DRIVEN, SPIRITED, ACADEMIC
Home to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and more than 20 regional offices for Fortune 500 companies, University City is a lively offshoot with smarts.
University City is essentially (but not officially) its own city. The neighborhood is named for one shining tenant: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Despite its proximity to the city, the university and its lively student culture have brought college-town spirit—not to mention fun pubs, dining hot spots and extensive retail—to the area. On football Saturdays, crowds dressed in green, white and gold pile into Jerry Richardson Stadium to cheer for the Charlotte 49ers. During the week, the neighborhood is all business. With more than 20 regional offices for Fortune 500 companies in this area, University Executive Park, University Research Park and Innovation Park employ thousands, and the completion of the LYNX Blue Line light rail extension makes access to Center City faster than ever.
Spot birds and botanicals while hiking through Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve’s pine tree-shaded trails and paths. Afterward, enjoy an afternoon treat from the ice cream masterminds at Ninety’s Sandwiches & Ice Cream. (Think macaron ice cream sandwiches and picture-perfect milkshakes.) Later on, dive into the area’s international scene at Le Kebab Grill, a Middle Eastern joint serving flavorful falafel, tabbouleh and shawarma. As the name implies, the grilled kebab dishes are the standouts.
Things to do
Live music, a comfy living room and libations to suit every taste (wine by the bottle and glass as well as hundreds of brews) draw nightly crowds to The Wine Vault. Dinner calls for a stop at Ciro’s Italian Restaurant, where the Cornielle family has been plating generous portions of Italian cuisine since 1995, or Edgewater Bar & Grill, which serves delectable pimento cheese-and-bacon deviled eggs. A magnet for the college crowd, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium invites cold-one connoisseurs to share in late-night camaraderie. Join the UFO beer club to keep track of the number of beers you’ve tried; members who reach 200 earn a Ring of Honor, which is displayed on the bar’s wall.