We’ve described Plaza Midwood in the past as “the quirky cousin to NoDa” or as “Elizabeth’s eccentric neighbor.” But in reality, this neighborhood can’t be defined in conjunction with another Charlotte ‘hood; Plaza Midwood has a heartbeat that’s uniquely its own.
We kicked off our “How to spend a perfect day” series with a perfect day in NoDa, followed by a perfect day in Dilworth and then in SouthPark. This occasional series will serve as a user’s guide to different parts of the city, telling you what you should do, see, eat and drink in Charlotte’s most interesting neighborhoods.
Although we’ve already written our Plaza Midwood neighborhood guide, let’s delve a little deeper into what a perfect day in the 28205 might look like.
How to spend a perfect day in Plaza Midwood:
(1) Start the day off with an energy boost at Common Market (2007 Commonwealth Ave.) Get yourself a cup of Sexy Power, Common Market’s wildly popular artisan roasted coffee with notes of deep chocolate and dark fruit.
Alternatively, you could order a homemade green juice from behind the check-out counter… you know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
(2) If you’re not hanging around to build your own breakfast sandwich/bowl/salad at Common Market — which you can do every day of the week until 11 a.m.— then you should head to Zada Jane’s Corner Café (1601 Central Ave.). You can’t miss it; it’s the bright green building on the corner of Thomas and Central with the shuffleboards out front.
The menu is full of items for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Whichever you are, we recommend trying the infamous Bunny Rancheros: two fried “Happy Eggs,” black beans, and home fries with your choice of chorizo, turkey sausage, local pork sausage or soysage— all topped with a pepperjack cheese queso sauce, guacamole, salsa verde and crema and served with warm tortillas.
Pro tip: Prefer a sweet breakfast? Try the Pinckney St. Pancakes with honey butter and syrup – AND you can order them to be gluten-free. Score.
Late morning/Early afternoon
(3) You’re bound to be full to the brim after you’re done at Zada Jane’s, so walk off your breakfast with a stroll through Midwood Park (2100 Wilhelmina Ave.). There’s plenty of shaded, grassy space to relax with a book or play frisbee, or you can check out the community garden to see what’s growing.
(4) If you’d rather work off your morning meal with a yoga class – or if you’d like to find a little Zen after you’re finished at the park — you can stop by Okra Yoga (1912 Commonwealth Ave.) for a flow that fits your fancy. Choose between an all-levels vinyasa, a Chillax Yoga Flow or any other number of class offerings.
(5) Make a quick stop at Book Buyers (1306 The Plaza), the neighborhood’s beloved used book store specializing in books about history, art and architecture, classic literature and fiction. Or pop over to the Plaza Midwood Library on the corner of Central and The Plaza, where Mecklenburg county residents can take out books and utilize tons of other resources for free.
(6) If you’re getting hungry, you can head next door to Akahana Asian Bistro (1308 The Plaza) where sushi rolls are buy one, get one free every damn day.
Not in the mood for Asian cuisine? You can check out Moo & Brew (1300 Central Ave.) for a juicy burger and a local craft beer, or stop by Dish (1220 Thomas Ave.) for some traditional Southern comfort food.
(7) Now that you’re satiated, wander through a few of Plaza Midwood’s popular shops to see what they have to offer. Visit the eclectic boutique CLTCH (1512 Central Ave.) to browse jewelry, accessories and gifts for both women and men. Stop by Gumbo Goods (1916 Commonwealth Ave.) for all things wellness, from yoga mats to essential oils and beyond. Or check out Fifteen Ten Antiques & Consignments (1510 Central Ave.) to find home décor and vintage items that are one of a kind.
(8) Taste test a few local beers at Legion Brewing (1906 Commonwealth Ave.), a Plaza Midwood brewery that adds an innovative twist to traditional German-style brewing.
Pro tip: Try the Carolina Sparkle Party with one of the “dressings” offered to turn the lip-puckeringly sour Berliner Weisse into a sweet beverage.
(9) Get ready to enjoy a hip and cozy dinner at Soul Gastrolounge (1500 Central Ave.) right in the heart of Plaza Midwood. This spot features small plates from around the world and is known for offering a variety of sushi rolls, as well as a constantly-changing cocktail list.
Pro tip: Soul doesn’t take reservations, but you can download the NoWait app to put your name on the list before you arrive.
(10) Grab post-dinner cocktails by the roaring fire at Workman’s Friend (1531 Central Ave.), an Irish gastropub boasting plenty of local and international beer to choose from, an extensive whiskey list, and a wide variety of craft cocktails.
(11) Want to go dancing and listen to some live music? Make your way to Snug Harbor (1228 Gordon St.). This local watering hole is a nautical-themed bar that hosts local and regional rock acts on a nightly basis, along with the occasional drag show.
Pro tip: Stop by Sunday nights for karaoke, and get ready for a few show-stoppers.
(12) Soak up that remaining alcohol with a hearty meal at The Diamond (1901 Commonwealth Ave.) a beloved neighborhood diner with an invitingly illuminated sign right out front, which is open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays (and 11 p.m. the rest of the time). Stop by this staple neighborhood diner for Italian, Greek and Southern-inspired comfort food.
Sounds like an amazing day in Plaza Midwood to me.
Featured photo: CharlotteFive archives.