2018 Readers' Favorites: Eats and Treats

Photo courtesy of Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe
Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe is known for its salted-caramel brownies, but its macrons, sticky buns and croissants are scrumptious too.

Family-Friendly Restaurant: Lupie’s Café. It’s known for its four different kinds of chili, but its menu of sides can easily be turned into a meal. Add in its burgers and daily specials, including spaghetti for the kids, and it’s a hit with families. Look for the stand-alone white brick building with the neon sign on Monroe Road near Plaza Midwood. lupiescafe.net

Burger Joint: Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. When you crave a juicy burger with all the toppings and then some, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar can satisfy that craving with its menu of  burgers, including the Classic Southern, Bacon Cheeseburger on Steroids and Sam I Am (with a fried egg on top). Don’t skip a handspun shake and truffle fries. Dilworth, Ballantyne, Birkdale and Charlotte Douglas International Airport. baddaddysburgerbar.com.

Pizzeria: Hawthorne’s Pizza. Hawthorne’s made headlines for The Inducer, its Buffalo-wing pizza thought to be spicy enough to push moms-to-be into labor. Its authentic New York-style pizza can be covered with whatever toppings your family likes, with classic pepperoni being a top choice. Eight locations throughout Charlotte. hawthornespizza.com.

Doughnuts: Duck Donuts. Featured flavors like Vanilla Icing With Hot Fudge Drizzle and Sprinkles, and Maple Icing With Chopped Bacon are hard to beat, but you can also coat, top and drizzle a doughnut made-to-order your way. Dilworth. duckdonuts.com.

Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry’s. These guys know how to make ice cream, and the clever names for the vast assortment of unique flavor combinations are fun too. Some locations also host kids’ birthday parties. Davidson, Foxcroft, Myers Park and Parktowne Shopping Center. benandjerrys.com.

Sweet Treat: Amelie’s French Bakery and Cafe. The bakery is known for its salted-caramel brownies, but its macrons, sticky buns and croissants are scrumptious too. Each location is loaded with quirky design elements, it a fun place to play I Spy with the kids. Carmel Commons, NoDa, Park Road Shopping Center, Rock Hill and Uptown. ameliesfrenchbakery.com