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20 Essential Bars to Visit in Charlotte

From pubs to fancy cocktails

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Get a taste of one of these local bars to wrap up (or start) the afternoon or night. Craving a cocktail somewhere sleek and exquisite? Prefer a cheap beer at a quirky dive? Planning to dive into dinner with that glass of wine? Charlotte has it covered.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Haberdish

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3106 N Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 817-1084
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Two words: edible flowers. That’s the frozen flair this light-filled, Southern-style eatery first wowed the local cocktail scene with, dropping flower-filled ice cubes into drinks. Cocktail program director Colleen Hughes also adds the floral accents to seasonal drinks, like the white chai with white chocolate washed vodka, chai syrup, cardamaro, and lemon. Add something sweet and order that luscious cinnamon roll during brunch hours.

Haberdish

2. Hattie's Tap & Tavern

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2918 The Plaza
Charlotte, NC 28205
(980) 938-6228
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This quirky (and dog-friendly) dive in Plaza Hills is a craft-beer-lover’s haven, with 24 rotating drafts and more than 50 offerings by the bottle and by the can. Settle in for some quiet patio time (picture picnic tables and painted walls), or come by for a boisterous round of bingo, karaoke, or live music.

Hattie’s

3. Graham St. Pub & Patio

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400 S Graham St
Charlotte, NC 28202
(980) 218-9228
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Not only is Graham St. one of the top places to grab a beverage en route to a solid Panthers tailgate near Bank of America Stadium, it’s also a rare standalone, two-story bar Uptown with a sweeping skyline view. Expect pump-up music and a menu featuring Asian, Mediterranean, and Southern influences. And while the beer list is extensive (try a local $6 pub can), the $10 cocktails are nothing to scoff at, from the Southern Spicy Mule to the Sir Purr-fect Lemonade.

4. Merchant & Trade

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303 S Church St
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 445-2550
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Merchant & Trade is making waves in the hotel bar scene as a rooftop lounge on the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel. The panoramic view of the city makes it a destination for locals and travelers alike, whether at the indoor bar, on the outdoor terrace, at the private terrace or on the lawn. Many of the cocktails boast North Carolina-produced spirits and locally sourced produce. Start with something classic like the French martini with Belvedere, pineapple, raspberry and lemon, and a snack on the side (a foot-long Cubano, perhaps?).

5. Fahrenheit

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222 S Caldwell St
Charlotte, NC 28202
(980) 237-6718
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Perched 21 stories up into the skyline, the long, glass-rimmed balcony at Fahrenheit has an enlarging effect on the view of Charlotte. Cozy up to a fire pit outside on a clear night with a pricy cocktail (kombucha lovers should try Sarah’s Mule with locally crafted ginger Sumbucha kombucha) before skimming the wine and beer list. Inside, grab a reservation for dinner, with an interesting mix of American and Asian options.

6. Thirsty Beaver Saloon

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1225 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 332-3612
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Widely celebrated for holding its ground as a grungy dive bar while a massive apartment complex rose around it, The Beav is reliable for a cheap beer and a basket of pretzel sticks. Take a moment to stand in awe of the giant buck-toothed beaver painted on the side of the building, and also those bras dangling from the wall inside.

7. The Workman’s Friend

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1531 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205

Handsome with its wooden accents and European vibe, this Irish pub offers a vast selection of Irish whiskeys (not to mention an Irish coffee with locally roasted beans, plus Jameson), local and international beers, wines, and smart cocktails (try the Bloody Jimmy with brunch, featuring bacon-infused Jameson, house-made bloody mix and pickle juice). Stick around for dinner, with pub fare like Not Your Mama’s Pork and Beans, and a shockingly delectable vegan curry with eggplant.

8. Soul Gastrolounge

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1500 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 348-1848
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This nighttime-only lounge hits every hunger craving from spanakopita with spinach and feta, to pork belly tacos, to vegan sushi. Cocktails are a must here — especially when faced with that inevitable wait for a table. Try the Beautiful Mind with Russel’s Reserve six-year-old rye, Cappelletti, earl grey-infused Lillet rose, and lemon bitters.

Soul Gastrolounge

9. Yume

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1508 S Mint St suite A
Charlotte, NC 28203
(980) 858-5678
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New to South End, this intimate sushi bar features a cocktail program shaken up by DiSean Burns with seasonal specialties like the Yume apple chai with apple brandy, chai spiced syrup, cocoa bitters, and an orange twist. Don’t skimp on the signature Japanese sake, either, before diving into a bowl of authentic Japanese Hakata ramen.

Yume/Facebook

10. Bardo

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1508 Unit B, S Mint St
Charlotte, NC 28203
(980) 585-2433
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Add this new spot (it opened this spring) to the wish list for a night out of fine dining spotlighting chef-driven small plates with global influences like Japanese and Spanish cuisine. Let mixologist Amanda Britton work her magic on the cocktails (try the Balancing Act with Reyka vodka, Emulsion gin, peach, pistachio, cardamom, honey, cream, egg white, citrus and sparkling water) and indulge in the limited list of artful eats, from veal sweetbreads to charred shishito peppers.

Bardo Restaurant/Facebook

11. Hoppin'

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1402 Winnifred St
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 998-9264
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This two-level, self-serve South End watering hole is like a happy hour playground. Guests hand over their credit card in exchange for a wristband, pick up a glass and pick a wine, cider or beer to pour themselves -- after swiping their band to activate the pour. Just watch out for that 32-oz (at-a-time) limit.

Hoppin’

12. Tyber Creek Pub

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1933 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 343-2727
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Dip into this dark, Irish-style pub for a Guinness Stout or a Magners Irish Cider (there are local brews here, too) and try the dinner menu with both Irish and American offerings, from bangers and mash to a black bean burger. Worth noting: This place goes nuts during the World Cup -- just look for the enormous inflatable soccer ball on the street corner.

13. Dilworth Tasting Room

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300 East Tremont street
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 595-3337
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If the list of eclectic wines is intimidating, the deals are sure to draw in any wanderer to this elegant and polished space. Depending on the day, try half-price pinot noirs, half-price cabernet sauvignons, $25 red wine flights (accompanied by a small cheese board), and other deals. Don’t overlook the improved cocktail lineup, plus the seasonal menu with snacks and entrees (like scallops). If it’s nice out, search for a seat on the foliage-filled patio.

Dilworth Tasting Room
Remy Thurston Photography

14. The Queen & Glass

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1315 East Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203

This Dilworth cocktail parlor is hidden away in a parking deck, though the double doors do occasionally swing open to beckon to passersby. Expect exquisite craft cocktails designed by Bob Peters (the Cinnamon Girl with Tito’s vodka, apple cider, and prosecco is simple but sweetly satisfying) and handcrafted bites like pesto and avocado flatbread, as well as tuna poke with wonton chips.

The Queen & Glass

15. Ed's Tavern

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2200 Park Rd
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 335-0033
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Neighborhood regulars are fierce about this Dilworth staple conceived in 1935. They caused a huge stir last year when the tavern rebranded as Bourbon N Burgers, so the original name was quickly restored. What stayed put: the enormous new back patio with dozens of draft beer taps, the popular trivia games, and the simple bar menu (try some Buffalo chicken dip or pretzels and cheese, late-night).

Ed’s Tavern/Facebook

16. Selwyn Avenue Pub

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2801 Selwyn Ave
Charlotte, NC 28209
(704) 333-3443

With a large, loung-y patio, ample TVs for watching the big game and occasional Michael Jordan appearances, this Myers Park Irish pub can get packed. Since it was also established in 1990, the bar is one of those rare spots to find more than one Charlotte native in the same place. Opt for pizza or wings, and a cheap sip (like a $5.50 Transfusion).

17. Dot Dot Dot

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4237 Park Rd B
Charlotte, NC 28209
(704) 817-3710
Visit Website

Add some mystery to the evening by searching for the nondescript entryway into this speakeasy in the back lot of Park Road Shopping Center (the person checking IDs outside is a good clue). Grab a $10 membership card before filing down the hidden hallway to the main lounge and dining area. Settle into a sleek red booth in the wood paneled room (or cozy up to the marble bar) for a hand-crafted cocktail by Stefan Huebner (the Truffle New York Sour is a must, with Larceny bourbon, orange curacao, house sweet and sour, ruby port and, of course, truffle egg white). The wine list is also sure to delight, not to mention the seasonal small plates (foie gras included).

18. Treehouse Bourbon and BBQ

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4423 Sharon Rd
Charlotte, NC 28211
(980) 207-0949
Visit Website

This casual hangout (with a prominent decorative tree inside) offers a flair of nightlife in sleepier SouthPark, with hours extending to 11 p.m. daily, except for Friday and Saturday (open until 1 a.m.). The recently rebranded Treehouse pours more than 50 bourbons, while also serving up barbecue, shareable sides and appetizers. Don’t miss the signature Boujee Juice, a frozen cocktail brought out in a collectable tin cup.

19. Foxcroft Wine Co. SouthPark

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7824 Fairview Rd
Charlotte, NC 28226
(704) 365-6550
Visit Website

Both locations in Foxcroft and Dilworth cater to small plate and wine cravings. Browse the rows of wines from around the world lining the walls (the goal is to offer options from every major wine-producing region) — and pop a bottle in-store. Get fancier as a wine club member and enjoy two interesting selections each month.

20. Rush Espresso Cafe and Wine Bar

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14825 Ballantyne Village Way #135
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 369-5120
Visit Website

Over in the Ballantyne suburbs, Rush offers a boost of night life, with hours extending to midnight multiple days a week, plus a dinner menu with flatbreads, burgers, and more. Grab a glass (or bottle) of wine in the bright and airy atmosphere, with selections ranging from bubbly, to interesting reds to familiar whites. Beers are also available, along with cocktails (like the Rush Espresso martini with espresso). On a lucky night, catch live music from a Charlotte artist.

1. Haberdish

3106 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205
Haberdish

Two words: edible flowers. That’s the frozen flair this light-filled, Southern-style eatery first wowed the local cocktail scene with, dropping flower-filled ice cubes into drinks. Cocktail program director Colleen Hughes also adds the floral accents to seasonal drinks, like the white chai with white chocolate washed vodka, chai syrup, cardamaro, and lemon. Add something sweet and order that luscious cinnamon roll during brunch hours.

3106 N Davidson St
Charlotte, NC 28205

2. Hattie's Tap & Tavern

2918 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205
Hattie’s

This quirky (and dog-friendly) dive in Plaza Hills is a craft-beer-lover’s haven, with 24 rotating drafts and more than 50 offerings by the bottle and by the can. Settle in for some quiet patio time (picture picnic tables and painted walls), or come by for a boisterous round of bingo, karaoke, or live music.

2918 The Plaza
Charlotte, NC 28205

3. Graham St. Pub & Patio

400 S Graham St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Not only is Graham St. one of the top places to grab a beverage en route to a solid Panthers tailgate near Bank of America Stadium, it’s also a rare standalone, two-story bar Uptown with a sweeping skyline view. Expect pump-up music and a menu featuring Asian, Mediterranean, and Southern influences. And while the beer list is extensive (try a local $6 pub can), the $10 cocktails are nothing to scoff at, from the Southern Spicy Mule to the Sir Purr-fect Lemonade.

400 S Graham St
Charlotte, NC 28202

4. Merchant & Trade

303 S Church St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Merchant & Trade is making waves in the hotel bar scene as a rooftop lounge on the 19th floor of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel. The panoramic view of the city makes it a destination for locals and travelers alike, whether at the indoor bar, on the outdoor terrace, at the private terrace or on the lawn. Many of the cocktails boast North Carolina-produced spirits and locally sourced produce. Start with something classic like the French martini with Belvedere, pineapple, raspberry and lemon, and a snack on the side (a foot-long Cubano, perhaps?).

303 S Church St
Charlotte, NC 28202

5. Fahrenheit

222 S Caldwell St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Perched 21 stories up into the skyline, the long, glass-rimmed balcony at Fahrenheit has an enlarging effect on the view of Charlotte. Cozy up to a fire pit outside on a clear night with a pricy cocktail (kombucha lovers should try Sarah’s Mule with locally crafted ginger Sumbucha kombucha) before skimming the wine and beer list. Inside, grab a reservation for dinner, with an interesting mix of American and Asian options.

222 S Caldwell St
Charlotte, NC 28202

6. Thirsty Beaver Saloon

1225 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204

Widely celebrated for holding its ground as a grungy dive bar while a massive apartment complex rose around it, The Beav is reliable for a cheap beer and a basket of pretzel sticks. Take a moment to stand in awe of the giant buck-toothed beaver painted on the side of the building, and also those bras dangling from the wall inside.

1225 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28204

7. The Workman’s Friend

1531 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205

Handsome with its wooden accents and European vibe, this Irish pub offers a vast selection of Irish whiskeys (not to mention an Irish coffee with locally roasted beans, plus Jameson), local and international beers, wines, and smart cocktails (try the Bloody Jimmy with brunch, featuring bacon-infused Jameson, house-made bloody mix and pickle juice). Stick around for dinner, with pub fare like Not Your Mama’s Pork and Beans, and a shockingly delectable vegan curry with eggplant.

1531 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205

8. Soul Gastrolounge

1500 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
Soul Gastrolounge

This nighttime-only lounge hits every hunger craving from spanakopita with spinach and feta, to pork belly tacos, to vegan sushi. Cocktails are a must here — especially when faced with that inevitable wait for a table. Try the Beautiful Mind with Russel’s Reserve six-year-old rye, Cappelletti, earl grey-infused Lillet rose, and lemon bitters.

1500 Central Ave
Charlotte, NC 28205

9. Yume

1508 S Mint St suite A, Charlotte, NC 28203
Yume/Facebook

New to South End, this intimate sushi bar features a cocktail program shaken up by DiSean Burns with seasonal specialties like the Yume apple chai with apple brandy, chai spiced syrup, cocoa bitters, and an orange twist. Don’t skimp on the signature Japanese sake, either, before diving into a bowl of authentic Japanese Hakata ramen.

1508 S Mint St suite A
Charlotte, NC 28203

10. Bardo

1508 Unit B, S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28203
Bardo Restaurant/Facebook

Add this new spot (it opened this spring) to the wish list for a night out of fine dining spotlighting chef-driven small plates with global influences like Japanese and Spanish cuisine. Let mixologist Amanda Britton work her magic on the cocktails (try the Balancing Act with Reyka vodka, Emulsion gin, peach, pistachio, cardamom, honey, cream, egg white, citrus and sparkling water) and indulge in the limited list of artful eats, from veal sweetbreads to charred shishito peppers.

1508 Unit B, S Mint St
Charlotte, NC 28203

11. Hoppin'

1402 Winnifred St, Charlotte, NC 28203
Hoppin’

This two-level, self-serve South End watering hole is like a happy hour playground. Guests hand over their credit card in exchange for a wristband, pick up a glass and pick a wine, cider or beer to pour themselves -- after swiping their band to activate the pour. Just watch out for that 32-oz (at-a-time) limit.

1402 Winnifred St
Charlotte, NC 28203

12. Tyber Creek Pub

1933 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203

Dip into this dark, Irish-style pub for a Guinness Stout or a Magners Irish Cider (there are local brews here, too) and try the dinner menu with both Irish and American offerings, from bangers and mash to a black bean burger. Worth noting: This place goes nuts during the World Cup -- just look for the enormous inflatable soccer ball on the street corner.

1933 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203

13. Dilworth Tasting Room

300 East Tremont street, Charlotte, NC 28203
Dilworth Tasting Room
Remy Thurston Photography

If the list of eclectic wines is intimidating, the deals are sure to draw in any wanderer to this elegant and polished space. Depending on the day, try half-price pinot noirs, half-price cabernet sauvignons, $25 red wine flights (accompanied by a small cheese board), and other deals. Don’t overlook the improved cocktail lineup, plus the seasonal menu with snacks and entrees (like scallops). If it’s nice out, search for a seat on the foliage-filled patio.

300 East Tremont street
Charlotte, NC 28203

14. The Queen & Glass

1315 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203
The Queen & Glass

This Dilworth cocktail parlor is hidden away in a parking deck, though the double doors do occasionally swing open to beckon to passersby. Expect exquisite craft cocktails designed by Bob Peters (the Cinnamon Girl with Tito’s vodka, apple cider, and prosecco is simple but sweetly satisfying) and handcrafted bites like pesto and avocado flatbread, as well as tuna poke with wonton chips.

1315 East Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28203

15. Ed's Tavern

2200 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203
Ed’s Tavern/Facebook

Neighborhood regulars are fierce about this Dilworth staple conceived in 1935. They caused a huge stir last year when the tavern rebranded as Bourbon N Burgers, so the original name was quickly restored. What stayed put: the enormous new back patio with dozens of draft beer taps, the popular trivia games, and the simple bar menu (try some Buffalo chicken dip or pretzels and cheese, late-night).

2200 Park Rd
Charlotte, NC 28203

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16. Selwyn Avenue Pub

2801 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC 28209

With a large, loung-y patio, ample TVs for watching the big game and occasional Michael Jordan appearances, this Myers Park Irish pub can get packed. Since it was also established in 1990, the bar is one of those rare spots to find more than one Charlotte native in the same place. Opt for pizza or wings, and a cheap sip (like a $5.50 Transfusion).

2801 Selwyn Ave
Charlotte, NC 28209

17. Dot Dot Dot

4237 Park Rd B, Charlotte, NC 28209

Add some mystery to the evening by searching for the nondescript entryway into this speakeasy in the back lot of Park Road Shopping Center (the person checking IDs outside is a good clue). Grab a $10 membership card before filing down the hidden hallway to the main lounge and dining area. Settle into a sleek red booth in the wood paneled room (or cozy up to the marble bar) for a hand-crafted cocktail by Stefan Huebner (the Truffle New York Sour is a must, with Larceny bourbon, orange curacao, house sweet and sour, ruby port and, of course, truffle egg white). The wine list is also sure to delight, not to mention the seasonal small plates (foie gras included).

4237 Park Rd B
Charlotte, NC 28209

18. Treehouse Bourbon and BBQ

4423 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211

This casual hangout (with a prominent decorative tree inside) offers a flair of nightlife in sleepier SouthPark, with hours extending to 11 p.m. daily, except for Friday and Saturday (open until 1 a.m.). The recently rebranded Treehouse pours more than 50 bourbons, while also serving up barbecue, shareable sides and appetizers. Don’t miss the signature Boujee Juice, a frozen cocktail brought out in a collectable tin cup.

4423 Sharon Rd
Charlotte, NC 28211

19. Foxcroft Wine Co. SouthPark

7824 Fairview Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

Both locations in Foxcroft and Dilworth cater to small plate and wine cravings. Browse the rows of wines from around the world lining the walls (the goal is to offer options from every major wine-producing region) — and pop a bottle in-store. Get fancier as a wine club member and enjoy two interesting selections each month.

7824 Fairview Rd
Charlotte, NC 28226

20. Rush Espresso Cafe and Wine Bar

14825 Ballantyne Village Way #135, Charlotte, NC 28277

Over in the Ballantyne suburbs, Rush offers a boost of night life, with hours extending to midnight multiple days a week, plus a dinner menu with flatbreads, burgers, and more. Grab a glass (or bottle) of wine in the bright and airy atmosphere, with selections ranging from bubbly, to interesting reds to familiar whites. Beers are also available, along with cocktails (like the Rush Espresso martini with espresso). On a lucky night, catch live music from a Charlotte artist.

14825 Ballantyne Village Way #135
Charlotte, NC 28277

Related Maps