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Food & Drink Readers’ Pick 2020

Readers’ Picks were chosen exclusively by readers through a two-month nomination process followed by a two-month voting process. The nominations were not tampered with by Queen City Nerve staff at all — save for removing ourselves from a few categories to proactively dispel any notions of favoritism. In other words, if you disagree with these ones, that’s on your fellow reader, not us.

All categories


Best African Cuisine

Abugida Ethiopian Cafe
Runner Up: Enat Ethiopian Restaurant

Shito Negussie pours coffee during one of her daily ceremonies at Abugida Ethiopian Cafe. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Best Bagels

Poppy’s Bagels
Runner Up: Owen’s Bagels

 

Best Bakery

Suarez Bakery
Runner Up: Sunflour Baking Company

Some good lookin’ doughnuts from Suarez. (Photo courtesy of Suarez Bakery)

 

Best Ballantyne Restaurant

Midwood Smokehouse
Runner Up: Cabo Fish Taco

 

Best Barbeque

Midwood Smokehouse
Runner Up: Sweet Lew’s BBQ



Best Beer Selection

Common Market
Runner Up: Salud Beer Shop

 

Best Bloody Mary

Moo & Brew
Runner Up: Snooze AM Eatery

 

Best Bottle Shop

Salud Beer Shop
Runner Up: Rhino Market & Deli

Charlotte breweries
Jason Glunt, co-fiunder of Salud Beer Shop runs the beer shop, a brewery and kitchen in NoDa. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Best Breakfast

Original Pancake House
Runner Up: Snooze AM Eatery

 

Best Brewery

Birdsong Brewing
Runner Up: Resident Culture Brewing Co.

 

Best Brunch

Bistro La Bon
Runner Up: Snooze AM Eatery



Best Burger

Brooks’ Sandwich House
Runner Up: Ace No. 3

 

Best Caribbean

Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe
Runner Up: Mama’s Caribbean Bar & Grill

 

Best Chef

Greg Collier
Runner Up: Chef Joya

 

Best Chinese Cuisine

The Dumpling Lady
Runner Up: Ho Ho Cherry House

Zhang Qian aka the Dumpling Lady. (Photo by Alison Leininger)

Best Cocktails

Dot Dot Dot
Runner Up: Idlewild

 

Best Cocktail Kit

Dot Dot Dot
Runner Up: Haberdish

 

Best Cocktail Menu

Dot Dot Dot
Runner Up: Haberdish

 

Best Coffee Shop

Central Coffee Co., Not Just Coffee (tie)

 

Best Delivery

Yafo Kitchen
Runner Up: Crispy Banh Mi

Yafo Kitchen’s Israeli hot chicken (Photo by Remy Thurston)

Best Dessert

Suarez Bakery
Runner Up: Wentworth & Fenn

 

Best Distillery

Doc Porter’s
Runner Up: Great Wagon Road Distilling

 

Best Doughnuts

Duck Donuts
Runner Up: Your Mom’s Donuts



Best East Charlotte Restaurant

Lang Van Vietnamese
Runner Up: Dish

 

Best Farm-To-Table Restaurant

Haberdish
Runner Up: Heirloom Restaurant

 

Best Farmers Market

Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
Runner Up: Kings Drive Farmers Market

 

Best Food for Reheating

Thai Taste
Runner Up: Mac’s Speed Shop

 

Best Food Truck

The Dumpling Lady
Runner Up: What The Fries

 

Best French

Bistro La Bon
Runner Up: Cafe Monte

 

Best Fries

What the Fries
Runner Up: Five Guys



Best Frozen Treat

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Runner Up: Two Scoops Creamery

 

Best Gourmet/Special Food Store

Pasta & Provisions
Runner Up: Reid’s Fine Foods

 

Best Hangover Fix

Pinky’s Westside Grill
Runner Up: Midnight Diner

White Trash burger from Pinky’s Westside Grill.

Best Health Food Store

Whole Foods
Runner Up: Berrybrook Farm Natural Foods

 

Best Health Practices During Pandemic

Camp North End
Runner Up: The Artisan’s Palate

 

Best Hot Dog

JJ’s Red Hots
Runner Up: Pinky’s Westside Grill

 

Best Ice Cream Shop

Two Scoops Creamery
Runner Up: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

 

Best Indian Cuisine

Copper Modern Indian Cuisine
Runner Up: Maharani Indian Cuisine



Best International Food Store

Super G Mart
Runner Up: The Asian Market

 

Best Italian Cuisine

Mama Ricotta’s
Runner Up: Portofino’s

 

Best Japanese Cuisine

Futo Buta
Runner Up: Ru San’s

 

Best Juice Bar

Green Brothers Juice Co.
Runner Up: Viva Raw

 

Best Korean Cuisine

Seoul Food Meat Company
Runner Up: Let’s Meat KBBQ

 

Best Late-Night Eatery

Midnight Diner
Runner Up: The Diamond

 

Best Lunch

Common Market
Runner Up: Rhino Market & Deli

 

Best Margarita

RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila
Runner Up: Three Amigos

 

Best Mexican Cuisine

Sabor Latin Street Grill
Runner Up: Three Amigos

 

Best Middle Eastern Cuisine

Yafo Kitchen
Runner Up: La Shish Kabob

 

Best Mocktail

The Cotton Room
Runner Up: Bardo

 

Best New Brewery (Last Two Years)

Devil’s Logic Brewing
Runner Up: Edge City Brewery

 

Best NoDa Restaurant

Haberdish
Runner Up: Cabo Fish Taco

 

Best North Charlotte/University Restaurant

Leah & Louise
Runner Up: Banh Mi Brothers

On My Way Home at Leah & Louise. (Photo by Darrell Horwitz)

Best Patio

NoDa Company Store
Runner Up: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

 

Best Pho

Lang Van Vietnamese
Runner Up: Pho an Hoa

 

Best Pizza

Inizio Pizza Napoletano
Runner Up: Benny Pennello’s

 

Best Plaza Midwood Restaurant

Soul Gastrolounge
Runner Up: Midwood Smokehouse

 

Best Sandwich

Common Market
Runner Up: Rhino Market & Deli

Common Market (Photo by Justin LaFrancois)

Best Seafood

The Waterman
Runner Up: Sea Level NC

 

Best Soul Food

Mert’s Heart and Soul
Runner Up: Leah & Louise

 

Best South End Restaurant

Futo Buta
Runner Up: Hawkers Asian Street Food

 

Best SouthPark Restaurant

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
Runner Up: Paco’s Tacos and Tequila



Best Steakhouse

Beef ‘N Bottle Steakhouse
Runner Up: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

 

Best Sushi

New Zealand Cafe
Runner Up: Ru San’s

 

Best Taco

Cabo Fish Taco
Runner Up: Sabor Latin Street Grill

Cabo reopened safely. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Best Tapas

Soul Gastrolounge
Runner Up: Barcelona Wine Bar

 

Best Thai

Thai Taste
Runner Up: Deejai Thai

 

Best To-Go

Yafo Kitchen
Runner Up: Sabor Latin Street Grill

 

Best Uptown Restaurant

Mert’s Heart and Soul
Runner Up: Chima Steakhouse



Best Vegan Food

Luna’s Living Kitchen
Runner Up: Oh My Soul

 

Best Vietnamese Cuisine

Lang Van
Runner Up: Pho an Hoa

 

Best Wait Staff/Service

Lang Van
Runner Up: Diamond Restaurant

 

Best West Charlotte/Steele Creek Restaurant

Pinky’s Westside Grill
Runner Up: Noble Smoke

 

Best Wine Selection

Foxcroft Wine Co.
Runner Up: Dilworth Tasting Room

 

Best Wings

Seoul Food Meat Company
Runner Up: Moosehead Bar and Grill

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