Charlotteans have gotten a little giddy over the recent arrival of chains like the Mediterranean hotspot Cava (from D.C.) and constant-line-out-the-door Shake Shack (from New York City). As much as I love supporting local, it’s kind of fun to watch people go berserk over the restaurants (and brands) they miss from their own hometowns, or from their college towns, or from their travels.
We polled our CharlotteFive readers, and these are 10 of the chains people are dying to see in Charlotte:
The first In-N-Out hamburger joint was introduced in California in 1948. Today, people rave about the fast-food burger/fries/shake trifecta.
If you’ve lived in the Lowcountry, you’ve been to Hometeam. There’s an emphasis on fresh and local ingredients, and BBQ everything — from BBQ salad, to BBQ nachos, to BBQ sandwiches.
This community-owned grocery has locations in Carrboro, Hillsborough and Chapel Hill and stocks North Carolina-roasted coffee beans, partners with NC hunger relief organizations, serves up a themed hot bar, and more. The vibe is a little hippy-ish, like an Earth Fare.
This Canadian-based fast-food restaurant whips up coffee and donuts, with an emphasis on fresh coffee crafted from 100 percent Arabica beans.
Headquartered in California, the Houston’s menu is heavy on American classics, and items range from brisket to freshly baked bread. The sit-down restaurant even has a dress code — collared shirts are suggested for the gentlemen visiting.
This “salt of the earth” establishment based in Greensboro only offers Certified Angus Beef, plus craft beers (ah, the name makes sense now) and locally grown ingredients.
This grill headquartered in Florida stresses seasonally inspired menu items and rustic cooking techniques. Special menus are also available for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-sensitive guests and lactose/dairy-sensitive guests.
This fast-casual mecca for salads and warm bowls pretty closely resembles Cava, and was created in Georgetown. The mission: To serve “simple, seasonal, healthy food.”
Headquartered in Illinois, this American restaurant chain first opened as a hot dog stand in 1963 — it was called “The Dog House.” Today, the restaurants feature hot dogs (chili included), burgers, salads, sandwiches and even pasta.
Featured photo: Michael Ainsworth/AP
Godfather’s! Come back, Godfather’s!!!
Pappasitos Texas based Tex Mex chain nearest is in Atlanta
Seasons 52 is horrible, no one wants that’s back!
Katie – here is another. Raising Canes: https://www.raisingcanes.com Hands down the best chicken fingers on the planet!
Katie – here is another one. Raising Cane’s: https://www.raisingcanes.com Hands down the best chicken fingers on the planet!
I’d trade any of these, except In N’ Out, for White Castle.
Here are two that would be a welcome sight to the Charlotte restaurant scene – Harry and Izzy’s (the franchise of the famous St Elmo’s Steakhouse in Indianapolis) and Stacked Pickle (Sports Bar owned by former Colt, Gary Bracket). http://www.harryandizzys.com and http://www.stackedpickle.com
You need to add Wegman’s to this list! The BEST grocery store!
Totally agree with this one. Not only a grocery store but great place to eat!
Portillo’s is amazing and definitely should be on this list. I know people love In-N-Out, but if you are on the West Coast try Habit Burger. I think it’s much better and would love one here. I think they have a couple in Virginia so maybe one day.
My husband would love to have Skyline Chili.
I second Raising Canes! Best Chicken Fingers ever!
Southerns couldn’t handle Skyline or Tim Hortons.
I’d love for Krystal Burger to come back. That and a Alamo Drafthouse.
I lived in AZ and TX before moving here to Charlotte. In-and-Out Burger is TOTALLY overrated! But, I would love to see Torchy’s Tacos – the best tacos anywhere!!! https://torchystacos.com/menu/