Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, is a haven for foodies. The city has a diverse culinary scene, which ranges from southern comfort food to international cuisine.
The city is a melting pot of cultures, and this is reflected in its food. In this article, we’ll explore the best foods in Raleigh, so you can have a taste of what the city has to offer.
No discussion of Raleigh food would be complete without mentioning barbecue. North Carolina is famous for its barbecue, and Raleigh has some of the best barbecue restaurants in the state.
The most popular type of barbecue in Raleigh is Lexington-style barbecue, which features pork shoulder slow-cooked over hickory wood and topped with a tangy vinegar-based sauce.
One of the best places to try Raleigh-style barbecue is The Pit, which is located in downtown Raleigh. The Pit has been voted the best barbecue in Raleigh for several years running, and it’s easy to see why.
The restaurant serves up tender, juicy pork shoulder that’s been smoked to perfection, and the vinegar-based sauce is the perfect complement to the meat.
Southern Comfort Food
Raleigh is also known for its southern comfort food. This is the type of food that will make you feel like you’re back at your grandma’s house. Some of Raleigh’s most popular southern comfort foods include fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and biscuits.
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey is one of the best places to try southern comfort food in Raleigh. The restaurant is known for its crispy fried chicken, which is served with a side of honey for dipping.
The macaroni and cheese and collard greens are also top-notch, and the homemade biscuits are the perfect way to round out your meal.
Raleigh may not be located near the coast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some great seafood in the city. The seafood in Raleigh is fresh and flavorful, and there are plenty of options for seafood lovers.
One of the best seafood restaurants in Raleigh is Saint James Seafood. The restaurant specializes in oysters, which are sourced from all over the East Coast.
The raw bar is the star of the show at Saint James, but the restaurant also serves up delicious seafood dishes like shrimp and grits and grilled fish.
Raleigh’s culinary scene isn’t just limited to southern comfort food and barbecue. The city also has a variety of international cuisine options, ranging from Mexican to Indian to Thai.
Garland is one of the best places to try international cuisine in Raleigh. The restaurant serves up a fusion of Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine, with dishes like lamb vindaloo and pork belly bao buns.
The cocktails at Garland are also worth trying, with creative concoctions like the Thai basil margarita and the lemongrass Collins.
Raleigh is also a great destination for craft beer lovers. The city has a thriving craft beer scene, with several breweries and brewpubs located throughout the city.
One of the best breweries in Raleigh is Raleigh Brewing Company. The brewery has a wide range of beers on tap, including IPAs, stouts, and lagers.
The brewery also hosts events like trivia nights and live music, making it a great spot to hang out with friends.
Raleigh is also home to a vibrant food truck scene, offering a variety of cuisines at affordable prices. Many food trucks in Raleigh are mobile and can be found at different locations throughout the city, making them a convenient option for grabbing a quick bite.
One of the best food trucks in Raleigh is Cousins Maine Lobster, which serves up fresh and delicious lobster rolls. Another excellent food truck is the Baguettaboutit truck, which offers authentic French sandwiches like the Croque Monsieur and the Bahn Mi.
If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast or brunch in Raleigh, you won’t be disappointed. Many restaurants in the city offer brunch menus on weekends, featuring pancakes, waffles, and breakfast sandwiches.
One of the best brunch spots in Raleigh is Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant, which has been a local institution for over 60 years. The restaurant serves up classic southern breakfast dishes like biscuits and gravy, country ham, and grits.
Another great brunch spot is Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, which offers a delicious chicken and waffles dish.
No meal is complete without a sweet treat, and Raleigh has plenty of options for dessert lovers. From cupcakes to ice cream to pie, there’s something for everyone.
One of the best dessert spots in Raleigh is The Cupcake Shoppe, which offers a variety of delicious cupcakes in flavors like red velvet, chocolate peanut butter, and salted caramel.
If you’re in the mood for ice cream, be sure to check out Two Roosters Ice Cream, which offers unique flavors like honey lavender and whiskey caramel.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll be happy to know that Raleigh has plenty of options for you as well. Many restaurants in the city offer vegetarian and vegan dishes, and there are even a few vegetarian and vegan restaurants.
One of the best vegetarian restaurants in Raleigh is Fiction Kitchen, which offers a variety of creative and delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes. The restaurant’s mac and cheese is a must-try, and the vegan “chicken” and waffles are also popular.
Another great vegetarian option is Neomonde Mediterranean, which offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan Middle Eastern dishes.
Raleigh is surrounded by farmland, and the city’s restaurants take advantage of the local produce to offer fresh and delicious dishes. Many restaurants in Raleigh source their ingredients from local farms and markets, which ensures that the food is of the highest quality.
One of the best restaurants for local produce in Raleigh is Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. The restaurant’s menu changes with the seasons, and the chefs use locally sourced ingredients to create delicious and innovative dishes.
Another great option is the Stanbury, which offers a farm-to-table menu featuring dishes like grilled local fish and roasted local vegetables.
Final Thoughts on Raleigh Foods
In conclusion, Raleigh is a food lover’s paradise. Whether you’re in the mood for southern comfort food, seafood, or international cuisine, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings in Raleigh. And if you’re a craft beer lover, you’ll want to check out the city’s thriving craft beer scene. With so many great restaurants and breweries to choose from, you’ll never run out of new places to try in Raleigh.