I recently moved to the Queen City aka Charlotte, NC from Washington DC. I'm here to pursue a Masters in Nutrition/Registered Dietician degree at Winthrop University! I've fallen in love with the city and already have a long list of my favorite places in the area (and an even longer one of places I *must* try!). In case you're a local (or just visiting!) here are some of my go-to stops:
Amelie's Bakery for delicious pastries, sandwiches and late night treats.
Earl's Grocery for lunch, appetizers and quirky groceries.
Foxcroft Wine Co. for all of the wines and burrata (get. the. burrata.)
Sunflour Bakery for amazing scones, croissants, muffins and coffee! They have a little recipe book that features all of the ingredients as well - the RD-to-be in me loves this.
Rico's Acai for superfoods and acai bowls in Uptown!
Smelly Cat Coffeehouse for caffeine!
Your Mom's Donuts for the most indulgent and incredible donuts and the friendliest people.
Summit Room for delicious dinners and cocktails!
Good Bottle Co. for an awesome beer selection and friendly bar.
Legion Brewing for great beers and a lively, hip crowd
Mayobird for the most varieties of chicken salad I've even encountered and a front porch you'll never want to leave.
Noda Bodega for a unique neighborhood sandwich shop.
Zada Janes for the fluffiest pancakes.
Chef Alyssa's Kitchen for an awesome night of cooking with the friendliest people.
Va da vie gelato for the creamiest gelato made from local fruits!
Suarez bakery for gorgeous cookies. Seriously, you won't want to eat them they are so perfect.
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I lived in Washington DC (well really Arlington, if we're being picky) for almost four years before moving to Charlotte. I made a pretty good dent on the running trails, restaurants, and touristy attractions of the area, though I likely barely scratched the surface.
Here are a few of my favorite noms, sights and trails in and around DC.
Noms and Slurps:
Northside Social - This coffee shop, wine bar, bakery and casual restaurant in Clarendon is my absolutely favorite go-to spot. Their scones are melt in your mouth (but could use to be about 5 times larger, if you catch my drift), their breakfast sandwiches are delish but not too heavy, their coffee is brimming with caffeine and their wine & cheese bar is the only thing guaranteed to cheer me up after a long day at work. Go.
Pupatella - Hands-down the best pizza I've found in the DC area. This hole-in-the-wall joint makes incredible, thin crust pizza in their wood-fired oven. It's a bit off the beaten path but is worth the trip.
Baked & Wired - Though there is a lot of hoopla over other, not to be named, Georgetown cupcake establishments, nothing beats Baked & Wired in my book. There is rarely a wait, and their cupcakes are colossal, creative, and the only cupcake worth having.
Port City Brewery - Even though DC's beer scene is woefully behind many other cities in the US, this brewery is one of my favorite places to bring out-of-towners for a brewery tour and some very generous samples in their tasting room. You can easily spend an afternoon hanging out and slurping the day away on their Optimal Wit (my personal favorite).
Le Diplomate - Definitely a "treat-yo-self" kind of spot (both in terms of the food and the check), this French bistro on 14th Street in DC is totally worth it. You'll feel like you've been transported to a French cafe (and the baguette basket doesn't hurt either).
Toki Underground - Yes, there is tons of hype around this ramen restaurant on H street, but *trust me*, it's merited. Insider tip: You can make reservations for the 6pm time slot on certain nights of the week - DO IT. I've waited for 2.5+ hours for a bar seat at this place (yes, it was worth it) but their ramen, and everything else, really, is drool-worthy.
Roosevelt Island - Wandering around this oasis in the middle of the Potomac River in DC is always a peaceful way to spend a weekend morning. You can check-out the trails that circle the island for a run or a walk, but make sure to head to the center of the island to see the totally unexpected Roosevelt memorial.
National Portrait Gallery - A museum, in DC? Shocking I know. But this is my favorite of the main DC museums and usually less crowded than the rest because of it's location off the mall.
Jazz in the Gardens - Every Friday during the summer months in DC you can hang-out in the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery and listen to jazz music. For free. With sangria and a picnic. What more do you need?
Walk around the Tidal Basin - One of the most scenic walks in all of DC and usually the least crowded (barring Cherry Blossom season - you've been warned).
Bill Goat Trail
Four Mile Run Trail
C&O Canal Trail
Mount Vernon Trail