When I first moved to Charlotte for an internship in 2011, my mom and I spent my first weekend wondering aloud, “Where are all the people?” We had searched for the hot spots in Uptown (this is way back when Uptown was absolutely dead during the day on the weekends) and we finally realized Charlotte had all of these unique little pockets of people and stuff all around (we ended up spending a lot of time in NoDa and it was wonderful). Five years later, one of my favorite parts of the QC is the unique Charlotte neighborhoods with their creative personalities. I love that I can pick where I want to hang out depending on my mood, and I’ll get a different vibe depending where I am in the city (to the point that sometimes it’s like, am I in the same city?).
Today, Hannah from Trulia is taking us on a foodie guide of Charlotte neighborhoods. I’ll be in italics along the way recommending my favorite spots to grab a bite!
There has never been a better time to be a foodie. Perpetuated by social media, all over the country, restaurants, food trucks, bars and nightclubs are embracing the ever growing foodie culture, with more and more trendy locales opening every day to satiate the needs of a populace hungry for incredible, gourmet food. Certain metropolitan areas around the country have embraced this craze more than others, creating popular foodie destinations out of Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA and New Orleans, LA. However, smaller metropolitan areas have also seen growth in popularity due to the food craze. Charlotte happens to be one of them. Offering everything from authentic Carolinian BBQ to French pastries, several Charlotte neighborhoods have an excellent restaurant for everyone. Overwhelmed by the many options? Check out these three gourmet hangouts to taste some of the best menus in Charlotte!
Just a few miles east of Uptown , is the eclectic Charlotte neighborhood of Plaza Midwood. A safe, affordable, area known for its laid-back, casual vibe. The area is popular amongst millennials and some young families because of its access to shops, art galleries, funky stores and many local restaurants. All of which are located along the area’s main thoroughfare, Central Avenue.
Enjoy breakfast or lunch at Zada Janes, a delightful, farm to table establishment. Get there early to beat the crowds on a weekend, and you may even score one of the coveted patio tables! In the mood for something a little heartier? Try the wide range of southern-style BBQ flavors at Midwood Smokehouse.
Love both Zada Janes (get the bunny rancheros!) and Midwood Smokehouse. For cocktails and pork belly tacos, hit up Soul Gastrolounge; for pizza, check out Intermezzo, Pure Pizza or The Pizza Peel. Split a bottle of wine or enjoy a few pints on Common Market’s patio, indulge in Irish fare at The Workman’s Friend, or get your brunching on at Bistro La Bon. For classic Southern (with a side of deviled eggs) head to Dish, and for a true diner and dive, grab a burger at The Diamond.
NoDa, (named after the area’s main thoroughfare, North Davidson Street,) is a historic north Charlotte Neighborhood, situated a few miles away from the hubbub of Uptown Charlotte. NoDa is slightly more expensive than Plaza Midwood, offers similar amenities, and is the place to go in Charlotte if you are looking for a great night out on the town. Major attractions of this historic Charlotte area include: art gallery crawls, popular music venues, and some of the city’s best craft breweries. Looking for a great cup of coffee and some light café food to get you through the afternoon or night? Check out Amelie’s French Bakery and Café, open 24 hours a day, for a cup of locally made, Magnolia Coffee Company coffee, and a scrumptious salted caramel brownie (if you can get your hands on one before they sell out!)
Amelie’s is definitely the stuff dreams are made of. My other favorite NoDa hangouts are the breweries: NoDa Brewing, Birdsong, Heist (beer cheese, yes!) and Free Range. Have some oysters at Growler’s Pourhouse, pesto brie fries at Crepe Cellar, or some cooking from the bayou, and some banging Bloody Mary’s, at Boudreaux’s.
South End, located just south of Uptown, is home to many available condos and apartments. A popular destination for young professionals looking for a short commute to work, this neighborhood is home to antique shops, a relaxed atmosphere, and some great live music. For a delicious dinner, check out The Liberty. An upscale gastropub serving American cuisine and local brews. The pub also hosts cooking classes from time to time.
The Liberty has one of the best burgers in Charlotte, and the best poutine, hands down. We also love all of the breweries along the Rail Trail: Triple C, Sycamore, Wooden Robot and so many more. Friday night rituals include a six pack and a Food Truck Friday visit, and you’ll often find me on Craft Tasting Room’s patio on the weekends.
Whether you are a local or just visiting for the weekend, embrace the foodie craze in Charlotte and expand your palette by checking out the tasty hotspots in Charlotte’s foodie neighborhoods!