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Restaurant help in Cary, NC

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I am traveling to Cary, NC on a semi-regular basis from Charlotte (but I just moved there from DC). Anyway, I am in desperate need of some restaurant help. Last trip I ate at Lotus Leaf and had the pho which was wonderful - but that was by far the best meal I've had in Cary.

I'd like to stay away from national chains. Other than that - I am open to suggestions! please help!!

Any good sushi recommendations?

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  1. Oh, bless your heart. Trying to find a non-chain restaurant in Cary is tough. However, there are some gems, but they will be largely ethnic. The only non "ethnic" decent restaurant I can find in Cary is The Cosmopolitian. It is high end though. There are a couple of great Indian restaurants. I can't remember all the names. Suchi is one, maybe Udipi is the other. Do a search on this site and you may find others. The only good sushi I know of is at Wasabi in McGregor Village SC. At least it used to be. They also have kobe beef.

    I think there may be some new independants that have recently opened in Cary....downtown, I think. I am not sure of the names, but maybe someone else will post.

    You know, you could come to Raleigh...............

    11 Replies
    1. re: VaNC

      Go, go without delay to Udipi. This is the most superb Southern Indian vegetarian restaurant I have been to.
      Even their chutneys are home-made. Dosas and uttapam (crepes), chickpeas, rasam, are first rate, rivalling NYC you will not regret it.

      1. re: Rory

        If you like ethnic foods try Bosphoris. They specialize in Turkish kababs, pida and salads. They also have humus, babagannush and great dolmas.

        329A N. Harrison Ave
        Cary, NC
        Phone: 919-460-1300

        Link: http://www.bosphorusnc.com/menu.html

        1. re: blewgo

          Udupi is a must. Second choice is Waraji (Japanese), which may technically be in Raleigh, but it's not too far.

          Best of luck.

          David A.

        2. re: Rory

          Hi Rory, do you work for/at Udipi. You make contradicting staements. Suchi and Tower have better food than Udipi any day.

          1. re: Venkat

            I don't know about Rory, but since this is a cummunity board, I'll give you my opinion. Although I like Tower, I do consider Udipi to be superior. And I for one was not all that impressed with Suchi.

        3. re: VaNC

          One non-chain, non-ethnic restaurant in Cary that's been getting a lot of buzz is Southern Star. Haven't been there myself but I've heard good things about it. Hopefully someone will check it out and report soon.


          1. re: Sant

            I have been to Southern Star (but can never seem to remember restaurant names. The staff was eager and friendly. They clearly are new and trying to build a following. The food was very good. Made for an enjoyable evening. The food was, I guess, American bistro type, nothing "too-too". Fresh ingredients and well done. Nice bar.

            1. re: VaNC

              There is a relatively new place in downtown Cary that you might like. Cindy's House Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday and dinner on Thursday night. Breakfast dishes include a traditional country breakfast, omelets, frittatas and waffles. Lunch includes salads, sandwiches and dishes like shrimp and grits. I had the shrimp and grits today and it was excellent. They are open Thursday nights and you have a choice of $45 prix fix menu or you can order from the menu. Reservations are required.

              Lunch menu: http://home.nc.rr.com/blewgo/menu/cin...

              Dinner menu: http://home.nc.rr.com/blewgo/menu/cin...

              With the prix fix menu you select one from each of the four groups on the posted dinner menu.

              I won't mention Cindy's connection to the CIA.

              1. re: VaNC

                I have to add one thing to the ethnic restaurant chat. Only go to Udipi if you want dosas. The rest of the menu is just OK. They specialize in dosa's!

                1. re: VaNC

                  For down home Good Ol Boy cookin go to Pam's Farmhouse Restaurant. Take Chatham out to Raleigh. It turns into Western Blvd. They are located in the same parking lot with a BP gas station.

                2. Thai Villa is always a favorite for me. Beef salad and Thai Villa noodles are among the many excellent dishes.

                  1. Kashin in Cary has excellent sushi.


                    1. I don't know how familiar you are with Cary, so will add locations here. Maynard is a loop if you haven't figured that out yet, and Cary Parkway is almost a full loop.

                      For sushi - Kashin - Crossroads Plaza. On the north side of Walnut St just east of US64/1. It's a confusing shopping center with limited signage. Kashin is sort of in the middle of the place facing Walnut (on the frontside of Total Wine - the Wal Mart of wine shops). My company entertains visitors from Japan here. Highly recommended.

                      For Chinese - 3 5 - They have a typical buffet, but Chinese looking people order the most wonderful looking entrees from their Schechuan menu. In the ground floor of an office building on Kildaire Farm Rd just south of Maynard.

                      For more Chinese - Orient Garden - good food fast and bargain priced with a tremendous take-out business - on High House at Maynard. Can't be beat for lunch if you're nearby. Maybe DC folks could call it the City Lights of Cary?

                      For Mexican - Taqueria Chichos, on Maynard just south of Chatham. Hole-in-the-wall strip center place where I sometimes am the only gringo. Nice murals of helicopters chasing folks near the Rio Grande, loud Spanish television & music

                      For Bakery - Once in a Blue Moon - best in class!! - downtown at corner of Academy and Chatham. The best bakery in town, maybe the best cakes in the whole Triangle

                      For carnivorean orgy - Rio Churrascharia - on south side of 64 just west of 64/1 split near Cosmopolitan - If you're like Jimmy Buffet's girlfriend who can "eat her own weight up in crabmeat" you should get a few platesful of salmon, shrimp and scallops from the cold bar and let the gauchos bring around unlimited meat. The cold bar full of seafood & veggies is better than the rotisserie meats, but if you're craving protein you will get more than your (company's) $25 worth.

                      For wine, cheese, panini and music - Ciao Wine Bar - on Chatham at Harrison. Fairly priced Italian wines and great light dinner/snack.

                      For Italian - Daniel is OK but not always great - on NC 55 just north of 64 in far SW Cary, actually in Apex.

                      For soft serve dessert - Goodberry's - several throughout the Triangle, on Kildaire Farm and the one on Davis at High House is too close to my house

                      Most of Cary is a short drive to downtown Raleigh via Chatham, NC54 or I40 if you want to explore that option.

                      1. For Indian, I like Suchi over Udipi. You can get all veg dishes and have a better Dosa menu and a big plus is they have good beer and wine along with lot of non-veg. dishes. I like Suchi preparations a lot better and good service. Suchi Fri dinner buffet is one of the best I had so far.

                        I like the Korean place netx to it too.


                        5 Replies
                          1. re: suse

                            Suse; I think Suchi is in the next mall where the shops are.
                            Venkat, how is the biryani there? & what is there a special filling for the dosas that you prefer ? Do they serve mooru?

                            1. re: Rory

                              Yes - Suchi is in Chatham Square, where all the shops are, which is just to the left (East) of Udipi. Suchi is in the part that faces Chatham Street, rather than facing the car park.

                              Speaking of Biryani, though, there is a place called Biryani House in that same shopping center. Wonder if it's any good...

                              (That reminds me, though, that I need to go to Cool Breeze. It's been a while.)

                              1. re: cackalackie

                                I have tried Biryani House twice and I can recemmend only one item, their keema shish kabob. Their biryani is okay but it had very little meat and too many bones.

                                Cool Breeze rocks!

                              2. re: Rory

                                I like their Chicken Tikka Masala at super spicy and the fresh garlic naan with Haywards 5000 lagar makes my evening. I do not care biryani that much. I like spicy food with good gravy. the other dish I go for is Chicken Chettinnadu. In veg I get the recommended Eggplant pulusu super spicy some times(On Thursdays - No meat day).

                          2. I feel your pain, Cary is hurting for good restaurants. Not sure if it is still there but Maximilians on Chapel Hill Rd. (Downtown Area) offers a fairly good meal for a moderate price. Your best bet is to take the short drive into Downtown Raleigh where there are a few more options.

                            1. Sushi -- Asuka in Morrisville is great for lunch. Sushi Thai is ok.
                              Burgers -- Cookout, 'nuff said. Several locations, Walnut St in Cary. Drive thru only.
                              Pizza -- Randy's Pizza, technically in RTP off NC54 with locations in Durham.
                              Indian -- None in Cary that I recommend. Udupi is ok for veg food.
                              Thai -- Thai Villa
                              Chinese -- Mama Wok at Preston Corners, try the shrimp in hot and sour sauce or the "real" chinese menu items printed in the green menu if you are brave.
                              Middle Eastern -- Neomonde, excellent for lunch. Off 54 in Morrisville.
                              Italian -- Vespa in downtown Cary.
                              Vietnamese -- There is a new upscale joint that the Goodknight's have floated near SAS campus -- Aan?? Never been there but I hear it is pretty good.
                              American Food -- None in Cary that I'd go to.

                              1. Good summary on the scene in Cary. I will add a couple others

                                lcorpse: You should try out The Loop Pizza Grill. great place for a sunday lunch. Not a "night out" type place.

                                Pizza- Cinneli's or New York Pizza
                                Burgers- The Loop
                                Sushi- Sushi Thai

                                Can someone give me more info about Cindy's House Cafe? I would like to visit.

                                1 Reply
                                1. The best Indian is Saffron just outside of Cary in MOrrisville at McCrimmon Corner off Davis Drive. The chef is from NY and does some amazing dishes (both veg. and non=veg.) My husband and I went to Cindy's House for dinner on a Thurs. and it was very good...be warned you need reservations well in advance though as they fill up quickly. Sushi at Asuka on HW 54 between Cary and Morrisville is always great. Biaggi's and Mama Mia have good italian food.

                                  1. Another great Indian restaurant not far from Cary is Azitra, in the Brier Creek shopping center near the airport. Great food every time I've gone, nice, upscale atmosphere (with a pleasant patio), and very good service. Hard to beat.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: chairmanpao

                                      I finally checked Azitra out on Saturday night. It was so good, I went back last night and will be returning Thursday for lunch. The best Indian I've had in this area so far!

                                    2. Nobody has mentioned Abbey Road Grill, which regularly gets rated as the top burger in the triangle: http://triangle.citysearch.com/profil.... Kind of a dive/neighborhood bar feeling, good burgers.

                                      1. The Roast Grill and Char-Grill are both near the Capitol in Raleigh. Excellent hotdogs,milkshakes and burgers.

                                        1. I gotta know where the best Chicken Tikka Masala can be found. Any Spanish restaurants?? Not Mexican, but actual Spanish?? I'm a big Indian cuisine freak...and I have a friend here that's from Spain, thought I'd see if there was something for him

                                          1. My daughter works at Saffron and it has gotten more reviews in a short time than any restaurant I can remember, all positive. It's a very small and very stylish restaurant with great food. They have the best Chicken Tikka Masala in my opinion (large chunks of meat in a cream/tomato/spicy sauce), but I'm American ;) While they get a huge Indian crowd, they get an almost equal amount of us natives. Some of the Indian transplants say the food is "Americanized". They can't pin it down, some say the curry is not as hot. But with 1 billion people and all the different food styles in a country that large, you aren't going to please everyone. Since Cary has basically become "Little India", there will be more and more choices for Indian food and markets in Cary.

                                            I would have to vote on two of my favorite restaurants, though it is an upscale chain, Carrabbas is the only restaurant where I don't just eat one thing ;) I've tried almost everything on the menu and it's like it was all cooked to my taste. I like to sit at the kitchen and talk to the cooks. They often give you free stuff :)

                                            Next is Triangle Grille on Chatham, in the heart of the Indian section of Cary cooincidentally. It's on Chatham and Maynard right next to the old, old Circus hamburger / Ice Cream joint that's been there since I was a kid. This place is amazing. Great food (and you can order half portions) and a modern, ritzy atmosphere. Somehow they manage to make it seem not so stuffy in a place that has thick white tablecloths. Two different styles of outdoor seating, three different experiences inside, and a great bar. Oh, and the prices are amazing. You would expect to pay 30% more than they charge based on the menu and the decor. In a fun twist, the inside is sort of "triangular". The building is sort of like the flatiron building in NY, so the bar comes to a point and the restaurant section is wider. The great thing about that is that until NC joins the civilized world like LA and Chapel Hill and bans smoking everywhere, the smoke is clear across the other side of the restaurant.

                                            1. No one has mentioned Korean Garden or Tusca Brava....? Are these places still open in in their original locations? It's been a while since I moved a few years ago, but these places offered an alternative in Raleigh/Cary, NC, where bland, mediocre, glamorized "low country" cuisine runs amuck.

                                              1. No one has mentioned Abbey Road - non-chain, great burgers, pretty good salads.
                                                The named is derived from the Beatle's, and there's loads of memorabilia.

                                                edited to add: Sorry scarrie, don't know how I missed your post ;)

                                                1. Tasca Brava moved to North Raleigh. By far the best place to get tapas that I've been to.
                                                  I'll second the strong reviews for Waraji, Ciao Cafe and Cindy's House. All very good.

                                                  Lucky 32 is also decent. It's owned by some hotel company, and there is also another location in Greensboro, so I don't know if it counts as a chain or not, but they use fresh local ingredients and the menu is pretty good.

                                                  Babymoon Cafe (in Morrisville) is also decent.

                                                  1. I enjoy Maximillians (best in Cary, in my opinion, for price), http://www.maximilliansgrill.com/ , but if you go on Thurs-Sat, you will need reservations. The food is awesome, very reasonably priced (main course $19-$32), and unique. I wish i could more often, but with new baby, hard to find time.

                                                    For ethnic I am big fan of Viva Thai, although is in a non-desirable location. great food (fresh) at a great price ($9-11). I also enjoy Lotus Leaf.

                                                    For Italian, I recommend Daniels in Apex, off of Hwy 55.

                                                    Sushi-Thai in Cary is great, but very busy, but if just one you could sit at bar and be seated fairly quickly. http://www.sushithaicary.com/

                                                    1. To add to the topic, I agree that the best restaurants in Cary are ethnic. I mostly agree with what has been posted. Here are a couple I haven't heard mentioned.:
                                                      *Serendipity Gourmet Deli in downtown Cary is a great place to grab a sandwich. There is even a little outdoor seating area that stays mostly shaded and is quite enjoyable.
                                                      *Nikos Taverna - although technically in Morrisville, but very near Cary, this is the most authentic Greek restaurant in the entire Triangle area with by far the best food.

                                                      Those two just popped in my head. I'm sure that there are more that were not mentioned. Cary and Chapel Hill have the best ethic restaurants in the area.

                                                      1. Oh yeah, how could I forget. If you like BBQ, give Danny's a try. The prices are good and the food is great. http://www.dannysbarbque.com/

                                                        1. Has anyone mentioned Little Tokyo, best sushi place in Cay, near NE Maynard / Chatham intersection. Have been going there for the last 2 years, food always excellent

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: celestine

                                                            I would second the comments on Maximillian's - never had a bad meal there. If you can handle a little heat, ask about the Pasta From Hell...

                                                            If you like Greek - head a little further into Apex and check out XIOS...Hwy 55 and Apex Peakway.