How to Plan the Perfect Tailgate in Charlotte
Nothing beats a game day in the Queen City and cheering on the next Panthers touchdown should come with the best food, drinks and seats in the house. Best of all, Charlotte has plenty of options for stocking up on game-day essentials and many places to tune in with your best buds. Discover what the city has to offer as you plan the perfect tailgate in the Queen City.
by Anders J. Hare
No team gets Charlotte-area football fans on their feet like the Carolina Panthers. Since 1995, the Panthers have been a mainstay in the NFL’s National Football Conference South division. The Panthers call Bank of America Stadium home and have been owned by David Tepper since 2018. A few key players include the likes of Christian McCaffery, D.J. Moore, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. As a pinnacle of professional sports in the Carolinas, the Panthers always keep fans pounding.
Have the perfect game day with delicious menu options at Graham Street Pub & Patio. Complete with Sunday brunch and a rooftop bar, you can sit amidst Uptown Charlotte’s soaring skyscrapers while indulging before or after the big game.
Just a walk away from Bank of America Stadium is Green’s Lunch, Charlotte’s longest-running eatery. Pop in for one of their superb “all the way” hot dogs on game day and get your filling of this Queen City staple.
Head over to Latta Arcade, Charlotte’s little “French quarter” area for a quick bite at Queen City Bites & Crafts. This popular game day eatery has pretty much any food you can think of, including breakfast burritos, brats, burgers, quesadillas, salads and more.
If you’re looking for game-day meats, then Midwood Smokehouse has them. This popular eatery houses several Carolina Panthers catering events, giving you the perfect opportunity to run into some of your favorite players. You can also stop in to Mac’s Speed Shop and taste their BBQ chicken, ribs, pulled pork and more.
Are you in a rush to get to the big game? Rhino Deli & Market is the perfect place to pick up all your game day snacks, drinks, sandwiches and more.
A tailgate is not complete without a few drinks options to keep you and your crew hydrated, energized and feeling good. Head to the heart of NoDa for some brews at Wooden Robot Brewery. This five-barrel farmhouse brewery has over a dozen on-tap selections as well as specialty beers and to-go crowlers that die-hard sports fans can enjoy.
Just off Park Road is the staple beer hall Brawley’s Beverage. It’s complete with a huge selection of beer and liquor options as well as an experienced staff happy to help you choose the right drink for your next occasion. If you and your crew are looking for some unique finds, then Salud Beer Shop has just what you need. Pick up a six-pack for game day and discover something new while you’re there.
Protagonist Beer features over 20 taps and the Fridge of Curiosities. Its southern front porch is enough to turn any game day gathering into a full-fledged party. If you’re looking for non-alcoholic drinking options, Lenny Boy Brewing Co. has some great-tasting kombucha options as well as traditional ales and lagers, sours, wild ales and gluten-free hard kombucha.
The Dog House is home to WFNZ’s “greatest tailgate party in Charlotte,” complete with a full bar, live music/DJ on an outdoor stage, WFNZ’s live broadcast of the game and plenty of flat-screen TVs with games playing nonstop.
As Charlotte’s original self-serve bar, Hoppin’ has dozens of unique beer and wine options that will get your crew feeling good before heading to the game. Just down the street, Charlotte Beer Garden is home to the world's largest selection of draft beers available in one restaurant, complete with three floors and an ever-changing menu. It’s the perfect place to gather after the game.
Just footsteps away from Bank of America Stadium is Ink N Ivy, a unique gathering spot to be social while listening to music and sipping your favorite drink or cocktail. For soccer fans, Courtyard Hooligans is a must-stop sports bar. It’s a walk away from Bank of America Stadium, plus it’s the perfect place to sit down and enjoy the game while sipping from their great selection.
Uptown Charlotte is also home to plenty of tailgating locations to choose from. Whether you’re cheering on the Panthers or Charlotte FC, McNinch Street lot has become the go-to for tailgating in Charlotte. On game days, you can enjoy a selection of food trucks and other eating options. Outside food and beverages are also allowed.
Just steps away from Bank of America is the Carolina Blue Zone, an all-inclusive tailgating experience presented by Gameday Hospitality. It features gameday buffet, beer, wine and non-alcoholic drink options. If you’re looking to set up the whole shabang, complete with tents and a grill, then the Cedar Yard lots have plenty of space to sprawl out and enjoy the game with your closest peeps.
Looking for some weekly fun with one of Charlotte’s most popular tailgate groups? Tailgate with a Purpose meets weekly during football season in the shadow of Bank of America Stadium at 628 W. Morehead St.
Fans of the Panthers can pop into the 704 Shop for Charlotte-centric clothing and accessories to show off their Queen City pride. Sports fans also love Glory Days Apparel, the go-to shop for sport-themed t-shirts with unique graphic designs, perfect for any game day.
Head over to Paper Skyscraper for your eclectic tailgating finds and gear to keep you warm or cool during the big game. Or make your way to CLT Find, the place to find the perfect Charlotte-themed souvenir, gift item, tasty treat or accessory. Are you looking for custom game day gear at a local hotspot? At OMJ Clothing you can design your own Panthers-centric gear and choose from a wide variety of clothing.