While all aspects of a wedding are enjoyable, many guests’ favorite feature is the food. A wedding with good food will forever live in the memories of your guests, making them smile (and maybe even salivate) when they recall the excellent meal you provided. However, finding a caterer that can live up to this high expectation can be tricky in some areas. But if you’re searching for wedding catering in Charlotte, North Carolina, you’re in luck. We scoured the seemingly endless catering offerings in the Queen City and narrowed it down to five of the best services – those that are sure to serve up some of the finest dishes you’ve ever tasted.
This acclaimed catering company has accomplished the super tricky feat of crafting dishes that are gorgeous, delicious, customized to the couple’s unique needs, and created using fresh, quality, local ingredients. Because of this superb service they’ve offered since 2010, they’ve been able to grow into a 10,000 square foot catering facility and have 40 full-time employees. This bigness almost guarantees you’re not going to hear “sorry we’re too busy that day,” when you inquire.
For added convenience, QC Catering allows customers to order online from an extensive menu of breakfast items, trays and sides, hot buffets, snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. And of course, you can work with them to craft a customized menu as well. If you have dietary restrictions, no worries — this company can whip up gluten-free, kosher, lactose-free, pork-free, organic, vegan and vegetarian meals. Oh, and they’ve already catered over 440 weddings.
Typical Cost: $50 – $75 per person
Food Genres: American, Asian, Cajun, French, German, Italian, Latin American, Mediterranean, Mexican, Southern, Southwestern, and Spanish
Popular Dishes: Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, Short Rib Croquette, and Chili-Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
Since 2008, A Piece of Havana has been serving up Cuban cuisine done right. These folks work out of the Havana Lounge and can cater anything offered on the lounge’s menu, which includes delicacies like Cuban turnovers, Cubano sandwiches, seafood ceviche and Hemingway chicken. Beyond the delicious food is this eatery’s endearing conception story; it was created by a Cuban family wanting to celebrate their cultural heritage and family cooking traditions in their new hometown. Juan Plasencia, one of the owners, learned to love cooking from his mother — who is a chef in Havana — and used that love as a catalyst to bring authentic Cuban cuisine to Charlotte.
If you’re still wondering if they’re legit, they have been featured in Charlotte Magazine’s “Charlotte Latin Flavor, A Guide of the City’s Hottest Cuisine” guide, and were named “Business to Visit” by Traveller™ Magazine.
Typical Cost: $20 – $40 per person
Food Genre: Cuban
Popular Dishes: Paella Valenciana or Cubano, Fried Fork Chunks, Plantains, Fried Yuca and Homemade Tamales
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The Southern Gourmet catering company provides all-inclusive catering and bartending packages for couples who enjoy gourmet versions of Southern comfort food. But while they of course offer classics like Mac & Cheese, Homemade Deviled Eggs, Smokehouse Pulled Pork BBQ, and pretty much every other delicious Southern dish you can think of, they also provide themed dinner packages, such as Luau, Tuscan Romance, and Thai Cuisine. And then there are the cakes; they provide an in-house cake designer who bakes made-from-scratch wedding cakes that accommodate any preference.
Adding to the appeal of this company is the fact that it’s run by a husband and wife team that have been operating successful food-based businesses for over 25 years, ensuring they’ll be able to please in both the taste and service departments. And let’s be real, you don’t want to mess around with service on such an important day – you want a guarantee that the caterer you select will deliver. And The Southern Gourmet can make that guarantee.
Typical Cost: $20 – $30 per person
Food Genre: Southern
Popular Dishes: Bourbon Pecan Pork Tenderloin, Charleston Shrimp & Stone Ground Cheese Grits, Slow Smoked Beef Brisket with Carolina Sauce, Beer Baked Mac & Cheese, and many more.
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The award-winning Best Impressions, Inc. has been catering in Charlotte since 1989 and is a fusion of Best Impressions Caterers, Byron’s South End venue, and The Grill & Picnic Company. At the helm of the kitchen services at this esteemed company is Executive Chef James Fox, trained at The Culinary Institute of America, and Chef de Cuisine Andrew Donner, who studied at Johnson & Wales. These men are renowned for leading their team in the production of fine dining experiences for weddings of any size.
This is an ideal choice for couples wanting a higher-end meal, as Best Impressions offers innovative dishes, creative presentation and deluxe service. To ensure a couple’s exact vision is manifested, this team works closely with clients to design culinary experiences that are customized to each client, and their unique vision for their wedding events.
Typical Cost: $30 – $80 per person
Food Genres: African, American, Asian, British, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, Ethiopian, French, German, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin American, Mediterranean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Russian, Southern, Southwestern, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese
Popular Dishes: Shrimp and Grits Station, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Fried Chicken Steam Buns, Miniature Open Faced Cheddar Biscuits, and Banana Pudding “Shots”
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For over 40 years SMS Catering Services, Inc. has been making Charlotte-based weddings more delicious with everything from upscale dishes to homemade North Carolina barbecue. In addition, they can serve up this goodness in just about any form, as they can accommodate buffets, cocktail receptions, family style dishes, hors d’oeuvres, plated meals, stations, desserts, and cake creation. Whether you think you’ll crave more gourmet dishes, like steak and grilled chicken, or comfort foods such as BBQ pork, burgers, and fried fish after you say your I dos, SMS Catering Services has you covered.
And if you want to ensure you’re surrounded by nice vendors on your big day (and who doesn’t) SMS Catering are a great pick, as they’re renowned for providing extremely considerate, above-and-beyond service from food taste and display, to payment collection.
Typical Cost: $16 – $45 per person
Food Genres: Southern, American, Hawaiian, Cajun, Caribbean, Chinese, German, Mexican, and Southwestern
Popular Dishes: Fried Chicken, Low Country Boil, Fried Fish and Hushpuppies
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Bailey Gaddis is a travel writer and author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood. In addition, she works as a childbirth preparation educator and birth doula who supports mothers-to-be and new mothers. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. She lives in Ojai, California.