From their herb garden front porch to the apothecary themed cocktail bar, this funky little eatery is bursting with undeniable southern charm. Regulars come for the brined and battered fried chicken, hand-spooned dumplings and unbelievable cocktail options.
For simple, Southern classics served the way grandma cooked them, head on over to one of Charlotte’s most beloved restaurants: Haberdish.
Whenever I have guests staying with us from out-of-state, I make it a point to visit the neighborhood of NoDa. Widely known as the art district of the Queen City, there’s something charismatic about its eclectic and fast-paced streetscapes.
What was once a flourishing textile mill town, NoDa now boasts some of the city’s best breweries, local shopping and restaurants.
Located in the center of it all, Haberdish celebrates the roots of this district with their rustic cuisine and interior details. From the salvaged denim seats to the recycled spindle bar taps, there’s a bit of history found in every element of this whimsical eatery.
My California companions and I popped in for brunch and ordered all the frills.
The drink program is run by Colleen Hughes, a self-taught mixologist who primarily focuses on pre-Prohibition-era cocktails. Her menu is divided into five parts, starting with lower-alcohol aperitifs that are designed to stimulate your appetite to after dinner fusions and digestives. The other sections also include aromatic refreshers and heavier spiritous blends.
All are equally enchanting and leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
For starters, we ordered a pitcher of the Hibiscus Honey Punch with floral ice spheres to share.
This refresher is prepared with Pimm’s #1 vodka, krupnikas, lemon, strawberry and hibiscus syrup mixed with soda. Uplifting and visibly stunning, it was the perfect way to awaken our palate for the feast to come.
Three of this year’s winter cocktails are truly unique and a must-try:
Apple of my Rye:Rittenhouse rye, averna, apple cider chai syrup, lemon, cardamom, smoke bitters, smoked salt rim, and dried apple.
B.A.N.A.N.A.S.:Brown butter-washed rum, Giffard banana liqueur, lemon, egg white, pineapple, and almond bitters.
White Chai:White chocolate washed vodka, chai syrup, cardamaro, and lemon.
The food menu is simple and straight to the point.
Diners can expect mouthwatering plates made with tender loving care from quality ingredients. Haberdish brines their chicken for twelve hours before it’s battered and fried in their signature in-house breading. It’s served with scratch-made habanero hot sauce, which compliments the bird with a touch of heat and vinegar.
Haberdish only uses Springer Mountain Farms Chickens that are raised in Mt. Airy, Georgia. These vegetarian-fed, pesticide-free hens are never exposed to antibiotics, animal by-products, growth stimulates or hormones.
For brunch, it’s no surprise that their most popular items include the chicken biscuit sandwich along with their fried chicken and waffle.
I personally tend to gravitate towards their Leige-style waffles because they’re unlike any other in the city. These bread-like stacks are prepared with risen dough rather than a batter, giving these waffles a heartier texture. The dough is also mixed with pearl sugar, which creates sweet little crystals on the inside and a perfectly caramelized crust on the outside.
Chicken Biscuit Sandwich: A de-boned fried chicken thigh, slaw, honey mustard and bread & butter pickles.
Chicken & Waffle: A waffle topped with de-boned fried chicken thigh, slaw, bread & butter pickles and your choice of honey butter syrup or maple syrup.
Haberdish embraces potluck-style dining and the tradition of family-sized portions that are meant to be shared.
During our visit, we also grazed on a few of these scrumptious comfort food staples. Make sure to grab a napkin, it’s about to get deliciously messy.
Pimento Cheese Ball: Rolled in toasted, spiced pecans and served with fresh apples and homemade benne seed crackers.
Charred Okra: Cast-iron charred okra that’s smothered with bacon jam.
Biscuits & Bacon Jam: Snowflake flour, lard and butter biscuits served with house-made bacon jam.
Smoked Deviled Eggs: Smoked whites, chives and paprika.
Mac & Cheese: Topped with spicy crispy chicken skins.
Savory Corn Bread Pudding: Anson Mills corn meal, gruyere and herbs.
The shareable menu makes Haberdish a fantastic joint for grabbing a bite to eat with friends.
I’d describe their dishes as familiar food with family-recipe flavor. Brunch is served weekdays from 9am – 2pm, Tuesday – Friday, with some items available through their dinner menu on nights and weekends.
So… if you’ve never had skillet-charred okra with house made bacon jam, you’re truly missing out and here’s your chance.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
All photos by Jessica Bentley except for the three winter cocktails provided by Haberdish.
This restaurant review also appears in the December/January issue of Luxe Lifestyle Magazine (pg. 76 – 78), where I serve as Food Editor.
Want to read about additional restaurants and our shenanigans around Charlotte? Check out our Travel & Dining tab.