The Best of Downtown Mint Hill

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Best Pizza

Mint Hill has no shortage of options for pizza lovers! From carry out and delivery chains like Papa John’s and Marco’s to sit down options with larger menus like Big Guy’s and Hawthorne’s, Mint Hill’s varied pizza options offer something for everyone

At the top of many people’s list for “Best Pizza” is Big Guys Pizza.  A fixture in Mint Hill for almost fourteen years, Bug Guy’s specializes in hand-tossed, brick oven pizza.  They also have made-from-scratch pasta dishes and an excellent lunch special: two slices off the “big pizza” and plus a drink for $6.99.

“I just love the pizza!” says Donna Hamilton, who has been hooked on Big Guy’s since she won a pizza from there during a Humane Society event.  “It’s huge slices that you fold over just like I got in NYC!”

Another favorite for pizza in Mint Hill is Hawthorne’s.  Like Big Guy’s, the “Italian fusion” restaurant is known for its New York-style pizza, especially their now-famous “Inducer,” a buffalo chicken pizza that has supposedly helped over 200 people induce their labor!

“Thin, crisp crust, good quality cheese,” says Diane Dobbins of Hawthorne’s pizza.  “Couple that with a casual atmosphere and great service, and you’ve got a winning combination!”

Best Beer

Topping most people’s list for best beer in Mint Hill is Pour 64.  The growler shop and taproom located near Town Hall features an excellent selection of craft beer.  “You won’t find a similar selection anywhere else in Mint Hill,” says owner Tony Brock.

With 40 rotating taps, Pour 64 offers tremendous variety.  Some of their current seasonal offerings are Foothills’ Oktoberfest, OMB’s Mecktoberfest, Sycamore’s Gourd Have Mercy and NODA’s Gordgeous.

Pour 64 received praise for its large selection, casual atmosphere and friendly staff.  “Pour 64 is the best place for a beer!” said Angelina Glass. “Family-owned, treat you like a friend.”  “Pour 64 has an awesome selection of beers,” agreed Brian Haislip. “Great atmosphere and staff!”

You may be surprised to hear that Pour 64 is also known as a prime family destination.  With a rack of family-friendly board games and inexpensive kid-friendly snacks like goldfish and popcorn, the whole family can enjoy Pour 64.  “It’s just very kid-friendly,” says Vivian, whose daughter and son-in-law own the taproom. “We’re very family-oriented here.”

Best Coffee

According to locals, one of the best places to get a cup of coffee in Mint Hill is the Mint Hill Roasting Company.  A relative newcomer to the downtown area, Mint Hill Roasting Company has been serving up artisan coffees made from beans roasted on site for almost a year now, though they actually began roasting and selling coffee in Mint Hill almost three years ago.

With both indoor and outdoor seating in their new location near the Mint Hill Police Department, free wifi, and a kids’ room stocked with plenty of toys, Mint Hill Roasting Company is ideal for both telecommuters and stay-at-home parents.

Also topping people’s lists is the relatively new Vinter’s Hill “Bean to Vine Cafe,” which opened last December.  Primarily known as a wine bar, Vintner’s Hill serves European-style espresso-based drinks brewed with Magnolia Coffee and light breakfast fare in the mornings.  “We’re not corporate coffee,” says owner Chris Coy, likening their product to neighbor Mint Hill Roasting Company. “They do a very unique blend; they’re small batch roasters like Magnolia,” he continues.  “We both have great coffee. We just offer a slightly different atmosphere.”

Best Date

Vintner’s Hill also topped the list of best places to take a date in Mint Hill.  “It is intimate, it’s smaller, it’s not a sports bar,” says Coy of Vintner’s Hill’s appeal for a date.  “We carry very unique wines, boutique wines. We have beer and small plates. We have a little bit of everything.”

“It’s casual and classy,” says Jason Healey.  “You can chat with the person sitting at the next table, or you can chat privately with your date.  The food is high quality and perfectly portioned.”

In addition to great food and wine, Vintner’s Hill also offers regular entertainment.  There is light music every Friday and trivia the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month.  Watch for information on an upcoming customer appreciation event in October to celebrate Vinter’s anniversary: one year for their new owners and three years for the business.

Also great for a date is Char Bar No. 7, whose numeric name refers to the restaurant’s signature 7-oz burgers.

Part of the appeal of Char Bar as a date location is the menu and the quality of their food.  “Their food is great,” says Alanna Conrad. “I’ve ordered a dozen different entrees there and love that they have unique offerings and cook them to perfection.  My husband really likes their changing burger menu.”

But another part of its appeal is the restaurant’s self described “upscale-casual” ambiance.  “I love the atmosphere,” says Shelli Scott. “The large, year-round patio is really nice. The service has always been top notch.”

Best Burger

Mint Hill has no shortage of options for burger-lovers, but two long-time Mint Hill fixtures emerge as local favorites: The Hill and J-Bird’s Burger Jointe.

The Hill’s pure Angus Beef “Hill Burger” and the 75% beef/25% bacon “Piggy Burger” draw people in for both lunch and dinner, but The Hill’s true appeal seems to lie in its laid-back atmosphere.  “It’s like the Cheers of Mint Hill,” says owner Dave.  “Their Zucchini burger can’t be beat!” says Raquel Scharkopf. The Hill is also widely known for its wings, offered in-house for $.70 per wing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Hill also prioritizes community involvement.  “Owner David Andrews should definitely be recognized,” says Christy Lerch, “not only for providing a comfortable restaurant where our families go to eat, catch up with friends and local news, but also for all of the behind the scenes things he does for the people in our community. Whether it’s sponsoring sports teams or bringing a sick neighbor meals, he’s a gem in mint hill you can count on.”

Formerly Penny’s Place, J-Bird’s Burger Jointe serves breakfast and lunch six days a week.  “I usually don’t eat chili, but his is so good,” says Rodney McGee. “Best burger in my fifty years of life!”

Best Sweet Treats

Topping the list for Mint Hill’s favorite ice cream is Carolina Creamery located in the center of town on the corner of 51 and Lawyer’s Road.

“I’ve been going since I was a kid!” says Rebecca Mullis.  “It was my first memory of eating ice cream. It has become a tradition.  I went there on dates, took my niece and nephew and now my son.”

“We both have the same favorite flavor,” continues Mullis.  “Smurf. It’s Smurf blue with marshmallows. Can’t quite put my finger on the flavor though.  I love how they make their own ice cream and create interesting flavors.”

“The ginger ice cream is amazing,” says Leanne Thurman.  “All of the ice cream is amazing, hand churned. They also have red bean, which you can’t find many places.”

Pelican’s SnoBalls’ “real New Orleans style” shaved ice also ranks among Mint Hill’s favorite cool treats. With over 100 flavors to choose from, including dye-free and sugar free options, SnoBalls has a flavor for everyone.

“It’s a great place to hang out,” says Mullis.  “They have cornhole, volleyball, a sandbox, and picnic tables out back to let the kids run around while you sit back and relax.”

For cupcakes and baked goods, locals head to Daphne’s Bakery.  The family owned bakery bakes their cupcakes, cookies and cakes from scratch using ingredients like farm-fresh eggs and real cream butter.  “ All of our product is baked fresh. We do not use pre-made items. When we say custom cakes, they are made just for that order from the cake to the finished design.”

Best Breakfast

There’s a contentious battle for “best breakfast” in Mint Hill between Jimmie’s and J-Bird’s Burger Jointe, whose loyal fans praise both restaurants’ omelets and friendly, family atmosphere.

Jimmie’s Restaurant, owned by the Pourlos family, has been in business since 1953.  Originally located on Elizabeth Avenue, owner Chris Pourlos was thrilled to move the restaurant to his hometown of Mint Hill fourteen years ago.  For over sixty years, Jimmie’s has made a name for itself with it’s classic American fare.

But what seems to have won over Mint Hill is Jimmy’s friendly staff and family atmosphere.  “Waitress knows you by name!” says Kelly Misasi. “Great portions, not a long wait.”

“Love J-Birds for breakfast!” says Amanda Demetrovich.  “Cheap and good. They are also super nice!” “Great atmosphere,” agrees Jennifer Bass.  “You feel like you’re at home eating with the family.”

Best Lunch

Several spots in Mint Hill deserve mention for their fast and tasty lunch options.

Taxco Mexican Grill, one of three locations in the Charlotte area, offers authentic Mexican cuisine. “Good food, consistent quality, fast service,” says Alanna Conrad.  “Love that place.”

“I second this,” says Amanda Couvell.  “They have the best chimichangas!” The two-chimichanga with rice and beans special is one of the most popular dishes on Taxco’s menu.  

“I enjoy the Taxco,” says Xochil Silva, who orders whole fried tilapia off the restaurant’s “secret” menu.  “So far it’s the only place around here where it tastes fresh . . . also, their shredded chicken for kids tacos is very moist.”

With a full page of lunch specials offered 7 days a week and starting at $5.95, Taxco is a great place to grab an inexpensive mid-day bite.

Vintner’s Hill also offers an affordable and quick lunch menu of paninis, wraps and flatbreads crafted from fresh ingredients.  “It’s fast, but not fast food,” says Coy. “Chicken salad is amazing,” says Pam Eggleston, who also recommends the wine bar’s egg salad.

Also on Mint Hill’s list of favorite lunch spots is New Asian Cuisine, located in Mint Hill Pavilion near Dunwellz.  “New Asian is awesome for lunch,” says Raquel Scharkopf. “They are quick and the food is wonderful!” New Asian also won several votes for Mint Hill’s best takeout with customers praising the freshness and consistency of their food.

With its burgers and extensive list of sandwich options, The Hill also gets a nod for best lunches.  “If you want a sandwich The Hill is a place to go!” says Samantha Gordon. “Plus their sweet potato tots are wonderful dipped in that cinnamon butter.”

“I like The Hill,” agrees Leanne Thurman.  “Real local place, not a chain. They have a variety of sandwiches and burgers. Sweet potato tots and fried pickles are on point. Good beer on tap.”

Best Kids Deals

If you have young children, Hawthorne’s, Showmars and Jersey Mike’s all have deals worth checking out.  Kids eat free every Tuesday at Hawthorne’s; make sure to ask for pizza dough to keep the little ones entertained while they’re waiting on their food.  On Wednesday night, kids eat free at Jersey Mike’s.

On Tuesdays, kids eat for half price at Showmars from 4:00 to closing.  “They even have a clown that makes guests free balloon animals,” says Rebecca Mullis.  “My son always gets the fried popcorn shrimp and fresh fruit. Can’t forget the cookie that comes with the kid’s meal!”

Carolina Creamery and Pelican’s SnoBalls are also favorites for whole-family fun.

Best All Around

If you ask about people’s favorite places to eat and drink in Mint Hill, one name will come up over and over again: Dunwellz.

Open for 6 years this past July, Dunwellz prides itself on being something for everybody: a good place with good prices and good food where you can feel at home.  Dunwellz’ burgers are hand-pattied from high-quality, fresh, never frozen meat that can be cooked to any temperature. With the signature burgers like the “Notorious PIG” and a “Build Your Own Burger” menu with your choice of 32 fresh toppings, everyone can find a burger they love at Dunwellz.

“Their menu is custom,” says Shelly David.  “You can pick your bread, protein (angus burger, veggie burger, turkey, chicken, fish) and toppings. They have lots of daily specials.”

Dunwellz is heavily involved with Mint Hill athletics, sponsoring Mint Hill athletic association baseball teams and Independence High School football.  Every Friday night after home games, Independence football players, fans and families gather at Dunwellz. “Dunwellz is the best for after high school football games!” says Lauren Walle enthusiastically.

In fact, Dunwellz is currently to expanding to accommodate things like post-football parties better.  In October, they expect to open their addition, a private dining room with 36 seats to accommodate large parties and overflow seating.  

Dunwellz is also known for its huge selection of local and craft beers.  All the beers on tap come from North Carolina breweries with an emphasis on Charlotte, Monroe and surrounding areas.  Dunwellz offers a truly impressive selection of bottled craft beers: 144 different brews including 32 different IPAs.

Dunwellz has something for everyone,” says Trish Bonsall.  “Trivia Night, Karaoke Night, awesome food and friendly people. We are regulars….it feels like “home”

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: