11 places to take someone who hasn’t been to Charlotte in 11 years

11 places to take someone who hasn’t been to Charlotte in 11 years
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I am a former Ballantyne Barracuda. I should clarify I have zero attributes of a barracuda, which is what we would call a “liability” in the summer swim league. My older sister Megan, on the other hand, swam at MAC and was what we would call an “asset” to the swim team.


We grew up living (and swimming) at Ballantyne Country Club, crushing the Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream + Blockbuster combo at Ballantyne Commons. But, we eventually said goodbye to our Holy Trinity and Charlotte Catholic uniforms and relocated to Atlanta in 2002.

Four years of high school and four years of college later, I ended up back in Charlotte.

It was almost unrecognizable. New roads, multi-story buildings, different neighborhoods, breweries, startups, co-working spaces, dog B&Bs — Charlotte had evolved.

Now I’ve been back in the QC for almost five years. But Megan? She just spent the weekend here — her first time in CLT in almost 11 years.

Charlotte’s got a lot. That we know. But when you don’t got a lot of time, where do you go? And what will your guest think of your carefully crafted weekend? And what will you remember from places you go all the time?


Spot: Legion Brewery, Plaza Midwood
Megan: Love the open air indoor/outdoor concept, and all the puppies!
Rachel: I saw a baby pet a dog on the snout.


Spot: Pure Pizza, Plaza Midwood
Megan: Garlic knots were amazing. I’d eat here allll the time.
Rachel: Why is pineapple not a topping option?


Spot: Cotswold Farmer’s Market
Megan: Really cute but overall just OK.
Rachel: Worth it for the ice cream sandwich version of King of Pops.


Spot: Flywheel, Cotswold
Megan: OMG celebrity sighting!! Killer workout.
Rachel: I sat next to BUSY PHILLIPS. No idea why she was in Charlotte, but Instagram says she was also in Davidson, recently dining at Kindred.


@busyphilipps via Instagram

Spot: Poppy’s Bagels, Cotswold
Megan: One of the best breakfast bagel sandwiches I’ve ever had.
Rachel: Ditto.

Spot: Freedom Park, Dilworth
Megan: More beautiful then I remembered.
Rachel: For real; Chamber of Commerce day.


Spot: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, South End
Megan: Beer was delish, loved the outdoor atmosphere.
Rachel: Best part of this brewery is if there’s ever a line at the bar, it moves. Fast.


Spot: Foxcroft Wine Co., Dilworth
Megan: Really cute inside; need to find a better wine.
Rachel: Get the truffle fries and margherita flatbread.


Spot: Bakersfield, Dilworth
Megan: Loved the short rib taco; cool atmosphere.
Rachel: Torta sammie was surprisingly sweet, but isn’t bad either.

Spot: Heist Brewery, NoDa
Megan: I actually wish we had stayed here a bit longer! Good beer and great live entertainment.
Rachel: I spent most of our time here looking up the lyrics to “Part of Your World,” because…?


Spot: NoDa Company Store
Megan: I only remember the swings, and they were awesome.
Rachel: Swinging around using those – what’s that word again? Oh, legs!


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