Hometown interior designer, Lisa Mende shares her favorite spots to sip and savor and some of the best restaurants in Charlotte.

Best restaurants in Charlotte, Amelie's

Amélie’s. Photo by Joshua Vasko

Let’s start with the sweets! Amélie’s is a brilliant French bakery that reminds me of Paris, especially the delectable pastries. Tizzerts, run by my friend Tiz, is my go-to for birthday cakes. They taste as good as they look (try the lemon- raspberry).

Best restaurants in Charlotte, Cafe Monte

Café Monte

When I’m meeting people for lunch, I tend to favor the same places—Café Monte for the shrimp and asparagus crepes, Living Kitchen for the creative vegan cuisine, and Reid’s Fine Foods for a quick bite and coffee. If I am on the run, I grab the Super Green Drink from Juice Bar which is a great pick-me- up. For cocktails, I love to go to La Belle Helene for champagne and oysters.

charlotte's best restaurants, the Crunkleton

The Crunkleton. Photo by Alex Caterson/The Splinter Group

The happening new spot for craft cocktails is The Crunkleton. Sample the Bijoux, made with rye, rum, Green Chartreuse liqueur, Italian vermouth, and a dash of cinnamon. For dinner, Bardo has wonderful small plates, and the octopus is fabulous! Halcyon is delicious farm-to-table fare, and it’s a great place to go before a concert downtown. The beet salad is a favorite. The newcomer in the Elizabeth neighborhood is The Stanley, by James Beard–nominated chef Paul Verica and his son Alex. I love the cocktail, The Stanleyville, which is their version of a Manhattan, and the shrimp and grits.

Produced and written by Alice Welsh Doyle | Photography by Anna Naphtali

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