Feb 5, 2024 - Food and Drink

Charlotte's top dishes chosen by our journalists, January 2024

large tomahawk steak and other sides like mac and cheese and fries

Tomahawk steak with a side of mac and cheese, Mexican street corn and fries from The Crunkleton. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

This past month, our team combatted the cold weather with heat — from spicy dumplings, to spicy pizza.

  • Here are six of the best dishes the Axios Charlotte team ate in January, listed in no particular order.

Sweet pork belly dumplings from The Dumpling Lady

"The Dumpling Lady's spicy beef noodles ($11.54) and sweet pork belly dumplings ($11.54) pack a punch for those who are a fan of heat like me. Grab a table at Optimist Hall, enjoy your food and people watch." — Ashley Mahoney, reporter.

The sweet pork belly dumplings ($11.54). Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

The diavola pizza at Little Mama's Rea Farms

"Little Mama's Italian Kitchen recently debuted a second location in the Rea Farms development in south Charlotte. With i came new menu items like the diavola pizza ($18). It's a nice combination of spicy and sweet, made with salami, caramelized onions, cherry peppers, provolone picante, homemade mozzarella and a Calabrian hot honey sauce." — Laura Barrero, editor

Go deeper: Little Mama's expands with new south Charlotte restaurant

pizza with peperoni
Diavola pizza and penne a la vodka. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Lang Van's choice at Lang Van.

"Lang Van is an east Charlotte staple known for its Christmas light displays and authentic Vietnamese food. It also has an extensive menu, and I was with an indecisive and open-minded group of four. Our server, noticing this, swiped our menu and served a spread of their favorites: pho, Vietnamese pancakes and noodles. It ended up being just under $30 a person and delicious." — Alexandria Sands, reporter

Go deeper: 25 best restaurants in Charlotte, right now

two dishes with broccoli and meat
Photo: Alex Sands/Axios

Breakfast burrito from Arbol

"I'd been meaning to check out Arbol — a grab-and-go spot on the ground floor of the Carillon Tower on Trade — ever since Laura wrote about it in summer 2022. I finally stopped by one recent morning, and I'm still thinking about the breakfast burrito I got. It comes with eggs, peppers, onions, tons of beans, potatoes and cheese ($10.99) — a hearty meal that somehow didn't feel too heavy." — Katie Peralta Soloff, editor

Editor's note: The beans made it tricky to capture this burrito's good side.

hand holding a burrito
Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

Tomahawk Tuesday at The Crunkleton

"Okay, everyone needs to have Tomahawk Tuesday at The Crunkleton on their Charlotte bucket list. (Every Tuesday, their tomahawk steaks are half-off — meaning instead of $170, you get it for $85). Here's my advice: split with a few others and make sure to order sides of mac & cheese, fries and street corn. One of the best steak dinners I've had in a long time!" — McKenzie Rankin, reporter

Tomahawk steak, corn, mac and cheese
This meal comfortably fed four — five, if you include the happy dog that got the leftover bone. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

The soup combination plate at Samoha African Cuisine.

"I ordered from Samoha African Cuisine near NoDa for the first time. I tried the soup combination plate ($15.99) with half Efo Riro Spinach and Egusi (melon soup). I added beef plus a side of fufu and jollof rice ($3.99). Given the amount of food, this is one of those places you'll order from and end up having leftovers for days." — Alexis Clinton, reporter

three dishes from above: rice, chicken and mozzarella cheese
Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Yellow pancake and bun ga nuong from Lang Van

2024 is the year I finally tackle my Charlotte food bucket list, and first up was Lang Van. (I know, it's criminal that this was my first visit). I went with the yellow pancake and bun ga nuong. I loved the richness of the pancake, and the bun ga nuong was a perfectly balanced dish. The chicken was mildly sweet; the sauce served on the side had a slight bite; and the cilantro, cucumbers and lettuce made it light and fresh. — Bri Crane, Axios Local real estate reporter

lang van in charlotte north carolina
Photo: Bri Crane/Axios

Looking for more food recs? Check out what we ate last month. Or, take a look at our guides for Best Restaurants and Best New Restaurants.


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