Step aside mimosas. When it comes to brunch in Charlotte — or happy hour, for that matter — the bloody mary deserves its due.
You can keep it simple or dress it up to the extreme, packing the savory beverage with a whole buffet of items such as olives, pickled veg, chicken wings, sliders and crab legs. (Yes, please. We’re here for it.)
Below, a list of where to find the best and most extreme bloody marys in Charlotte, plus a few bonus options that we just couldn’t leave out.
The cocktail: The Bloody Good Time
Corks, Cooks & Books, a wine bar, restaurant and bookstore all rolled into one, serves a deluxe bloody mary called The Bloody Good Time. Its wine-based bloody mary is made by Picnic Brunch and served in a glass rimmed with house blend seasoning. It’s garnished with two spicy pimento cheese and tomato sliders on brioche rolls and the restaurant’s pig candy, plus a stick of celery and wedge fries on the side.
Location: 305 W 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202
The cocktail: It’s All There Bloody Mary
At Deluxe Fun Dining, where everything has an over-the-top presentation, the bloody mary is no exception. Its version made with Tito’s vodka and housemade bloody mary mix features blackened shrimp, fried shrimp, fried salmon, fried lobster tail, a pound of crab legs, fried soft shell crab, pineapple, vegetables, pickles, olives and — of course — celery. Bring friends.
Location: 1300 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
Location: 111 Matthews Station St, Matthews, NC 28105 (coming soon)
The cocktail: Large Marge
Moo & Brew’s Large Marge bloody mary is made with Tito’s vodka and spiced tomato juice. Its accouterments include an Angus slider with cheese, a Jalapeno Firecracker, Midwest Cheese Curds, fried banana peppers, carrot, celery, green olives and peppered applewood bacon — plus a Miller Highlife shorty on the side. When supplies allow, you can even take the glass home with you.
Location: 19732 W Catawba Ave, Cornelius, NC 28031
The cocktail: The Bounce Back Bloody Mary
Cambridge Hospitality Group’s signature bloody mary is made at the newly reopened Tropicana with Tito’s vodka and Bloody Point Coastal Bloody Mary Mix. The toppings include a jumbo chicken wing, a Taki chicken tender, a meatball slider, cocktail shrimp, bacon, a pickle spear and a lime wedge — and it’s served in a goblet rimmed with Old Bay.
While we wouldn’t say these Charlotte area bloody marys are extreme, they are well dressed and notable options to quench your cravings.
Location: 501 E 36th St, Charlotte, NC 28205
The cocktail: BDX Spicy House Bloody Mary
Boudreaux’s BDX Spicy House Bloody Mary is made with specialty vodkas infused in-house, including basil, cucumber-dill, rosemary-garlic and habanero options. At brunch, you can dress it up how you like at the restaurant’s Bangin Bloody Mary Bar.
Location: 560 River Highway, Mooresville, NC 28117
Location: 330 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202
The cocktail: Duckworth’s Bloody Mary
Duckworth’s Bloody Mary packs a tasty punch, adorned with both lemon and lime, green olives and a slice of bacon.
Location: 155 New Bern St. Charlotte, NC 28203
Location: 9723 Sam Furr Rd. Huntersville, NC 28078
The cocktail: Link & Pin Bloody Mary
Link & Pin’s bloody mary is crafted with a housemade mix that uses kimchi as the base, along with freshly juiced cucumber, celery and ginger.
Location: 4425 Sharon Rd S170, Charlotte, NC 28211
The cocktail: Bloody mary options include the Kimchi Spice Bloody Mary, Thai Bloody, Straight Up Bloody, Spicy Bloody and Bloody Bloody.
Cost: $8.95-$10.75, with an add-on of bacon for $1.25
Snooze makes its signature bloody marys with a mix from The Real Dill, an artisanal pickle company that incorporates cucumber water, onion, garlic and vegan Worcestershire sauce.
Where else in town can we find a great bloody mary, extreme or otherwise? Let us know at email@example.com.
This story was originally published July 24, 2023, 5:00 AM.