The phrase “bar food” can be misleading. What all of these spots have in common is being a place that does both food and drinks with excellence. In some cases, it’s a brewery with surprisingly good dining options; elsewhere, it’s an exceptional pub that doesn’t slack in either direction.
5610 Carnegie Blvd.
844-HOP-LOVE, ext. 2
To call it bar food would be an insult to Legion’s executive chef, Gene Briggs. Along with owner Phil Buchy, he turned SouthPark’s first craft brewery into a food destination. You can count on a solid burger and chicken wings at the full-service restaurant, but Chef Gene spans multiple cuisines in this kitchen. Get a Pork Belly Gyro, a Pho Mi Dip, Carnitas Pizza, or a Pastrami Cheesesteak—each one tastes like it’s his specialty. Come for Sunday brunch and have a Juicy Jay Chicken Breakfast Biscuit or a Carnitas Breakfast Pizza with mimosa flights or a lineup of brunch cocktails. Chef Gene changes his menus regularly, though, so certain dishes come and go. But everything he cooks pairs well with a can of Juicy Jay on the patio.
44 Mills Kitchen & Tap
6189 Bayfield Pkwy.
Behind the bar is an Oktober can seamer, which seals 32-ounce craft cans—or crowlers—straight from the tap, and a custom beer tower with 16 taps. Order a burger or entrée-sized salad if you’re really hungry; if you prefer to graze, get an assortment of small plates and “bar snackage” like fried pickles and mini-ham biscuits.
Brewers at 4001 Yancey
4001-A, Yancey Rd.
Executive chef Drew Ward uses beer as an ingredient, from a pilsner-infused cheese sauce for the Victory Pretzel to the Hop Devil mustard on the Brewhouse Burger.
The Common Market
2007 Commonwealth Ave.
A neighborhood hangout with locations in South End and Oakwold, this market and deli serves quick and delicious sandwiches, local craft beers, snacks, sweets, and more.
Cowbell Burger & Bar
201 N. Tryon St., Ste. 1010
The sister restaurant to Leroy Fox has a trendy, pop culture vibe and a roster of fancy burgers including a foie gras-topped masterpiece for $20.
Dilworth Neighborhood Grille
911 E. Morehead St.
This wood-paneled, two-level sports bar is the place to take your family for no-frills burgers, wings, and beer on game day.
Divine Barrel Brewing
3701 N. Davidson St., Ste. 203
The Sidekick CLT food truck has a permanent spot here, with personal pizza pies like You’ve Been Meatballed, High-waiian, and Ricky Ricotta.
The Eagle Food & Beer Hall
2120 South Blvd., Ste. 1
Choose from over 100 craft beers and feast on fried chicken with a side of house made hot honey, plus comfort food sides like mac and cheese, collards, and hush puppies.
2200 Park Rd.
This Dilworth mainstay has drink specials every night of the week—stop by for $4 on Tuesdays, $15 Bud Light buckets on Sundays, or choose from 32 taps of regional craft beer. Order some jumbo wings or $3 tacos and find your game on one of over 30 big screen TVs.
Fat Cat Burgers + Bakeshop
2410 Park Rd.
Owner Fran Scibelli reimagined the former Fran’s Filling Station to include burgers, fried chicken, and a walk-up window that serves handmade donuts.
511 Providence Rd.
This Myers Park mainstay has served consistently good sandwiches, burgers, and salads since the 1980s.
Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse
215 S. Main St., Davidson
High-quality steaks are a given here, but the seafood and vegetables are treated with the same respect.
2909 N. Davidson St. #200
A slew of flatbreads, burgers, wraps, and hearty appetizers like the Chipotle Chicken Nachos dominate this menu. (The brunch buffet is also a Best of the Best Award winner.)
3213 N. Davidson St.
Order a cold beer and munch on unconventional bar bites like mac and blue cheese with bacon.
Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill
1524 East Blvd.
Grab a stool at the bar and order a burger, brat, or the popular “Beef on Weck.” Enjoy it with a local brew—or one of six House White Russians.
705 S. Sharon Amity Rd.
Come to this casual eatery for fried chicken and upscale pub grub, or snack on some pretzel bites and zucchini fries with a beer on game day. An additional location is in South End.
Mac’s Speed Shop
2511 South Blvd.
Solid barbecue and cold beer (150 choices) in a motorcycle-themed space draw fun-loving crowds, with additional locations in Matthews and Lake Norman.
Moo & Brew
1300 Central Ave.
Come for a cold beer and burgers loaded with bacon, chili, and beer, and brew-braised ‘shrooms.
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery
4150 Yancey Rd.
Don’t know which kind of sausage to get? (Smoked Baurenwurst? Gyulai? Jalapeno Cheddar Bratwurst?) Get the sampler. The Bavarian-Style Pretzel is also a favorite.
Piedmont Social House
2135 Ayrsley Town Blvd., Ste. C
Order a craft beer, cocktail, or boozy slushie and play a few rounds of pool, foosball, or yard yahtzee. Celebrate your win with some pretzel dippers, wings, or meatball sliders.
Pinky’s Westside Grill
1600 W. Morehead St.
Housed in an old auto shop, this funky spot serves loaded burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches alongside $6 pints and $18 pitchers.
Protagonist South End
227 Southside Dr.
Pizza sizes range from 16 to 28 inches. Like the beer, they’re named after protagonists, like the Lando Calrissian (with pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, and veggies).
Providence Road Sundries
1522 Providence Rd.
Classic bar food and friendly service have made this a beloved neighborhood hangout since 1933.
512 Brandywine Rd.
Grab a table on the patio and enjoy the daily catch or fresh oysters from the raw bar.
Room and Board
3228 N. Davidson St.
Inside a two-story Victorian home and former boarding house, have your choice of sandwiches, burgers, and wings, or come for Sunday brunch and get a “hangover pizza.”
3306-C N. Davidson St.
These sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas include the Stankonia (one of several OutKast references): red sauce, Parmesan, brussel sprouts, burrata, prosciutto, sea-salt, and pepper.
Sir Edmond Halley’s
4151 Park Rd., Ste. A
This British pub, named for the astronomer and mathematician, serves a menu of hearty dishes like chili, meatloaf, and fish and chips until 2 a.m.
2433 South Blvd.
The breezy vibes and bright flavors at this taco joint call for a Pacifico or a margarita.
The Suffolk Punch
2911 Griffith St., Ste. A
The Suffolk Punch does a lot of everything: food, beer, cocktails, wine, coffee, and more. For eats, the shareables menu has Tuna Nachos and Kung Pao Wings, with mains that include Shrimp Po’ Boy Tacos and Fish & Chips.
Town Brewing Company
800 Grandin Rd.
New word for you: Brachos. That’s Town’s cider-braised bratwurst, with black beans, corn salsa, and aioli on corn tortillas. (The Pigs in a Blanket are tasty, too.)
Wooden Robot Brewery
1440 S Tryon St. #110
Twisted Eats is the resident kitchen inside Wooden Robot’s first location in South End. Highlights: Boozy BBQ Chicken Wonton Nachos and the Kre8 Kuban.
The Workman’s Friend
1531 Central Ave.
Enjoy Irish classics like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie in this rustic dining room, or grab a pint at the custom-built walnut bar.