Living Here Guide

What to eat, drink and do in West End and FreeMoreWest

LaCa Projects showcases Latin American contemporary art. Photo by David T. Foster, III
LaCa Projects showcases Latin American contemporary art. Photo by David T. Foster, III

To know: Located just outside of Uptown, West End and FreeMoreWest are comprised of some of Charlotte’s oldest African-American neighborhoods, like Biddleville, Seversville and Wesley Heights.

To eat: You can’t miss Pinky’s Westside Grill — it’s the one with the Volkswagen Beetle on the roof. Pinky’s is famous for its fried pickles, Pinky Dog (slathered with pimento cheese and chili) and Ding Dong-style burgers (with crunchy peanut butter, honey-cilantro slaw and sriracha). Don’t forget about The Open Kitchen, which has been feeding Charlotte its famous “pizza pies” since 1952, and Bar-B-Q King, the drive-in spot that’s been dishing out barbecue, fried chicken and more since 1959.

To drink: Draught is literally in the shadow of Bank of America Stadium, making it perfect for game days. Blue Blaze Brewing, the first brewery in West End, sits right off the Stewart Creek Greenway in the 100-year-old Savona Mill. Rhino Market has you covered with beer and wine — to stay or to go — along with deli sandwiches, snacks and coffee, and if you want to drink with your furry friend by your side, Lucky Dog Bark and Brew is an indoor/outdoor dog park with a sports bar. Coffee lovers can take a spin through CupLux, the city’s first craft coffee drive-through.

To do: Explore the campus of Johnson C. Smith University, the private liberal arts university founded in 1867. Check out art at LaCa Projects, which showcases Latin American contemporary art. Take a stroll or a bike ride along Irwin and Stewart Creek greenways, or head a bit farther south to Revolution Park, which features the 9-hole Dr. Charles L. Sifford Golf Course.