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Food & Drink: Readers' Picks

Best of Charlotte 2005

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BEST NEW RESTAURANT (OPENED IN LAST 12 MONTHS)

McCormick & Schmick's

SouthPark Mall - 4335 Barclay Downs Drive, 704-442-5522; Uptown - 200 South Tryon Street, 704-377-0201.

BEST SPECIAL OCCASION RESTAURANT

The Melting Pot

901 South Kings Drive. 704-334-4400; 230 East WT Harris Boulevard. 704-548-2432.

BEST LATE-NIGHT RESTAURANT

Athens Restaurant

101 East Independence Boulevard. 704-375-3597.

BEST RESTAURANT WINE LIST

The Capital Grille

201 North Tryon Street. 704-348-1400.

BEST PLACE TO BUY A BOTTLE OF WINE

Total Wine & More

1600 East Woodlawn Road. 704-295-9290; 10052 East Independence Boulevard. 704-849-2022.

BEST SOUTHERN COUNTRY/SOUL FOOD RESTAURANT

Mert's Heart & Soul

214 North College Street. 704-342-4222.

BEST GOURMET/SPECIALTY FOOD STORE

Dean & Deluca

Various locations.

BEST PLACE TO FIND EXOTIC SPICES

The Home Economist

5410 East Independence Boulevard. 704-536-4663; 2707 South Boulevard. 704-522-8123.

BEST HEALTH FOOD STORE

Earth Fare

12235 North Community House Road. 704-926-1201.

BEST BARBEQUE

Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q

Various locations.

BEST COFFEEHOUSE

Dilworth Coffee House

1235-B East Boulevard. 704-358-8003.

BEST TAKEOUT OR SIDEWALK STAND

Victor Werany, The Chili Man

4th & Tryon Streets.

BEST PIZZA

Brixx

Various locations.

BEST DELI

McAlister's Deli

Various locations.

BEST DINER

The Penguin

1921 Commonwealth Avenue. 704-375-6959.

BEST ETHNIC RESTAURANT

Red Bowl Cafe

3528 Mount Holly-Huntersville Road. 704-391-7181.

BEST STEAKHOUSE

Sullivan's Steakhouse

1928 South Boulevard. 704-335-8228.

BEST SUSHI

Sushi 101

1730 East Woodlawn Road. 704-672-0990.

BEST DESSERTS

The Cheesecake Factory

SouthPark Mall. 704-770-0076.

BEST HAMBURGER

The Penguin

1921 Commonwealth Avenue. 704-375-6959.

BEST HOT DOG

Matt's Chicago Dog

425 South Tryon Street. 704-333-3650.

BEST ICE CREAM

Marble Slab Creamery

Various locations.

BEST WINGS

Wing Stop

7627 Pineville-Matthews Road. 704-540-8311.

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