Do you have cabin fever? 😂 Do you need a mini escape but want to be smart because you know, the state of the world? 😉 When we got the itch to travel not too far from home, we booked an Airbnb in NoDa, hopped in the car and drove to the Queen City.
NoDa, short for North Davidson, is the city’s arts and entertainment district. Here you will find eclectic galleries, artisan gift shops, jewelry stores, tattoo parlors and lots of local eats. Everything from southern fare and cajun cuisine to pizza and vegan eats, too! This is why we picked this neighborhood to spend our time.
First up, dinner at Oh My Soul right when we arrived! All the way from South Africa, this is NoDa’s first exclusively Vegan restaurant. Here, they believe kindness begins on your plate. Right when we walked in, we knew we had picked the right place. To be totally transparent, we had discovered it when Big Brother Co-Stars Tyler Crispen and Angela Rummans visited just a few weeks before our arrival. We have to give them credit for helping us discover this AMAZING gem.
While sipping on Sumbucha, we dove into their Buddha Bowl with house-made falafel, sautéed spinach, marinated cauliflower, roasted red onion and sweet potato, with a creamy garlic mayo, sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds. Mouthwatering right? Just wait!
We also ordered their Thaitastic Lettuce Cups with a crunchy combo of carrots, peppers, cucumber, broccoli, green onions, avocado and red cabbage served in a lettuce cup complemented with a tamari peanut dressing. Just wow!
Each meal also came with a side and we couldn’t stop ourselves from trying their sweet potato friend and kickin’ kale salad.
To keep things safe, all dining was outside. Yet, they made sure to show up with all the vibes. They had heaters, fires and music by Wallace. They also had a bar where we ordered some specialty drinks after eating because we weren’t ready to leave the high vibes!
A Full Day In the City
The next morning, we took a walk from our BnB to the Hobbyist where we sipped on some lattes made with Hatchet Coffee. The walk was inspiring and led to many photo opportunities, including the Confetti Stripes Mural by Evelyn Henson.
We landed on Living Kitchen for lunch, a plant-based restaurant with 100% organic ingredients made into incredible dishes from scratch daily. Our meal started with their spicy butternut squash queso and guacamole served with gluten-free tortilla chips. It was impossible to resist their epic grilled cheese made with cashew cheddar, fresh fig butter, green apple, eggplant bacon bits and caramelized onion. Are you drooling yet? Wait for this. We also absolutely love their cauliflower masala served brown rice, cherry tomatoes, spiralized sweet potatoes, pickled purple cabbage, basil cilantro kale. Yes, please!
Lucky for us, it also just happened to be the time the South End Market was open! We loved exploring the local vendors and artists. We even purchased some treats for our furbabies from Pet Wants and a few new items from Ekologicall for our sustainable homes.
We checked out Anthropologie and began our walk to Evelyn’s confetti heart mural. After witnessing possibly some of the sweetness love-filled photoshoots, we popped into Twenty Degrees Chocolate for an espresso and chocolate. Here we discovered artisan chocolates and confections made in the European tradition, crafted in small batches with attention and care.
After such a long day, we decided to head back to our rental for dinner and a movie. After all, isn’t that one of the best perks of Airbnb? Also, we had plenty of leftovers.
Our Last Day
On our last morning, we woke up ready to indulge in some seriously delicious eats and drink at Snooze AM Eatery. Here we both couldn’t decide and landed on ordering two Benny Duos. We can confirm with joy that we were more than pleased. Not the mention, our waiter was such a bundle of awesomeness!
Before getting back into the car for 2.5 hours, we knew we wanted to move our bodies. The women at Twenty Degrees Chocolate the night before recommended visiting The Green. Outside of the easy parking tucked underneath, this green space was a calm and peaceful gem tucked right into the middle of the city. We spent some quiet time wandering and for the life of us could not solve this riddle. Can you?
We will totally be doing a mini escape like this again soon. What are your favorite spots in Charlotte? What other areas near Asheville do you want us to explore?