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I can be the first to tell you as an avid eater, that Raleigh is KEY for a foodie! For any foodie in Raleigh, NC, you’ll find that there’s a variation of things to eat and try, and if you have a favorite food, at least three restaurants will serve it WELL. Though some of these are chains, the ambience and the feel of them are uniquely Raleigh. Here are 9 of my favorite places to eat in my hometown, which is an excerpt from my book, Greater Than A Tourist: Raleigh NC, 50 Tips From A Local
1..Grab Brunch at Tupelo Honey
There’s no better way to start your day in Raleigh than grabbing brunch somewhere. Tupelo Honey is the perfect place to experience high-quality Southern comfort foods that leave you in happiness. The first time I went, I was so overwhelmed by the options, the staff was happy and excited to help me narrow down my choices. The dishes all came out so beautiful and aesthetic, but also tasted so much better than imagined. I highly recommend this place for a well-deserved brunch. Located on Oberlin Rd, it’s right next to coffee shops, which I need to continue my day and not take a post-brunch nap!
2. Taste a Bit of Everything With Carolina Gourmet Food Tours
As you’ll guess by the end of this book, Raleigh is a foodie city! But let’s say you only have so little time to try everything on your list? Join this amazing food tour that will give you the experience to say “you tried it all” with visits to the best downtown restaurants and food shops. Book a tour in the afternoon or evening one weekend, or if you are a true foodie, book a private tour too! Led by a local, you’ll meet different chefs and have amazing insights into what makes the dish so wonderful, but also why Raleigh is a food destination! You’ll try signature dishes, and taste amazing drinks along the way, and if you decide to stick around, discover your favorite new restaurants just like I did!
3. Sweeten Your Sweet Tooth With Videri Chocolate Factor
If you know me, you know I can eat all the chocolate money can buy. That’s why one of my favorite places has to be this amazing chocolate factory that operates from the Raleigh Depot, a historical industrial building that gives you a true factory feeling. Stick around to watch the chocolate making process and taste test amazing results. If you want to experience something totally cool and cure that sweet tooth, this is the place to go! Their chocolate is organic and pure with an amazing taste you’ll remember forever.
4. Turn Around and Grab a Gelato at Amorino’s
How would you like to feel like you’re in Italy while you’re enjoying Raleigh? If you got down to Sir Walters Coffee, turn around and right there is a beautiful authentic gelato shop serving the most amazing flavors in the gelato world! The customer service is amazing and will let you try different flavors before you decide, and trust me I’ve almost tried all! They also serve sweet treats such as macaroons, crepes, and waffles. This is the most ideal place if you are having a unique sweet tooth and feeling a little Italian in the heart of Raleigh.
5. Grab a Bite at a Food Truck
Raleigh has various types of foods and sometimes its overwhelming, so it’s always a great joy to find food trucks. Located constantly downtown, and during First Fridays, you ‘ll find everything local that will blow your mind. I love strolling along and building an appetite that has me craving Jamaican dishes alongside seafood dishes, all while smelling tacos the whole way. My trick is to order a ton of different appetizers than picking one food truck to give my whole meal into unless I’m that devoted to the meal!
6. Sip on Tea at Tin Roof Teas
I’m not a huge drinker as I mentioned before, but when it comes to tea, I’m right up there with a tea connoisseur! I drink about 2-3 cups a day, and when I discovered Tin Roof Teas, I was over the moon! A great place if you love high-quality teas and love to taste different ones and discuss with locals about favorites, different methods of tea making, and more! I never discovered such a bigger selection to which made me return over and over, with such patient and knowledgeable staff! Everything is well organized and managed and you can have a great time learning and drinking the day away. You’ll always return home with a great tea to last you a while too!
7. Break for a Drink at Sir Walter Coffee
If this was a 50 coffee or food places in Raleigh, I would still have more suggestions to fill. Raleigh is a foodie capital, and no less, coffee central! At the State Capitol (mentioned previously above), you will learn that we devote our city name to one of the sponsors of Roanoke County, Sir Walter Raleigh. So what better way to show our pride by naming this new and amazing coffee house to him! This coffee house not only has an amazing buzzing vibe in the midst of downtown but also serves as a tea house and bottle service. Can’t decide between a cool latte, a morning Earl Grey, or a cold beer? This unique and meaningful shop will help you! Also, worth mentioning they also now serve bubble tea (my favorite) and also, mocktails for anyone who doesn’t drink but loves feeling fancy!
8. Learn the Story of Cowfish
This is a sushi place with the interesting name of Cowfish. This is because this place not only serves sushi but also burgers (including a burgersushi mixing both)! If you are with a large party, or indecisive date, this is the best place to figure it all out! I tend to always come here because I love sushi more than anything, while one of my closest friends is a burger lover. In this way, we both enjoy our favorite foods, while spending time together. They even have sushi burgers and steak sushi for those in between, but above all, this place is really amazing and delicious! At the pickup area, they have books on how the name came to be via children’s book! I highly recommend this to any sushi lover, especially because their work is one of kind!
9. Get Spicy with Garland
I know I mentioned that sushi is my favorite food, but my favorite cuisine is actually Indian! They have such an amazing and vast menu with different dishes that you can try. My favorite meal has to be the butter chicken (to die for!) and I love to pair it with a fresh mango lassi drink. They had a take-out window during the summer one year and it boosted in popularity, so reserve ahead of time, since it’s definitely popular for a reason!
If you want to read 41 more tips of things to do, eat, and see in Raleigh, check out my book, Greater Than A Tourist: Raleigh NC, now available on Amazon! Also, if you want to find out how I wrote this book in two weeks as a new blogger, check it out here!