The rebellious east side neighborhood keeps Charlotte’s buttoned-up banker vibe in check with casual bars and eclectic shops. Here are the 10 best things to do in Plaza Midwood.
Start the day with coffee and quiche at Central Coffee.
The quaint little corner coffee shop where everybody knows your name has been holding it down in the neighborhood for a decade. And the cold brew, the best in the city if you ask me, is like rocket fuel. I buy the full quiche for family gatherings, and it’s always a huge hit. In the fall, their Pumpkin Shorty with house-made pumpkin syrup is a must-try local alternative to Starbucks’ pumpkins spice latte.
Bonus: Head to Undercurrent Coffee for avocado toast and lots of coffee knowledge at their on-site learning lab.
Drink an Irish coffee by the fireplace at The Workman’s Friend.
The dark, cozy Irish pub is the place to be to forget the world for a bit. If it’s nice out, the back patio and breezy side bar with open windows overlooking Central are the perfect counter balance.
Bonus: Cozying up by the fire is perfect when it’s cold or raining but when the weather’s right you’ll want to head up to one of the neighborhood rooftops at Whiskey Warehouse or Peculiar Rabbit. Both have great views of the Uptown skyline.
Play ping pong at Thomas Street Tavern.
The casual no-frills bar that never tries too hard is our #1 bar in the city. It’s the epitome of a classic neighborhood bar that’s stood the test of time in a hip rapidly evolving neighborhood. At Thomas Street there’s no theme, no gimmicks, no pretentiousness — just an easygoing atmosphere where anyone can have a good time.
Get the pork belly tacos at Soul Gastrolounge to win major points on date night.
It’s the most popular menu item at one of the hottest spots in the city for small plates and craft cocktails 10 years running.
Bonus: Head to newcomer N.C. Red, the latest concept from respected restaurateur Bruce Moffett, for Nashville hot chicken and a lobsta roll. It’s located in the iconic Penguin Drive-In.
Explore international cuisine along Central Avenue.
As you head east away from the city you’ll find a dense concentration of global food on the edge of the neighborhood including Abugida (Ethiopian), Pho Hoa (Vietnamese), Dim Sum (Chinese), Three Amigos (Mexican) and Euro Grill (Bosnian). And don’t forget the traditional Serbian specialties at Intermezzo Pizzeria. The burek, house-made phyllo dough stuffed with ground beef or spinach and cheese, is popular.
Related Agenda story: 7 must-try international restaurants on Central Avenue
Bonus: For classic American comfort food check out Dish, a longtime neighborhood favorite serving Southern food since 2002, The Diamond, a retro diner that dates back to 1945, or Midwood Smokehouse, Charlotte’s favorite barbecue restaurant.
Hang out on the patio at Common Market.
The urban market’s original location is buzzing at all hours in the heart of the neighborhood. Residents swing by for everything from grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches in the morning to late-night snack runs. The best move is to buy beer and wine from the bottle shop and kick back on the front patio.
Bonus: Grab your bike and join the weekly Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride. It features a different route each week but always departs from Common Market.
Tour the neighborhood craft beer scene.
Find the coolest apparel, accessories and gifts at local boutiques.
Check out Black Sheep Skate Shop and Social Status for the latest sneaker releases, Green with ENVY and Moxie Mercantile for thoughtfully curated local gifts, Boris + Natasha for eclectic apparel, CLTCH for unique accessories and kitschy gifts, Buffalo Exchange for budget-friendly thrift goods, White Rabbit for LGBTQ books and novelties, Slate for mid-century modern furniture, House of Africa for unique imports and Frock Shop for new and vintage apparel and accessories.
Drink a PBR at the Thirsty Beaver Saloon.
The legendary dive bar stood firm against encroaching development and refused to move. It’s now surrounded by a towering behemoth of an apartment complex and is something of a Charlotte landmark.
Treat yourself to a signature dual top cone at Two Scoops Creamery.
It’s the perfect excuse when you can’t pick just one flavor, and their colorful murals make for a prime Instagram moment (if you’re into that sort of thing).