7 Best Coffee Shops in Charlotte

Best Coffee Shops in Charlotte

The season of spiced pumpkin everything is upon us and with the cold fast approaching it is important that you know where the best coffee shops in Charlotte are. Everyone has that one go to spot, their very own ‘Central Perk’ and if you don’t, here are a few suggestions to help you find the best coffee in the area.

1) Not Just Coffee – 224 E 7th St, Charlotte, North Carolina

James and Miracle have been bringing international taste to Charlotte since they opened in 2011. Believing in skilled baristas and innovative brewing techniques, the coffee is as much art as it is a warm beverage. The near perfect review scores tells you everything you need to know about the service and atmosphere.

2) Smelly Cat Coffeehouse & Roastery – 514 E 36th St, Charlotte, North Carolina

Don’t let the name fool you, this place is legit. The fun and inviting atmosphere is punctuated by the inhouse coffee roaster which ensures the freshest cup possible. If you find yourself in the NoDa district of Charlotte, this place is great for a homemade meal. Also, if you are looking to liven up the office check out the office coffee service that brings the java right to your door.

3) Central Coffee Company –  719 Louise Ave, Charlotte, North Carolina

Described as, “Intimate, tasty and quiet” by one yelp reviewer, the staff is always friendly and the coffee’s always fresh. For those with a sweet tooth, you must try some of the traditional Greek desserts they offer.

4) Rush Espresso – 120 Brevard Ct, Charlotte, North Carolina

With two locations in the state, Rush is quickly building a name for itself as a go to spot for premium Italian coffee, as well as it’s delicious and diverse breakfast and lunch menus. One reviewer even described their experience as “Perfection” adding “if I could give this place more than 5 stars I would!!”

5) Amélie’s French Bakery & Café – 2424 N Davidson St, Charlotte, North Carolina

The French inspired bakery handcrafts every cup of java to uphold a classic and condensed beverage, which is specific to a quaint Parisian cafe. They also offer delicious lunches and rich dessert pastries, there is something here for everyone.

6) Julia’s Café & Books – 1133 N Wendover Rd, Charlotte, North Carolina

As part of the fundraising section of Habitat for Humanity Charlotte, the venue offers coffee, light breakfast and lunch options as well as a huge selection of used books. You can enjoy a cup of joe and browse your favorite literature section, all while helping give back to the community. Awesome!

7) FABO Coffee Art Bar – 8428 Park Rd, Charlotte, North Carolina

Coffee shop and bakery by day, art studio by night. The walls are lined with art by local artists, which gives it that real community connection. In the evenings you can attend one of the art lessons taught by artist Marvin Espy, where all supplies are included (even the first glass of wine). FABO provides a very relaxing atmosphere, perfect for escaping the bustle of the city, if only for a few moments.

Tells us about your favorite coffee shops.

7 Mexican Restaurants in the Triangle You Need to Try

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The Triangle Region is home to some of the best restaurants in all of North Carolina – and it’s no different for Mexican food. Here are some of our favorite places you can eat at if you’re craving something from South of the border!


Chubby’s Tacos – Durham


Via Chubby’s Facebook

You might walk by this place and never know it was there, but please trust us because this is a place you won’t want to miss. Everything is done the way it should be with double wrapped corn tortilla tacos, delicious refried beans and rice. It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a fish taco, a shredded beef taco, a barbacoa taco or a chorizo taco – it’s impossible to make a bad choice.

Taqueria la Vaquita – Durham

Via Nina B - YELP

Via Nina B – YELP

This place is as authentic as you will ever find south of the border. You won’t be disappointed whether you’re ordering a taco, a torta or a more traditional plate. And because they have over 60 options on the menu, you can go back for seconds, thirds and more; still never trying the same meal twice.


Totopos – Cary

Via Totopos' Facebook

Via Totopos’ Facebook

If you’re looking for some Mexican food that you can’t find anywhere else in the Triangle, then this place is for you. Their entire menu is based off of the cuisine of Mexico City and can only be described as delicious. The service is always on point and is sure to leave you with a smile and full belly when it’s time to say adios.


Don Betos – Raleigh

Via James P. - Yelp

Via James P. – Yelp

Don Betos has it all! It is truly a no-frills Mexican food experience. Their staff is super friendly and they are experts at helping customers decipher the mostly Spanish menu. To top it off, they are not the least bit shy to give great recommendations on the best dishes (we highly suggest you take their advice).


Taqueria El Toro – Raleigh

Via Fairuz S. - YELP

Via Fairuz S. – YELP

Taqueria El Toro is essentially authentic Mexican street tacos in a restaurant. They have a great assortment of specials on the weekends, and “off-the-menu” items that you can ask for.


Pro-tip: Ask for chips with your order. You’ll get a plate of fresh fried tortillas to try with all of their famous salsas.


Gonza Tacos y Taqueria – Durham


Via Gonza’s Facebook

As the name states, they specialize in two things: tacos and tequila. They have nine different kinds of taco meats along with enough brands of tequila to make you realize how little you actually know about tequila. Despite the name, they have a fantastic menu with plenty of awesome options to choose from that will keep you coming back, time and time again.


Centro – Raleigh

Via Centro's Facebook

Via Centro’s Facebook

If you’re looking for a place that has a fantastic assortment of Mexican food, then look no further. Centro is largely regarded as one of the best places you can go if you’re looking to fill your belly. It’s small, intimate and authentic and if you’re looking to get the same great food for less, then we highly recommend paying them a visit during their lunch hours.

How to Winterize Your Home and Save Tons of Money

Winter is coming and we live in a state that can go from 85 degrees to freezing overnight. Because of this, getting prepared now will save you time, money and energy in the long run – not to mention that dreaded eye-roll and “I told you so” from your partner.

Clean Your Gutters.

Clean your gutters

Via Shutterstock / Photographee.eu

The falling leaves in autumn are a beautiful sight, but when they clog your gutters and downspout it can become a real problem. Removing leaves and debris from your eavestrough will ensure that water can freely flow off the roof and away from the building. Neglecting this may cause the buildup of ice which can damage your roof and create a serious falling icicle hazard.

Check Your Furnace and Air Ducts

Having your air ducts cleaned before switching on the furnace will help remove all the dust and particles that have settled there throughout the year. This is especially a good idea for homes that support people who are more susceptible to breathing problems. Along with the health benefit, replacing the filters will increase efficiency and ultimately save you money in the end.

Window Insulation Film, Weather Stripping and Draft Guards


Via Shutterstock / auremar

The loss of heat through windows can be a costing you a lot in extra heating bills, especially if you have an older home that has not had its windows recently updated. One way to combat this is to get a window insulation kit from your local hardware store. They are simple to install and can reduce heat loss by up to 70%. Inspect around the edges of all the windows and doors to ensure that everything is sealed tightly to prevent drafts and heat loss. If you do find some problem areas, usually some weather stripping or caulking can be used to seal small leaks and draft guards (or a rolled towel) can be used for larger leaks.

Inspect Your Chimney  

If you use your chimney regularly, it is a good idea to have it cleaned using a sweeper, both for efficiency and safety reasons. Also, this is a great time to inspect the exterior for any cracks or damage and ensure that everything is water tight. If you do not use your chimney installing a chimney balloon will help prevent heat loss up the smoke stack.

Drain and Inspect Your Hot Water Heater

Water Heater

Via Shutterstock / Minerva Studio

It’s important to drain your hot water heater to remove any buildup of debris that may have accumulated. It’s also a good idea to remove the heating elements and inspect them for any damage or hard water buildup. Doing this will greatly decrease the cost of running your hot water heater and improve its efficiency throughout the winter.  

The 10 Most Haunted Places in the Carolinas

Featured Image Haunted places

The Carolinas have a rich history that dates back centuries. With Halloween just around the corner, we decided to put together a list of some of the best ghost stories from around North and South Carolina. Happy Halloween!

1. The Brown Mountain Lights, Brown Mountain, NC


The Brown Mountain Lights are still a largely disputed phenomenon that occur in the foothills of North Carolina. For years, lights have been seen dancing throughout the forest. Legend has it that they have been around since the Cherokee Indians who believed the lights were the spirits of women looking for their lost warrior lovers. Regardless of these ancient origins, skeptics have denied the lights, calling them reflections, optical illusions or even swamp gas. Many believers remain unconvinced and the lights still remain enshrouded in mystery to this day.

2. Dismal Swamp State Park, NC

dismal swamp

Of course a place called the Dismal Swamp is haunted. It covers over 100,000 acres of North Carolina and is the ideal place for a ghost hangout with its thick forests and covered waterways. Years ago, it was suspected that slaves would escape plantations and head into the swamps where they formed small communities, cut off from the outside world. Since then, people have reported hearing strange sounds and seeing unnatural lights.

3. Devil’s Tramping Ground, Bennett, NC

Devils tramping

This is a mysterious place in the middle of the North Carolina forest where nothing grows in a near perfect 40 by 40 foot circle. To the untrained eye, it might look like it’s just a random spot that grass didn’t grow. To a paranormal investigator though, it is thought to be a place where the Devil came down and danced or aliens landed – turning this area into a barren patch of earth.

4. Lydia’s Bridge, Jamestown, NC

Lydias Bridge

We aren’t sure what it is about the Carolinas and haunted bridges, but there seems to be no shortage of them. If you drive just south of Greensboro on a rainy night, you might see a woman in a white evening dress flagging down your car. This is Lydia who was killed in a tragic car accident in 1923 and is still trying to find her way home. If you stop for her, she will direct you to her old address and suddenly disappear as soon as you pull up – no “Thank you” or anything.

5. Gallows Hill, Wilmington, NC

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Gallows Hill is a historical site located in Wilmington, NC. Back in the day, it was famous for carrying out justice and burying the guilty in mass graves nearby. Today, the gallows have been taken down and an architecture firm sits atop of where they once were. Reports from multiple accounts have seen strange ghostly figures wearing colonial clothing lurking throughout the building inside.

6. Crybaby Bridge, Anderson, SC


Crybaby Bridge gets its name from the reports of a spirit searching for her crying baby. Supposedly If you stop your car on the bridge and turn off the engine, the spirit mother will reveal herself. As a side note, if you’ve ever tried hitchhiking on a bridge in the Carolinas, you now know why cars haven’t been stopping for you.

7. Greenville’s Tuberculosis Hospital, Greenville, SC

TB Insane asylum

Part tuberculosis hospital, part insane asylum and part prisoner release site – it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that this area has been reported as haunted. Even though it has now burned down, paranormal investigators report that they pick up otherworldly voices on their recording devices.

8. Oakwood Cemetery, Spartanburg SC

hells gate

Known to many as “The Most Haunted Place in South Carolina,” The Oakwood Cemetery has some very strange occurrences happening there such as mysterious fog, vanishing orbs of light and even the laughter of children. It’s also been known to disable phones, drain batteries and cause phantom ringtones. That’s right, despite being passed away for years, these ghosts seem to be very knowledgeable with iPhones.

9. Seven Devil’s Bridge, Woodruff, SC

seven devils bridge

Seven Devil’s Bridge gets its name from the seven criminals who were sentenced to death there. Now it is said that if anyone tries to cross the bridge at the stroke of midnight, they will break down screaming and crying. Luckily for most of us, we make a concerted effort to avoid crossing creepy bridges at any time during the night.

10. Montrose Cemetery, Darlington, SC

hells gate

Montrose Cemetery has been investigated by paranormal activity experts and plenty of teenagers who played truth or dare with the wrong friends. Its history goes back to the 18th century when the country was first being founded. Many people have reported hearing screams, seeing light orbs and shadowy figures. It has even been noted that when people try to take pictures with their camera (even while their flash is on) all their photos come out black. Our guess is they had their finger over the lens.


Best Fall Activities to Do with the Family

BHHS Fall activities

North Carolina is one of the best places to experience the Fall season. The changing colors and the cool breeze are all signs that Winter is on its way, but first there are a handful of events that need to take place. Halloween and Thanksgiving are some of our favorite holidays of the year, and with those holidays come some amazing family-fun activities. Here are some of the events in the Triangle that we’re most excited about.

The Home Maze & Pumpkin Patch September 19 – November 1


In Winston-Salem there is an amazing event going on at The Farm. They will have all kinds of events such as the Sorghum Maze, toddler hay maze, pumpkin patch, cow train, pumpkin chunker, parent hangout, photo cutouts, concessions, and much more. The best part is that all proceeds will go to The Children’s Home of Winston-Salem. Come hang out and bring the whole family for a day that you’ll remember all year long.


North Carolina State Fair October 15 – October 25

nc state fair

The State Fair is one of the best in the entire country and takes place in Raleigh. Not only does it have all the rides and carnival games that we have all come to love, but it’s also an 11 day agricultural event. This year’s theme is “Nothing Could Be Finer” so the fair is showcasing the finest of N.C. They will be celebrating everything from horse shows, livestock shows, culinary, handicraft or art competitions and it’s sure to be an amazing time.


Queen City Ghost Tour October 15 – December 31


Looking for a little bit of a scare this Fall? Well we highly recommend the Queen City Ghost Tour. They tour areas from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and today, and tell scary tales about hauntings that inhabit antebellum homes, cemeteries, hospitals and streets of Charlotte. Make sure that if you go you’re over the age of 8 and you don’t scare too easily!


Mckee Haunted Cornfield Maze  October 22, 23, 29, 30, 31


Mckee has one of the best cornfield mazes in the Triangle. It’s over four miles long and is definitely worth the drive if you’re looking for a good time. The regular cornfield is open every day, but if you’re looking to try something different then you should venture over when they have the Haunted Cornfield Maze open. It’s a great time for the whole family and is sure to get your heart racing!

5 Awesome Breweries in North Carolina

North Carolina has become one of the best states in the South for beer enthusiasts, with new breweries being opened year round. Our great state is home to some amazing craft beer and breweries, and choosing just five for our list was a daunting task (there are many more amazing breweries not included in our list, we encourage you to check out Carolina Brew Review for updates and more options).

Shutterstock / MaxyM Shutterstock / MaxyM

Without further ado, here’s our list of 5 amazing breweries in North Carolina that you need to sample.


  1. Carolina Brewing Co. – Holly Springs, NC


Started by two brothers, John and Greg Shuck, and their friend Joe Zonin, Carolina Brewing Company was founded in 1994. Operating out of Holly Springs, they offer brewery tours every Saturday at 1:00pm, or private tours can be arranged for a fee. If you can’t make it into the brewery, they distribute in 52 counties across Central and Eastern North Carolina, be sure to try some for yourself.


  1. Appalachian Mountain Brewery – Boone, NC

Not only is their beer fantastic, their Pints for Non-Profits program helps support organizations who are dedicated to enriching the land, water, air and people of the high country. Stop by the taproom in Boone, and sample some of their first class beer and cider.


  1. Pisgah Brewing Company – Black Mountain, NC

If you love good beer and live music, you absolutely must check out Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain. Pisgah Brewing offers free brewery tours every Saturday at 3:15pm, and often features live music as well. Be sure to check their website for upcoming events.


  1. Raleigh Brewing Company – Raleigh, NC

Not only can you enjoy some amazing beer at Raleigh Brewing, you can even learn how to brew your own at their home brew & commercial shop, Atlantic Brew Supply. The taproom features large murals of Raleigh, and the staff is full of local pride. This brewery is easily one of the best in North Carolina.


  1. Red Oak Brewery – Whitsett, NC

Red Oak claims to produce the “Freshest, Purest, Bavarian Lagers in America”, and we couldn’t agree more. Their beer is brewed according  to the 1516 Law of Purity, only using Bavarian hops, malted barley and yeast, with none of the 400 additives and preservatives allowed in US beers. If you want fresh and delicious, be sure to visit Red Oak in Whitsett.

City Battle: Raleigh VS Charlotte

old school boxing match


Raleigh vs Charlotte. Which city has the competitive edge? That’s for you to decide after you finish with this week’s city battle! Who do you think comes out on top?


charlotte v raleigh