University City North – Charlotte, NC

With its quiet residential streets and convenient location, University City North provides residents with the peace of country life and easy access to urban amenities. Wooded areas cover large swathes of the neighborhood, creating a calm, pastoral feeling. Here, locals enjoy quiet strolls in the evening and quick, low-traffic drives. University City North sits close to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, making it an attractive choice for students and faculty. The neighborhood lies just 10 miles northeast of downtown Charlotte, so residents enjoy a fast commute. A mix of apartment buildings and single-family homes ensures a housing option exists for everyone.

Restaurants & Nightlife

University City North doesn't house many restaurants; most local eateries sit slightly to the south along Highway 29. In the northern part of the neighborhood, locals love Giacomo's Pizzeria . Start with the baked clams and an order of the popular garlic knots, and move on to the classic white pizza. The restaurant also has a full menu of Italian dishes, from the mushroom-stuffed rollatini to the seafood Fra Diavolo. Indulge in a bit of spice at Caribbean Hut, which delights locals with its special jerk chicken. Order your meal with a side of rice and peas, or try the always-tender oxtails. When you're in the mood for classic Southern fare, look no further than Ale's University . Start with the fried pickles, or split an order of tot-chos: tater tots smothered in cheese, meat, and salsa. Diners love the house-made fries and the ultra-creamy macaroni and cheese. Nightlife in University City North stays relatively quiet; many residents head south for the bars closer to the university. If you're a beer nerd, check out the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium on North Tryon Street. The enormous selection of beer, both on tap and in bottles, ensures that you never need to repeat a brew. Alternatively, head to the west side of the university to Picasso's Sports Cafe. A favorite among locals for its drink specials, the bar offers a low-key atmosphere and a full menu. The nearest live music venue is the PNC Music Pavilion to the east of the neighborhood.

History & Culture

As its name suggests, University City North exists because of the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Before the university moved into the south in 1961, the area was mostly rural. Even today, much of the neighborhood remains covered in trees; most housing developments were built after the 1960s. The nearest museum, the Charlotte Museum of History, sits about 10 miles south of the neighborhood. For theater and music, locals head to Robinson Hall on the university campus. The university also hosts the UNC Charlotte International Festival each year, and residents flock there to check out the cuisine and exhibitions.

Transportation

Most residents get around North University City by car or on foot. Free parking spots are readily available on the street and near businesses. Accessing Interstate 85 or Interstate 485 takes just minutes from any point in the neighborhood. Although cab companies provide service in University City North, calling ahead makes the most sense since you aren't likely to find one on the street. Uber also serves the neighborhood. Bus line 80X runs along Interstate 85 on the western edge of the neighborhood, connecting riders to downtown Charlotte. If you want to walk around the neighborhood, plenty of sidewalks offer safety and convenience. Bike lanes line East Mallard Creek Church Road to ensure safe riding, and local cyclists enjoy the dedicated bike paths near the university.

Cost

The cost of living in University City North tends to be slightly lower than in Charlotte as a whole, though not by much. The average rental rate sits around $794. A beer at a local pub runs approximately $6, though daily specials are easy to find. If you want to ride the bus into downtown Charlotte, expect to pay $2.20. Gas prices in University City North sit about nine percent lower than the national average.

Shopping

University City North consists mainly of residential areas, but it does house a few chain stores and local shopping options. The bulk of stores sit along Highway 29 near the southern end of the neighborhood. For high-end shopping, residents head into downtown Charlotte or to the Concord Mills mall, which sits just a few miles to the north. Local runners head west to Run For Your Life , where the friendly and knowledgeable workers are happy to provide advice on everything from the best pair of shoes to great local running routes. The store prides itself on creating a community of runners; it hosts a variety of weekly events ranging from yoga for runners to beer-themed group runs. Check out Beauty By Nature for high-end natural bath and hair products. From body butter to organic conditioners, the shop carries everything you need to create a green beauty routine. For affordable groceries, many University City North residents head east across Interstate 85 to Trader Joe's. A few minutes south, Food Lion and Walmart Supercenter provide a full stock of home and pantry staples. If you're in the market for fresh vegetables, check out the Newell Farmers Market south of the university. Farm-raised meats, artisan bread, and homemade products such as pickles and hot sauce make the shopping here special.

Parks

A significant part of University City North is covered with forest, but the neighborhood doesn't offer much in the way of official parks. The closest usable green space sits along Mallard Creek at the south end of the neighborhood, with grass, ponds, and walking paths. Local fitness buffs head to the Mallard Creek Greenway, a fee-free, multi-use path that welcomes bikers, runners, and dog-walkers. The nearest large park is Mallard Creek Community Park, which sits to the northwest. There, locals take advantage of multiple sports fields, a volleyball court, and a large playground for the kids. Area sports leagues host a regular series of games and tournaments at the park.
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