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The City of Oaks is way more than you might have imagined. Raleigh has a diverse, thriving downtown with more than a few hip neighborhood offshoots. It is the kind of place that leaves you wondering how you could have lived this long with no idea what was waiting right off Interstate 95, if you only knew where to look. Well, we’ve sorted that out for you. In this city guide, we’ve cherry picked the spots you’ll love and long to linger. If you thought you “knew” Raleigh, check again. They don’t call it New Raleigh for nothing.

Moore Square District

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Transfer Company Food Production Hall, Market and Gathering Place  In Olde East Raleigh, something’s a brewing… Locals Seafood and many of your favorite vendors to join Transfer Co. in Summer 2018. 500 E. Davie St. (S)

House of Swank Clothing Company is the place to pick up some local swag. Show your Southern pride in House of Swank’s super-soft tees. 315 S. Bloodworth St. (S)

The Mecca Restaurant  This friendly downtown diner has been pleasing folks since 1930. Swing into one of their wooden booths and put the future on pause as you dig into perfectly fried chicken or some truly memorable blackberry cobbler. Those out carousing at King’s know all too well the charms of Pig in a Pup, a plate heaped with barbecue-filled hush puppies. 13 E. Martin St. (E)

Bittersweet serves coffee, cocktails, and sweets, and we won’t even judge you by which order you consume them. Kim Hammer of Bittycakes is the wizard behind the veil, whipping up all manner of toothy treats. They serve Counter Culture coffee and sinful things like drinking chocolate. Whether you’re looking for a Gingerbread Martini or a classic Negroni, Bittersweet can sling it. Here’s what great–their all natural and seasonal menu; the coffee window open until 3 in the afternoon; frequent pairings for their Sunday Funday Workshops (by workshops we mean, of course, drinking and eating under the guise of actual learning). They’ve got savory or sweet bar snacks, so don’t sweat the sugar rush. 16 E. Martin St. (E)

For the quintessential southern breakfast visit Big Ed’s City Market. Down home cooking complete with red checkered tablecloths and hotcakes that eclipse the sun, eh…plate. 220 Wolfe St. (E)

Raleigh City Farmers Market opens again in the spring. Support your local farms and eat good stuff! 214 E. Market St. (S)

buku puts a creative spin of global street food. The downtown tapas spot will likely make your most pressing concern be that you can’t sample every beautifully plated dish in one sitting, not a bad problem to have. Ramen is on point and their brunch, epic including waffle, omelette and meat carving stations, plus an embarrassing wealth of savory and sweet dishes. 110 E. Davie St. (E)

42 & Lawrence  Never had a draft latte? Drift over to 42 & Lawrence’s airy, modern coffee shop downtown. The floating bowlers are giving us a surreal Peter Seller’s Being There vibe in all the right ways. The Modbar espresso machine, in-house syrups, and Jeremy’s wacky experimentation will take your routine caffeine fix to the next level. Try a coffee shrub soda. They’re serving kombucha and cold-pressed juices too. Naturally, it would be a shame to pass over one of Lucette Grace’s pastries while relaxing with your Nitro Cold Brew. 134 E. Martin St. (E)

Ramble Supply Co. You’ll feel like you’ve walked into the pages of Kinfolk.  Lovely spare design and quality merch like Baleen handmade rings, and Herbivore Botanicals sea clay soap. 123 E. Martin St. (S)

Provenance 120 E. Martin St. (E)

Brewery Bhavana  218 S. Blount St. (E)

Pour House Music Hall is Raleigh’s oldest live music venue with great acoustics and a pretty impressive wall of taps. 224 S. Blount St. (D)

Bida Manda This Asian fusion restaurant is happening.  Amazing flavors and equally stunning interior await at 222 S. Blount St. (E)

CalaVela Empanada and Tequila Bar  We were already fans of the empanada; Cala Vela has made us devotees. We wouldn’t dream of rolling through town without stopping for Cala Vela’s crispy, flaky, meat-filled pastries of delight. Depending on the hour, that might be accompanied by one of their 40 tequilas (which Cala Vela describes as “if you could trap sunlight in water and bottle it”…Awh.)  444 S. Blount St.Suite #101 (E)

Lump Gallery is dedicated to presenting work that pushes boundaries and defies commercial expectations. Drop in Saturday afternoons or by appointment. 505 S. Blount St. (D)

Artspace is a staple of the arts community in Raleigh. A great place to visit on First Friday due to the sheer number of exhibitions and studios to tour. They also offer art education classes for the community. 201 E. Davie St. (D)

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar  223 S. Wilmington St. (E)

Slim’s Downtown Distillery  music venue 227 S. Wilmington St. (D)

We’ll happily sit down with a plate of chicken and waffles, with just a touch of honey drizzled decadently over the perfectly crisped skin from Beasley’s Chicken and Honey. Wait, did you say Ashe Co. Pimento Mac-N-Cheese Custard? I thought so. 237 S. Wilmington St. (E)

Oh, sorry–you were hankering for a burger?  Well, you’re in luck. Next door is another of Ashley Christensen’s wildly popular establishments, Chuck’sThey feature upscale burgers and unique dipping sauces for your fries; but what really caught my eye was the Madagascar Malted Spiked Milkshake…yes, please. 237 S. Wilmington St. (E)

The corner triumvirate is complete with Fox’s Liquor Bar. When you are in the mood for a bite of meat or cheese with your cocktail, head to the Fox’s. 237 S. Wilmington St. (E)

The Remedy Diner  We could tell you how good the flash Fried Broccoli is, but you wouldn’t believe us. The wildly popular Remedy serves vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores side by side–so it’s up to you to declare your allegiance. Hey, if they can make tasty vegan desserts (and they do), you know the rest will be good eatin’. Check out their sweet little space out back. 137 E. Hargett St. (E)

The Green Light in The Architect Bar & Social House 108 1/2 E. Hargett St. (E)

Fayetteville Street District

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Centro  This warm little restaurant, strung with festive Dia de los Muertos flags, delivers beautiful and flavor- packed Mexican and Latin American dishes. Ward off a bad mood with a trip to Centro. 106 S. Wilmington St. (E)

One of our favorite “hidden” spots in Raleigh is Gallo Pelon Mezcaleria. Take the stairs inside Centro to access this cozy mezcaleria. Their killer patio, choice bar bites, and inventive cocktails have quickly ascended Gallo to cult status among the cool kids. Yep, that can include you. Order the Break Even fancy mezcal of the night, a shot of the really good stuff at cost (one per visit), then dig into Pulled Pork Patachones, Elote Fritters, or Grilled Zucchini Salad to get your night rolling. 106 ½ S. Wilmington St.(E)

Gravy Italian-American Kitchen  Chef Brent Hopkins was including in Best Chefs America, South edition. The delicate Eggplant Pie and house-made Gnocchi are standouts. Right now we’re diggin’ the seasonal Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi  with Fall squash, walnuts, sage brown butter, preserved lemon, and grana Padano. 135 S. Wilmington St. (E)

Feel Goodz sells flip flops made with 100% natural materials. They are passionate about empowering artisans throughout the world by providing fair wages. “Feel Goodz are for the soul traveler with a purpose of being comfortable, global, and conscious.”  Rock on…in your comfortable flip flops. 206 S. Wilmington St. (S)

If you find yourself downtown, and we sincerely hope you will, in need of a caffeine hit–head to Joule Coffee. If you’re lucky, you can get a window seat (and by this, we mean in the window-Mannequin-style circa 1987).  Order anything involving Short Ribs here. Frankly, everything is sooo good, you could just close your eyes and point. They do coffee just as well, even offering N.C. pecan-almond milk and house-made marshmallows. Joule now serves dinner after five.  223 S. Wilmington St. (E)

Pizza La Stella 219 Fayetteville St. (E)

Foundation  Aptly named, you need to trek downstairs to enter Foundation’s brick basement.  A favorite Raleigh watering hole, Foundation’s handcrafted libations draw a diverse crowd. N.Y. Times touted Foundation’s house-made colas and syrups. Try them on Sundays for $7 cocktails off the classics menu.  Sweet. 213 Fayetteville St. (E)

The Fish Market Student Gallery is always a interesting stop on First Fridays.  This gallery is curated by NC State College of Design students.  Look for the sign on the corner of Hargett and Fayetteville Streets. 133 Fayetteville St. (D)

The Morning Times  Enjoy Counter Culture coffee in the upstairs art gallery. If you’re hangry, they’ve got plenty of tasty options to restore your equilibrium. 10 E. Hargett St. (E)

Don’t miss Raleigh’s First Friday Gallery Walks. For info. on venues click here.  When the weather turns nice, The Morning Times Market goes into swing.  You’ll find a beer tent, live music, and plenty of talented artists selling their blood, sweat, and tears. Check The Morning Times Market facebook page to stay current on the next street party.

Raleigh Times Bar’s  Mac and Quack or Baja Fish Tacos with P.B.R.-battered catfish is just our speed.  The problem will be deciding between one of our favorite micros like Allagash White or Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout and their profuse selection of Belgian imports. When the weather permits, Raleigh Times has one of the best views of downtown from their 2nd floor deck. 14 E. Hargett St. (E)

Stitch is local celebrity designer Holly Aiken’s studio and retail space.  Pick up one of her famed hand-crafted vinyl purses or handbags, or have one custom made. Each mod creation “has been lovingly constructed with precision and care to withstand the daily grind.” 20 E. Hargett St. (S)

Busy Bee Cafe is passionate about beer.  We mean borderline-obsessed; as in, the owners sourced barrels a few years back in order for their favorite breweries to experiment with barrel-aging, and we know how that turned out–awesome. We suggest heading upstairs to the Hive’s rooftop seating. There is nothing better than whiling away a lovely afternoon or evening under the stars downtown.  Take advantage of Busy Bee’s mammoth selection of drafts, bottles and specialty cask of the night. After all, their tagline is “Life Changing Beer.”  225 S. Wilmington St. (E)ĵj

King’s Barcade has a storied past in Raleigh. Since 1999, it has hosted all manner of things “interesting, dramatic, or hilarious.” The beat goes on.  Join them for dance parties, Dangling Loafer comedy shows, screenings, and naturally, rock/hip hop/soul/electronic shows of all ilk. King’s recently hosted N.C. Symphony’s first foray into modern interpretations of classics with its Death and the Maiden collaboration with Blursome. 14 W. Martin St. (D)

Garland serves “spice driven seasonal cuisine with a focus on Indian and Asian flavors.”  Rock star chef Cheetie Kumar has amassed a throng of devoted followers; you can count us amongst them. Get your street food fix with Kumar’s Lengua Bahn Mi or Korean-glazed pork shoulder taco.  For dinner, don’t miss the Pakora or the Cauliflower 65 to start.14 W. Martin St. (E)

Capital Club 16  Owners Jake and Shannon Wolf are the kind of people whose dinner parties we imagine are notorious–great food, cool vibe, good conversation. But let’s face it, Capital Club 16 might be the closest we’ll get, and we’re o.k. with it. Just the right combination of effortlessly hip and comfortably classic, Capital Club is a small, but bustling eatery serving seasonal American dishes “with European influences.” The Challah Bread French Toast with Woodford Reserve syrup is just the decadence we want at Sunday Brunch. It is as difficult to resist the Schnitzel Sandwich as the salads made with Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses. At dinner, try the Butcher Plate with Schaller and Weber artisanal sausages.16 W. Martin St. (E)

lucettegrace  When the occasion (such as a random Tuesday) calls for a delicate, gorgeous, dynamite pastry to thrill your palate and impress friends, go to lucettegrace.  That is all. 235 S. Salisbury St. (E)

Quercus Studio  Lauren Ramirez’s studio and boutique will enthrall you. Quercus features incredible jewelry and handmade goods by goldsmith Ramirez, as well as 10 other designers including Duncan Stephenson of Horn and Heel (for hand-forged knives, jewelry, and metal goods). “The rustic, and sun-drenched space in Downtown Raleigh, NC is in business to create special adornments for the non-traditional client.” 201 S. Salisbury St. (S)

Death and Taxes  You simply can’t go wrong in one of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants; but for bone marrow devotees, dining at Death and Taxes is striking gold. Be sure to order the divine Roasted Oysters with preserved lemon and chili butter as well. By the time you’ve polished off the silky Honey Chess Pie, you may be so flush with satisfaction that the specter floating near the old vault goes unnoticed. The building is alleged to be the most haunted structure in Raleigh, after all. 105 W. Hargett St. (E)

Linus & Pepper’s 126 S. Salisbury St. (E)

Deco Raleigh is a must. You can even hang at their spanking new parklet outside and take in all the good vibes of the downtown scene. Deco Raleigh is bursting with fun, creative little whatnots including local art and wares of more than 60 artisans. They’ve got a whole section of Raleigh-centric goods, as well as tons of clever cards, kitchen goods, wood-blocked tea towels, sock monkeys, and cool tees.  Be sure to check out Jen Hales’ whimsical artwork and Cephalopod Ink’s groovy ceramic vessels. 19 W. Hargett St. (S)

Raleigh Raw 7 W. Hargett St. (E)

The Art of Style 19 W. Hargett St. (S)

Deco Home 19 W. Hargett St. Suite 100 (S)

Deep South the Bar 430 S. Dawson St. (E)

Lincoln Theatre is a reliable venue to see live music downtown. Get there early if you want to score the coveted upstairs seating. Check out their schedule online. 126 E. Cabarrus St. (D)

Happy and Hale  When you need your salad, bowl, or cold-pressed juice on the fly, Happy+Hale is there for you. Plus, with all those anti-oxidants coursing through you, you’re bound to slay the rest of the afternoon. 443 Fayetteville St. (E)

Living Kitchen  If you are looking for clean eating options downtown, you’ve hit the motherlode. Living Kitchen serves gorgeous, organic, raw, plant-based cuisine that won’t derail your progress. Go and learn what a culinary rock star cashew cream is. Stop in for a hit of juice, yummy smoothie, or try their Sunday brunch. Yes, there will be dessert. 555 Fayetteville St. Suite 100 (E)

The Haymaker 555 Fayetteville St. Suite 115 (E)

Red Hat Amphitheater  See a show right at the pulse of the city. Score. 500 S. McDowell St. (D)

Poole’s Downtown Diner  It might be loud.  It might be crowded. But rest assured, the food will be mighty tasty. Garden and Gun’s John T. Edge just named Poole’s Luck and Money one of the top ten dishes of the year. You’ve got a sure thing here. 426 S. McDowell St. (E)

Port of Raleigh  Filled with contemporary functional design pieces for your home, Port of Raleigh is your destination for modern, sleek lines. You’ll find everything from wooden milk crates to French linen sheets.  416 S. McDowell St. (S)

Keep a lookout for Lumpy’s Ice Cream out of Wake Forest. Flavors like Buchanan’s Black and White (whisky ice cream with chocolate chips), Bubba’s Backyard Blackberry, and Bennie’s Bacon and Bourbon will have you clamoring for more. They use only hormone-free milk and cream from local farms. Pick up a pint or two at Red Hat Ampitheater shows, NOFO at the Pig, Raleigh Times Bar, and various farmers markets around town.

Warehouse District

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

The Fiction Kitchen is waging a “local food revolution.”  They started with “pop-up” vegan brunches all over town and have graduated to their very own space on Dawson.  F.K. serves up sublime vegetarian cuisine Tuesday through Sunday. 428 S. Dawson St. (E)

Boulted Bread  With the ability to use fresh-milled grains by way of their nifty stone mill, Boulted Bread produces some wonderful breads far surpassing any processed version. Their Levain loaf made with organic Red Turkey wheat and spelt is one you will want to keep on hand. We love Boulted Bread’s dense Seeded Rye, made with flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. We might need treatment for our addiction to their pastries–the Gruyere and Prosciutto croissant, specifically. 614 W. South St. (E)

Holder Goods & Crafts 612 W. South St. (S)

You’ll see locally made Crude Bitters and Soda products popping up all over town. Owner Craig Rudewicz and team produces small batch all-natural bitters, shrubs, and draft sodas. Drop by their Hipster-Mad Scientist bitters tasting bar at ABV, and see what the artisanal bitters things is all about. 517-A West Carrabus St.(S)

Whiskey Kitchen 201 W. Martin St. (E)

Gypsy Jule  Don’t miss this hip little boutique on Davie curated with an eclectic mix of “rustic boho style with a Wild West vibe.” Enough apparel, accessories, and vintage home goods to amp your fierce quotient. 207 W. Davie St. (S)

Crank Arm Brewing Company  This Warehouse district brewery hops at night.  Check out their inventive craft brews under the red glow of the bicycle sculpture. Crank Arm has its first small release this month of the popular 2013 Vintage Bourbon Barrel Aged Derailleur Barleywine in 22oz. Bottle!  In nice weather, join them on their Wednesday and Saturday group rides. 319 W. Davie (E)

Trolley Pub  Pedal around the hotspots in Raleigh with 13 of your friends/co-workers/people you know, or get adventurous and sign up for a mixer tour. It’s BYOB, and you can choose your soundtrack. 323 W. Davie (D)

Humble Pie  This tapas place has a  great patio space. 317 S. Harrington St. (E)

Event Not to Miss:  Hopscotch Music Festival happens every September: 3 days filled with 160 bands. It is getting “known,” so plan early.

Jose and Sons serves “comfort food that celebrates [their] forefathers’s Mexican roots and the culinary traditions of the local neighborhood,” and they do it well. Crank Arm Barbacoa, beer and chile braised brisket, will put you in a hospitable mood. You’ll see plenty of Southern influences on the menu, including Collard Wrapped Tamales, and the immensely tasty Pimento Cheese Tostones finished with bacon and scallions. You can rest easy, the ever-popular Chicharron and Waffle (it involves pork belly cracklins’) is on the menu at lunch, brunch and dinner. 327 W. Davie St. (E)

Swing into Tasty Beverage Company to pick up some craft brews with over 1200 in stock. The fellows would be happy to make recommendations, or take advantage of their tasting menu with 6 drafts on tap at all times. 327 W. Davie St. (E)

Videri Chocolate Factory beckons you to spend a little time in dark chocolate nirvana. Tour the factory floor, grab a cup of joe, or bring your own beverage and sit on the outdoor patio (nibbling on some luscious chocolate, naturally). 327 W. Davie St. (S)

The Pitt Authentic BBQ  They’ve been all over network tv and featured in Bon Appetit.  Locals love the complimentary flaky biscuits and tender hush puppies almost as much as the whole hog, pit-cooked bbq. Ribs, mmm. 328 W. Davie St. (E)

Boxcar Bar + Arcade  Why stand around with your listless hands shoved in your pockets, when you can play games while drinking?  Boxcar doesn’t just cram a few pinballs in the corner, we’re talking over 50 classic arcade games plus skeeball, foosball, air hockey, shuffleboard and other quality diversions.  Besides, along with a great selection of regional craft brews, they have one of our favorite West Coast beers, Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose, on tap. Score. 330 W. Davie St. (E)

Have you heard about Date Dinner– this “underground dinner party” is gaining momentum around Raleigh. Chef Steven Shockley and friends have been creating culinary installations about town, including cooking classes, themed farm dinners, and “multi-course spectaculars.”  You need to get in on this. Check out their website for more deets on upcoming events.

Wylde Flowers 307 W. Martin St. (S)

Raleigh Denim Workshop Curatory has garnered press from pretty much every fashionable magazine you can think of.  Drop a couple bills and feel uber hip in your spanking new denim, or just drop in to  breathe in the aura of locals done good. They’ve got some sweet threads for the ladies and gents. 319 W. Martin St. Suite 100 (S)

The beloved vintage “go to,” Father & Son Antiques, has moved to the Warehouse District. We can’t wait to get a gander at their new digs, opening late February. 302 S. West St. (S)

 Some of our favorite galleries in the Warehouse District:

Cafe de los Muertos not only roasts their beans in-house, they also carry beans from other local roasters–Oak City Coffee Roasters and Raleigh Coffee Company. You can expect great coffee here. We admire their “support local Raleigh” rallying call. You can enjoy JP Bakery’s gluten free pastries, Sweet Pea Bakery’s paleo treats, Phantom Baker’s all-natural granola bars, and Upper Crust Pie and Bakery indulgences all while sipping on your favorite caffeinated or decaf beverage. Cafe de los Muertos has  plenty of little nooks to get lost in should you want to zone out for a bit with a book (yours or borrow one from the shelf downstairs). 300 W. Hargett St. (E)

Retro Modern Furnishings 300 W. Hargett St. (S)

Cirque du Vol Circus Art Studios The description of Cirque du Vol Open Acro Jam reads: “want to take your acro practice to the next level? Then get out of your living room and get to the jam! Come play with other acro yogis, acrobats, hand-balancers & bendy people.” Don’t be intimidated–we’re sure you’re plenty bendy yourself.  Cirque du Vol offers a myriad of classes, workshops and performances to make your core quake and your inner circus performer awaken. 300 W. Hargett St. (D)

Vita Vite 313 W. Hargett St. (E)

Morgan Street Food Hall & Market  coming soon 411 W. Morgan St. (E)

Boylan Heights and North Boylan

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Oak City Coffee Roastery  Just at the edge of Boylan Heights, on the tracks you’ll find Oak City Coffee Roastery.  The garage door is wide open Friday evening and Saturday from 2 until 9. Join Billy at the spiffy yellow roaster to “enjoy a pour-over of our coffees, or talk about coffee farming, harvesting, roasting, and changing the world!”  615 W. Hargett St. (S)

Rebus Works and pH7  Not only is Rebus a very cool art gallery, but it also houses a fine art framing business. They also have really inventive art classes for kids.  Don’t miss Saturday Market at Rebus Works:  “Raleigh’s weekly, local, food and craft market featuring garden and oven-fresh goodies, handmade uniquities and more. Every Saturday from 9:30am-1:30pm year round!”  301 Kinsey St. In Historic Boylan Heights

Little City Brewing and Provisions Co. 400 W. North St. Suite 120 (E)

Designbox 413 Glenwood Ave. Suite 200 (S)

Cortez Seafood and Cocktail 413 Glenwood Ave. (E)

School Kids Records was named one of the top ten record stores in the country by Time magazine and the Grammys.  They carry used cds, new releases in every category, and feature in store performances. 2237 Avent Ferry Rd. Suite 101 (S)

Glenwood South and nearby

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Peace Street Market was voted Best Beer Selection in the Triangle 804 W. Peace St. (S)

If a dive bar is more your thing, head for Flash House. Crank up the jukebox and pop open a Schlitz. However, don’t overlook the craft cocktails. These barkeeps know their stuff. 513 W. Peace St. (E)

Drink Drank Drunk is truly a neighborhood hang. Owners Shannon Lamm and Mark Lemmons want you to feel at home lounging on the leather couch up front or sidling up to the intimate bar in back. D3 “is all about getting great beer and wine that you can’t find at your local store for cheap so you can hang out and relax, knowing you’ll find something you like.” Drink Drank Drunk serves Larry Beans, Cold Brew, and Oak Whiskey Cask Conditioned Coffee when you need a little caffeine hit.  905 W. Morgan St. (E)

Trophy Brewing and Pizza  is a small, but mighty microbrewery with some very tasty pizza. Win. Win. 827 W. Morgan St. (E)

Pop-up Raleigh

State of Beer Bottle Shop  Nosh on a lovely cheese or charcuterie plate, a Raleigh City Farm salad, or a tasty sandwich on Yellow Dog bread while downing an excellent craft beer on tap.  These guys produce a radio show on Little Raleigh Radio called “The State of Beer,” so that pretty much guarantees their bottle selection will be on point. 401-A Hillsborough St. (S)

Runologie can help you gear up to hit the trails/ bricks/treadmill.  No matter where you run, they have the expertise to put you in the right shoe, along with some mighty cute running tights. So sign up for Runologie’s Couch to 5K or Tobacco Road Half Marathon training.  Maybe a group run is more your thing–you know State of Beer is right next door.  We’re just sayin’. 401-B Hillsborough St. (S)

Second Empire  Enjoy fine dining in the historic Dodd Hinsdale house or opt for the more relaxed atmosphere of the Tavern downstairs.  Either way, you are in for a great night. 330 Hillsborough St. (E)

Sorry State Records is both a record label and a brick and mortar record store. They are known for their punk rock collection, but have some of nearly all eras and every musical style you’ve ever heard of (and some we haven’t). 317 W. Morgan St. (S)

The Roast Grill   Here’s the drill: they serve hot dogs, sodas in glass bottles, pound cake and baklava.  Period. Don’t ask for anything else, and do not mention ketchup ( for it is “truly demeaning to the passions of a great hot dog connoisseur!”). But if you like your dogs charred on the grill (we do), you’ll be happily standing in line at The Roast Grill.  Cash only. 7 S. West St. (E)

Snoopy’s  Go full on old-school at this Raleigh landmark. This location is open ’til 3 a.m. on the weekends for your hot dog needs. 600 Hillsborough St. (multiple locations in metro) (E)

In the Groove  Trek down to the basement of the Carter Building.  In the Groove buys, sells, and trades quality LP’s.  If they don’t have it, Greg can hunt it down for you. 14 Glenwood Ave. Suite 22 in the Carter Bldg. (S)

Studio Cicada is the home of the Cicada Case, original designs to house your iphone. (We particularly like their best selling state cases.)  Stop in their retail store to pick up these and other quirky accessories, artistic home decor and jewelry. 14 Glenwood Ave. Suite 21 (S)

Metamorphosis Metals Visit the studio on First Fridays, or make an appointment to drop by during the week.  You will be charmed by Sonya Coulson Rook’s whimsical diorama necklaces, money clips, and stacking rings. You can see her show schedule online. 14 Glenwood Ave. Suite 24 (S)

The Stag’s Head  Something about a bar that offers free popcorn just feels right to us. There are plenty of other reasons to love Stag’s Head naturally, among them–their excellent in-house bottle shop and local craft beer on tap. 106 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Revolver Consignment  This is the mac daddy of consignment. If you love vintage, or just cool duds in general, you need to stop in Revolver.  We especially dig the wooden bow ties by Johnny Mack and Revolver’s handsome selection of Raleigh Denim. This place is bigger than you might expect, so take some time. 122 Glenwood Ave. (S)

Raleigh Wine Shop  Pick up a Sir Walt’s 6-pk, a rotating special offering six diverse and tasty wines hand-picked by the folks at Raleigh Wine Shop, or browse the racks yourself in this inviting little shop on Glenwood. Drop in for a free tasting–always a great way to expand your horizons (varietally speaking) or sign up for a class like Intro to Sake. They even have a wine bar set up in the back. Pick up some Charlito Cocina salami while you’re there.126 Glenwood Ave. (S)

Indio 222 Glenwood Ave. Suite 101 (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Devolve Moto 304 Glenwood Ave. (S)

Hibernian Irish Pub  Your Raleigh story would not be complete without stopping for a drink at Hibernian.  The second floor patio seating offers a nice view of the stirrings below. 311 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Locals love the sandwiches at The Rockford.  Look for the yellow door, scale the flight of stairs and you’re set.  Order up, settle in, it’s time to chill.  320 1/2 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Clockwork  Step inside this plush, mod bar to be transported.  Don’t worry, it’s more Austin Powers meets OO7 than Clockwork Orange. Fairer weather is particularly lovely, as they lift the garage door for the patio effect. 519 W. North St. (E)

North Street Beer Station  521 W. North St. (E)

C. Grace is not exactly a secret, but it feels like one once you enter the dimly lit, red-curtained jazz bar.  Sit back with a fancy drink and wait for the horn section to kick in. 407 Glenwood Ave. (D)

Raleigh Beer Garden 614 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Furbish Studio This interior design shop will send you style mavens straight to heaven.  Nationally known blogger, web retailer, and design consultant Jamie Meares opened this sweet space to satisfy your yen for dazzling decor. Gobble up the visual feast. 309 N. Dawson St. Suite 100 (S)

Union Camp Collective 1109 N. West St. (S)

AH Peele AdAm and Hiromi comprise the wonderful partnership that is AH Peele.  The Japanese Kimono Ninja Silver Floral Men’s t-shirt is one of their bestselling screenprints. AdAm describes it as originally designed for throwing ninja stars on the moon. Drop by their studios to take a look for yourself. 400 Capital Blvd. (S)

Finds 520 N. West St. (S)

Capital District/Oakwood/Mordecai Park

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Gringo A Go Go  Anywhere that offers Chilaquiles is likely to be on our go-list. Benji Shelton’s are right up our alley.  They’ve got vegan options too.  If you go the tacos route, be sure to spring for the condiments tray.  Eco-friendly delivery available. 100 N. Person St. (E)

Burning Coal Theatre “Literate. Visceral. Affecting. Theatre that is experienced, not simply seen.” 224 Polk St. (D)

Gallery C  voted Best Place to Buy Local Art by Triangle Downtowner. 540 N. Blount St. (D)

Brew Coffee Bar  How lovely to have the option of coffee or beer while feverishly hunched over your laptop.  We like it.  We like it a lot. Join them for your favorite local brewery tap takeover, or for some rockin’ homemade granola and a Cortado. 111 Seaboard Ave. (E)

Kimbap  Beer-battered Kimbap Fritters–oh my!  $5 dumpling specials on First Friday Gallery Walk nights. Kimbap serves up cray-cray-good Korean-inspired food.111 Seaboard Ave. Suite 118 (E)

18 Seaboard  You might have to muscle out a few meetings to grab a lunch table, but the Cracklin’ Pork Shank is serious business. Chef/owner Jason Smith offers excellent farm to table cuisine featuring seasonally inspired Southern dishes.  Their Burch Farm Creamed Collards and Old Mill of Guilford Cheddar Grits alongside Hardwood Fired meats or seafood enjoyed on the mezzanine makes for a memorable evening. 18 Seaboard Ave. (E)

Oak and Dagger Public House 18 Seaboard Ave. (E)

Night Kitchen Bakehouse & Cafe 10 W. Franklin St. (E)

J. Betski’s, inside Seaboard Station, has the authentic schnitzel, homemade kraut and sausages you just can’t get anywhere else. This beloved German restaurant has even garnered the attention of Details magazine which touts the beef and spinach pierogies and fresh kielbasa as “not to be missed.” 10 W. Franklin St. (E)

Chicken Wire Supper Club

Crawford and Son  618 N. Person St. (E)

Pelagic Beer + Wine 300 Pace St. (S)

Person Street Pharmacy 702 N. Person St. (E)

So & So Books  You’ll love this small independent bookstore on Person. While the inventory is not huge, it is rather awesome. So & So hosts readings, a book club, and they’re open for First Friday. Check ’em out. 704 N. Person St. (S)

Food Truck Watch:  Bam Pow Chow; Arepa Culture NC; Amigosan Food; Dump Pho King Truck; Not Just Icing; Klausie’s Pizza; and King’s Authentic Philly; Moon Flour Bakery

Thinking you finally need to find out what bike polo is all about?  Check out Raleigh Bike Polo’s website. Then get a stick and get out there!

Oak City Cycling Project is “head over heels in love with the bicycle and believe that it is the best form of transportation on the planet.” Right on. Custom builds, new, used, rentals and full service including a free maintenance workshop the second Wednesday of every month–Oak City Cycling has everything needed to put you in the saddle. They sponsor the annual Hepcat Race. 212 E. Franklin St.(S)

Everything you need to know to get involved with the bike culture in Raleigh is centralized on Oaks & Spokes website. They put on the annual Oaks and Spokes Festival,10 days in April celebrating the Joie de vivre that is cycling. Click here to explore their site.

Raleigh Vintage  studio visits by appointment

Person Street Bar  Viewing parties, food trucks, great cocktails, the odd foosball tourney–so many reasons to call Person Street Bar an all-around solid place and a favorite neighborhood watering hole. 805 N. Person St. (E)

Yellow Dog Bread Company The chocolate honey sourdough bread is developing a cult following. If you see it, don’t hesitate. Make a point to visit the beautiful little shop with great coffee and equally wonderful artisan breads. 219 E. Franklin St. (E)

Lumina American Made Menswear and Superior Dry Goods  is a dapper, yet hip men’s clothing line. Check out Lumina’s spanking new flagship retail store in Person Street Plaza. 215 E. Franklin St. (S)

Edge of Urge  Jessie Williams’ store is just the kind of place you make friends. The sun streaming in, cool and funny merch, clever accessories and hip wearables–makes Edge of Urge your favorite feel-good shop. 215 E. Franklin St. Person Street Plaza (S)

Wine Authorities supports small family growers from around the world. If you haven’t tried an Enomatic machine, it’s the best way to try a number of varietals. Buy a card and choose a taste, half-glass or full glass from their 24 rotating selections.  Wine Authorities offers free tastings on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Hang out under the awning or relax on a sofa with your vino. We hear they serve bacon jam! 211 E. Franklin St. (S)

Second Saturdays:  April-November expect plenty of culinary exploration through the Food Corridor in Raleigh. Second Saturdays‘ will bring “pop-up markets, city walks, urban farms, community gardens, food installations, and local artisans” all throwing down in the name of real food and good community. Check out their website for deets.

Standard Foods  If you ever wished you had access to Chef Scott Crawford’s pantry, your chance is soon approaching. Standard Foods will serve as a foodie market nirvana complete with local produce, whole animal butchery, NC seafood as well as a well curated selection of craft beers, plus tons more to give you an advantage in the kitchen. Standard Foods will also house a restaurant for when you’d rather just eat Scott Crawford’s food rather than try to emulate it. 205 E. Franklin St. (S)

Raleigh City Farm  Their mission: “to activate city dwellers through the process of growing food, sparking their imaginations about where their food comes from increasing their likelihood of eating fresh, locally-produced foods.” Help them, help you. Join their Winter CSA as a Farmshare member, or buy from The Farmstand on 800 N. Blount St. (S)

Escazu Artisan Chocolates is exquisite, with a focus on dark chocolate varieties. You’ll recognize the wrappers from your last trip down the chocolate aisle at Whole Foods. Don’t miss some lovely confections such as Cherry Moonshine, Single Malt Scotch, Blackberry Ganache, and White Chocolate Cardamom, name a few. 936 N. Blount St., near Mordecai Historic Park (S)

Right next door is the new kid in town, Stanbury. This small, sexy restaurant has plenty to enthrall you–dim lighting, wood plank walls, an open floor plan allowing you a peek into the goings on in the kitchen.  But most appealing is the sense of fun, the playfulness with which the dishes are composed.  When your small plate of steak tartare arrives flanked with crab flavored potato chips, you know that Stanbury doesn’t take itself too seriously. 938 N. Blount St. (E)

Sub Noir Brewing Company  “Raleigh’s Boutique Brewery and Imbibery” may be in a strip mall, but hey everybody’s gotta start somewhere. You’re in it for the beer. Sub Noir usually has 3-5 of their own brews on tap like the refreshing Ohs Noes Gose, a sour with lime salt and pink peppercorns, or the kooky Zee Count stout brewed with Count Chocula cereal (yeah, you heard it right) and aged with Videri cocoa nibs. See, that’s worth a drive, isn’t it?  2039 Progress Ct. (E)

Cave 1912 1912 Bernard St. (E)

Neuse River Brewing Company  focus is on Belgian Ales and IPA’s.  518 Pershing Rd. (E)

The Ritz live music venue 2820 Industrial Dr. (D)

We’d be remiss not to include a mention of Raleigh’s own Walter Magazine. It epitomizes the new energy flowing through the city.  If you want to know the direction Raleigh is going, check out the pages of Walter Magazine. Pick up a copy around town or check out their website.

The Noble Woodsman

Five Points/North Hills and nearby

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Mandolin  If you are the type to appreciate Boulted Nordic Rye Bread with your tasting of local and regional cheeses, then Mandolin is the place for you. When you’ve polished off your exquisitely plated entrée with or without an emulsion, be sure to splurge on the Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé2519 Fairview Rd. (E)

Tucked amongst a padre of antique stores, NOFO at the Pig is a must. It is one of the best places in town to find local products and wonderful foodie gifts. 2014 Fairview Rd. (E)

Hayes Barton Cafe and Dessertery has won numerous awards for the sweet stuff.  Notably, the coconut cake is unrivaled. 2000 Fairview Rd. (E)

Lilly’s Pizza was voted Best Pizza by Indy Weekly readers; let’s see…for the tenth time. It’s the kind of place you’d want to hang out even if you didn’t know that (maybe even in spite of the fact). In this case, the masses are correct.  Lilly’s Pizza is more than worthy of the praise, and we also are quite fond of the cartoon stools.1813 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Proof Five Points 1620 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Want to see a flick? Visit The Rialto, a quaint little neighborhood movie house. 1620 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Anisette Sweet Shop 209 Bickett Blvd. (E)

Zartiques 233 Bickett Blvd. (S)

Be sure to check out the Casktober event every October at Big Boss Brewing Company.  More casks in one place than you’ve ever dreamed.  1249-A Wicker Dr. (E)

Trig Modern  Smarten up your living space with a bit of modern flair. If you are bored with your lighting, Trig is definitely where you want to be. They’ve also got a handsome selection of pillows to give your sofa some kick. You might just fall in love with the clean lines of Trig’s stylish upholstered pieces and surrender altogether. 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Rd. #109 (S)

Pinetop Distillery 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Rd. (S)

Hummingbird 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Rd. Suite 111 (E)

Form and Function 1700 Glenwood Ave. (S)

North Raleigh

Salt and Lime Cabo Grill  6006 Falls of Neuse Rd. (E)

Nora and Nicky’s  6520 Falls of Neuse Rd. Suite 120 (S)

Coquette Brasserie  A little hanger steak, some frites, a glass of champagne–take your mind off what you just paid during your shopping excursion and relax. Plan your next outdoor adventure with all the gear you just scored at REI while enjoying a leisurely French meal.  You deserve it.  4351 The Circle at North Hills (E)

Just a few steps away is Vermillion, Ashley’s posh little boutique and a favorite of Furbish Studio owner Jamie Meares. Don’t miss their collection of uber-hip jewelry from The Woods. 4321-102 Lassiter at North Hills Ave. (S)

Fleur Boutique  4209-126 Lassiter Mill Road (S)

Gena Chandler 4209 Lassiter Mill Rd. (S)

Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar 5625 Creedmoor Rd. (E)

Glenwood Grill  When you’re in the mood for some Low Country fare, make reservations at Glenwood Grill. Don’t try to resist the Parmesan Fried Oysters and Fried Green Tomatoes with Pimento cheese, pickled onion jalapeno slaw and chipotle honey. 2603 Glenwood Ave. (E)

D=Do; E=Eat/Drink; S=Shop

Nice Price Books & Records 3106 Hillsborough St. (S)

Benelux Coffee is all about “fresh Coffee, made to order Belgian Wafels, Belgian-style Biers, and a gathering for cyclists.” Go ahead and develop an addiction to their Raleigh Roasted coffee (it’s good for you) and pick up some Raleigh Raw cold pressed juices while you’re there. Saddle up and join them for Benelux Rides on Tuesday evenings. 402 Oberlin Rd. (E)

Tin Roof Teas  We hear that tea is going to be the new coffee in 2015. This is the spot to test that theory. What the heck, open up a drawer and see what happens. 419-B Daniels St. in Cameron Village (S)

Great Outdoor Provision Company wants you to love your gear and that means getting close and personal. “Great Outdoor Provision Co. is committed to providing opportunities to paddle, cast, tread, feel and taste the products we sell. We offer paddling sessions, boat demos & fishing classes in the field and on the water.” Check out their website to see the events calendar and a really useful “links” page (under the drop down menu on Trips and Tips tab). Then get in the store and manhandle that merchandise. 2017 Cameron St. in Cameron Village (S)

Rise  530 E. Daniels St. in Cameron Village, plus multiple locations around town (E)

Sheriff of Mayberry car (1024x682) (2)Raleigh Brewing Company Take your four-legged friend and sample a few tasty brews.  They have food trucks most nights and live music on Thursdays. Best of all, when you say “Hell Yes, Ma’am” (Raleigh Brewing’s most popular Belgian Ale), the barkeep will know you really mean it. 3709 Neil St. (E)

Neomonde Bakery and Deli is a great stop for quick, fresh Mediterranean fare. 3817 Beryl Rd. (E)

If you are in the mood for Venezuelan food, follow this insider’s tip: Guasaca. They just can’t stop yelping about the arepas. You might too after you taste one. 4025 Lake Boone Trail (E)

Bottle Revolution 4025 Lake Boone Trail (S)

It might be easy to overlook House of Hops amid the copious chain stores and car dealerships on this side of Glenwood. Don’t. Let House of Hops bottle shop be your little haven. 6909 Glenwood Ave. (E)

Jubala Village Coffee  Serving Counter Culture coffee, Jubala takes its coffee very seriously, so you don’t have to. After all, they have a lab (where in our minds they don pristine white jackets as they concoct insanely great coffee variations to amp your day.)  Try one of their pearl sugar crusted Liege waffles slathered with Big Roasters nut butter.  Their biscuits are equally on point. 8450 Honeycutt Rd. (E)

Crafty Beer Shop 8450 Honeycutt Rd. (S)

Gonza Tacos y Tequila Oh, where to start?  Was it your Warhol-esque portraits of Frida?  Was it the Dia De Los Muertos themed room?  Was it the bobble head of Chuck Norris?  We know the chocolate flan had something to do with it.  7713 Lead Mine Rd. (E)

Sola Coffee Cafe This cozy little spot is possibly as famous for its hot mini doughnuts as the delicious Counter Culture Coffee they serve. 7705 Lead Mine Rd. (E)

Compass Rose Brewery 3201 Northside Dr. Suite 101 (E)

Further Afield

Trophy on Maywood  656 Maywood Ave. (E)

Pop-Up Raleigh events held monthly at Trophy on Maywood

Brice’s Brewing 1822 Garner Station Blvd. (E)


La Farm Bakery  Master Baker Lionel Vatinet honed his craft in France.  His expertise is well appreciated at La Farm Bakery which has earned acclaim from Savour magazine, Garden and Gun, and countless others. If a trip to Cary isn’t in the cards, keep a lookout for the La Farm Bread Truck whereabouts on their Facebook page. 4248 N.W. Cary Pkwy. Cary (E)

Postmaster 160 E. Cedar St. (E)

Downtown Cary Food and Flea 100 W. Chatham St. (S)

Pharmacy Bottle + Beverage 100 E. Chatham St. (E)

The Cary Theater 122 E. Chatham St. (D) BREW

Bond Brothers Beer Company  202  E. Cedar St. Cary (E)

Theatre in the Park–Experience live theatre in Pullen Park. Click here to see their current season. 107 Pullen Rd.

The Handmade Market only happens once a year. That’s the bad news. The good news: it is brimming with unique, hand crafted and funky goods to browse and buy. Check out their Facebook page for updates.

Not to Miss Events

Ya’ll at Dix Park

Locally Made Market

Kirby Derby


Out of Doors Adventures

Triangle Rowing Club 6404 Lake Wheeler Rd.

Triangle Glides offers stand up paddleboarding lessons at Lake Wheeler. Pop into their City Market retail store for more information. 321 S. Blount St.

Explore the Neuse River with Paddle Creek Kayaking Day Trips. Bring your own boat or rent equipment for their “quick” or “long” excursions. Delivery and pick up available. Learn more here.

William B. Umstead Park offers miles of trails designated just for hikers and runners. For trail riding or biking consult the park maps. Dog friendly. Try the Inspiration Trail & Company Mill Trail loop. The Reedy Creek Entrance off Harrison Ave. (Route 40, exit 287) has restrooms and provides a convenient parking lot adjacent to the trailhead.

North Carolina Museum of Art–Museum Park Spend your morning hike on rambling trails pondering the genius of their outdoor sculptures. 2110 Blue Ridge Rd.

The Poet’s Walk at AYR Mount in Historic Hillsborough 376 St. Mary’s Rd. Hillsborough, NC

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6 Responses to Raleigh

  1. green

    I love that Raleigh finally has a GREAT resource for eccentricities! Nicely done y’all 🙂

  2. Skip Graham

    What a great run down of the area! I have worked and lived downtown for years, so many of these places are 2nd homes to me – but there were a ton of forgotten gems I need to go back to, and several new places I have never been to. Thanks fo all the work putting this together. Although you did miss Slim’s Downtown and The Landmark Tavern. Both true local venues that visitors will also love.


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