I have a confession to make. Recently, hearing foodie people talk about great places for international food in Charlotte that I didn’t know about really got to me. I felt like I had to see and taste the goodness I was hearing about for myself.
The richest concentration of international food businesses, restaurants, groceries, bakeries, and more are located north and east of Uptown Charlotte. The awesome residential neighborhoods bordering Charlotte’s small but thriving international foods community are Plaza Midwood, Merry Oaks, Country Club Heights, Plaza Shamrock, Windsor Park, and Darby Acres, all in 28205 area code. These businesses are owned and operated by people from the countries from which they are representing food. They bring with them the true authentic flavors and traditions of their regions of the world. Having lived in cities that totally embrace and value their international food communities like San Francisco and Seattle, I am so excited to see Charlotte doing the same. Here are just a few businesses to check out.
Las Delicias is a bakery on the corner of Kilborne and Central Ave. I went there upon recommendation from my friend Teresa Hernandez, shop owner of Pura Vida Worldly Art in NoDa. I was in her store around Christmas and over heard her mention a Mexican/Colombian bakery that has really good tamales, hand rolled and in the corn husks. Teresa’s native country is Mexico. I had to check it out. I arrived at 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon and Las Delicias was already out of pork tamales and only had 2 chicken left. Yes, I bought them out. Yum!
New Century Grocery & Food, located at the Asian corner mall at the corner of Tryon and Eastway, is simply amazing. I would swear I had traveled across the globe to somewhere in Asia just by walking in. This Harris Teeter-sized store offers Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese foods and more. The noodle aisles (yes, aisles with an s) alone are worth visiting this store. Everything from Mung bean to udon frozen, fresh, and dried. If you are making an Asian meal, you must stop in for spices, or mushrooms or something.
Compare Foods, in the same corner mall as New Century, is a Latin grocery. This store has a marvelous produce section with bins of dried peppers, prickly pears, coconuts and more. This store also has some U.S. brands that are recognizable (I bought my almond milk there) for great prices. Bonus? This is just one of several Charlotte-area locations.
Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant, located on Central Avenue, is well known for their traditional Chinese specialties. Dim Sum is basically finger foods. Just next door is the best, one of the only, Vietnamese Pho restaurants in Charlotte – Pho Hoa. Pho is warm savory noodle, meat and vegetable soups. This is the best food in the world on a chilly day.
I am just barely scratching the surface of amazing places to eat fantastic international foods in Charlotte. Please let me know your experiences and recommendations. I’m dying to try more of what Charlotte has to offer in the way of authentic international cuisine!