Raleigh Up Close: Something for Foodies

 Raleigh Up Close: Something for Foodies

Head to Raleigh and discover no shortage of worthy eats. Raleigh offers more than the renowned barbecue you’d expect in a charming southern city.

Take a peek beyond the Carolina barbecue you’d expect to find in the capital city to discover Raleigh’s bustling food and restaurant scene with this brag list. With over 1,300 restaurants and ethnic flavors from various corners of the world, you’ve got to get to Raleigh to satisfy your taste buds. Raleigh buzzing food scene even helped place the capital city in the Forbe’s Travel Guide Top 12 Travel Destinations of 2017. This is Raleigh Up Close: Something for Foodies. 

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for April 1-2, 2017 to ROCK the Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & 1/2 Marathon to see and taste the best of Raleigh for yourself!

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If you’re going to sample barbecue in Raleigh, there’s two things you need to know–there’s two distinct styles of BBQ found throughout the state. The Eastern style smokes the whole hog and is then diced and chopped into a mix of light and dark meat seasoned with pepper and vinegar sauce. The Western style tends to focus on the pork shoulder and adds tomatoes and brown sugar to the vinegar sauce to create a side dipping sauce.

The most popular side is coleslaw, commonly referred to as slaw. Other favorites include hush puppies, fried okra, fried pickles, corn on the cob, biscuits and cracklin. Cracklin is fried pork fat that offers a savory, salty taste to any meal. Don’t leave without at least trying it during your visit!


Look for these local favorites:

  • Clyde Cooper’s BBQ
  • The Pit
  • Big Al’s BBQ & Catering



Known to be a budding and culturally diverse city, the Hispanic population in Raleigh saw a five percent growth from seven percent to 12% over the past 14 years. So it comes as no surprise to see the tastes and roots of the Hispanic population reflected in the restaurant scene. The city includes restaurants that feature tastes from all over Latin America, including Mexico, Colombia, Spain and others. Visitors can discover new twists on classic dishes like empanadas, tacos and homemade tortillas, or sample timeless cocktails like mezcal.

Look for these local favorites:

  • Centro
  • Gallo Pelon Mezcaleria
  • Jose & Sons
  • Guasaca Arepa & Salsa Grill
  • El Tapatio
  • Taquieria El Toro



The Asian cuisine holds its own in Raleigh, offering a diverse mix of tastes from various parts of India, Laos and Korea, to name a few. It’s not uncommon for many of these restaurants to fuse together fine grades of locally grown produce with new takes on dishes that trace their traditional roots.

Look for these local favorites:

  • Bida Manda
  • Lemongrass Thai Restaurant
  • David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar
  • Kimbap
  • Pho Pho Pho
  • Pho Super9
  • An New World Cuisine
  • Garland
  • bu-ku
  • Mura at North Hills



Visitors are in for a treat in the Southern food category. Restaurants feature farm-to-table staples sourced directly from local farmers, producing fresh plates that epitomize southern comfort food. Visitors can take their pick among specialty breakfast, lunch or dinner hot spots or seek out places that offer morning to evening menus, all sure to please those with appetites big and small. One cardinal rule is that visitors must enjoy at least one biscuit while in town. A serious staple in the South, North Carolina takes the biscuit business seriously, so try one as part of your meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Look for these local favorites:

  • State Farmer’s Market Restaurant
  • Standar Foods
  • Mandolin
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe
  • Flying Biscuit
  • Big Ed’s City Market & Restaurant
  • Mecca Restaurant


Sweet Tooth Bakeries

A Raleigh foodie brag list wouldn’t be complete without worthy mentions for the sweet tooths out there. Find bakeries that offer fresh baked bread up to three times a day, like Boulted Bread, and desserts that could double as artistic pieces as well as scrumptious eats.

Look for these local favorites:

  • Boulted Bread
  • lucettegrace