It is Charlotte’s premier ZIP code, with celebrities like Jimmie Johnson, Angie Harmon and Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson calling SouthPark home. Named for the upscale mall (one of the biggest and definitely fanciest in the state), SouthPark is just six miles from Uptown but feels a world away. Most will tell you the heart of this neighborhood is at the intersections of Sharon and Fairview roads, but there are miles of subdivisions and multiple pool clubs and some of the best shopping and finest dining in the Queen City. And this is where burgushi was born (we’ll explain later). Here we rundown the “must” list for Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood.
It’s just plain wrong to talk about the SouthPark neighborhood without first mentioning the shopping mecca it’s named for. SouthPark Mall is quite literally a shopping destination for Southern girls – and beyond – looking for the best of the best. Home to more than 150 stores, you’ll find Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom anchor stores, and Tory Burch, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Lily Pulitzer, Tiffany & Co. and more lining the hallowed halls.
If you’re not really a mall girl (aren’t we all at some point a mall girl though?), there are plenty of great boutiques in this part of town. Laura Vinroot Poole, the fashionista who’s been featured in Vogue, The New York Times and beyond, owns Capitol Charlotte for women willing to spend a bit for the upper echelon of premium brands. We’re talking Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Celine, Gucci and more.
Not far away, girls who still want to look good but don’t want to spend as much can do well at a handful of boutiques that are highly styled but a little more budget-friendly. Boem and Luxe Angel are just across the street from each other. Luxe is known for their denim selection, and owner Lisa Joanisse says she’s grateful she chose SouthPark to open her place two years ago. “This area is a community that helps each other,” she says. “I’ve made some great friends in life and business.”
SB TIP: Twice a year watch for several of these boutiques to host a joint pop-up shop with deep discounts.
For less expensive looks, stop in Ivy & Leo (named for the owners’ two adorable rescue dogs), a trendy but affordable boutique where women can find the hottest styles without spending a fortune. The SouthPark store has been a staple since it opened in 2010 and is so popular it’s doubled in size (and added several locations). “The SouthPark neighborhood is a great destination for everyone to find something,” says Ivy and Leo buyer Megan Fletcher. “We love that you can come here and find so many options as far as shopping, dining and activities within a mile radius.”
Looking for the perfect hostess gift? You’ve got two great options. Locally owned Alphabet Soup will monogram just about anything, and popular chain Swoozie’s is also in the ‘hood, with whimsical gifts for every occasion.
Once you’ve shopped and you’re ready to drop, make sure you do it one of the area’s great restaurants — SouthPark is home to some of the best.
You don’t even have to leave the mall to enjoy Reid’s Fine Foods. They offer gourmet food to go, a selection of sweets, and dine in (or out) options at what has quickly become one of the most popular patios in Charlotte.
Just outside the mall but still on the property, you’ll find the original The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar – where burgushi was created. The combination of a burger and sushi is a favorite among celebs and is now served worldwide at restaurants that have copied the idea. Back in the day, there was a two-hour wait to get a table. Thanks to several locations now open across several states, the wait is a little more manageable. Co-owner Alan Springate says, “SouthPark is special because it is our home. It was this community that accepted something different and stood by our side while we worked out the concept through many changes in menu and structure.”
SB TIP: Make sure you check out the bathroom. You’ll get a fun foreign language lesson.
One of Charlotte’s finest (and most romantic) restaurants, Barrington’s, is big on charm because it’s small (only 10-12 tables), and the food is outstanding. It was Bruce Moffet’s first restaurant in the Queen City when he opened it back in 2000 – and to this day, it’s one of his most popular.
SB TIP: This is one of the rare top restaurants in Charlotte that takes reservations. Download the Resy app to book a table. You’ll thank us.
Before dinner at Barrington’s, you can pop in for a glass of wine at the original Foxcroft Wine Company. SouthPark moms joke that they love it because they can walk home. It’s also got a cozy vibe and (obviously) a great wine selection – and donuts (yes donuts!) for dessert.
Since Corkbuzz Restaurant and Wine Bar opened almost three years ago, it’s quickly become another favorite wine bar in the area, offering regular tastings and one of the best wine lists anywhere in the city.
SB TIP: They recently opened The Cellar, a small space right next door with a warm, casual vibe — kind of like a mix of a French café and a cozy pub. They have Happy Hour Cellar Bites from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday.
SB TIP: Del Frisco’s offers one of the best deals of any of the restaurants included in Queen’s Feast, the restaurant week where twice a year you can get a three-course meal for $35.
Looking for something fun to do on the weekends? Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall regularly hosts some of the best events in the city — from the Summer Pops symphony concert series to Movies Under the Stars, wine festivals and 5Ks. Check out their full calendar of events for details.
Pay a visit to SouthPark and explore everything amazing about this area of Charlotte!
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