February 19, 2019

Last week we invited you to join us on Instagram for a firm tour of Gresham Smith to get a feel for what it’s like to work in a firm in Charlotte. This week on I Want to Work In (#iwtwi), we are featuring the top five places to eat, sleep, work, and play in Charlotte, NC. This list will help you familiarize yourself with the city being featured in case you are interested in living and working there in the future!

top 5 places to . . .



  1. South End – lots of new development spurred by the light rail, yet still walkable to Uptown, tons of apartments and restaurants geared toward young professionals.
  2. Uptown – nothing beats being in the middle of it all!
  3. NoDa – the ‘arts district’, which is now connected by light rail, with lots of new live/play options, with still a bit of a funky vibe.
  4. Plaza Midwood – don’t let the big houses fool you, there are plenty of rental options in this gorgeous neighborhood, all walking distance to good food and drink.
  5. South Park – a little more upscale with plenty of amenities.


  1. Soul Gastrolounge – creative tapas for the true foodie.
  2. Sabor Latin Street Grill –  amazing food with an even more amazing salsa bar.
  3. Halcyon – farm to table goodness.
  4. Mac’s Speed Shop – BBQ and bikers, need I say more?
  5. Crepe Cellar Kitchen & Pub – savory and sweet crepes, but also the most amazing mac and cheese, burgers, and brussel sprouts.


  1. NC Music Factory – concerts, bars and comedy, all in one place!
  2. US National Whitewater Center – whitewater rafting, hiking/biking trails and weekly live music!
  3. Charlotte Checkers – Yes, we have pro football and basketball, and even a great urban minor league baseball stadium, but hockey games are so much fun!
  4. Breweries – There are too many to name! Check them out.
  5. ImaginOn – I am at the stage in my life where I am starting spend more and more time here—a one-of-a-kind children’s library in the heart of the cultural arts district!


  1. AIA Charlotte study groups 
  2. Coco and the Director – excellent coffee with a wide variety of seating for group or individual studying
  3. Amelie’s – Open 24 hours with lots of seating, plenty to coffee and treats to keep you fueled no matter the time of day
  4. Our neighborhood pool – Most apartment buildings and neighborhood complexes have pools (tip: go in the morning with your coffee before it gets crowded)
  5. Atkins Library – the public libraries are great, but sometimes you just need a good university library to get focused

Meet People

  1. Common Market – A good place to sit for a while, people watch, and connect with others
  2. Summer Pops – Pack a picnic (and a bottle of wine) and listen to the symphony play classical music from popular culture
  3. Alive After Five – A huge weekly outdoor happy hour
  4. Charlotte Speed Street – Even if you aren’t a NASCAR fan, it’s a fun atmosphere for people watching, music and festival food
  5. Any of our many breweries!

This month, ‘I Want to Work In’ is sponsored by Gresham Smith, a Premier Design Alliance member of the AIAS.

Looking to venture to a new city after graduation? Stay tuned each month as we highlight a new city. Want to feature your city? Send an email to kimberlytuttle@aias.org.