Uptown Charlotte’s “Best of the Best”

May 23, 2013 4:23 pm

Uptown Charlotte’s “Best of the Best”

Charlotte Magazine has chosen its annual “Best of the Best” award winners from around our city. The list features categories from art to dining to shopping, and focuses on the best that Charlotte has to offer in each category. This year, tons of Uptown restaurants, businesses, shops and venues were included as BOB winners – they are listed below. If you are looking for a solid list to help you map out your visit this summer, this is a good place to start! To see the full list of winners, click here or check out the May issue of Charlotte Magazine.

Category: Art + Culture

Performing Arts Company
Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte

Public Art

FIREBIRD, Betchler Museum of Modern Art

Museum to Get You Out of Your Comfort Zone

Levine Museum of the New South
200 E. Seventh St., 704-333-1887
Levine Museum of the New South forces its audience to face the past. The exhibits are engaging and occasionally controversial but always thought-provoking.

Museum for Great Music, Interesting Films, and a Tasty Meal

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
420 S. Tryon St., 704-353-9200
With the artwork, the music, the film series, and a fantastic café, it’s easy to turn an afternoon into an evening at the Bechtler.

Museum to Have Your Mind Blown

Discovery Place
301 N. Tryon St., 704-372-6261
Nanoscience? Rainforest habitat? Lie on a bed of nails? Whether you’re eight or 80, you’ll find something here that will leave you awestruck.

Museum Reboot

Mint Museum
500 S. Tryon St., 704-337-2000
A decade or so ago, the Mint Museum of Art seemed on the verge of irrelevance. But with the 2010 opening of the striking Levine Center for the Arts location, which incorporated the former Mint Museum of Craft + Design uptown, the Mint has reinvented itself, with engaging programs, innovative exhibitions (the current F.O.O.D., for one), and a stronger representation of its collection.

Category: Dining

Restaurant, Overall


Outdoor Dining

Vivace Charlotte


Jamie Lynch, 5Church


Mert’s Heart and Soul

Latte Art

Not Just Coffee
224 E. Seventh St., inside Seventh Street Public Market, 704-817-3868
If you’re looking for an average cup o’ joe, this is not the place for you. But if you’re seeking a delicious cup of pour-over coffee or an espresso drink—made by hipsters sporting skinny ties and beards completely unironically—Not Just Coffee is your spot. Order yours “for here,” and your barista will customize it for you with latte art that’s almost too pretty to drink. Almost.

Romantic Al Fresco Dining

500 S. Tryon St., 704-910-0865
With the restaurant’s quirky cocktail list, creative dishes, and intimate feel, Halcyon is a solid candidate for a romantic evening. Add in great views of Tryon Street and The Green beyond, and it’s officially the city’s best destination for an outdoor meal with your sweetheart.

View of the Action

e2 Emeril’s Eatery
135 Levine Avenue of the Arts, Ste. 100, 704-414-4787
If you enjoy watching a professional kitchen at work, you’ll find some of the best views in the city at the chef’s food bar at e2 uptown. The lengthy bar wraps around the restaurant’s open display kitchen, where you can watch as the chefs prep everything from wood-oven-roasted oysters to fried chicken.

Second Location

Rooster’s Uptown
150 N. College St., 704-370-7667
The second Rooster’s location in uptown includes many of the things that made the first location in SouthPark an instant classic: an open display kitchen, a cozy, dark interior, and an à la carte, family-style menu. But it’s also a great restaurant on its own merit. Executive Chef Joe Kindred’s daily specials menu is worth a trek uptown, as is the cozy, downstairs bar with its own chalkboard menu.

Place to Train for Competitive Eating

Whisky River
210 E. Trade St., Ste. A-208, 704-749-1097
When EpiCentre’s Whisky River added a full menu last fall, it officially became one of the least-healthful places to eat in the city. Looking for large portions? You can’t go wrong here. Almost everything is served up big, and even the baked potato (a 1-pounder) can be loaded down with pulled pork or chicken, beef brisket, or fried turkey. And if you’re looking for an amateur competition, order the 6 Wide Challenge—a six-patty burger served with a pound of fries. Finishing it gets you a free meal and your name added to the Wall of Fame.

New Restaurant

127 N. Tryon St., 704-919-1322
The already notorious restaurant from MAP Management turns one year old this month. It may be famous as much for its impressive ceiling art (the entire text of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War) as it is for drawing local and visiting celebs, but its innovative, well-executed new American menu from Executive Chef Jamie Lynch is what keeps people coming back. If you go: dress smart and arrive hungry—the snacks and small plates are just as tantalizing as the mains.

Category: Nightlife

Dance Club

210 E. Trade St., A300 704-971-7878

Place to Spot a Celeb

127 N. Tryon St., Ste. 8 704-919-1322

Place to Celebrate a Birthday

Crave Dessert Bar
500 W. 5th ST., #120 704-335-0588


Miki Nikolic, e2 Emeril’s Eeatery
135 Levine Avenue of the Arts 704-414-4787

Live Music Venue

The Fillmore Charlotte
1000 NC Music Facotry Blvd. 704-916-8970

Category: Shopping + Home

Men’s store


Clothing for a Night on the Town, Men

210 E. Trade St., 704-971-1990
Before heading out for your next guy’s night, ditch the khakis and polo shirts and stop by Revolution at the EpiCentre for something more fashion-forward. This signature store is packed with designer denim from Joe’s Jeans, Ben Sherman button-ups, and stylish sport coats to complete your nighttime look. Want to stand out from the crowd? Design your own duds at the custom T-shirt shop.

Category: Body & Soul

Indulgent Massage

The Ritz-Carlton Spa “Sampler”, 201 E. Trade St., 704-547-2244
The city offers many options when it comes to skimping on a massage, but sometimes you want to go for the all-out pamper session. The Ritz-Carlton Spa’s “Sampler” includes 100 minutes of a blend of a hot stone massage, reflexology, deep-tissue massage, and a Swedish massage with light to medium pressure along with your choice of five organic aromatherapy oils. At $255, this pampering session is worth saving up for.

Category: Diversions

New Nightclub

900 NC Music Factory Blvd., 704-910-0526
The most expensive nightclub to ever open in Charlotte (millions of dollars were reportedly invested to transform this former factory space into a mega club), Label has a party-don’t-stop layout—VIP sections are on the dance floor and the stage, there’s a level perched above a bar, and catwalks, where dancers stroll, are assembled between couches. The large video screen rivals what you’ll find at NBA arenas, and it’s perfect for providing great shots of the stars that have performed or DJed here: T-Pain, Jermaine Dupri, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, T.I., and more.

Music Venue With Staying Power

The Double Door Inn
1218 Charlottetowne Ave., 704-376-1446
The Double Door has one of the most interesting histories of any music venue in the city. The small stage has hosted performances by Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn and just about every other great blues guitarist since it first opened in 1973. And while it still draws major acts, the Double Door serves as the epicenter for Charlotte’s blues and jazz communities. Local musicians regularly drop in to join the house band or a touring act, making every performance feel spontaneous and electric.

Bar Patio

The Saloon at NC Music Factory
900 NC Music Factory Blvd., 704-716-2327
Last summer The Saloon opened a second, huge patio that is akin to something you’ll find at a shoreside bar on the beach. The wooden deck has a tin roof, and stringed lights make every night feel like a block party. There’s plenty of seating at the outdoor bar and enclosed booths, great touches of greenery with trees and grass, and live bands and DJs play outside often.

Place to Meet Singles

Gold’s Gym EpiCentre
210 E. Trade St., Ste. E-380, 704-688-9959
The gym is a great place to meet singles. Well, just imagine if that gym were surrounded by bars and nightclubs. That’s what you have since Gold’s Gym opened at the EpiCentre last summer. Of course this 35,000-square-foot health club has all of the top-notch fitness equipment and instructors you want. But it also has posh lounges that will give nightclubs a run for their money, and a smoothie bar that deserves to be a hangout spot all its own.

Multi-Genre Music Venue

The Fillmore Charlotte
1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., 704-916-8970
Not only is The Fillmore one of the most beautiful concert venues in the city, with its wood floors, high ceilings, elegant chandeliers, and multiple bars, it also hosts a great diversity of musicians. Over the past year, Charlotteans have come here to see country rock legends such as Willie Nelson and Foo Fighters, chart-topping rappers like 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, and bands with cult-like followings such as Widespread Panic and Dropkick Murphys.

Hotel Bar

The Ritz-Carlton
201 E. Trade St., 704-547-2244
The bars at this uptown hotel are the places to see and be seen. Inside the well-appointed Lobby Lounge you’ll find locals and visitors enjoying specialty cocktails, particularly on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, when live jazz bands play. And on the 15th floor, guests flock to Urban Sip for a bit of serenity, where a selection of 90 wines by the glass, 35 scotches, and tasty small plates are served, all while you enjoy great views of the city. Live jazz was also recently added to the weekend lineup.

Bars to Watch the Game Uptown

Wild Wing Café
210 E. Trade St., Ste. D-262, 704-716-9464
More than 30 TVs, 33 flavors of wings, and 20 beers on tap—those are beautiful figures to a sports fan.
Category: Family & Kids

Story Time

300 E. Seventh St., 704-416-4600
Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m., dozens of kids up to the age of 7 or so gather at the feet of one of ImaginOn’s animated storytellers for 45 minutes of stories, singalongs, dancing … and bubbles! Afterward, they will find plenty of activities to keep them busy till lunchtime—climbing on a wooden truck, trying the interactive games, or, you know, reading. Bonus: the LYNX blue line stops right outside. A train ride is the perfect way to start or end your ImaginOn experience.

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