You have 30 minutes to run out, grab some food, and get back to your desk. Go.
Sound familiar? This is us almost every weekday; jumping from meeting to meeting and just trying to cram some food in our faces before the next appointment.
These days, no matter where you are in the Charlotte area, you don’t have to settle for a drive-thru and soggy fries. Quite a few local eateries are offering up delicious, nutritious (if that’s what you’re into) food that you can get in a hurry. Here are a few we think you should try out…
Tandur Indian Kitchen
Where: South Park (721 Gov Morrison St Unit F-150)
Why we like it*: Nobody else is doing Indian food like this. We love Copper for a nice, relaxed dinner, but Tandur is your place for quality, fresh, fast Indian food. Their chef-driven menu includes bold flavors, like the extra spicy Vindaloo or the more tame, but equally delicious, Tikki Masala. We like to build our own bowls and try a different protein and sauce each time. Don’t sleep on the appetizers, though. Everyone needs to try the Naanchos and the Spiced Okra Fries.
You know how some places are lazy about their “vegetable medley”? They just throw in some carrots and squash and call it a day? Not Tandur, their vegetable medley includes several varieties of beans, corn, peppers, onions, cauliflower and more.
Check out the full menu here.
Bonus: You can order online and pick up your food on the run!
*In full disclosure, we were invited to try out some menu items from Tandur for free, but we wouldn’t tell you stuff was good if it wasn’t. Capiche?
Why we like it: When Haley lived in D.C., this place was a staple in her diet. When she heard CAVA was opening in not just one, but three locations in the Charlotte area, she was thrilled. CAVA offers a such wide variety of fresh ingredients (seven different protein options, six dips and spreads, 14 fresh toppings, and six dressings) that you could go every day of the work week and have a completely different meal. With the three locations spread across our most-traveled parts of the city, we will certainly be regulars. Check out their menu here.
Bonus: Order online to get in and out even faster!
Davidson Ice House
Where: Davidson (416 South Main Street)
Why we like it: Davidson Ice House puts a new spin on the build-your-own bowl concept, with fun and exciting flavors like Tangy Apricot and Sassy Pimento Cheese. They have tons of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and even Paleo options to accommodate any diet. They also have UpDog Kombucha on tap. While they have plenty of healthy options, they have fries too. Check out the full menu here.
Bonus: The space is really cool. Get it? But seriously, this place used to be the home to an actual ice company back in the early 1900s and the owners have done a great job of paying homage to the history of the building.
Where: Park Road Shopping Center (1605 E Woodlawn Rd)
Why we like it: Another newcomer to the Charlotte market, Shake Shack has already made is mark on this city. If you’ve driven by Park Road Shopping Center on a Saturday, you know what we’re talking about. There is still a line out the door on the weekends, but we’ve found if you can squeeze in at 11:45am on a weekday, you can slide right up to the counter and get your burger in a hurry.
We are cheeseburger purists, so we like a ShackBurger and fries, but they also offer chicken sandwiches, and Shroom Burgers if you’re looking for something a little different.
We love how Shake Shack has really tapped into the Charlotte vibe, with their collaborations with 704 Shop and the Suarez Bakery. Speaking of Suarez Bakery, make sure you save room for the rotating Concrete (i.e. milkshake) flavor, created by Suarez Bakery.
The Pickled Peach
Where: Downtown Davidson (202 S Main St, Davidson)
Why we like it: This popular Davidson spot is always bustling, but we can rely on the quick service getting us fed and back to work in no time. Every sandwich we’ve tried has been incredibly delicious; most of which are classics with a twist (like the ham and cheese above, that uses brie and a pickled peach relish, or their BLT with fried green tomatoes). We also get our daily vitamin D with their outside seating, which can be enclosed, and they manage to keep comfortable no matter the weather. And if we happen to have kids in tow (how we love those teacher workdays when we still have work), there’s a public playground right in their backyard.
Bonus: They just opened a new market where you can buy wine, beer, and groceries; or pick up a freshly-made smoothie. Read about the new market here.
Where: Multiple Locations in Charlotte, Huntersville, Indian Trail + Concord
Why we like it: With all of their Charlotte-area locations, you’re never far from a Viva Chicken and you won’t want to be once you’ve tasted their rotisserie chicken. The smell, alone, will have you drooling when you walk in the door. You can order varying portions of chicken with sides or try one of their sandwiches, wraps, or salads. Our favorite items are the Naked Peruvian (add chicken), plantains and the Quinoa Stuffed Avocados with the green sauce. Check out the full menu here.
Bonus: Order online and get back to your desk in a flash.
Where: South Park (720 Gov Morrison St #120)
Why we like it: Everyone in Charlotte knows that this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning YAFO. Remember how I said Haley was obsessed with CAVA when she lived in D.C.? Well YAFO was the place that cured her longing for CAVA for a few years. There are similarities between the two, but YAFO has some of it’s own unique flavors like the Lemon and Cranberry Quinoa Salad. Having these two fast casual Mediterranean restaurants spread around the Charlotte area means you’re never far from phenomenally tasty, healthy, fresh food.
Bonus: A second location is coming to Dilworth!
Do you have a favorite spot to grab a quick, delicious lunch? Or a place you’ve been wanting to try? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments (or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org).