Working from home is the dream, right? You sleep in, wear pajamas all day, work from the couch and showering is completely optional.
We both have full-time work-from-home jobs: Carly in the apparel industry, and Haley in clinical research. While working from home is pretty fantastic most of the time, sometimes staring at the same four walls can stifle our productivity. Sometimes we need to get out of the house, be around other human beings, drink some better-than-Keurig coffee and re-focus.
We have started pulling together a list* of our favorite spots in Charlotte and the Lake Norman area to get down to business. We hope you find this list helpful and we will keep adding to it as we try out new spots. Now it’s time to get coffee, get comfy and get sh*t done…
Where: Plaza Midwood (2012 Commonwealth Ave.)
Why we like it: This place is a brand-spankin’ new addition to Plaza Midwood, but we are already enamored. After some lengthy construction delays, Undercurrent is open and offering food, drink and a welcoming vibe that suits Plaza Midwood. You can tell that everything about this place, from the coffee to the food to the seating and decor, is intentional. Undercurrent was created by people who want you to come, visit, get comfortable, and create. This is a spot that invites you in, feeds you well and offers you free WiFi.
Bonus: Director of Operations (and coffee goddess), Diana Mnatsakanyan-Sapp, offers a wealth of knowledge about coffee. Chat her up when you need a break from work.
The People’s Market at Dilworth
Where: Dilworth (1315 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203)
Why we like it: All of the things that make up the perfect place for productivity are front and center at The People’s Market. Fresh food, tasty coffee, friendly staff, free WiFi and lot’s of plugs make this spot a clear winner. Our favorite time to go is early to mid-morning and we never have trouble finding street parking (try Scott Ave, along the side of the building) and there is typically ample space to spread out your work.
Bonus: The people really make this place. Everyone is personable and willing to chat if you need a break from your work.
Parliament Espresso & Coffee Bar
Where: Uptown (300 S Tryon Street)
Why we like it: Parliament is technically a chain, but the new-ish Charlotte location is only the fourth location and the first one outside of NYC and Philly. The vibe is cozy and very on-trend. You can tell from the comfy furniture and the outlets built in to the tables that they don’t mind at all if you stay a while. This location has food of the breakfast and snack variety and all the caffeinated beverages your heart and brain desire. One of our favorite touches is the self-serve, complimentary still or sparkling water station, complete with Parliament-branded Mason jars.
Bonus: If you happen to be in a hurry, they have a to-go window that opens right up to the East 3rd Street side of the building. Just walk up and pick up and be on your way.
Coco and the Director
Where: Uptown (100 West Trade Street)
Why we like it: Coco and the Director is just cool. The set up is cool, the decor is cool, and the food is cool (think cronuts). They sell cool stuff in the retail shop. And the coffee is definitely cool (or hot, if that’s what you’re into). Our favorite thing about this place is the reservable space in the back where you can sign up to hold a table for your meeting or brainstorm session. In the front, they have stadium seating leading up to the second floor loft seating.
Bonus: Coco and the Director is on the Cloosiv app, so you can order ahead of time.
Amélie’s French Bakery
Where: Multiple locations, but we’re most likely to be spotted in the one at Park Road Shopping Center
Why we like it: Amélie’s has become a Charlotte institution over the years. Their new-ish Park Road Shopping Center location is just as unique and fun as the others with lots of space for spreading out, getting comfy and getting stuff done. Our favorite spot is the raised section where outlets are plentiful and you can watch the world go by. Our favorite beverage is the pot de thé (Earl Gray, of course) that you can sip for hours while you work. Amélie’s also offers a wide range of foods and drinks, including alcohol. We suggest treating yourself to a flaky pastry, fruit tart or a macaron ice cream sandwich for a job well done.
Where: South End (1300 South Boulevard)
Why we like it: Lincoln’s Haberdashery is another new-ish spot that we love. The sandwich game at Lincoln’s is so strong (check out some of our faves here and here). And if ice cream is what you’re craving, they have amazing housemade treats like tubs of Frozen Forager and giant cookie ice cream sandwiches. And, of course, they have amazing coffee too. Our favorite things about Lincoln’s are the cozy nooks. The seating area is split up a bit, so you have the option of sitting at a table or curling up on the cozy blue couch in our photo above.
Where: FreeMoreWest (1429 Bryant St.)
Why we like it: Basal Coffee is another newer spot to Charlotte and one of our emerging favorite spots to set up for a few hours. Basal has some solid breakfast options like the Breakfast Sammy (with egg, black bean pureé, queso fresco and avocado) and rumor has it that their empanadas sell like hotcakes at lunch time. You can sit at the bar and chat up the friendly baristas or snag a table and get to work.
Where: Right off the Rail Trail in South End (2911 Griffith Street)
Why we like it: This place is super convenient if you are a regular on the Blue Line. Hop off the light rail and take a short 4 minute walk to the fantastic patio area of Suffolk Punch. You can start with coffee and Whisk + Wood pastries in the morning, and since Suffolk Punch has a full lunch and dinner menu, so you can basically camp out here all day.
Bonus: You can reward yourself for a particularly productive day with one of Hyde Brewing’s locally-brewed beers. We like their apropos Paycheck Pilsner.
Old Town Public House
Where: Cornelius (21314 Catawba Ave)
Why we like it: From the moment you walk through the stained-glass door, you’ll get a very relaxed vibe from this combination coffeehouse, bottle shop, and taproom. Brewing Summit coffee, and serving Bagel Bin bagels, they’re a fierce competitor for the best place to start your work day (and with their beer selection and live music, it’s not a bad place to end your work day either). Make sure to take in the decor so you don’t miss the ever-changing art installations, which can lend some creative inspiration.
Bonus: OTPH boasts not only live music, but frequent food trucks as well. Check OTPH’s event calendar to see when you can catch both.
Where: Cornelius (20822 N Main St.)
Why we like it: Salon Cafe is a bright, clean, and cheerful setting to crack open your laptop. There are plenty of tables: some indoor by the fireplace, and some out on the cafe’s cozy front porch; and with a myriad of food options, it’s easy to setup camp here for the day. You can start with a crepe for breakfast, then enjoy a salad or savory sandwich for lunch. Ask for the Wi-Fi password, then stake your claim at a bistro table, couch, or rocking chair (if you’re coordinated enough to work in one).
Bonus: After you check some things off your to-do list, reward your hard work with a manicure or a fresh cut. For a list of services, visit Salon Cafe’s website.
Where: Davidson (128 S. Main St.)
Why we like it: Summit is a Davidson institution, and for good reason. Located in a 19th-century building on Main Street, it delivers not only great coffee, but charming atmosphere to boot. There are a lot of smaller tables downstairs (including the coveted window seat), as well as ample outdoor seating in the back. Head upstairs for still more seating, including larger tables perfect for groups. Only a stones-throw from Davidson College, it may be frequented by students, but there are plenty of non-students as well (so we’ve never felt out of place). Grab some of Summit’s pastries with your coffee to keep you fueled for hours of work.
Bonus: On select nights, enjoy live music when your work is through. Check Summit’s event calendar for upcoming events.
* Do you have a favorite spot to get sh*t done? Or a place you’ve been wanting to try? We want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments (or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org).