for me! We can bike ride there, and it’s also right off of the East/West light rail stop if you’re taking LYNX. You pick the toppings on your pizza, and it’s made in a wood fire oven right away! It’s quick, the price is right, it’s kid-friendly, and there’s outdoor and indoor seating!

  • Azteca/Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant…Owned by the same people, these restaurants have the same menu, no matter the name or location! The food is always consistently good, and we love the mariachi band that comes Friday and Saturday nights (don’t forget cash to tip them)!

  • Original Pancake House…One of our favorite breakfast/brunch spots in Charlotte! We can also bike ride to the Midtown location, so we love it extra for that fact! I love the pumpkin pecan pancakes year round, and ask for the hash browns extra crispy (if you wanna be like me) 😉

  • Roosters…This is the stud and I’s go to place for date night. But I insist on sitting at the chef’s table, which is more like a bar style, because I love to watch the chefs do their thang! Shannon, one of the managers, spoils me rotten each time, and it feels like we’re valued when there. The hanger steak and pan-fried corn are EVERYTHING.

  • Packhouse CLT…this place is brand new to Charlotte, and a two minute walk from our condo. Ask me how many times we’re been in the last month? 😉 But the food is soooooooo good…it’s upscale Southern and has the prices to match, but I’m okay paying $15 for a burger if it’s the best I’ve ever had (it is)! The vibe is cool, the patio is perfect, and if you’re lucky enough to snag a rocking chair while you wait, then woot woot!

  • Pike’s Soda Shop…This place is a Charlotte landmark, and even a scene from the movie Shallow Hal was filmed here! The stud loves the Thanksgiving plate, which is available all year long! They also offer a weekend brunch buffet, which is phenomenal! My kids love the fact that they serve the mac n cheese on old school cafeteria/tv trays!

  • Vapiano…This is a super cool Italian place uptown, that is quick because you order at the counter, and they buzz you when it’s ready. I think they have the best greek salad anywhere (no red onion, tossed, no protein, extra bread, please and thank you). And the kids pizza is in a cute (and huge) shape, and can feed my two minis, easily!

  • Kabutos…There are lots of hibachi places around town, but this is our go-to place for celebrating occasions, but it has to be the one of Hwy 51! They have a great dinner special Sun-Wed, and if your kids are picky (like mine), they have chicken nuggets and white rice as a kids meal option (just ask for it even if you don’t see it on the menu)!

  • Macs Speed Shop…our favorite BBQ place because it’s so quick to get in and out, and also an easy bike ride for us to get to! I love when we can sit outside, especially if they have live music that night.

  • The Capital Grille…This is the fanciest/priciest place on my list, but it’s our favorite because of the “children’s offerings” menu. Surprisingly, their kids menu is SUPER affordable, with the prices ranging from $5 (pasta)-$15 (for the filet). So we can have a very fancy meal with stellar service (and so can the minis) but without the kids meals breaking the bank!

  • Beef O’Bradys…This place is located in Baxter Village and is Lilly’s FAVORITE place to eat, so we make the 30 minute drive often. Great kids menu (they love the curly fries), and good “bar food” for the adults. But the best part is the game room, with a claw game that almost ALWAYS yields a grab (like we need more tiny stuffed animals, but the minis love it)! Oh, and kids eat free Tuesdays!