LOCAL, ENERGETIC, WALKABLE
While this area has been referred to as Montford, Madison Park and the Park Road Shopping Center, the city does know one thing for sure: this is theneighborhood to visit if you’re looking for good food and drinks (and even better shopping).
Back in the 1950s, Montford was primarily a residential area known for hosting the city’s first open-air shopping center. Half a century later, folks still visit Montford for that shopping center — but the neighborhood is now also known as one of Charlotte’s go-to dining and nightlife destinations.
Start with a Southern-inspired breakfast at The Flying Biscuit Café, featuring favorites like the award-winning shrimp and grits or the egg-ceptional eggs. And if you get a late start, don’t fret — breakfast is served all day here. Prefer a sweeter start to your day? Then Your Mom’s Donuts is the way to go. Specialty options vary by season, but you can always count on the salted caramel and the lemon honey flavors to quell your sugar cravings.
Since you’ll already be in the heart of the Park Road Shopping Center, follow breakfast with a visit to Park Road Books, locally owned and operated for more than 40 years and the only full-service independent bookstore in the Queen City. From there, wander through Blackhawk Hardware, a locally owned spot for hardware, garden essentials and all kinds of other niche goods for the home. This jack-of-all-trades store also offers a key shop, free popcorn, UPS shipping and knife sharpening services — in case you need them while you’re there.
Things to do
Time for an indulgent afternoon starting at North Carolina’s first Shake Shack for the popular chain’s legendary burgers and fries. Then it’s off to Suárez Bakery for dessert — choose from the scratch bakery’s selection of highly Instagrammable cupcakes, cookies and doughnuts. Need something on the healthier side after all this indulging? Consider a stop at Chopt Creative Salad Co.for a massive and nutritious bowl of veggies or pop by Juice Bar for a brightly colored organic juice packed with vitamins.
Work off your burgers and baked goods with a bit of bowling at 10 Park Lanes. If you’re not in the mood to bowl, you can work toward high scores on old-school games in the arcade or head to the outdoor patio to play bocce ball, ping-pong or cornhole.
Get dinner at Good Food on Montford, a classic Charlotte restaurant whose name speaks for itself. A James Beard semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant,” Good Food on Montford has been featured in the New York Times, Southern Living and The Washington Post — so don’t miss your chance to check out what all the buzz is about. If you’re in the mood for Italian, try Osteria LuCa – an eatery featuring Artisan pizza, antipasti, housemade pasta and fresh seafood.
Make your way to members-only cocktail lounge Dot Dot Dot for your choice of perfected classics (like an old-fashioned or a Manhattan) or creative custom cocktails (like the Queen Park Swizzle) from renowned mixologist Stefan Huebner. Once you're ready to give your refined palate a break, take a trip to Jeff’s Bucket Shop, a beloved underground dive bar where you can enjoy cheap drinks, late night karaoke and even free popcorn.