Aug 11, 2021 - Suburbs

18 things to do in Pineville, from the Polk historic site to Colombian cuisine to hiking trails

MJ Donuts

Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

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Named after its abundance of pine trees and known for being the birthplace of James K. Polk, Pineville is a quaint suburb in the southernmost part of Mecklenburg County.

But it brims with a mix of things to do and see and eat. Its trails are some of the best in our urban county, and its growing restaurant scene is noteworthy for its Latin American influence.

Pineville’s a gem you may not know you’d love. Here are 18 things to do there.

(1) Pick up a baker’s dozen from MJ Donuts

This hole-in-the-wall (pun intended) donut shop serves regular donuts and cake donuts, as well as a few other pastries like cinnamon rolls and muffins. And as an added sweet treat, they throw in extra donut holes for free.

Location/hours: 325 South Polk St. Open Monday through Friday from 6am to noon, Saturday from 7am to 1pm and Sunday from 7am to noon.

MJ Donuts Pineville

(2) Shop local produce and goods at the Downtown Pineville Farmers Market

This market, which only happens on Saturdays, offers a great way to support local farmers and vendors. You can find everything from fruits and vegetables to candles and jewelry.

Location/hours: 100 Dover St. Saturdays from 8am to noon.

(3) Go shopping at Carolina Place Mall

Online shopping may have become your pandemic hobby, but nothing can replace the nostalgia of an indoor mall. Grab an Auntie Anne’s soft pretzel and just cruise the mall, or shop from places like REI, Bath & Body Works, Aerie and Hollister.

Location/hours: 11025 Carolina Place Pkwy. Open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 7pm; Friday and Saturday from 11am to 9pm; and Sunday from noon to 6pm.

Carolina Place Mall

(4) What the Fries

Wildly popular food truck What The Fries opened its first brick and mortar location earlier this year. The menu includes favorites like the burgers and loaded fries, but there are also new items worth trying out. Here are a few:

  • Loaded Fry Wrap: Your favorite loaded fries conveniently wrapped up in a tortilla for a mess-free meal.
  • Freshcut Chips: WTF has the fries down pat, and now they’re expanding their potato offerings with chips. The crispy waffle cut chips are made fresh with house seasoning.
  • Fried Snapper Sandwich: Fried snapper, mustard green slaw and spicy Yumm Yumm sauce on a potato bun.
  • Grilled Cheesy: American, gouda and Boursin cheese grilled up good and gooey on potato bread.

Location/hours: 10707 Park Rd., Suite F. Open Tuesday through Thursday, and Saturday from 11am to 8pm. Closed Monday, Friday and Sunday.

Full story: Loaded fries food truck What The Fries to open first restaurant

WTF restaurant, What the fries, loaded fries, burgers, Greg Williams, Jamie Barnes
WTF Fried snapper sandwich. Photo: Paige Hopkins/Axios

(5) Visit the President James K. Polk State Historic Site

Take a step back to the early 19th century and learn about the birthplace and family homestead of the 11th President. Admission to the grounds is free; guided cabin tours take place on Saturdays at 11am and 2pm and are $2 for adults and $1 for children and seniors.

Daily Admission: Free

Location/hours: 12031 Lancaster Hwy. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

(6) Enjoy traditional Colombian food at Mi Tierra

Pick up a loaf of pan Colombiano (Colombian bread) and a variety of other pan dulces from the bakery. Or sit down and enjoy a full meal. The Bandeja Paisa, a traditional Colombian dish, is one of their most popular items, along with the Churrasco.

Location/hours: 10405 Park Rd., Suite B. Open daily from 8am to 8pm.

(7) Go ice skating at Pineville Ice House

Even during the summer months, you can drift across the ice (or cling on to the wall for dear life) during Pineville Ice House’s public skating hours. There’s music, lights and a restaurant and bar area for those who prefer not to look like a deer on ice.

Admission: $15 (ice skates included)

Location/hours: 400 Towne Centre Blvd. Public skating hours vary, check the schedule here.

Pineville Ice House

(8) Go on a brewery crawl

Just like the rest of Charlotte, Pineville has a hoppin’ brewery scene. Local favorites include:

  • Pintville Craft Beer: Right on Main Street, this popular spot has $5 seltzers on Sundays and weekly Friday trivia.
  • Kit’s Trackside Crafts: They have 19 beers on tap, sold by the half pour, full pour or crowler.
  • Middle James Brewing Company: Middle James opened two years ago, and has solid food and beer menus. They do trivia nights, music bingo and other weekly events.

(9) Get your Wienerschnitzel fix at the Waldhorn Restaurant


This family-run restaurant has been serving traditional German food since 1999. The menu features dishes from passed-down family recipes. Some highlights include:

  • Waldhorn Sampler, with pork wienerschnitzel bratwurst and tafelspitz served with spätzle, red cabbage, brown sauce and horseradish cream sauce on the side ($18.95).
  • Bratwurst sandwich, with a grilled brat topped with sauerkraut, served on a homemade Waldhorn pretzel hoagie ($12.95).
  • Gemüse Strudel, with vegetable strudel, grilled vegetables wrapped in puff pastry, served over rice and a roasted red pepper sauce ($16.95).

Note: It’s closed August 8-17 for summer vacation

Location/hours: 12101 Lancaster Hwy. Open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2:30pm, and dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30pm to 9pm.

(10) Chatpatay-Chaupaati

Chatpatay specializes in popular Indian street food like panipuri, bhelpuri, pav bhaji, chat and dosa. The name actually means a mix of flavor and spice.

Try this: The Chatpatay Tandoor Combo. It comes with a hearty portion of lamb kabab, tandoori chicken and chicken tikka ($20).

Location/hours: 9101 Pineville-Matthews Rd. Open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 3pm and again from 5–9:30pm, and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 3pm and again from 5-10pm.

(11) Enjoy a diner-style meal at The Dive N

If you’re a sucker for old-school diners, you’ll definitely want to check out the Dive N. This breakfast and lunch spot serves breakfast egg plates and pancakes, as well as lunch items like hamburgers and hot dogs.

Must try: Jimmy’s Special. It’s a double cheeseburger topped with mustard, pickles, special sauce and a massive onion ring ($6.95)

Location/hours: 109 North Polk St. Open Monday through Saturday from 7am to 3pm.

(12) Try the wings from d.d. Peckers

Dive-N Pineville

Charlotte wing lovers know d.d. Peckers. It’s widely regarded as the No. 1 wing spot in our city. Inside, you’ll find a dark bar-type vibe — but don’t be mistaken, the employees and the wings are fantastic.

Must-try flavors: Hot and honey hot.

Flavors: 25+. All sauces are made in-house, and if you’re nosy, you can look into the kitchen and watch the cooks toss the chicken wings in large silver sauce bowls.

Location/hours: 10403 Park Rd. Open daily from 11am to 9:30pm.

(13) Los Paisas Colombian Restaurant

wings-at-dd peckers wing shack-in-charlotte
d.d. Peckers’ Wing Shack

The menu at this beloved Colombian restaurant features chicken, beef, seafood, salads and traditional Colombian dishes mostly priced under $14. Some popular Colombian dishes include:

  • Bandeja tipica Colombiana: A typical Colombian platter with grilled beef, beans, red sausage, pork crackling, rice, egg, sweet plantains, avocado and white corn tortilla ($14.25).
  • Picada: Fried green plantains, fried beef, red and black sausages, pork crackling, creole potatoes, cassava, and white corn tortilla ($13.25).
  • Chuleta de cerdo: Breaded pork loin served with rice, beans and sweet plantains ($13).

Location/hours: 8318 Pineville-Matthews Rd., Suite #702. Open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday from 10:30am to 9pm.

(14) Try authentic Peruvian cuisine at MachuPicchu

Los Paisas
Bandeja tipica Colombiana

The menu is packed with more than 50 Peruvian dishes, from rotisserie chicken to Peruvian-style fried rice to spaghetti with beef.

Order this: The fish ceviche and the chicken fried rice.

Location/hours: 315 South Polk St., Suite #4e. Open 11am to 10pm Monday through Thursday; 10am to 11pm Friday from; noon to midnight Saturday; and 9am to 10pm Sunday.

(15) Let the good times roll at Spare Time

It’s Pineville’s newest entertainment facility. Amenities include bowling lanes, an arcade, a laser tag arena and escape rooms among other activities. The complex will also have multiple restaurants and bars for on-site dining.

Details: Spare time opens August 11.

Location/hours: 9600 Pineville-Matthews Rd.

(16) Do an escape room at Breakout Games

Breakout Games is a private escape room experience — the ultimate activity when you’re trying to please a crowd. Most rooms allow 7-8 people and it costs $37.99 per person. You have an hour to escape and there are 6 themes to choose from kidnappers to casinos. 

To book: Click here.

Location/hours: 11025 Carolina Place Pkwy. Open daily from 10am to 11pm.

(17) Sip wine and share a pizza at Margaux’s Wine & Pizza

The popular new restaurant, known for its pizza and wine, is located in a charming 100-year-old historic building. The menu features cheese and charcuterie boards, St. Louis-style pizza, salads, calzones and sandwiches.

Wines: Wine is sold by the glass ($9-$14) or in flights that include three 3-ounce pours for $22.

Pizza: Of course you can build your own, but Margaux’s has five specialty St. Louis-style ‘zas to choose from:

  • The Sicilian, with Italian sausage, pepperoni, black olives, green peppers, red onions ($14).
  • The Super Tuscan, with prosciutto, Italian sausage, pepperoni ($14).
  • The Mushroom, with wild mushrooms, roasted garlic, white truffle oil, topped with arugula ($13).
  • The Mayorʼs Wife, with roasted eggplant and red pepper, marinated tomatoes, basil ($13).
  • Pizza DʼMaui, with pineapple and prosciutto ($14).

Location/hours: 316 Main St. Open Tuesday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sunday from noon to 8pm.

(18) Stroll the greenways

Margaux's Wine & Pizza Pineville

Lower McAlpine Creek, McMullen Creek and Four Mile Creek greenways run through Pineville and the south Charlotte area. These trails are mostly paved (or gravel or boardwalk) and mostly wooded, which provides some crucial shade in the summer.

  • The paved/gravel part of the greenway is 5.83 miles long. You can find a map here.

Parking: 11823 Johnston Rd., 8135 Pineville-Matthews Rd., or 5803 Bevington Pl.

Four Mile Creek Greenway

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