Welcome to WFAEats - a fun adventure where we explore all things tasty and interesting in the Charlotte food scene. We want to share stories, recipes and culinary escapades and hear about yours!

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group of people dining.

Trying out a new place to eat can be fraught with indecision and worry. What if I don’t understand the menu? What if I order the wrong thing? What if my date hates it?

Dining clubs like Adventurous Palates can help. 

Food and film will be served up this weekend as the annual Charlotte Jewish Film Festival kicks off with "Chewdaism: A Taste of Jewish Montreal." Canadian-born filmmakers Eli Batalion and Jamie Elman are heading to North Carolina for their first visit, so we caught up with them on the road to find out what they’ll be bringing to the Queen City – and what they hope to eat.

Amy Rogers

As a diehard coffee drinker, I’m about to confess something I was shocked to discover for myself: Tea is amazing – even more so than my beloved bean beverage.

nuts, cookies, orange slice

They start before the last Christmas cookie is devoured: all those promises to eat more healthfully in the new year.

Well, you may have about as much a chance of making that stick as there is for a blizzard in Charlotte. So this year I rounded up some experts and asked what sort of food resolutions they make and why. Here are some ideas from the pros.

beets at a farmers market

People who like to peruse maps and learn about local food resources will soon have a powerful new tool to do both. The Charlotte region’s first-ever, interactive map of our food system is under construction and slated to roll out in 2020.

But what exactly is a “food system” – and why do we need a map for it?

It’s that time of year again, when your faithful food writer samples the new crop of fall books and shares her choice selections with you. This year, we’re changing it up a bit to home in on titles that highlight what’s tasty about the Carolinas.

Parade, Hola Festival 2018

It’s not too late to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month. In addition to the many events around town marking the month-long celebration, there are other ways to appreciate the richness of the Latino culture.


Picture this: You’ve just finished an excellent meal at a great restaurant. You say to the person next to you, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to have this chef cook for us at home every night?” You imagine succulent crab cakes and truffle risotto. Thick, juicy rib-eyes and duck confit.

The reality? You’d probably get chicken, pizza, grilled cheese – and even leftovers. 

A plate of tacos at Tacos el Nevado 2019.
Amy Rogers / WFAE

If the perfect taco does exist, it’s not here in the Queen City.

That’s because the unsurpassable version must contain three essential ingredients: fresh, handmade tortillas; flawlessly seasoned and cooked meat; and truly superlative salsa. No single restaurant in Charlotte can lay claim to being the best at making all three.


Until you’ve watched a rabbi ride a mechanical bull, you haven’t really experienced Charlotte’s Kosher BBQ Championship.

An assortment of food is donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Five young men and a gray-haired woman are getting ready to feed hundreds of people tonight. But they’re not cooking food. They’re not even in a kitchen. 

If you were scolded as a kid to finish all the food on your plate, you might not have much of an appetite to learn about reducing food waste. But this topic is critical to our daily quality of life and to long-term environmental sustainability.

WFAEats: Tomato Time

Jul 26, 2019
Jennifer Lang / WFAE

It’s here: peak tomato season! That’s when porch pots and backyard plots burst with tomatoes as tiny as grapes and bigger than grapefruit. Supermarkets and farm stands get overrun with them. Red, yellow, purple, striped, and speckled – they’re everywhere. And that can create a sticky situation.

When you just can’t stomach one more perfect tomato sandwich, what can you do?


When it’s too hot to lift anything heavier than a cold glass to your parched lips, it’s officially summer sangria season. With lower alcohol content than many cocktails (and even alcohol-free for those who wish), this pleasant concoction of wine, fruit, and bubbles is at home everywhere from picnics to parties. Sure, lots of restaurants serve sangria, but it’s easy to make your own.

Burgers on the grill

For something you can get at just about any backyard cookout, a good burger can actually be pretty hard to find.

A burger done right can be a juicy, smoky, perfectly fatty and delectable experience. A burger done wrong can be rendered tasteless, dry, and just about inedible.  

dfespi / Pixabay

You want to talk about hot? Check this out: The hottest pepper on the planet* is the Carolina Reaper, grown in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

That news may leave you cold if you’re one of the millions of people who can’t tolerate or simply don’t enjoy spicy food. But for fans of hot flavors, this raises the bar once again on the power of the pepper.

WFAEats: Bread Is Back

Jun 28, 2019

If the thought of slicing into a just-baked loaf of bread makes your mouth water, here’s some great news for you: Bread is back and it’s better than ever.


Want to hear something audacious and wonderful? Vegan cuisine is the hottest trend going right now. If you don’t believe it, consider this: When the Slutty Vegan food truck came to Charlotte from Atlanta last week, more than 1,000 people turned out and waited for hours in the hot sun to get food.


In the summertime, there are two kinds of people: those who hide inside and those who march themselves outside to eat, drink, and cook.

No one can blame the insiders. But this piece is dedicated to the intrepid souls who brave the bugs and risk a blistering sunburn to make summer meals outdoors.

Spices, Food

Spring gift-giving is a tricky thing. Jammed in all at once we’ve got Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, and the start of wedding season. And since no one needs another dust-catcher sitting on a shelf, we’re giving you a dozen fresh ideas for new books that will make great gifts.


When April was officially proclaimed NC Beer Month, it gave me the perfect excuse to corral some friends and set out to investigate exactly what makes beer so wonderful.

As it turns out, just about everything.

jelly beans
jill111 / Pixabay

If Charlotte’s clouds of pollen have kept you in a fog, you may have overlooked the fact that Easter and Passover are coming up fast – on the same weekend, in fact.

Passover begins at sundown Friday, April 19. Easter is Sunday, April 21. They’re both deeply religious holidays that we celebrate with distinctive meals.


As Women’s History Month wraps up, it’s a great time to dine at eateries owned and run by women. The good news is that we have a whole bunch of them to choose from. Not just restaurants but bakeries, breweries, caterers, coffee-makers, and more.

Photo courtesy of

This Tuesday, March 5, is Shrove Tuesday if you’re getting ready for Lent – famously known as Mardi Gras.

This celebration always features rich and decadent foods. That’s because people who observe Lent often forego foods they enjoy during the forty-day period leading up to Easter. 

King Cakes, round yeast breads sprinkled with purple, green, and gold sugar, are a holiday mainstay. But local bakeries can sell out if you don’t order in advance. 

Courtesy of Pexels.

When you think about it, restaurants are a terrible place to spend Valentine’s Day. They’re crowded, expensive, noisy – basically, the opposite of a romantic setting.

But there’s a perfect place to host a special dinner, and it’s guaranteed to have your favorite table available. That place is home.

Hot tea for colds and flu

If you’re not sneezing, wheezing, coughing and complaining, you can skip this entire conversation. But those of us dropping like flies from one of the viral bugs going around are desperate for something – anything – to ease the misery. 

WFAEats: Why So Salty?

Jan 18, 2019

While making a simple dinner the other evening I reached for the salt and was faced with a conundrum: Which of the six within reach to pick? Cajun or Kosher? Celtic or Cornish with lemon and thyme? Gray, pink, or black from the Dead Sea?

That got me thinking about why we love salt – and sometimes acquire it in an aspirational fashion, like designer shoes or handbags.

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

For a few years now I’ve been dishing up radical wisdom for how to make New Year’s food resolutions, but it hasn’t stuck. 

Despite my best advice, most of you are still out there swearing to cut out carbs or fats or sugar. You’re promising to count points, eat clean or green or something in between. And guess what? You’re going to fail.

As the year draws to a close, lots of us are looking back and making lists of what was memorable. In a town that’s getting as culinarily complex as Charlotte, that gets harder to do each year. You already know about the famous restaurants and their iconic dishes, so here’s a look at some other food experiences you might not know about. Each of them left an impressive aftertaste.

Romaine lettuce field in Yuma, Arizona.
Jeff Vanuga / USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Here we are at the culinary crossroads between Thanksgiving and the Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-New Year’s holidays. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, there’s a hefty helping of alarming news to digest about unsafe foods and recalls.