WELCOMING, HISTORIC, LAID-BACK
With a streetcar still rattling down its streets, the Elizabeth neighborhood marries historic charm with tree-lined streets and community-centered pursuits.
Following in Dilworth’s footsteps, Elizabeth was the city’s second streetcar suburb. In the early 1890s, to match the growth of Uptown’s busy East Trade Street, nearby farmland began to develop into a residential zone, and then, a suburb. The trolley and eventually the automobile connected Center City dwellers and professionals to Elizabeth, and the neighborhood soon became a nucleus for hospitals, churches and higher education—all hallmarks of the district’s character. Adorable Craftsman-style homes and locally owned businesses, shaded by willow oaks, give the Uptown-adjacent enclave an irresistible charm. The modern-day CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar rattles along the roads, and young professionals tromp down Elizabeth Avenue, Hawthorne Lane and 7th Street to patronize funky retailers, music halls and saloons.
To kick-start your morning or find a midday pick-me-up, order a homemade poptart or muffin and a freshly roasted cup of coffee at Sunflour Baking Company. From April to August, you can catch a Charlotte Hounds lacrosse game at nearby Memorial Stadium. But if they’re not around, spend the day biking the nearby Little Sugar Creek Greenway. After burning off your breakfast, visit Elizabeth Avenue, an idyllic strip featuring booze-and-bikes establishment The Spoke Easy, homemade ice cream parlor Elizabeth Creamery and urban grocer Earl’s Grocery.
Things to do
Feast on tasty Creole fare at longtime Elizabeth hangout Cajun Queen. The restaurant, set up in a 100-year-old abode, cranks out etouffee, shrimp and grits, jambalaya and live jazz every night of the week. Looking for something more international? Try upscale French restaurant Fig Tree, also in a renovated home. That same Seventh Street strip is also home to The Stanley, a high-end, farm-to-table restaurant from James Beard Award semifinalist Paul Verica. Round out the evening grooving to live music at the no-frills Visulite Theatre. One of Charlotte’s oldest and still-operating music halls, the Visulite, formerly a movie theater, stages unforgettable indie, rock, country and blues shows in an intimate listening room.