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One Dinner that Captures Raleigh

Hi All
I am looking for a place to take two of my friends to dinner who will visiting Raleigh for one evening. I want to take them somewhere somewhat symbolic of the area... somewhere that will leave them remembering their evening in Raleigh fondly. However, I don't want them to mainly remember the meal breaking the bank. Do yall have any suggestions of a great dinner place on a Saturday night that just feels like Raleigh???
Thanks!

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  1. There's a great restaurant in Durham - Magnolia Grill - Very Southern in an upscale way...

    1. How about a place like Raleigh Times? (Especially, but not necessarily, if they like beer). It's casual, but the food is good, and it's right downtown and usually very lively. That's probably where I'd go if I wanted to show visitors a fun night.

      Or there's Lily's Pizza - really delicious and very neighborhood-y, although the atmosphere isn't for everyone. (Dead casual, kinda loud, full of cooking smoke).

      1. It looks like you need something non-ethnic, mid to low range cost-wise, good food and a good "Raleigh" vibe. The Times and Lily's are great suggestions, as they are both great and local and sure to be bustling. Some other suggestions would be Porter's, across from NC STate on Hillsborough, or Humble PIe in the Warehouse District.

        3 Replies
        1. re: VaNC

          Can you tell me a little more about Humble Pie? I have not heard of it yet...

          1. re: aphayes

            http://www.humblepiebakery.com/direct... In all the years I have lived here, I have only gone to Humble Pie once, but recall having a good time. They serve tapas for dinner items.

            I was thinking that if you wanted to do something fun and affordable.... you could have drinks at a more upscale-place (the Tavern at Second Empire [ground floor]; Bloomsbury Bistro; Sullivans, Nana's etc.) and then go to dinner somewhere more fun and casual. I am always pushing my favorite hole-in-the-wall Oakwood Cafe. It is mouthwateringly delicious and low-cost. The to-die-for churassco steak is only 10.95, I think. They only serve dinner on Friday and Saturday nights and the menu influences are Italian and Atrgentenian. (It is situated behind/adjacent to the New Bern post office: 300 E Edenton St; Raleigh, NC 27601; (919) 828-5994

            )

            (What night are they coming? Tonight? Perhaps do something in conjucntion with Raleigh Wide Open? http://www.godowntownraleigh.com/rwo/)

            1. re: Tehama

              Eek...I have never checked out Humble Pie's website before....it makes it looks like some fern bar! I have been going to HP for YEARS in all it previous, various iterations. The current one is pretty great, as the food is good, there is tons of funky outside seating, and a great inside bar crowd later.

          1. re: batdown

            Is that what it is called? Where is it?

              1. re: batdown

                Please god no. That place captures Raleigh life in the 1980's. Thankfully, there is much better food available in restaurants now.

                1. re: cackalackie

                  I am with ya! The last meal I had at 42nd street was inedible. Fine place to drink, but I would not eat there.

                2. re: batdown

                  The raw bar is OK, but the cooked food is NOT.

                  A friend of a relative took us to Don Murray's buffet in 2003 to give us Raleigh flavor, so we moved to Cary. God rest Don's soul, and that of the restaurant that operated under his name even after he sold out.

            1. Hayes Barton Pharmacy has a great dinner and it isn't too expensive.

              1. If it's concert night at the NC Museum of Art (Doc Watson this Saturday!) Pack a picnic and buy a bottle or two of wine at the show.