a brunch + café guide to Charlotte, North Carolina

I'm going to say this with incredible conviction: Charlotte sucks. 

Where to begin. It's industrial, with more corporate offices than historic anything. It's roads aren't well-marked so it is easy to get lost. There isn't much to do if you don't like NASCAR {please no}. Every coffee shop or breakfast place I went to felt either so hipster or posh that I was uncomfortable, which doesn't happen often as I feel I am incredibly qualified in the realm of all things coffee or brunch {I was a barista, latte art certified and all}. Regardless, people travelling in Charlotte should not be sent without knowing where to find something of value for brunch.

Here is my brunch guide for Charlotte. I really, really had to try this time guys. 

1. Smelly Cat Coffeehouse + Roastery

As soon as I stepped into the NODA neighbourhood of Charlotte I knew this was a place for beatniks, artists, and alt-types. Murals covered Smelly Cat Coffeehouse's exteriors to match the bright painted interior and go along with the 90s grunge soundtrack that plays in the background. The service here was the best of anywhere I went!

The women working offered up vegan and vegetarian options when I looked disappointingly at the menu. I ultimately settled on a vegetarian take on a frittata per their helpful suggestion and I did not regret my decision. It was deeeeelicious. The coffee was pretty average to be truthful. This is the place to go if you are looking for a fun and exciting atmosphere, but I would not advise coming here to work on, say, your blog. 

 2. Central Coffee Co. 

Parking here is absolute junk. Prepare to parallel park or pray that you come at an off-peak time {like I did} when their 3-car lot has a spare space. Even then, you should be driving something small if you hope to fit in that space {Mini Cooper}. Coffee here was, again, average. Service was below average. Seating was limited.

However, if you can find yourself a coveted seat next to the fireplace and you like quiet spaces to work Central Coffee may be your nook. It had a gentle indie playlist and only two-seater tables {think intimate}. The inside is decorated with art from local talent, which I think says something about a business being supportive of the local community. Have the zucchini bread. It was as good {if not better...} than my grandmother's and it totally makes up for the coffee, trust me. 

3. Terrace Cafe 

Free parking in a parking garage next door + lemon poppyseed french toast + red velvet pancakes with cream cheese drizzle + decent coffee + good service makes this place the winner in my book. Not a place to work, but the perfect environment to meet up with a group of your closet friends. I don't have anything bad to say about this place. It reigns as my top choice for Charlotte brunch, easy. 

That's all I have, guys. I have to say Charlotte was the hardest brunch guide to write thus far. Let me know if you have any suggestions that are worthy of another trip that way!