Last year, my boyfriend had to drag me kicking and screaming to Steele Creek when my lease ended in Plaza Midwood. Instead of focusing on the good things — we were moving in together and progressing in our relationship (a man that wants to commit! Yes!) — I was concerned I would never see my friends again and would be too far from anything to ever have any fun.
We crammed the rest of my things in my CRV, grabbed a breakfast sandwich from Amelie’s for the road and started our sojourn south down I-77. Almost a year later, we’re still in Steele Creek and I’m complaining a whole lot less. (But really, if we could get a local coffee shop and a yoga studio in Ayrsley I’d be there in a heartbeat and it doesn’t take a genius to know that the stoplights on South Tryon need to be synced during rush hour.)
There are a lot of reasons I like Steele Creek: delicious food and drinks (as a food blogger, good food is a high priority), things to do, cheap rent, nature, and easy access to other parts of Charlotte. Steele Creek, I’m sorry for hating on you and you can consider this my formal apology.
Steele Creek has a lot of local food and drink options.
Behind the Applebee’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, that line the strip malls of South Tryon, you’ll find some local food gems to suite your mood:
- Barbecue: Mac’s Speed Shop (for beer lovers, Mac’s has beer club and an incredible and ever changing beer list)
- Indian: Saffron Indian Cuisine
- Italian: Portofino’s
- American: Harry’s Grill and Tavern (Harry’s Sunday Brunch is dope with a bottomless mimosa option).
- Vietnamese: Pho Cali
- Soul food: La’Wan’s
- Cuban: A Piece of Havana
- Wine Bar: The Wine Shop at Rivergate
- Cute Chicken and Waffle Sliders (and other twists on traditional bar bites): Piedmont Social House (make a night of it and linger their fantastic patio or get in a few games of bowling).
We have three Mexican restaurants within walking distance of our house.
We have three great Mexican restaurants within a half mile of our house: Salsa’s for giant margaritas and patio sitting, Don Pedro’s for table-side guacamole and enchiladas, and La Poblanita for fajitas and their candy store selection (Mexican food gets its own category because it’s delicious and there are three).
Steele Creek is home to the best wings in Charlotte.
It doesn’t look like much, but Wing King, the hole in the wall sports bar at the end of a strip mall on Tryon and Carowinds Boulevard has juicy wings, tons of flavor choices, and creamy chunky bleu cheese on the side. Wing King has the best wings. Sorry Steele Creek for blowing up your spot.
You can switch up your workout routine.
Steele Creek is home to Carowinds.
Fury 325, The Intimidator and all the other thrill rides live in Steele Creek. Plus, I kinda like Fury’s peak welcoming me in the distance on my commute home.
We have a lot more space; and it costs less money.
When I moved to Steele Creek from Plaza Midwood, my rent decreased 49 percent and our house is 1.7 times the size of my old two-bedroom apartment. Look at that math.
You can get your errands done all in one place.
Ayrsley and Rivergate have your shopping, errand running and entertainment needs covered, with everything from local boutiques to big box stores, shops and salons, and a locally owned movie theater (I’m not allowed in the Super Target at Rivergate anymore because I always come out $200 poorer having purchased nothing on my list).
And we have two Publixes.
I’m definitely Team Publix: good prices, well organized, they have an expansive international food aisle, and really great sandwiches. We have our choice of Whitehall Commons or Steele Creek Crossing. I was apprehensive at first all of the friendly people greeting me while I shopped, but I’ve gotten over it.
You can escape the hustle and bustle (and traffic) of the city.
Go for a hike at McDowell Nature Preserve or spend the day on Lake Wylie. (Sometimes I just take a drive down Shopton Road to take in the trees get a brief escape from city living).
We have cheap gas and cheap liquor.
Well technically, South Carolina does. But it’s only a five-minute trip to Frugal MacDoogal for all of our alcoholic beverage needs and we can fill our tank up for 25 cents less a gallon while we’re there.
We have easy access to other great things in Charlotte.
With the intersection of I-485 and I-77, the world is our oyster. We have a straight shot to the airport, the Whitewater Center, the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market, and the Charlotte Premium Outlets, plus neighborhoods like SouthPark, South End, Uptown, and NoDa. We can go north without getting stuck in I-77’s backup and can be mountain bound in less than 10 minutes.
Steele Creek is not that far away.
We can see the skyline from our street and it only takes us 15 minutes to get Uptown (25-30 if you factor in a morning commute, which is less time than an entire episode of Serial). So stop moaning (myself included) and come pay a visit to southwest Charlotte. Give me a ring; I’d be delighted to eat some Mexican food with you.