For such a big city, Charlotte’s neighborhoods are surprisingly walkable. From Uptown’s grid design to streetcar suburbs, Charlotte’s coolest neighborhoods combine livability and fun into self-contained neighborhoods that all showcase a slice of the Queen City’s personality. Together, these neighborhoods make the city a financial powerhouse with a thriving artistic streak and entrepreneurial savvy that has made this Southern queen #1 for growth in a number of businesses.
Follow the smell of hops to the city’s brewery hub in South End, where nine of Charlotte’s craft breweries have taken roost. With breweries comes tasty food trucks and a lively mix of locals grabbing pints after work to tourists seeking out the best beer in the city. Plus, you’ll also find the best Asian cuisine in South End – the hottest noodle shop in town, a top-rated Indian restaurant, sushi hotspot and Thai favorite all dot South Boulevard and beyond.
Charlotte’s most famous neighborhood is Uptown, which the Queen City calls their downtown city center. Bank skyscrapers comprise most of the skyline, since Charlotte reigns as the second-largest banking hub in the United States behind New York City. Uptown also serves as the city’s museum and shopping district, with an enclosed skywalk connecting many shops and eateries dubbed the Overstreet Mall.
For those seeking the best in Charlotte’s arts scene, head to NoDa, which stands for the neighborhood’s main street, North Davidson. Factory buildings have been transformed into galleries and mural canvases, while several breweries have also opened up shop in the historic buildings, giving South End a run for its money in the beer department.
Plaza Midwood blends two former neighborhoods into one residential district with its own strip of old-school tattoo shops, diners, and vintage shops that have been joined by high-end boutiques and restaurants in more recent years. Kick off a day exploring PM with brunch at Bistro La Bon or Soul Gastrolounge followed by shopping at funky Boris & Natasha and rooftop drinks at Midwood Smokehouse.
This neighborhood is a designated historic district that traces its roots back to the 1890s when the forward-thinking businessman Edward Dilworth Latta decided to buy hundreds of acres and connect them to Charlotte’s budding downtown via an electric streetcar. A couple of welcoming wine bars and a TV-famous sandwich stop add to Dilworth’s historic charm.
When a neighborhood has a bike shop that doubles as a bar, you know it’s pretty cool. Season it with the best cajun in Charlotte, stripped-down listening room, and plenty of funky flavors at local hangouts Carpe Diem and Customshop, and Elizabeth’s appeal becomes obvious.
Johnson & Wales’ Charlotte campus sits in the Third Ward along with the city’s professional football stadium and minor league ballfield. Young professionals and students scurry between the greenway and condos, and a row of cafes and bars spill out into a tucked-away alley.