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One of the biggest restaurant news items in Charlotte this year was the long-awaited re-opening of Mattie’s Diner. After being displaced from its home at the Music Factory six years ago, Mattie’s is back in business at 3100 The Plaza. The original classic chrome structure has been attached to an old tire shop to offer more seating.

Another Charlotte favorite, Midnight Diner, is set to move from its South End site due to a new redevelopment project. WCNC-TV reports the diner appears to be headed to an uptown location near Spectrum Center. I’m just glad it’s staying in business because Midnight Diner make the best grits I’ve ever had.

I love a good diner. In fact, I’ll take a greasy spoon over a white table cloth restaurant any day of the week. But where are the best diners in the Carolinas? According to Food & Wine, they’re a few hours outside of Charlotte.

The magazine has put out a list of the best diners in every state. In North Carolina, they like the old-school 5 Points Restaurant (258 Broadway Street) in Asheville. It has been around since 1974 and still sort of looks like it. Not what you’d expect in uber-hip Asheville. Then again, it’s being run by a couple of New Yorkers with New York diner experience. Food & Wine recommends their biscuits and the moussaka.

The next time you’re in Charleston, you may want to stop in for lunch or dinner at Hannibal’s Soul Kitchen (16 Blake Street), Food & Wine’s pick for best diner in South Carolina. Since it’s on the coast, seafood gets the nod at this down-home Lowcountry spot. The magazine suggests the pan-fried blue crab over rice, a.k.a. crab rice, and the sautéed shrimp plate.

These are the kinds of places I seek out when I travel. Family-owned diners serve up local flavor, literally and figuratively, that you won’t find in the chain restaurants. You can see Food & Wine’s full list of the best diners in every state HERE.