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11 Best Soul Food in Charlotte

waffles and chicken at charlotte soul food restaurants

Discover the best soul food restaurants in Charlotte, where each dish pays homage to comfort and tradition, and embark on a soulful culinary adventure. From savory collard greens to perfectly fried chicken, these establishments redefine the essence of Southern cuisine. Charlotte’s diverse neighborhoods showcase a rich tapestry of flavors, each restaurant contributing its unique touch to the soul food experience. Whether you’re a connoisseur of classic comfort dishes or a newcomer eager to explore, our curated list guides you through the top destinations where warmth, tradition, and culinary excellence come together. Join us in celebrating the heart and soul of Charlotte’s culinary scene, where every bite is a nostalgic journey into the deep-rooted flavors of the South.


Mert’s Heart & Soul

214 N College St, Charlotte, NC 28202
704-342-4222
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Mert's Heart & Soul Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Mert’s Heart and Soul is a cozy, colorful, family-run establishment in Charlotte Center City near Mint Museum Uptown. It was featured on the show Diners, Driver-Ins, and Dives — for good reasons. This mom-and-pop soul food joint has an array of delicious, classic eats like cornbread, shrimp & grits, and southern fried chicken. They also have Creole-inspired cuisine, such as shrimp Creole with rice. My favorite menu items include blackened pork chops, macaroni & cheese, and unique salmon burgers. I also appreciate their dessert offerings, from red velvet cake to peach cobbler — yum!


Nana Morrison’s Soul Food

2908 Oak Lake Blvd Suite #106, Charlotte, NC 28208
704-357-3700
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Nana Morrison's Soul Food Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Nana Morrison’s Soul Food is a popular yet very casual restaurant in a strip mall in the Eagle lake area, near Renaissance Park. This soul food restaurant has incredible food with lots of different choices, making it a fantastic spot for a group because everyone will surely find something they love. I especially enjoy their smothered pork chops, which is perhaps my favorite thing to order here. But they also have tasty baked chicken, mac and cheese, collard greens, and a curry chicken plate that’s to die for. Nana Morrisons’ Soul Food is close to the airport, so this is a great meal to grab before heading for your flight or after landing.


Londa’s Place

3635 Mt Holly-Huntersville Rd, Charlotte, NC 28214
980-299-6461
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Londa's Place Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Londa’s Place is a great, no-frills spot in northeast Charlotte near Eastfield. The restaurant is nothing fancy, but the food is solid, and they give you a lot for your money. The menu has all of your classic southern comfort food staples, like fried chicken, oxtails, pork chops, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, green beans, and more. I always get fried chicken because it’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and the portion size is huge. I also love their cornbread — it’s moist and sweet and goes so well with honey butter.

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The King’s Kitchen

129 W Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202
704-375-1990
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The King's Kitchen Charlotte
Source: Instagram

The King’s Kitchen is one of the best soul food restaurants in Charlotte for giving back. This nonprofit southern restaurant is in Charlotte Center City near Romare Bearden Park. They not only serve delicious southern fare but also give back to the community and assist the homeless. I enjoy many items at this restaurant, but I especially love their black eyes peas, butter beans, creamed corn, shrimp and & grits, and delectable pot roast. They also include dishes you may not expect from a more casual southern restaurant, like scallops, fried oysters, and deviled eggs. It’s a faith-based restaurant, but there is still a bar if you’d like a nice drink along with your fried chicken.


Mr Charles Chicken & Fish

Multiple locations
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Mr Charles Chicken & Fish Charlotte
Source: Instagram

There are two locations for Mr Charles Chicken & Fish, but the one I do is on Statesville Ave, closer to the city center near NODA. Mr Charles Chicken & Fish serves what its name implies — chicken and fish — and serves them well. I love getting my fix of fried chicken and fish platters, as well as a variety of southern sides like collard greens, fried mushrooms, and broccoli casserole. I think their ultimate best menu item is the gizzards, especially because it’s more challenging to find them elsewhere. If you’re not feeling fried fish or chicken, they also have a list of sandwiches and burgers you can choose from, such as a Philly cheesesteak or a turkey burger.


Freshwaters

516 N Graham St, Charlotte, NC 28202
704-503-9629

Freshwaters Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Freshwaters is a homey, classic soul food restaurant that simultaneously feels both spacious and intimate. This spot is located in the Fourth Ward area near Charlotte’s Oldest House. They offer a huge menu of seafood, chicken dishes, southern side dishes, beef/pork eats, and appetizers. I like getting the catfish strips as an appetizer to share with the table, ordering either the blackened catfish or blackened salmon for myself, and then finishing my meal with a coconut cake. Of course, you’ll have the option of getting sides with your entree, and I highly recommend trying their candied yams!


Mama. “E” K. & T. Catering LLC

11417 Silverfield Ln, Charlotte, NC 28215
704-578-5996

Mama. "E" K. & T. Catering LLC Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Mama. “E” K. & T. is a catering company specializing in southern and soul food cuisine. Their catering service includes setting up, serving, and cleaning up afterward, so you won’t have to worry about a single thing if you use them for your special event. It’s an excellent option for big events like weddings and anniversaries. Still, in all honesty, it’s also a wonderful idea to use them for a more casual backyard barbecue or kid’s birthday party when no one wants to cook that day (or to supplement your cooking). In addition to the food here, the service is very professional and friendly as well. You won’t be disappointed.

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Queen’s Soul Food.

7308 E Independence Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28227
704-563-1106
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Queen's Soul Food Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Queen’s Soul Food, near McAlpine Creek Park in East Forest, is an easygoing soul food joint that serves soul food in a cafeteria-style manner. I love cafeteria-style eating because it’s quick, and I can get what I want without waiting for someone to take my order and then bring me my food. Queens’ Soul Food is best known for its country-fried chicken, which is delicious, but they have many other mouthwatering chicken choices as well, including baked chicken, curry chicken, and jerk chicken. Besides the chicken, you’ll find many southern staples like pork chops, mac & cheese, catfish, potato salad, and crispy fried okra.


Sandra Lee’s Country Kitchen

3321 Freedom Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208
704-891-1265
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Sandra Lee's Country Kitchen Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Sandra Lee’s Country Kitchen, near Enderly Park, is a low-key food truck with some of the tastiest fried okra I’ve ever had — and I love fried okra! They offer plenty of southern-style eats made with love and probably lots of butter too. I tend to order their chicken wing dinner, which comes with two sides and cornbread. They also have fried chicken, fried pork, shrimp, salmon, and hamburgers. For my two sides, I tend to go with collard greens and country-baked beans at Sandra’s, but you can’t go wrong with any of your favorite classic choices.


Chicken Box Cafe

1331 W Sugar Creek Rd, Charlotte, NC 28262
704-921-8102
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Chicken Box Cafe Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Chicken Box Cafe, near UNCC in the University area, is a no-frills hole-in-the-wall type place with incredible soul food. Chicken Box Cafe has all of the classics like chicken wings, fried chicken, pork chops, mac & cheese, collard greens, yams, and green beans. But they also have unique items like seafood sandwiches and gizzards. I love the laid-back feel of the place, which makes it a fun spot to get together with friends and eat to your heart’s desire.


Soul Central

2903 Central Ave C, Charlotte, NC 28205
980-349-4015

Soul Central Charlotte
Source: Instagram

Last on the list is Soul Central, located on Central Ave near the Country Club Heights. This spot is another unfussy soul food option with plenty of fried and baked mains and sides. I appreciate that they have flounder here, which isn’t always easy to find at a soul food restaurant. I also like that they have baked options for those looking to eat a little healthier and plenty of veggie options to make a delicious 4-side veggie plate.

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 6 credible sites and blogs, including Charlottesgotalot.com and tToasttab.com. 

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We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible. 

Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 6 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.

https://www.charlottesgotalot.com/articles/eat-drink/soul-food-in-charlotte
https://soulcentralfood.com/
https://www.toasttab.com/local/charlotte-nc-restaurants/best-soul-food
https://www.grubhub.com/delivery/nc-charlotte/soul_food
https://www.yellowpages.com/charlotte-nc/soul-food-restaurants
https://www.ubereats.com/category/charlotte-nc/soul-food

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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