I was thrilled that my daughter, Peyton, and I were invited to attend one of Charlotte’s gourmet food tours in NoDa, a premier arts community. The 12 person NoDa Food Tour was led by a knowledgeable and friendly guide, Jon. NoDa stands for North Davidson Art District. Our 3-hour tour included stops at Noda’s local restaurants which offered a sampling of the flavors for this part of Charlotte. We sampled creative dishes from Heist Brewery, Amèlie’s French Bakery & Cafe, King of Pops, Revolution Ale House, Füd at Salud, Boudreaux’s, and NoDa Company Store.
My Noda Food Tour: Charlotte, North Carolina
#1- Heist Brewery
Our tour began at Heist Brewery, an impressive venue opened in 2012 at the Highland Mill. While we sampled the goods, the General Manager shared stories of Charlotte’s only Craft Brewpub. I selected the High-five beer to drink but traded with Peyton for her yummy Brockwell cocktail. Heist prepared a variety of fantastic flatbreads for us. My favorite was the duck flatbread. The rest of the group was divided between the Buffalo Chicken (chicken, celery, blue cheese, hot sauce) and Mediterranean (olives, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta, tzatziki).
#2 Off-site samples of Amèlie’s French Bakery & Cafe
We were treated to a Salted Caramel Brownie and choice of either a crispy Palmier cookie or decadent Macaroon. These sweet treats came from Amèlie’s French Bakery, Charlotte’s most popular bakery. These pastries became incredibly famous after starring in the Hunger Games Catching Fire movie. It was also noteworthy that President Obama received a monthly shipment of them. I concur that these delicious desserts, especially the brownies, were righteous!
#3 King of Pops
The King of Pops, a local neighborhood popsicle stand, is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Their ads appear in many Southern food magazines time and time again. I sampled the Southern popsicle, a mix of lemonade and sweet tea. The rest of the group’s favorite was the lemonade basil. The popsicles were a perfect and refreshing treat on such a hot Charlotte day.
#4 Revolution Ale House
At Revolution Ale House, we munched on 4-Cheese Fried Ravioli’s, a Hummus Plate with vegetables and pita chips, and Ciabatta Bruschetta. They were all very good and this may have been my favorite stop. The Bruschetta was topped with simple ingredients; diced tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano, and balsamic reduction. The taste was big and bold. I could have eaten the entire plate! The Revolution Ale House was a fun restaurant offering 44 beers on tap, sports on TV, and Trivia every Wednesday. Vegan and Gluten Free options were also available.
#5 Füd at Salud
When we reached Füd at Salud, the outside temperature was nearly 100 degrees. Inside the restaurant, it was close to the same. Our group chose a booth at the front of the restaurant. Food was served in half of the establishment and the other side was a thriving bar scene that connected in the back. Füd at Salud prepared Chicken & Waffles for us, a Southern favorite. The chicken salad used on the waffle contained candied walnuts and bacon, a super delicious combination. I found the chicken salad to be scrumptious, but the waffle was soggy and uneventful. Next time, I will try the Frambella, a waffle sandwich with brie cheese and ham.
#6 Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen
As we neared the finish line of our tour, we stopped by Boudreaux’s Louisiana Kitchen, home of Cajun classics. I was excited about this stop, but unlike all of the other establishments, nobody came to speak or make us feel welcome. After a lengthy time, we were given a plate of what appeared to be Jambalaya Pasta. Baskets of cornbread accompanied it. The pasta was tasty, featuring incredible flavor combinations, but not at all what I would have expected them to serve us. This was a very heavy meal and it did not work well with a 3-hour walking food tour in the hot sun.
#7 NoDa Company Store
Our final stop was the NoDa Company Store, where the staff was very friendly. They poured us their house-made Sangria and paired it with local items that are sold in the market, such as Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese and Butter Crackers. Yum!
I Would Gladly Do It All Over Again!
The NoDa Food Tour was a great bang for your buck. Jon was full of knowledge and shared some valuable history about Charlotte with us. He also provided us a sheet which listed all of our stops and the food we would be having, perfect for taking notes on. The food tour offered a diverse group of restaurants to visit and the size of the group was manageable.
Well done Tour de Food for a great job of orchestrating and running your prompt tours. My NoDa Food Tour was very fun. I will certainly schedule another one the next time that I am in Charlotte.
Note: This NoDa Food Tour takes place every other Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and includes a walking tour of 5 different restaurants and specialty shops. Price for this tour is $50 per person (prices vary based on tour length). Other food tour choices include Historic South End, Uptown, and Davidson.