60 Ways to Go Out in Charlotte
Get ready for a night out on the town in the Queen City.
by Dean McCain
Charlotte’s constantly expanding nightlife scene means new hotspots to discover and love. From theaters to speakeasies and wine bars to social houses, these locales are some of the best entertainment venues Charlotte has to offer.
1. Let an expert mixologist create something special for you at Idlewild, a menu-less, cozy and casual environment “well suited for a bit of escapism.”
2. Take your sweet time at Crave Dessert Bar, whether you’re getting your night started or heading in for a nightcap.
3. Have a posh nightcap perched atop vintage velvet sofas at Sophia’s Lounge.
4. Raise a toast at the end of the day with refreshing local cocktails and a plate of Irish nosh on the garden terrace at The Workman’s Friend.
5. Enjoy premium spirits and shisha at Members Only Tasting Room & Social. The chic decor and wide range of music make this laidback cocktail bar welcoming and comfortable to all.
6. Pair a cocktail with seafood from the raw bar at Sea Level in the heart of Uptown. Catch a sunset with a view from one of Charlotte’s rooftop bars. Nuvole Rooftop TwentyTwo, Buho Bar, Fahrenheit, Aura Rooftop and Merchant & Trade offer modern and fashionable atmospheres to see and be seen.
8. Find a spot at Church and Union’s oversized bar, then order from an array of creative cocktails and take in the intriguing modern decor.
9. The Public House is an unassuming bar and restaurant featuring outstanding selections of foods and spirits, with big emphasis on quality
14. Indulge in classic cocktails and a seasonal dinner menu at The Cellar at Duckworth's. Perfect for intimate conversations and close company.
16. Make reservations for a “spirit experience” at Supperland’s hidden speakeasy. Guests are treated to a selection of specialty crafted cocktails and small bites that change at the whims of the mixology and kitchen teams.
19. Enjoy the atmosphere and decor of Poplar, situated in Morrison House, a strikingly beautiful Victorian-style property built in 1885. The wine and tapas offerings pair perfectly with garden seating on warm nights.
21. Browse a selection of artisanal, small-production and naturally-made wines to find your next favorite at Foxcroft Wine Co.
22. Try any of the 70 wines by the glass or 100 by the bottle at The Wine Loft, pairing them perfectly with tasty tapas.
23. Saving feels like a splurge thanks to weekly wine specials and scrumptious charcuterie boards at Dilworth Tasting Room.
24. Discover what’s waiting around the corner at Tequila House, a large and winding Latin nightclub. Shake your hips all night on the fiery dance floor or find the large patio area for a more relaxed vibe.
25. Throw on your cowboy boots and bring your line dancing skills for an evening of boot-scooting at Coyote Joe’s.
27. Hit the dance floor as a DJ spins high-energy mixes at RSVP. When you need to rest your feet, take a seat on the semi-outdoor terrace, cozy lounge or at the rooftop bar.
Live Music Lairs
29. Live music, good food and cold drinks are always on the menu at Goldie’s. Hear a mix of local and regional acts for free, with larger ticketed shows every month.
30. Discover local artists of all genres, from up-and-comers to headliners, at live music hub Neighborhood Theatre.
31. Hear your favorite songs and rock out to some of Charlotte’s best cover bands at The Gin Mill.
32. Discover a new roots musician, or an oldies-inspired band, at mid-sized music hall, Visulite Theatre.
33. Catch an intimate show at The Evening Muse and discover performing artists and songwriters before they hit it big.
35. See a performance at one of Blumenthal Performing Arts’ beautiful venues, like Belk Theater, Knight Theater, or Booth Playhouse. Blumenthal offers a wide range of cultural arts including symphony performances, Broadway musicals, opera, public speakers and comedians.
36. Taglined as “the spot before the spot," 1501 S. Mint offers classic cocktails and casual American food in a breezy indoor/outdoor environment. Check for special events like cigar and whiskey pairings and after-work networking events.
38. Look for a spot on the sprawling patio at Brazwells Premium Pub – the best spot in the house for sipping suds.
39. Take a seat at either of the Dandelion Market’s long and friendly bars. The Dandy is a lively spot for casual weeknights and gets rowdy on weekends.
40. Take a beer, on the honor system, from the bartender on duty at Brawley’s Beverage and find a spot on the patio. Family and dog friendly, Brawley’s is the neighborhood spot you wish was yours.
41. Have a night out at Angry Ale’s for that home-from-college party feel. A rowdy anchor to Montford Drive, Angry Ale’s is a guaranteed good time.
42. Stop for a pint at HopFly Brewing Co. and enjoy the city view from the front porch or open-air second story.
43. Self-serve your own brews at Hoppin’, which offers drafts in a soda fountain-style setup.
44. Pick from the expansive draft list at Craft Tasting Room with help from knowledgeable staff, share small plates with friends and browse the bottle and can selection for carry out. If you want a snack while you wait for your food, ask about the boiled peanuts.
46. Order a PBR or Bud heavy and rock the jukebox during an unforgettable night at the no-frills Thirsty Beaver Saloon.
47. Quench your thirst at Park Road Shopping Center’s famously casual watering hole, Sir Edmond Halley’s.
48. Find drag shows, dancing and wild weekend nights at The Scorpio, Charlotte’s oldest gay bar.
49. Grab a drink from the bar at Chasers, where you can find drink specials Wednesday through Sunday.
50. Explore the artsy corners of Petra’s Bar, hear singer-songwriters and spoken-word artists on a small stage, or attend Hazy Sundays and daytrip through an afternoon of deep house cuts.
51. Dance along with your favorite music videos at Bar Argon, Charlotte’s only gay video lounge and dance bar. Attend a themed party, sing karaoke, learn to line dance or party with a guest DJ, all regular events on the Argon calendar.
52. Hit leather bar, The Woodshed Lounge, and chill out on the outdoor patio. While you’re there stop in and buy some gear at the in-house leather shop.
53. Belt out your favorite throwbacks at casual and comfortable NoDa 101, a bare-bones karaoke bar.
54. Take a dive down to Jeff’s Bucket Shop on Montford and sing with the weekly regulars.
55. Reserve a private session in one of Seoul Food Meat Company's themed karaoke rooms.
57. Hit up Slingshot Social Game Club in South End for an upgrade on classic social games like Extreme Duckpin bowling and SuperSkee skeeball, or find old friends Ms. Pacman, Donkey Kong and the Street Fighters at arcade bars like Super Abari Game Bar and The Blind Pig.
60. Get your toes in the sand at VBGB’s outdoor volleyball courts, or test your pop-culture knowledge at one of the unique and challenging trivia nights.
Article originally written by Dean McCain. Updates made by Arielle Patterson in June 2023.