10 of the best places to curl up with a good book in Charlotte, from a wine bar to a bus

Photo by Alex Cason
Queen City Grounds
As busy as life stays anymore, most of us are constantly seeking and craving that down time a good reading session can offer.

Whether you’re Team Kindle or Team Print, the perfect reading spot can be a Holy Grail of sorts: It can’t be too loud, too hot or too uncomfortable. For the Goldilocks of bookworms, here are 10 cozy spots in Charlotte in which to settle in with a good read:

Queen City Grounds

644 N Church St.

An upstairs reading nook provides a getaway if it’s solitude you seek, but we recommend sitting downstairs at the end of the bar — let the hustle and bustle of the crowd provide that perfect ambient noise. The smell of roasting coffee beans will just complete the scene.

What to order: The General Tsorange — turkey or tofu, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, avocado and house General Tso sauce pressed on a hoagie — oh, and don’t forget a black coffee with cream.

Okra Yoga

1912 Commonwealth Ave.

Show up on Thursdays at 10:45 a.m. for an all-levels vinyasa, then settle in for a cup of tea after class at their lounge in the lobby. If you’re feeling particularly zen after a chapter or two, head on in for deep stretch at 12:30 p.m.

What to order: Dreamweaver — Creamy Egyptian Chamomile blended with stimulating orange peel and hibiscus.

Freedom Park

1900 East Blvd.

Are you a sun worshipper or do you prefer the coolness of shade? Freedom Park’s lounging options offer grassy, sunny seats on the lawn, or the sun protection only shade trees or a gazebo can provide. Enjoy your latest beach read by the water with the ducks nearby.

Photo by Alex Cason

CATS bus

Choose a window seat, open up the pages and let your characters dictate your thoughts as you’re being chauffeured to your next destination. Silver lining: the longer the ride, the more time to read.

Where: your closest CATS bus stop

Coco and the Director

100 W Trade St.

If you happen to finish your novel while you’re here, leave it behind on the bookshelf, then peruse the coffee shop’s book swap shelves for your next read.

What to order: Latte in a for-here cup and a Kronut

Photo by Melissa Oyler

North Charlotte Park

901 Herrin Ave.

Find two trees at the edge of the park that don’t already have a hammock occupying them. Set up your ENO and let imagination and a cool breeze drift you away.

Rush Espresso Cafe & Wine Bar

14825 Ballantyne Village Way, #135

Think hygge at Rush Espresso’s flagship shop at Ballantyne Village in South Charlotte. With coffee drinks and rich, hearty dishes, it’s a choice spot for comfort food and a novel.

What to order: Chicken Pot Pie – Rotisserie chicken with bacon and garden vegetables, baked in a savory pastry, or a latte and a house-made sweet pastry.

NoDa Company Store

3221 Yadkin Ave.

For a close-to-home feel, stretch out your legs on a porch swing nestled among the potted plants at NoDa Company Store. For a change of pace, starting Friday you’ll be able to hold down a spot at owner Joey Hewell and Scott Lindsley’s new NoDa Company Canteen at Camp North End.

What to order: White Claw Hard Seltzer Natural Lime. It goes down so smoothly you’ll forget it’s spiked.

Photo by Melissa Oyler

Camp North End

1824 Statesville Ave.

Speaking of Camp North End, do you prefer a picnic table, adirondack chair or tire swing for a good read? Take your pick with your favorite book at the adaptive-reuse creative space.

What to order: If you’re there on the first Saturday of the month for their Morning Market, grab some Hex Coffee, breakfast food, or produce from the mini-farmers market. “I’ve actually seen people bring a book to read, so this could be a great option,” said Varian Shrum, Camp North End’s community manager.

Bench along any of the city’s greenways or parks

The area offers so many miles of greenways and parks you can pick your favorite one and walk until you find the bench for you. We like Fourth Ward Neighborhood Park (301 N. Poplar St.), which has a Little Free Library nearby if you need a new page-turner.

Photo by Alex Cason

Featured photo: Alex Cason


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