East Charlotte is a large conglomeration of neighborhoods in Charlotte. Since it is not a unified district, it has no official boundaries; however, it is generally recognized that the area begins east of Independence Blvd.(NC Highway 74), west of W.T. Harris Blvd., and south of The Plaza. Though large parts of the East Side are considered depressed or fragile, it is quickly becoming the city's most colorful quadrant. Large immigrant communities have made their home here, creating an air of diversity unparalleled anywhere else in the city.
It should be noted that this article does not contain information about the distinctive Plaza-Midwood neighborhood.
East Charlotte was once a suburban area, so it is crisscrossed by large roads. This makes auto transit the easiest way to explore the district. Major thoroughfares include Independence Blvd., Eastway Dr., Sharon Amity Rd., and Shamrock Dr.
The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) serves the East Side with numerous bus lines, including Route #39 along Eastway, #29 along Sharon Amity, #9 and #17 along Central Ave., and #23 along Shamrock.
The Charlotte Museum of History and Hezekiah Alexander House, 3500 Shamrock Drive, +1 704-568-1774, . M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Is a museum dedicated to the history of Charlotte. Located on the property of a prominent 18th-century homestead family, and features the original home and related buildings nearby. Offers guided tours of the historic sites as well as the modern museum building. Exhibits inside the museum are relatively small, but of exceptionally high quality due to its collaboration with the Smithsonian. $6 adults, $5 students and seniors, $3 children.
Eastland Mall. Once the largest mall in the state, Eastland has seen better days. Located at the intersection of Central Ave. and Sharon Amity Rd., it has reflected that area's decline from its upscale origins. Eastland is still generally a safe place to shop, but the experience has been made considerably less comfortable by negative press arising from gangs and robberies at the mall and surrounding area. However, there is hope on the horizon; a new transit hub located adjacent to the mall is expected to pump some life (and money) back into the area. Includes a ice-skating rink and a movie theater that specializes in "G" and "PG" films; anchors are Burlington Coat Factory and Sears.
Wal-Mart 3304 Eastway Dr., +1 704-535-3708.
House of Pizza, 3640 Central Ave., +1 704-568-9410. Somewhat less trendy than its competitors, House of Pizza has an old-Charlotte appeal that has weathered the decades. Very low-key and friendly, this is an establishment among the working-class families in the Plaza-Midwood area. The food also happens to be cheap and well-made.
Lang Van. 3019 Shamrock Dr. By far Charlotte's best-reputed Vietnamese restaurant. Located in an unassuming building on Shamrock Dr., this has become a quiet favorite among fans of Asian cuisine. The neighborhood is perfectly safe by day, but be alert if going for dinner.
Lava Java, 5724 E. WT Harris Blvd. Classy and chic, this is a good place for lunch or dinner as well as coffee. Reputed for its excellent desserts.
South 21 Drive-In. 3101 E. Independence Blvd., +1 704-377-4509. A classic 1950s drive-in that has somehow survived the dramatic changes of the last half-century. Cheap and delicious, though the menu is limited to burgers, fish, and similar fast-food fare. The experience of golden-age Americana is worth the visit.
Showmars. 3225 Eastway Dr., +1 704-568-0565. This Greek fast-food restaurant has many locations citywide (see other districts), and is one of the best values to be found for quality and service. This location is not far from the Eastway Blvd. Wal-Mart.
Ben Thanh. 4900 Central Ave.
Brazas Brazilian Grill. 4508 E. Independence Blvd.
Chuuka. 6003 Albemarle Rd.
Kabob House. 6432 E. Independence Blvd.
Kilimanjaro. 3001 E. Independence Blvd.
La Canasta Dominicana. 4808 Central Ave.
Landmark Diner. 4429 Central Ave.
Namaste. 4508 E. Independence Blvd.
Pollos Mario. 6023 Albemarle Rd.
Portofino Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. 3124 Eastway Dr.
Saigon Bistro. 3145 N. Sharon Amity Rd.
Taste of Havana. 5534 Albemarle Rd.
Best Western Independence Hotel, 2501 Sardis Rd. N, +1 704 845-2810, Newly renovated in 2006, this hotel is a great find! Located in Charlotte just 7 miles from center city off Independence Blvd, or I-74. Beautifully appointed rooms all offer a mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and free high speed Internet access. Also on site business center, fitness center, guest laundry, and free breakfast in the morning! All indoor corridors and free parking. $83-$145.
Value Lodge, 2721 E Independence Blvd, +1 704-375-8444.
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