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H PRICE’S CHICKEN COOP O1614 Camden Rd. 704/333-9866, HOURS: Tues .-Sat. 10 A.M.-6 P.M.

In summer 2008, Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines confirmed what Charlotteans knew all along: Price’s Chicken Coop serves up the best fried chicken. Period. The iconic South End restaurant has been filling up red-and-white to-go boxes with fried chicken, chicken livers, chicken gizzards, and chicken wings for more than 40 years. The recipes haven’t changed since the restaurant first opened.

Even though it’s common to see lines winding down the block during lunch, there is never a wait for a table. It’s take-out only, in part because the restaurant is about the size of a doctor’s exam room Be prepared with cash; it’s the only form of payment accepted here.

It’s worth waiting in line for a taste of the best fried chicken in Charlotte.

TAVERN ON THE TRACKS © 1411-B S. Tryon St. 704/372-0782, www. tavernonthetracks. net

HOURS: Daily 11 A.M.-2 A.M. brunch Sat.-Sun. 11 A.M.-2 P.M.

Tavern on the Tracks hasn’t been around as long as some of the other eateries in South End, but it has earned a loyal following since opening in 2002. The menu has simple bar foods like chicken fingers, chili, meatball subs, and quesadillas. There are TVs on almost every wall, including several mounted around the outdoor patio, and the channels are locked on sports channels. Here, the game is always on. As the unofficial Charlotte headquarters of the New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, and Buffalo Sabres, it’s often full of New York transplants cheering on their favorite teams.

MAC’S QO2511 South Blvd. 704/522-6227, HOURS: Daily 11 A.M.-midnight

Don’t be intimidated by the leather-clad bikers who are permanent fixtures at Mac’s. One of the most popular biker bars in Charlotte is also home of the best barbeque in the cityMac’s is synonymous with barbeque. The menu has all of the standardspulled pork barbeque sandwiches, Texas beef brisket, Kansas City-style beef ribs, and beer-can chickenbut the taste is anything but standard. Mac’s has won national awards for their barbeque, which is dry rubbed, slow smoked, and hand pulled. Barbeque is the star, but the side dishes can’t be overlooked. The mac-and-cheese, green bean casserole, baked beans, and collard greens are so popular that Mac’s added the veggie plate that features three or four selections from the sides menu. Wash down the barbeque with one of the 150 selections on the beer menu. In the summer, the parking lot in front of the restaurant is a maze of picnic tables and motorcycles. There is just one rule at Mac’s: Motorcycles get prime parking in front; cars are restricted to the rear lot. Be careful weaving through the sea of Harleys on the way to the front door.

You don’t have to ride a Harley to get a taste of the barbeque served up at Mac’s.

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