City Guide / Charlotte

Your Guide to Nightlife in Charlotte, NC

By Ramsey Qubein | Oct 18, 2022
People dancing in a nightclub and enjoying the best nightlife in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Nightlife in Charlotte keeps heating up year after year, with new bars in Charlotte hitting the scene and adding to the list of exciting nightclubs in North Carolina worth exploring. From daily beer and cocktail specials to new rooftop bars and all the live music you could ask for, you’ll have a ball in North Carolina’s biggest city.

If you want to get the lowdown on living the high life after dark in Charlotte, here are some of the best bars and nightclubs in the Queen City:

The best bars in Charlotte, NC

The Punch Room

On a high floor in The Ritz-Carlton in Uptown Charlotte, The Punch Room is a modern speakeasy with a reputation for being one of the most upscale bars in town. Standing room is discouraged, and getting a reservation is a prize. Views from this 15th-floor vantage point are beautiful, and the craft cocktails here are impressive. There is also, of course, a long list of specialty punches on the cocktail list. Valet parking is available, and the light rail station is just one block away.

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Part brewery pub and part outdoor beer garden, this park-like setting is the oldest in Charlotte (and the largest in the southeast, in fact)! This brewery offers live music, delicious beers and other drinks, food truck snacks, and plenty of space for kids to play, along with seasonal events like the can’t-miss German-style Christmas market. The soft Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese and Dusseldorf mustard are a favorite at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and are perfectly washed down with a pint of chilled beer. Parking is readily available at this southwest Charlotte hotspot.

Selwyn Pub

This is a classic Charlotte drinking spot that has a loyal and oft-preppy clientele, but always welcomes newcomers. Selwyn Pub sits in an old house in the upscale, residential Myers Park neighborhood and has been going strong for more than three decades. Among the most popular cocktails is the “Transfusion,” a concoction of vodka, ginger ale, and grape juice. There are a few parking spots in the area, but they can go quickly.

Legion Brewing

With three locations in Plaza Midwood, West Morehead, and South Park, Legion Brewing’s bars and tap rooms are mainstays among Charlotte tipplers. Making its own craft beers (often served in other restaurants), Legion has outdoor seating in some places and indoor event space. It’s a tried-and-tested Charlotte nightlife spot that is sure to be hopping every night of the week. If you’re really into beer, they also offer brewery tours, so be sure to pop in early for a visit.

Connolly’s on Fifth

With tables spilling out onto the sidewalk, this is a quintessential after-work spot in Uptown, but that does not mean it doesn’t stay busy until the wee hours of the morning. Connolly’s on Fifth is an Irish pub serving local craft beer and international pints aplenty. Be sure to visit the second floor, which is quite eclectic in decor and is often booked for private events. It’s easy to walk to the nearby light rail train from the pub, and many parking garages are in the vicinity.

Looking for a fun place to watch your favorite sports teams play? Check our our guide to the best sports bars in Charlotte.

The best nightclubs in Charlotte, NC


This Uptown 1980s/90s-themed nightclub is an entertaining throwback, with vintage arcade machines, VIP seating, regular DJs, and music videos screened on the wall. A rooftop terrace and thumping music make this a great stop to pop into before or after a bar crawl or to dance the night away. Roxbury is a few blocks from the nearest light rail station and close to many area parking garages.

QC Social Lounge

DJs and performers come to this music hotspot Uptown to dance and drink the night away. This club offers a lively scene and is open Thursday through Sunday. QC Social Lounge has VIP bottle service and lounge-style seating. A light rail stop is conveniently close to the entrance to this club, but those driving can park in one of the many nearby parking garages.

Prohibition Bar

As its name suggests, this nightclub and bar pokes fun at the alcohol-free years of the 1920s with cocktails inspired by those dry years and the speakeasy bars that still served them. Prohibition Bar has live music, DJs, and a bustling dance floor in the heart of Uptown. Expect a varied crowd at this club, with some dressed to the hilt and others ready to light it up on the dance floor. The light rail passes close by the club, as does other forms of public transportation, and parking garages and rideshare services are easy to come by in this part of town.

The best live music spots in Charlotte, NC

NoDa Brewing Company North End

This is a popular spot for its long list of locally produced craft beer. Food trucks and live music enliven the atmosphere at NoDa Brewing Company, which is in the NoDa neighborhood known for its diverse and artsy vibe. Parking is available in nearby lots, but don’t be surprised to see people walking or biking over from nearby neighborhoods to sample the best of this brewery’s beer offerings.

Middle C Jazz

Middle C Jazz is a chill spot with—big surprise!—live jazz music. What is a pleasant discovery is the selection of appetizers and naan flatbreads that go with the cocktail menu to enjoy during the regular performances. Located in Uptown, it’s easy to get here from the nearby light rail station, and many people make this their after-work spot for a drink to wind down. Some performances require tickets, but most are open to the public.

The best happy hours in Charlotte, NC

Whiskey Warehouse

North Carolina law does not permit happy hours on alcohol, but there are often all-day specials like those at this Plaza Midwood, treehouse-style bar. These include offers like half-off glasses (or bottles of wine) some days and on weekends, $3 mimosas, and $5 Bloody Marys. Whiskey Warehouse fashions itself as a neighborhood bar perched one floor above this corner of town. Parking is easy to find here, and while the surrounding area is mostly low-rise, the views of the twinkling skyline in the distance are always entertaining.


Start your evening with half-priced oysters every Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. and most of the afternoon on weekends. Daily specials at this bar and restaurant include 50% off bottles of wine, $7 Bloody Marys and mimosas, and $10 dessert cocktails, depending on the day. This could be the perfect place to pregame before heading to a nightclub later in the evening. Rocksalt is near Park Road Shopping Center in Montford and close to the Myers Park neighborhood.

The best rooftop bars in Charlotte, NC

Merchant & Trade

One of the best rooftop bars in Charlotte, Merchant & Trade sits atop the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel. This Uptown vantage point on the 19th floor overlooks the city’s skyline, making it a great place to grab a cocktail and a bite to eat day or night. Lines at this restaurant can form quickly before sunset, but that tells just how lovely the experience is up there.

The menu at Merchant & Trade has several highlights, including dinner plates like hot honey chicken sandwich plus tasty drinks and cocktails with clever names like “Spill the Tea” or “It Was All a Dream.” Parking is either valet or in one of the many parking decks in the area. It’s not a long walk to the nearest light rail station either.

Aura Rooftop

This is the rooftop bar at the new JW Marriott, and it enjoys close proximity to Bank of America Stadium and the convention center. For those that want a nearby place to enjoy an evening out on the town, this is a great place to start. Aura Bar serves botanical-infused cocktails and light bites near the cabana-lined pool with the city skyline in view. The light rail stops nearby, and area theaters are within walking distance, making this a great post-performance stop before going home.

Búho Bar

On the 16th floor of the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Uptown, Búho Bar has a charmingly eclectic decor with red velvet sofas, gold paneling, and an outdoor terrace with sofas and swing seats. The views of the skyline are exceptional, and the small park across the street provides a relaxing atmosphere for those who stop in after a day’s work or want to enjoy the weekend live music or DJs that pop by from time to time. The Argentinian theme and swanky design make this a great date night spot, and the light rail stops just a few blocks away (otherwise, valets can help park cars or visitors can use a nearby garage).

Fahrenheit Charlotte

Fahrenheit Charlotte sits at the top of Skye Condos at 222 South Caldwell Street. On the cocktail menu are several variations on the Moscow Mule and the Pommery POP, a champagne-based drink with fruit-infused flavors. For those that want to stick around for a bite to eat, the American menu from Chef Rocco Whalen includes new-style American cuisine with lots of international influences. Uptown is easy to reach via public transportation or by car thanks to area parking garages.

Novelty House

One of Uptown’s new rooftop bars and part of the growing 5th Street District, the fifth-floor Novelty House has it all: beautiful skyline views with skyscrapers towering above it, as well as a stunning display of flowers on the walls, columns, and hanging above. The flower patterns change seasonally and make a great photo opp backdrop. From this position, you can also see the largest mural in Uptown designed by a local artist. Craft cocktails and locally made beer are just some of the tasty concoctions on the menu. Parking is in local garages, but for many people, it’s easier to hop on the light rail.

Enjoy the best of Charlotte nightlife with Landing

Once the sun sets, Charlotte really starts to heat up, with plenty of nightlife options to keep you busy every night of the week with its many bars, clubs, pubs, and patios. If you’re a night owl, you’ll want to choose a place to live in Charlotte that’s convenient to the best nightlife in town. Landing offers furnished apartments in Charlotte, NC, with flexible leases, so you can get settled quickly and easily. With all the money and time you’ll save, you can have more chances to get out and explore the best nightlife in Charlotte. Learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you today!

Ramsey Qubein

Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Conde Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure,,, AFAR, Robb Report, Readers Digest, BBC Worldwide, USA Today,,,, Fortune, Travel Weekly, and many others. Ramsey flies more than 450,000 miles per year and has traveled to 166 countries, all seven continents, and 50 U.S. states.