We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into Raleigh, NC. Whether you’re interested in sipping your drink while strolling downtown (yeah, it’s allowed), snacking on charcuterie in an 1800’s Italianate mansion, or trying the James Beard award-winning food at one of Ashley Christensen’s six concepts (keep reading to learn more about Ashley), this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~4 hours from downtown Greenville
Est. population: 1,547,000
Avg. high in August: 88°
🎟️ Things to do
Sip n’ Stroll Downtown
Raleigh established its first “social district” earlier this month (read: open containers allowed) where you can sip on beer, wine + cocktails from local eateries and drinkeries while walking around downtown.
Videri Chocolate Factory, 327 W. Davie St.
Grab some soft serve or a bonbon + walk through the factory for yourself. Watch the chocolate-making process in the back on a self-guided tour.
Track down a food truck
DYK Raleigh was ranked No. 2 on Clever’s list “Best Cities for Food Trucks in America 2022?” RALtoday rounded up food truck hot spots to help you track them down + peep their City Editor’s (Hey, Cat + Anne! 👋) favorite spots.
🍲 Memorable eats
Death & Taxes, 105 W. Hargett St., Raleigh, NC
Sit at the bar to watch the chef prepare your meal at this Ashley Christensen restaurant. DYK: Ashley attended NC State University in Raleigh before going on to win the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2019 (one of the top honors for a chef). She operates six food and beverage concepts in Raleigh.
Saltbox Seafood Joint, 2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham
A 2022 recipient of the Best Chef: Southeast at the James Beard Awards, this spot is worth the short drive from Raleigh to Durham. Chef Ricky Moore takes inspiration from American fish camps and waterside seafood shacks, featuring fresh, seasonal seafood like whole black bass, griddled Yellowfin tuna, and fried Blueline tilefish.
🏨 Accommodations with unique cuisine
Heights House, 308 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh, NC
This Italianate-style mansion was first built in 1858 + features a parlor that serves Italian charcuterie boards and craft cocktails like the Pesca Spritz (Sevilla Orange gin, peach lillet, lime, spritz).
The Umstead Hotel and Spa, 100 Woodland Pond Dr., Cary, NC
In Cary, neighboring Raleigh, you’ll find Herons restaurant from James Beard semifinalist Steven Greene. Chef Steven uses ingredients locally sourced from over 14 nearby farms, including a two-acre culinary plot on the hotel’s property.