Living Here Guide

What to eat, drink and do in SouthPark

Cocktails at Dogwood Southern Table & Bar are a must. Photo by Justin Driscoll.
Cocktails at Dogwood Southern Table & Bar are a must. Photo by Justin Driscoll.

To know: Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood is more than just a mall — it’s one of the region’s fastest growing areas. Creative local restaurants, inspiring entertainment, a dense concentration of fashionable retail and easy access to Uptown Charlotte all make SouthPark a destination to explore again and again.

To eat: Popular raw vegan spot Living Kitchen has expanded to this area, along with gourmet grocer and café Reid’s Fine Foods (pair your wine with a small plate from the after-five menu and keep your fingers crossed for live music on the patio. Meanwhile, Café Monte will transport you to a sidewalk in Paris with classics like Salade Nicoise and Escargot Traditionnel, and Chuan Wang Fu will send you to China with a sushi bar and extensive Szechuan menu. Mediterranean soul food is the star at Ilios Noche and bold, aromatic Middle Eastern flavors abound in Yafo Kitchen, a fast-casual addition to SouthPark’s dining scene (we challenge you to build your own bowl here — it’s intense). Want to try something totally off-the-wall? Head to The Cowfish for “Burgushi” — a mashup of burgers and sushi.

To drink: Corkbuzz, the chic, NYC-style wine studio, offers more than 40 wines by the glass and hundreds of curated selections by the bottle. Cozy up to the bar at The Cellar at Corkbuzz next door for a more casual vibe — but all the same good selections. At Foxcroft Wine Co. you’ll find a large selection of diverse and hard-to-find wines from every wine producing region of the world, plus some scrumptious small plates (get a flatbread). In-the-know-locals revere the cocktail stylings of Dogwood Southern Table & Bar mixologist Brian Lorusso, whose house-made infused syrups and more serve as the backbone of classic cocktails and his own creations. Tucked away in Piedmont Row,J. Sam’s, a hip wine bar, offers an extensive list of appetizers and wines, plus walls filled with works by local artists.

To do: SouthPark mall is the centerpiece of this neighborhood with more than 150 stores, but the shopping doesn’t have to end there. Get outfitted for hiking and camping at Jesse Brown’s Outdoors, find jewelry, handbags, home decor, baby clothing and more at The Mole Hole, or shop fine outdoor and casual brands at The Sporting Gent. Don’t forget to explore the outdoors — Park Road Park features an 11-acre lake, walking trails, volleyball, basketball courts and more.