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African Restaurants and Cuisine to Try in Charlotte NC

Charlotte, NC, is a melting pot of cultures, and its vibrant culinary scene reflects this diversity. Among the rich tapestry of international cuisines, African restaurants stand out for their unique flavors, hearty dishes, and cultural authenticity. Whether you are a meat lover, vegetarian, or vegan, Charlotte’s African dining spots offer a variety of mouth-watering options that cater to all dietary preferences. So, get ready to explore and enjoy the rich and delicious world of African restaurants in Charlotte, NC and your taste buds will thank you!

As a Zambian born, Congolese food blogger who was exposed to all different types of African cuisines, whenever I travel, I’m always trying to find African restaurants. Each country has such different types of foods and each chef has their own rendition that makes it so unique. Often times, African restaurants are hole-in-the-wall spots, but they’re always packed with so much flavor. 

Our Top Pics for African Restaurants in Charlotte NC

Enat Ethiopian Restaurant

Enat Ethiopian Restaurant is a woman-owned spot, run by Tina Tedla who moved to the USA from Ethiopia when she was ten years old and learned all of her recipes from her mother. The restaurant specializes in traditional East African, Ethiopian dishes with a modern twist. Here, you can enjoy authentic flavors in a contemporary setting. If you want a little bit of everything try the meat platter with lamb, beef and chicken as well as three delicious sides. We had it and it was absolutely divine and fun to try out all the different flavors.

For vegetarians, try the vegan platter – a diverse selection featuring a ground chickpea stew, spicy red lentil stew, collard greens, carrots and string beans, cabbage and potato, yellow split peas, potato and beets salad, injera pieces mixed with olive oil, tomatoes, chopped jalapeno peppers, and onions, and brown lentils. Injera is a thin bread used to scoop up African food.

  • Locations:
    • Optimist Hall: 1115 N. Brevard St, Charlotte, NC 28206
    • 4450 The Plaza, Suite D, Charlotte, NC 28215
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian
  • Enat Ethiopian Restaurant Menu
  • Contact: 980-237-0716
a plate of food on a table

Royal African Cuisine

Royal African Cuisine might be tucked away, but it’s well worth seeking out. The restaurant was bustling when we visited, and it’s easy to see why. The atmosphere is vibrant, the staff are friendly, and the food is exceptional. Royal African is a restaurant that specializes in Ghanaian cuisine with a few West African favorites. The food was very delicious and the server answered all of our questions about the menu. They have an indoor sitting area and bar that serves cocktails. They had a soccer game playing on the bar TV when we were there.

We loved the Emotuo – soft rice balls served with peanut (groundnut), butter soup or palm soup banga. We also enjoyed the Waakye which is rice and beans (black eye peas), served with spaghetti noodles, boiled egg, gari, shito and fried ripe plantain. Of course, we couldn’t leave without trying the traditional Jollof Rice Ghana which is a rice dish cooked with tomatoes, onions, spices and vegetables. It comes with chicken & plantains for a hearty meal.

To top it all off, we ordered a light soup with goat and plantain fufu. The soup is made with tomatoes and other vegetables and comes with goat meat. Overall, we had a great time and would recommend visiting here for an authentic African experience.

Zoewee’s

Zoewee’s offers delicious, home-cooked meals that celebrate the rich heritage and culture of Africa. Each dish is prepared with care, ensuring an authentic culinary experience. The restaurant is owned by a Liberian woman, Konor, who noticed the Liberian community in Charlotte was craving the familiar taste of home.

Zoewee’s opened in 2010 and some of her family’s culinary traditions are still on the menu. The name “Zoewee” is a tribute to Konor’s grandmother, whose cooking was the soul of every family gathering. The restaurant is now a place for Liberians to come together and taste a bit of home.

We ordered their famous palm butter with rice, potato greens with corn beef rice, and palava with rice. They were out of fufu as we arrived close to their closing time but we had a great time anyway and enjoyed our meals.

  • Location: 4112 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28206
  • Cuisine: West African
  • Zoewee’s Menu
  • Contact: 704-559-9503

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Other African Restaurants in Charlotte NC

The Cooking Pot

At The Cooking Pot, you can taste the love in every dish. The restaurant offers ample indoor seating and convenient parking outside. Run by a dedicated woman who handles everything herself, her passion and skill shine through in the delicious offerings. If you’re looking for something meaty, try the Moi Moi Bean Combo which comes with your choice of beef or chicken. For a delectable vegetarian option, go for the Plantain & Yam Combo.

  • Location: 5622 East Independence Blvd, Suite 129, Charlotte, NC 28212
  • Cuisine: West African, Nigerian
  • The Cooking Pot Menu
  • Contact: 704-909-4000

Abugida Ethiopian Cafe

This cozy, unassuming restaurant specializes in delicious and reasonably priced Ethiopian cuisine, offering excellent food and friendly service. One of the most popular dishes is Doro Wet – a chicken leg, served with a boiled egg, and simmered in Ethiopian herb butter, onion, garlic, and berbere. Of course, many vegetarians choose African restaurants because of the many choices presented to them, and we recommend trying the Kik Alecha featuring yellow split peas with onions, spices, and herbs. 

Carolina African Market

Carolina African Market is a delightful small store featuring frozen meats, pantry items, and an in-house restaurant. A must-try dish is the Kenkey, made up of cornmeal sourdough dumplings served with pepper and fried fish.

  • Location: 1524 Alleghany St, Charlotte, NC 28208
  • Cuisine: West African
  • Carolina African Market
  • Contact: 704-910-5151

Mama Gee’s

At Mama Gee’s, you’ll experience a warm welcome and great food. While the space is small and cozy, the flavors are truly exceptional. The star of the show is the Dirty Chicken, a hearty dish with sweet and spicy wings, made with Ghanaian spices. You can also opt for fish and other meats.

  • Location: 509 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216
  • Cuisine: West African, Ghanaian
  • Mama Gee’s Menu
  • Contact: 704-817-8732

Lagz Restaurant and Bar

Lagz Restaurant & Bar impresses with its modern decor and welcoming atmosphere. The attentive staff of five hosts ensures you are promptly seated and taken care of. Of course, the food is great too, and there are plenty of choices for both meat lovers and vegetarians.

Try the Jollof Rice served with your choice of cabbage or fried plantains, and stewed chicken, stewed beef, or assorted meat. For an additional charge, opt for fried whole croaker or stewed goat. If you prefer not to eat meat you will enjoy the Efo-Riro, which is a delicious vegetarian option featuring a soup of collard greens and spinach.

Queen Sheba Restaurant

Queen Sheba Restaurant is a hidden gem on Central Ave, renowned for its excellent cuisine. Come with an appetite, and if you’re with a group, consider one of the combo meals for a shared experience.

One of their most popular dishes for meat-lovers is the Queen Sheba Special Kitfo which is beef tartar mixed with onions, green pepper, seasoned butter, house spices and mit-mita. You can opt for either raw or cooked with injera. For veggies, you can indulge in Denish Wott – potatoes boiled with berbere, garlic, and onions, accompanied by an injera side salad.

Oh My Soul

Oh My Soul offers a unique dining experience with its vegan menu infused with South African flavors. While the menu may be on the pricier side, the quality of the ingredients justifies it. There’s no need to miss out on the flavor of meat with this menu, and no matter whether you’re vegan or not, you are sure to enjoy the Vegan “Vurger” – a delicious plant-based burger option, as well as the Voerie Roll which is a vegan take on the traditional South African sausage. It comes on a roll with grilled onions, ketchup, chakalaka, and a choice of side.

  • Location: 3046 N Davidson St., Charlotte, NC 28205-1042
  • Cuisine: Vegan, South African
  • Oh My Soul Menu
  • Contact: 704-891-4664
  • Contact: 980-859-2006

Red Sea Charlotte

Red Sea Charlotte isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a beloved neighborhood gathering place. Combining a bar, pool hall, and outstanding food, it’s an ideal spot for a late Sunday night meal. For the meat lovers out there you should try the Red Sea Combo, a hearty combination of chicken, zegenie qey wett (spicy stew) and alticha (vegetables), which comes with two injera. Vegetarians can delight in the Alitcha, featuring a variety of sautéed vegetables flavored with spices.

  • Location: 4301 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28205
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian, Eritrean
  • Red Sea Charlotte Menu
  • Contact: 704-375-4999

Zanzibar Cafe

Zanzibar Cafe offers a delightful fusion of West African and Liberian cuisine. The food is not only delicious but also reasonably priced for the generous portions. With a nice atmosphere and a menu featuring both traditional African dishes and American favorites, it caters to a diverse range of tastes. For an authentic African dish, try the Cassava Leaf which is sauteed in oil and flavored with special spices. It comes with smoked turkey, chicken and rice.

  • Location: 3720 N Tryon St #101, Charlotte, NC 28206
  • Cuisine: West African, Liberian
  • Zanzibar Charlotte Menu
  • Contact: 980-237-2924

Samoha African Cuisine

Samoha African Cuisine offers authentic West African dishes in a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you visit for lunch or dinner, you’ll find a menu filled with flavorful options. Try the Acheke Red Snapper – a dish featuring fried whole red snapper and fermented cassava pulp, that comes with veggies and fried plantains. For a healthy vegetarian choice, you will enjoy the Beans Combo which is served with fried plantains.

Other Best Places To Eat in Charlotte NC

Read our comprehensive list of the best places to eat in Charlotte, NC. You will find foods from all around the world there, whether you’re into sushi, hamburgers, pizza or anything else.

a collage of different images of a drink

Read More: Cute Trendy Restaurants in Charlotte NC

How To Spend 3 days in Charlotte North Carolina

Thinking of taking a trip to Charlotte? Well we have a complete itinerary for you, from places to eat, to hotels to stay in and fun things to do like seeing the vineyards in Yadkin valley and white water rafting at the U.S. Whitewater Center.

a collage of buildings and trees

Read More: Ultimate 3-Day Charlotte NC Itinerary

African Restaurants and Cuisine in Charlotte NC: FAQs

What is Charlotte, NC known for food?

Below iconic foods and culinary delights highlight Charlotte’s culinary diversity and the city’s ability to satisfy a wide range of tastes and preferences.

  • Barbecue: Charlotte boasts a rich barbecue tradition with a variety of styles, including both Eastern and Western North Carolina barbecue.
  • Southern Comfort Food: Indulge in classic Southern dishes such as fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread, and shrimp and grits.
  • Craft Beer: The city has a thriving craft beer scene with many local breweries offering unique brews and taprooms to explore.
  • Biscuits: Charlotteans love their biscuits, whether served with gravy for breakfast or as a side to a hearty Southern meal.
  • Food Trucks: Charlotte has a vibrant food truck culture offering diverse cuisines from around the world, perfect for a quick and tasty meal on the go.
  • Farm-to-Table Cuisine: With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Charlotte’s farm-to-table restaurants showcase the region’s agricultural bounty.
  • International Flavors: Explore global cuisines ranging from Mexican and Italian to Vietnamese and Ethiopian, reflecting Charlotte’s diverse culinary landscape.

What percentage of the population of Charlotte NC is black?

As of the most recent data available, approximately 35% of the population of Charlotte, NC identifies as Black or African American. This demographic contributes significantly to the cultural diversity and richness of the city.

What is Charlotte NC known for?

Charlotte is home to several major attractions including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, MLS’ Charlotte FC, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

What is the number one food in North Carolina?

Serving up a plate of premium Southern cuisine wouldn’t be complete without a stop at a local barbecue joint. North Carolina-style barbecue, with its rich history, dates back to the 16th century when it was introduced to the region by Sir Walter Raleigh. This tradition has evolved into a beloved culinary staple, characterized by its distinct flavors and cooking techniques.

What is North Carolina’s famous fruit?

The Scuppernong grape, the first actively cultivated grape in the United States, was designated the official State Fruit by the General Assembly in 2001.

African Restaurants and Cuisine in Charlotte NC: Final Thoughts

Whether you’re dining at a cozy, family-run spot like Zoewee’s or experiencing the contemporary flair of Chapter Six, these restaurants provide not just a meal, but an experience—a chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and hospitality of Africa, right in the heart of Charlotte. So next time you’re craving African food, remember to try out the restaurants on this list!

African Restaurants in Charlotte NC
where to find african restaurants in charlotte

Last Updated 1 week ago by Jessica Serna | Published: July 6, 2024

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