Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year.
You don't want to cook at home because you're saving your kitchen luck for that green bean casserole. Plus, your friends who moved to better cities for nicer jobs are back in town and you desperately want to show them that Charlotte is fun.
But where should you go drink? These are Inside 485's 25 suggestions to start the conversation (sorted by neighborhood for your convenience).
[No bar has paid, given access, or even bought me a fucking beer in exchange for inclusion in this article]
Craft Tasting Room is a bottle shop with an ample draft selection and a "single and ready to mingle" atmosphere. If you strike out, you can grab an extra bottle of wine to bring back to your hotel
Unknown Brewing is a brewery with local favorites like Feather Light and Over the Edge. Put on a jacket and hit the rooftop for a skyline that'll make your brother say "That's it?"
Rosemont Bar is a straight up liquor bar with live music and a party vibe. Take shots, drink $2 PBR, and nurse that hangover on Thanksgiving Day just like our ancestors did.
Thomas Street Tavern is a killer neighborhood bar. Huddle around a fire pit on the back patio and ruin your appetite on pub food.
Workman's Friend is an elevated Irish pub with a semi-open patio. The mac and cheese is hella overrated, but if your northern friends will think it's amazing.
Pinhouse is a self-pour bar with duckpin bowling, which is the perfect distraction for those of us who don't know what the hell to talk to our siblings about.
Brewers at 4001 Yancey is a massive taproom with a food menu that beats every other brewery in Charlotte. Yell over the playlist of early aughts hits as you try to explain to your out-of-town friends that "This is technically called LoSo, but I hate that name."
Legion Brewing is the grown and sexy version of the hip Plaza Midwood brewery. It's the kid-friendliest brewery in Charlotte. It's basically a giant nursery with beer.
The Daily is an underrated Irish pub. It's just about the only place in Uptown that strikes a balance between approachable and elevated. It's the best place you haven't been yet.
Graham Street Pub is a diverse spot that always maintains a fun crowd. Cocktails on the rooftop will give you a perfect view of our city's many beautiful cranes.
The Cellar at Duckworth's is an extremely likable speakeasy minus everything pretentious that makes everyone hate speakeasies. It's perfect for the possibly-a-date invitation to "catch up" with your college fling.
Providence Sundries is a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood favorite with an indescribable friendliness. It's got a Cheers vibe conducive for reminiscing with college buddies about when you used to be able to drink something besides light beer.
Selwyn Pub is a go-to for Queens University students, rich banker types, and Michael Jordan. I once made out with a girl there who scratched my neck so badly I still have a scar.
Common Market is a bottle shop and deli whose Oakhurst location has surprisingly become the best of its name in Charlotte. Vegan options are in abundance if you're still pretending to be vegan to avoid explaining what a flexitarian is to your whole family.
Billy Jack's Shack is my favorite fucking bar in Charlotte. It's full of chaotic energy, as if Mercury is in retrograde 365 nights a year. You'll leave with a story and a hangover.
Jack Beagle's is perfect if you want to bring your dog with you for a night of communal drinking and meeting strangers. There's plenty of space and they typically have live music that can be heard all the way down North Davidson street.
Moosehead Grill is a spot famous for its wings and its divey atmosphere. Get all the liquid courage you can in case your buddies suggest karaoke at Jeff's Bucket Shop afterward.
Brazwells is a dual threat spot. It's like a mullet: business in the front, party in the back. Eat the fish n' chips while you're doing the business part, and crush tallboys on the deck for the party.
Ed's Tavern is an OG bar that's been running for like a million years. It's inoffensive and consistent, unlock your MAGA hat wearing uncle you'll be arguing with all day on Thanksgiving.
Pinky's Westside Grill is the best dive in Charlotte. Enjoy the Pimpin' Fries, White Trash Burger, and the surprisingly deep cocktail menu while you regale visitors with the story of the dead penguin (the former namesake of this here website).
Town Brewing has regular live music and a killer spiked seltzer if you're hoping to stay somewhat sober. The food is better than it has any business being, and if it's not too cold, you can hit the patio.
El Thrifty Social is Optimist Hall's first proper bar. Great music, fun games, and killer cocktails make it a can't-miss for former party types. Plus, what better way to celebrate a problematic holiday than by chugging a "Juanita Appleseed" at a "Mexican-inspired" bar?
Boardwalk Billy's is a waterfront bar that's big with the college crowd. If the buffalo chicken wrap doesn't give you heartburn first, your Fireball shots will.
Hickory Tavern is a local-ish chain with two Ballywood locations. Both are perfectly suited for an older crowd, so you can order an Old Fashioned without a hipster bartender with an Obama tattoo saying "OK, Boomer."
820 Pizzeria is a combination pizzeria and karaoke bar with a secret library speakeasy. It'll probably be too cold for its sister concept VBGB next door, but 820 holds its own with decent crowd sizes and a warm, inviting atmosphere.