The arrival of the blue line extension is bringing big changes – for better or worse – to the eclectic arts and entertainment district just north of Uptown. Here are the 10 best things to do in NoDa.
Grab doughnuts morning or night at Reigning Doughnuts’ walkup window on 35th Street.
Reigning Doughnuts serves the sweet treats out of a repurposed storage closet behind Growlers Pourhouse. Just look for the mint green shutters.
They’ve got six daily standards along with rotating specialty flavors like s’mores, matcha coconut and even hot sauce icing with crunchy chicken skins. Hours are 7-11 a.m. and 7-11 p.m. Monday to Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Fuel up on coffee and French pastries 24/7/356 at Amelie’s.
Amelie’s, a 24-hour French bakery in neighboring Villa Heights, is a Charlotte staple famous for its legendary salted caramel brownies.
Need more caffeine? Check out Trade and Lore, a gorgeous cafe above Salud Beer Shop, and Smelly Cat, a NoDa institution for 20 years. For a really unique experience, head to Mac Tabby Cat Cafe to hang out with adoptable cats.
Brunch like you mean it in the middle of the week at Haberdish.
Haberdish, one of the hottest restaurants in the city serving classic Southern fare and craft cocktails, offers a unique weekday brunch Tuesday through Friday. Pause your work day for chicken and waffles, biscuit sandwiches and killer morning-approved cocktails. We won’t even tell your boss.
For casual grab-and-go breakfast and lunch options, head to NoDa Bodega for rotating daily featured sandwiches, Brooks’ Sandwich House for legendary burgers since 1973 and Local Loaf for the ultimate fried chicken biscuit.
Shop local boutiques.
Sample the craft beer scene at 10 breweries in a two-mile radius.
There are a number of breweries in and around the neighborhood including Heist, Divine Barrel, Bold Missy, Free Range, Wooden Robot (coming soon), NoDa Brewing, Protagonist Clubhouse, Birdsong and Salud Cerveceria.
You’ll also want to swing by Growlers Pourhouse, ranked one of the top 100 beer bars in the country for five years running, and Salud Beer Shop, featuring 16 taps and hundreds of craft beer bottles and cans from around the world.
Get a custom cocktail made just for you at Idlewild.
Idlewild, an intimate, members-only cocktail bar, forgoes a set drink menu in favor of crafting custom drinks according to each guest’s spirit and flavor preferences.
Looking for more top cocktails? Respected mixologist Colleen Hughes runs one of the best cocktail programs in the city at Haberdish. And you probably don’t think of a brewery as a spot for cocktails but Protagonist’s beer cocktails are a must try. Check out the Pineapple and Spice with lager, spiced hibiscus syrup, pineapple juice and ginger bitters.
Sip sangria on a porch swing at NoDa Company Store.
NoDa Company Store is like a communal backyard party with signature sangria and rotating food trucks. They also host a weekly Sunday Funday Free Lunch for neighbors where they dish out things like burgers, hot dogs and tacos — for free, for real.
Catch a show at Neighborhood Theatre.
The old 1945 movie theater converted into a live performance venue in 1997 hosts local and touring artists and festivals most nights.
The Evening Muse, an intimate bar venue, is another great stop for live music and open mic nights.
Explore the local street art.
You’ll find a number of eye-catching murals in the neighborhood including The Fibonacci by Jonay Di Ragno on the former Solstice building, William Puckett’s piece on Jack Beagle’s and several works by Nick Napoletano.
Shut it down with late-night pizza at Benny Pennello’s and mac & cheese at Jack Beagle’s.
At the end of the night you need slices the size of your head at Benny Pennello’s and loaded mac & cheese at Jack Beagle’s.