“Timeline” – made entirely of salvaged rail from the 2009 construction on East Boulevard – is over eight feet tall and 16 feet long. Robert Lahser rlahser@charlotteobserver.com
“Timeline” – made entirely of salvaged rail from the 2009 construction on East Boulevard – is over eight feet tall and 16 feet long. Robert Lahser rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Living Here Guide

What to eat, drink and do in Dilworth

By Katie Toussaint

September 08, 2017 11:59 AM

Dilworth was established as Charlotte’s first suburb in 1891. Running through the neighborhood was the electric streetcar, which was introduced by developer Edward Dilworth Latta, owner of Charlotte Consolidated Construction Company.

As Latta pushed the suburb’s expansion, upper-class houses rose on South Boulevard and East Boulevard. Latta Park was named on the east edge of the street grid, and municipal fairgrounds stretched at the end of the trolley line on East Boulevard.

Today, Dilworth consists of a charming mix of apartments, eclectic houses, a bustling dining scene and clusters of boutique shops adjacent to higher-energy South End and Uptown.

Eat

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300 East

300 East Blvd.

Come for the darling patio or intimate indoor ambiance. Stay for this family owned restaurant’s American-eclectic cuisine for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Entrees range from Chesapeake Style Lump Crab Cake to Farro Sauté, Grilled Gorgonzola-Stuffed Filet Mignon to Wild Turkey Farms Braised Lamb and Mushroom Ragout.

Pro tip: Don’t skip dessert. Pastry chef Ashley Boyd adds plenty of imagination to her family’s business.

Kid Cashew

1608 East Blvd.

Stop in when you're craving small plates to share, an elegant vibe indoors, or an outdoor patio with hanging plants (and fans in the summer). This wood-fired grill with a Mediterranean flair features menu items like Super Grains Salad, Mountain Trout and Homemade Spreads (tzatziki and hummus).

Pro tip: Order the buzzworthy Goat’s Breast Milk from the cocktail list. It contains ouzo, amaretto, honey, lemon and mint.

Thai Taste

324 East Blvd.

This is the place to grab amazing authentic Thai food for lunch or dinner, dine-in or takeout. Curries, stir fries and noodle dishes abound, with spicy levels of your preference.

Pro tip: Take a look at the Luke Kuechly shrine in the back.

Fran’s Filling Station

2410 Park Road

This is the place to get cozy with conversation and fresh, home-style dishes for lunch and dinner. Dig into the Ribboned Tuscan Kale Salad, Fig, Goat Cheese & Brie Flatbread, a Hot Pastrami & Cheddar Burger and more.

Pro tip: You can frequently find the concept’s creator, Fran Scibelli, in her own restaurant. Say hello.

Ru San’s

2440 Park Road

Get your sushi fix for lunch or dinner at this casual, relaxed spot for Japanese cuisine.

Pro tip: Hit up the lunch menu’s sushi buffet for just $11.75 per person.

Copper

311 East Blvd.

Make a date for higher-end Indian fare in this restaurant carved out of a restored, historic bungalow.

Pro-tip: You’re going to want two orders of naan with that curry.

JJ’s Red Hots

1514 East Blvd.

This casual hot dog joint serves every type of dog from beef, to veggie, to turkey with a variety of imaginative topping combinations.

Pro tip: Take your dog up to a table on the rooftop.

Fern, Flavors from the Garden

1419 East Blvd., Suite A

You have arrived at the vegetarian’s dream land for lunch, brunch and dinner. Here, dishes are continually reinvented to please the vegan and vegetarian’s palate, from seitan steaks to vegan pimento cheese to biscuits and gravy.

Pro tip: Share a starter with your friends. Lemon hummus, anyone?

Bakersfield

1301 East Blvd.

Treat yourself to Mexican street fare and a drink. There’s a selection of more than 100 tequilas and American whiskeys to choose from – not to mention tostadas and tacos, from fish to chicken, to get your fill.

Pro tip: On a nice day, the street-side garage-door-type windows are raised, so you can dine at a table with bench seating and a breeze from East Boulevard. Try to plant yourself there.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

1626 East Blvd.

For casual yet fresh fare, dig into Bad Daddy’s for lunch or dinner. Items range from the Bacon Cheeseburger on Steroids to the Maui Tuna Burger to the Cantina Burger with a black bean patty.

Pro tip: Start with the fried pickles.

A burger at Bad Daddy’s.
Charlotte Observer file photo

The Mayobird/The Summit Room

1531 East Blvd.

By day, get breakfast, coffee or lunch at The Mayobird, and by night, have dinner or drinks at The Summit Room, adjoined in the shared building. The Mayobird specialty is chicken salad (with curry, buffalo wing sauce and other flavor combinations), but there are plenty of other salad and sandwich options to hit the spot. The Summit Room offers a fully stocked bar, specialty cocktails and an array of nice Southern plates ranging from burgers to flatbreads.

Pro tip: Both businesses provide funding to Behailu Academy, a nonprofit offering arts-based youth development programming.

Crisp

1412-F East Blvd.

This fast-casual place for fresh salads, sandwiches and soups is a great option when you’re on the go. crispfoods.com

Pro tip: If you have a few minutes, build your own salad in four steps: Choose greens, proteins, toppings and dressings.

Babalu

1511 East Blvd.

Welcome to the neighborhood’s Southern-style tapas restaurant with a Latin flair for lunch and dinner. The menu highlights local ingredients and items including tapas like tamales and crab cakes, tacos and even sandwiches like the Black Bean Burger and the Torta Cubana. And don’t forget the margaritas.

Pro tip: Taco Tuesday features $2 tacos all day.

Drink

Dilworth Tasting Room

300 E. Tremont St.

This neighborhood hangout opened with a list of 22 bottled beers to start, as well as 30 different wines by the glass. For the wines, expect $8-$40 a glass, and mid-$20-$300 a bottle. The wine list will feature some well-known names, and some not-so-well-known. Don’t overlook the menu of small plates, either.

Pro tip: Take your drinks out to the back patio. It's magical at night.

Foxcroft Wine Co.

1235 East Blvd., #1

Grab a glass or bottle of wine from the vast selection in this elegant space, perhaps a beer and definitely a small plate or two. The local owners celebrate a farm-to-table approach with their food and stock their shelves with 3,500 different wines.

Pro tip: If you open a bottle of wine priced above $30, there’s no corkage fee.

Ed’s Tavern

2200 Park Road

Kick back on the revamped patio out back or belly up to a table or the bar inside, somewhere near the old glowing hardware sign at this casual neighborhood hangout. Grab a drink or a bar bite and play pool, checkers and other games.

Pro tip: There are plenty of daily drink specials to whet the appetite.

Bulldog Beer & Wine

2447–B Park Road

This place feels like a low-key college dorm lounge, in a good way. Grab a bottle of wine to uncork at the bar or the beer of your choice.

Pro tip: Be on the lookout for bring-your-own-meat gatherings and $1 off pints on the weekly schedule.

Dilworth Neighborhood Grille

911 E. Morehead St.

This sports bar has a huge outdoor patio for sitting and sipping. It also happens to be the official home of the Charlotte Chapter of the Roaring Riot, so you can find fellow Panthers fans here.

Pro tip: This place is open until 2 a.m. daily.

Sunflour Baking Company

220 East Blvd.

This sunny spot is a good stop for coffee, tea, fresh pastries or sandwiches. Everything is made from scratch and in small batches to complement a selection of Rishi loose leaf teas and Pure Intentions and Counter Culture Coffee.

Pro tip: This is a delightful out-of-office alternative location to get work done. Don’t ignore that peanut butter cupcake, either.

Shop

Sallie's Optical Secrets

1419 East Blvd., Suite C

Shop a variety of glasses frames curated by owner and optician Sally Broadway, whose motto is: “It’s not just a medical device on your face. It is an accessory that has a function.” The list of higher-end brands includes Oliver Peoples and Paul Smith.

Pro tip: Factor in face shape and complexion when selecting your frames. (See Sally’s 10 tips here.)

The Milky Way

1419 East Blvd.

This cute boutique offers baby accessories, apparel, toys and “must haves” like swaddling blankets and sound machines.

Pro tip: If you're shopping for a baby shower, don’t overlook the gift cards.

Alpine Ski Center

1501 East Blvd.

Sure, Charlotte only gets one snow day a year, but this shop is a good stop to make before a trip to the mountains if you’re looking for ski and snowboard equipment, winter sports clothing and accessories.

Pro tip: Equipment rentals are available at different rates.

Modern Lighting Design Store

1315 East Blvd.

This shop emphasizes selections of indoor and outdoor lighting and ceiling fans.

Pro tip: Make a point to walk inside. The space is filled with products on display so you can check them out in person.

Revolve Upscale Men’s Consignment

1222 East Blvd.

Shop for or consign shoes, pants and jeans, sports coats and blazers, suits and tuxedos, and beyond.

Pro tip: If you want to consign, call 704-817-7845 to make an appointment first.

Paper Skyscraper

330 East Blvd.

This little shop on East Boulevard will save the day for gifts of any kind from quotable cards, to jewelry, to kitchen and cocktail gadgets, to Charlotte memorabilia, to candles. You can also just drop in if you’re looking for some writing gadgets and a bestselling novel.

Pro tip: On pleasant days, fun house decor and floor mats find their way onto the sidewalk outside the front door for sale. Check those out.

Paper Skyscraper is filled with funky cards and charming gifts.
Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Campbell’s Greenhouses and Nursery

209 McDonald Ave.

Step into this oasis right on the edge of bustling South Boulevard and browse rows of orchids, flowering plants, seasonal selections and more.

Pro tip: One of their orchids or potted plants always make a great housewarming gift.

Petal Boutique

1315 East Blvd., Suite 180

Stop in and shop for women’s dresses, bottoms, tops, shoes and accessories.

Pro tip: Check the boutique’s website for sale updates.

See

“Timeline”

Intersection of Romany and Dilworth roads

Don’t overlook the public sculpture “Timeline,” by Robert Winkler. It looks like a couple of giant Ruffles chips fused together, but symbolizes “the conflict between the limitations imposed by our individual histories and the ability of our minds to imagine other possibilities.”

Pro tip: What you’re looking at here is fused rail pieces, paying homage to the area’s old trolley tracks.

Play

Latta Park

601 East Park Ave.

Get outside and enjoy the amenities across 32 acres of open space and woods. Amenities include a sprayground, basketball courts, tennis courts, picnic shelter, multipurpose field, walking trails, playground and the Tom Sykes Recreation Center

Pro tip: Add this to your jogging route. The foliage is gorgeous, especially in the fall.

Latta Park features a splash pad for warm weather and a beautiful display of foilage in the fall.
Jeff Siner The Charlotte Observer