One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to take the light rail from campus into uptown and explore the different food options. I’ve had some of the best meals of my life in Uptown but one thing it’s lacking in my opinion is dessert and snack options. Three new food options will be added to the uptown scene: Evoke Coffee Company to satisfy the coffee addiction, Sweet Crunch Waffles for dessert after date night or brunch with your friends, and Hip Pies for a unique lunch option. I decided to connect with people working at these businesses to see what they’re all about:

Evoke Coffee Company

I spoke to owner Joe Keenan about his new shop.

As I mentioned before, if you’re a coffee junkie, add checking out Evoke Coffee to your to-do list. Evoke is a Black-owned business that has recently opened in Uptown Charlotte, about a 30-minute light rail ride from UNC Charlotte. You can try out this unique company for yourself at 750 W Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28208. Make sure to follow their Instagram @evokecoffeeco for weekly hours.

What is unique about your company?

Evoke is unique because all syrups are house-made and Evoke creates syrups that are not found at other coffee shops such as Berry Spicy (strawberry and cayenne) and the popular blueberry cinnamon. Evoke gives back to the community by donating resources to upcoming artists.

How did you create the name for Evoke coffee?

The name came from a conversation with some young men in my hometown who mentioned that I evoke change and positivity.

What made you want to start Evoke?

I love coffee and I love the way coffee can bring people from all walks of life together.

What is your favorite drink at Evoke?

My favorite drink right now is the “Southern Gentleman” which is caramel and bourbon maple syrup with oat milk made hot.

Sweet Crunch Waffles

I spoke to co-owner Melissa about her and her partner’s new businesses.

Sweet Crunch Waffles is another new member of the Uptown Charlotte restaurant community. We can always have more dessert and snack options in the uptown area, and what better than a fun and original dessert waffle shop?

For students, Sweet Crunch Waffles is located at The Market at 7th street which has its own stop right on the Light Rail to make visiting easier. They will validate your parking ticket as well. They are open Monday and Wednesday 8 AM-7 PM and Thursday- Saturday 8 AM-8 PM and Sunday 9 AM-5 PM.

I asked Melissa at Sweet Crunch Waffles to tell me a bit more about the company:

What is unique about your business?

Sweet Crunch is rather unique because the waffles we serve aren’t like the waffles you make at home. These are made from a yeasted dough that takes almost 24 hours to

make. Once finished we mix in chunks of pearl sugar, which makes it sweet, and when pressed in our iron it caramelizes on the outside. This style of waffle is served predominately in Belgium and is more of a street-style, on-the-go type of snack. People eat them all throughout the day out of food trucks and street cars. All waffles are made to order and are very fresh!

What made you want to start Sweet Crunch Waffles?

My partner and I decided to quit our jobs with the intent on starting a new business (we already had our toes in real estate) but also wanted to travel. We visited Brussels, Belgium while out of the country and fell in love with these waffles. We came back home and wanted one, but there weren’t any businesses that had what we wanted, so we started making them at home and it flourished into Sweet Crunch.

What is your favorite menu item at Sweet Crunch?

My favorite is the Berry Loaded. I love fresh fruit and I can’t get enough of Nutella. My partner's is the OG, which is the Classic Liège waffle you’ll find overseas.

Do you offer vegan options?

At this time we do not offer any vegan options. We are in the process of testing a dough recipe to be gluten-free and vegan!

Spoon Tip: On Mondays, Sweet Crunch offers a College Night where you can get 1 regular topping +1 drizzle free!


Another new and fun business in Uptown Charlotte is Hip Pies, which serves homemade sweet and savory pies! Pies are mini sizes and served hot or cold, with flavors changing weekly. Hip Pies is open Monday-Friday 11:30 AM to 2 PM so make sure to grab your pie while you can! Prices are $7 for sweet pies, and $9 for savory, can’t beat that! Although flavors change weekly, you can expect to find shepherd's pies, pecan pie, and chocolate peanut butter pie! Hip Pies is located in the Wells Fargo Plaza in Uptown.

Olivia Fey