Global Flavors in South End
Spice up your culinary adventures by exploring South End's international food scene.
Beyond beer and burgers, the culinary scene in South End transcends borders. Let your taste buds travel with this guide to international food in South End.
For all your favorite Chinese classics—from sesame chicken to chow mein, lo mein and everything in between—head to Beijing Chinese Restaurant on the corner of South Boulevard and East Park Avenue. Order delivery or takeout for the perfect low-key night at home.
Indaco (Italian for “indigo”), the popular Charleston-based rustic Italian restaurant, opened its second location at Atherton Mill in 2019. Featuring an open kitchen and inviting atmosphere, Indaco serves up wood-fired pizzas, handcrafted pastas, and house-made salami and cured sausages that can be enjoyed family-style or a la carte. An Italian brunch is also available on weekends.
The first location in North Carolina, North Italia at The RailYard features all the Italian favorites with made-from-scratch specialties like pizza and pasta. Grab a spot inside or under the red umbrellas on the patio for lunch, happy hour, dinner or brunch.
Creative Japanese small plates, house-made ramen and rock music describe the experience created by chef Michael Shortino at Futo Buta. The cuisine pays homage to Asian fare but is also regionalized with locally sourced meats and ingredients. Hop off the LYNX Blue Line light rail at the Bland Street Station, and you can’t miss the bright green chairs that line the Futo Buta patio.
Experience authentic Japanese Katsu sandos (sandwich) at Katsu Kart food truck. Set up Thursday to Sunday at HopFly Brewing Co., Katsu Kart features a variety of Japanese street and comfort food options on its menu.
Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Since 1999, Nikko has been South End’s go-to for sushi and other innovative Japanese fare. Expect an upscale vibe, inventive cuisine and a high-energy atmosphere, especially on weekend evenings when a live DJ cranks up the heat.
This chic Japanese hot spot features sushi and authentic Japanese dishes with a Southern twist, plus sake, beer, wine and craft cocktails you don’t want to miss. Sushi Happy Hour on Monday and Wednesdays is a must.
This LA-born ramen house exudes a West Coast vibe with street art-style decor and flavorful, authentic ingredients to create an experience that feeds the soul.
From the same team behind Ru San’s, Yamazaru came to South End in 2017 to bring authentic and affordable sushi, noodle dishes and other Japanese favorites to this side of town. Be sure to explore the sake options, craft cocktails and specialty martinis, especially the saketinis.
Authentic, creative and fresh Japanese flavors are what you’ll find at YUME. The intimate eatery serves up sushi rolls, Tonkotsu ramen, yakitori, donburi and more.
Head to Bulgogi Box on Camden Street to experience authentic Korean flavors and hospitality. With fast-casual counter service at lunch and full-service dining in the evenings, Bulgogi Box is committed to serving up traditional Korean-style BBQ as well as bulgogi boxes, bibim bowls, Korean wings and more.
The sister restaurant to Seoul Food Meat Co., Let's Meat is a casual, all-you-can-eat (in a two-hour session) Korean BBQ joint featuring built-in burners at each table to cook your meat and veggies.
Husband/wife team Tim Chun and Lisa Kamura share their take on Korean BBQ with a Southern slant at Seoul Food Meat Co. The rustic eatery features mouthwatering meats, creative sides, an impressive Asian beer list and karaoke rooms.
Craving a light meal with fresh flavors? Pop into Cava for healthy, fast-casual, customizable Mediterranean-inspired meals like salads, pitas, grain bowls and more. Add your favorite toppings like tzatziki, hummus, harissa and more to finish it off your way. The Cava locations in Charlotte partner with nonprofit Sow Much Good to promote healthy eating and gardening skills.
A spinoff concept from the popular upscale Mediterranean restaurant Ilios Noche in South Charlotte, Ilios Crafted Greek brings a more casual, laid-back experience to South End. The fast-casual restaurant carries fresh, healthy, authentic dishes like Greek meat and veggie plates, salads, pita sandwiches and more.
What started as a popular pop-up called Chilito is now El Toro Bruto, an authentic Mexican taco counter located inside Resident Culture South End. Chef Hector González-Mora is the owner/operator of El Toro Bruto, which features a menu of all day tacos, quesadillas and nachos that reflect traditional Mexican cuisine with an LA street food influence.
Located right off the LYNX Blue Line light rail line near the Bland Street Station, Hot Taco serves up traditional Mexican cuisine, like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas and more, plus margaritas and frozen cocktails. The high-energy, colorful atmosphere will draw you in and the flavorful fare will keep you coming back again and again.
Head to the La Capital MX at the Steelyard for upscale Mexican fare and high-end tequila selection in a refined setting, described as a desert chic aesthetic.
This Miami-born Mexican ice cream and ice pop shop features handcrafted, gourmet, customizable paletas made with all-natural ingredients. Paletas are a Mexican frozen treat made from natural fruits, creamy ingredients like chocolate or nuts, or a milk base combined with water, yogurt or condensed milk plus unique flavorings and toppings that create fresh, unique flavor combinations.
Food truck owner/chef Ricky Ortiz brings the love for his homeland (Durango, Mexico) to life through the Mexican-style street food he serves on his popular food truck Tacos Rick-O. You’ll find mouthwatering, must-try birria tacos, traditional tacos, taco bowls, wings and more on the menu. Don’t walk, run to check out Tacos Rick-O, which is parked at Hoppin'.
From the owners of Deejai Thai in Myers Park, Rai Lay Thai features a more casual approach to traditional Thai street food and other Asian dishes like fried rice, noodle dishes, curries and more, plus beer, cocktail and wine.
This welcoming tapas-style restaurant and bar honors the flavors and cultures of Spain, the Mediterranean and South America through its rustic small-plate menu. Wine is also a star of the show at Barcelona with more than 400 options on its robust wine list.
The smooth fusion of American and Asian dishes at Blacow Burger creates explosive flavors that your tastebuds will thank you for. The local burger and sushi restaurant’s first location was in Fort Mill, but its popularity and success allowed it to expand and open another location in South End.
Located near the LYNX Blue Line light rail East/West Boulevard Station, Hawkers Asian Street Food features just that: scratch-made Asian street food representing the food, beverages and cultures of China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and more. The Orlando-based restaurant concept is named after hawker food stalls that are popular in Southeast Asia.
This locally owned fast-casual restaurant chain spotlights the popular street food of Latin countries including El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia.
A tex-mex concept from popular Atlanta-based, Houston-bred chef and restaurateur Ford Fry, Superica (pronounced Super-ica) serves up flavorful fare that represents the collision of Mexican cuisine with the food from a Texas rancher’s kitchen.
Yunta Cevicheria & Pisco Barra
From the owners of Viva Chicken, this unique, upscale concept showcases a beautiful blend of Japanese and Peruvian fare known as Nikkei cuisine, which represents the flavors of Peru as well as its culinary influences from European colonizers, enslaved Africans and Asian immigrants. Well-known local mixologist Bob Peters designed Yunta’s bar program.
What’s your favorite international restaurant in South End? Explore more bites and brews in the neighborhood and share your fav global spots (and drool-worthy food photos) with us on social media by tagging @SouthEndCLT and using the hashtag #SouthEndCLT.