Brunch & beer were pretty much staples during my recent visit to Charlotte, North Carolina. A city rapidly growing, with construction going on in every neighborhood, Charlotte is packed full of transplanted young twenty-somethings and bustling breweries. I guess you could say I fit right in.
During my short 4 day trip I visited 11 (!!!!) breweries. The best way to get through them? Sustenance. Let’s start with the food breakdown.
I arrived in Charlotte early on a Friday morning and after being awake before the sun, I was ready for some food. My friend picked me up from the airport and brought me to the Famous Toastery where I went with the recommended Avocado Benedict, an interesting take on a classic in which my poached eggs were placed on top of a grilled avocado. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the Famous Toastery has locations all over the country. It wasn’t my favorite brunch in the world, but it was pretty darn good.
After brunch I spent the day touring the city. We drove through Uptown Charlotte, where you truly feel like you’re in a city, with tall buildings and people everywhere. But the night took us on tour of breweries, concluding with dinner from the Dumpling Lady food truck parked at Resident Culture Brewing Company. I didn’t get dumplings, because I’m not one to turn down a bowl of noodles. I ordered the spicy beef noodles and let me tell you, they were not lying about the spicy. Didn’t stop me though, I ate it anyway.
In the morning there was nothing more perfect that a visit to Amelie’s French Bakery for coffee. As the weather started to warm up in Charlotte, a beautiful 65 degree day was a big change from the frigid below zero temps we’ve become used to in Albany, I passed up the perfect opportunity for iced coffee and ordered a hot cafe marcotter. Honestly, it was one of the best lattes I’ve ever drank, and I’m starting to crave one right now. On my second visit to Amelie’s before my flight home, I ordered a strange combination. One chocolate macaroon and a ham, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, two items in which Amelie’s is known. Both delicious, 10/10 would recommend.
Then came Sunday Funday. It started with breakfast tacos at Roots Cafe and continued on to the afternoon with an ice cream pop that you won’t find in an ice cream truck. PopBar in NoDa serves up your choice of pop, from fruity flavors, to mint, chocolate, coffee, and more. I went for a chocolate gelato bar and dipped it in dark chocolate and covered it with coconut. It was the perfect afternoon treat.
After (another) day of drinking, shopping, and enjoying the sun, dinner at Haberdish was exactly what I needed to close out my trip. Haberdish, a small plates restaurant in NoDa, was a great choice for our group of 5. Due to the nature of small plate dining, we concluded that Haberdish would be a little bit expensive for only 2 or 3. With a lot of choices and a hungry group of girls, we ended up ordering 2 appetizers, hush puppies and pimento cheese ball, and 3 entree plates, chicken tenders, mac & cheese, and glazed carrots. It might sound like a lot of food, but the best part about shared plates is that you get a little bit of everything. And trust me, you’ll want to try everything.
A big part of my trip was visiting the unique bars and breweries across Charlotte. While they could probably comprise a post of their own (and maybe they will, stay tuned!) here’s a quick look at where I went:
- Birdsong Brewing
- NoDa Brewing Company
- Catawba Brewing Company
- Resident Culture Brewing Company
- Sugar Creek Brewing Company
- Wooden Robot Brewery
- Sycamore Brewing
- Free Range Brewing Company
- Heist Brewery
- The Company Store
I don’t have a bad thing to say about any of the breweries I visited, but I won’t bore you with excruciating detail on each one. If I had to narrow it down to the best I would highlight Resident Culture as my favorite brewery, while Hoppin’ was the most unique experience. At Hoppin’ you receive a wristband at the door in which you scan it at a tap, serve yourself, and pay by the ounce at the end of the night. Pretty neat, huh?
Charlotte surprised me as a city. Like Dallas, it wasn’t what I pictured, but turned out to be even better than I thought. Where should I travel next? Let me know in the comments and as always, follow along on Instagram.