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The Best in Charlotte: Best in the Nest 2021

Onward to 2040: The future of Charlotte is now

Duke Energy, Charlotte Comprehensive Plan
The Charlotte city skyline. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Dec. 3, the day we are placing the Best in the Nest 2021 winners online, marks the city of Charlotte’s 253rd birthday. According to UNC Charlotte’s Special Collections and University Archives department: On Dec. 3, 1768, Colonial Governor William Tryon signed into law “An Act for establishing a Town in Mecklenburg County,” which designated 360 acres of land for the new town, and that it “…shall be called by the Name of Charlotte.”

Sunday, Dec. 5, also marks our third birthday here at Queen City Nerve, and while we haven’t been around quite as long as the Queen City itself, we’re more than grateful to our readers for their continued support us as we’ve gotten off the ground and carried out our mission to serve as a community paper, telling the stories we feel need to be told in Charlotte. 

We’re also thankful for our staff and contributors who helped us put together such a comprehensive Best in the Nest Issue featuring winners in 450 categories: 

Staff and Best in the Nest contributors: Aerin Spruill, Allison Frazier, Dion Beary, Erin Tracy-Blackwood, Grant Baldwin, Jayme Johnson, Justin LaFrancois, Karie Simmons, Karina Caporino, Nikolai Mather, MB Schaffner, Pat Moran and Timothy DePeugh.  

Featuring clips from reporting by: Annie McGowan, Allison Braden, Brianna Monroe, Caitlin Mroz, Cecilia Whalen, Greg Jarrell, Jasiatic Anderson, Jeff Hahne, Jonathan Golian, Liz Logan, Matt Cosper, Molly Ruggere, Taylor Knopf, Tracy Jones. 

And including photos from: Alex Acevedo, Alvin C. Jacobs Jr., Andrea Orr, Annie McGowan, April Friedline, Ariel Perry, Arlynn Zachary, Ashley Smith, Barry Greene, BlueSky Artists, Brandon Weiner, Brian “BT” Twitty, Caitin Mroz, Chelsea DeMoss, Christine Edwards, Cody Bennett, Cody Carlson, Cory Wilkins, David Flowers, Emily Barnes, Fenix Foto, Grant Baldwin, Jeff Hahne, Joan Marcus, Joshua Galloway, Justin Driscoll, Kenty Chung, Kevin McCarthy, Laura Sexton, Lindsey Miller, Marc Prosper, Mixed Metaphors Productions, Nick King, Nick Lewis, Patrick Causey, Perry Tannenbaum, Peter Taylor, Ramsey Lyric, Remy Thurston, Rick Ullberg, Rob Harmon, ScallionPancake, and Shea McKissack.

SUPPORT OUR WORK: Get better connected and become a member of Queen City Nerve to support local journalism for as little as $5 per month. Our community journalism helps inform you through a range of diverse voices.

Are you winner and have not received your award yet? Reach out to for a printable version of your award to display for all your friends and customers!


Best in Charlotte city life

You may hear that “Uptown is dead,” but City Life don’t stop. Here are the folks that kept things moving on the ground this year to ensure a better future for our city.



Consumer culture in Charlotte

So what if you’re only adding to existing supply chain problems, shop ‘til you drop.



Best food and drink in Charlotte

We all gotta eat, just respect your servers while you’re out. They’ve taken a lot of shit over the past year. So eat, drink, be merry and tip well.



Best arts and music in Charlotte

Here’s to the creatives, the heart and soul of our city.



best nightlife in Charlotte

If there’s one thing we’ve done our research on, it’s where to have a good time in this town. We’re more than happy to share what we’ve found.



Hall of shame

The people and places that let us down all year long



To all the businesses we lost to our city’s rapid development


SUPPORT OUR WORK: Get better connected and become a member of Queen City Nerve to support local journalism for as little as $5 per month. Our community journalism helps inform you through a range of diverse voices.

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One Comment

  1. How do we vote for a business?? It’s not very user friendly – trying to vote for an awesome tattoo shop but where is it??? How do we find it?? The owner sent this link to me and it’s full of so many ads and other lists – not easy to vote and get on with the night-

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