Foodie Destinations in Raleigh, NC

As we get ready to leave the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill), I am compiling a list of some of my favorite restaurants in the area. Over our four years here, we have gotten to try some delicious food. Who isn’t a fan of great food that someone else made?! My husband and I tend to be fans of the more casual variety of food, so we have not made it to a lot of the super trendy restaurants that typically make up the “best of Raleigh” food lists. Now, that being said, we like our food to taste good, but we don’t want it to be so fancy that we can’t eat it (ha!). As a general rule, down home country food is our favorite, which will you will find in abundance in the Triangle! Here are a few recommendations from me to you! Enjoy!

  • Dame’s Chicken and Waffles — If heaven was put into food form, it would be served at this restaurant. Chicken and waffles is not something that many people would put together, but I can assure you, it is a fantastic pairing. The savory chicken balances out the sweetness of the waffle to deliver a complete and balanced meal. I’m sure they serve more than just chicken and waffles, but I’ve never tried anything else there (ha!). I highly recommend the blueberry waffle! Don’t come here during the brunch hour or on a Sunday, as you will have to wait a while for a seat. The service is usually quick, but there is normally a line. Ask any local, and they will know about Dame’s Chicken and Waffles!
  • Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar — This place serves the best burgers we have ever had. My husband is a burger expert, and this is hands down the best burger joint in town, according to him. They specialize in unique burgers such as the Pittsburger, which comes with fries on top of the burger. There are multiple locations within the area, so finding a place within a reasonable distance is never an issue. It is a popular restaurant, so plan ahead when going here, especially if you choose the location near NC State. Those college kids love their burgers (ha!).
  • Beasley’s Chicken + Honey — If you can’t already tell, I like southern style chicken…alot. This place puts a different twist on brunch foods compared to Dame’s. Another difference is that it is downtown, so be prepared to wait if you choose to go here. It owned by Ashley Christensen, who is a big name in the culinary industry. She owns quite a few restaurants in Raleigh, but Beasley’s is the only one I have personally gotten to try. Anyhow, they specialize in southern style food like shrimp and grits, fried chicken, biscuits and gray, and pimento Mac n’ cheese. They are all delicious, and you will not be disappointed.
  • The Pit — This is a classic Raleigh joint. Ask anyone where to eat here, and chances are The Pit will come up. They specialize in NC style BBQ (ie. vinegar based), and all the other typical southern fixins. Now, when I think BBQ, I think casual. This place is actually pretty fancy, with most people dressing stylishly, as opposed to jeans and a T-shirt. We made the mistake of dressing on the more casual side when we visited here the first time — the food was still good though (ha!). I’ve never had a bad meal here, and its always a treat to eat at The Pit. It’s also a good place to take out of town guests, as it nicely summarizes NC cuisine.
  • Gonza Tacos Y Tequila — If you need a break from southern style cooking, let me introduce you to Gonza’s! What a culinary treat! It is a delight to eat here, from the quick service, fun decor (day of the dead theme), and delicious food. The food is a blend of Colombian and Mexican cuisine, and it is all very good. I highly recommend their queso blanco. They are expanding, and there are multiple locations within the Triangle. This is another local favorite, and it should be very high on the “must try” list when on comes to Raleigh!

Well, now that I have written about these places, I think I really need to try them again before we head south to FL 🙂

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