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Cary, NC - Any new restaurants worth checking out?

I've lived in Cary for the past 5 years and I always feel we are lacking in restaurants that are nice to just hang out in after your meal. You can only go to Ale House or Jack Astor's so much for drinks y'know?

Any new places that are fun and not so stuffy?

Are there any newish restaurants at all in the area I should know about?

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  1. Any particular types of food you do or don't like?

    A few newer restos that come to mind are Baba Ghanouj on Harrison for Mediterranean, Kandas on 54 in Morrisville and Azitra in Brier Creek for Indian, and Mura at North Hills for sushi. I haven't had the opportunity to try the new BBQ place in Cary (can't remember what it's called - someone help me out? Hawg Wild maybe?), or to check out the Chop House at Stone Creek Village. I did think that the Red Bowl in Stone Creek was a little underwhelming. Looking forward to checking out the Ocean Grill on Cary Parkway/High House when it opens.

    I've lived in Cary for four years and have never been to Jack Astor's, actually.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Suzy Q

      I mean...the only reason we frequent Jack Astor's is because on the weekends there isn't a crazy wait for the bar area and it's one of the VERY few places in Cary that has a true, smoky, noisy but REALLY friendly bar scene.

      Hibernian is nice for that, but can get way too stuffy in my opinion. And then something like Stonewood or Biaggis is too snooty...not really a place you want to HANG out y'know?

      As far as food...we like pretty much everything.

      OH! CARY PEOPLE. RIGHT NOW AT NEO CHINA THEY ARE DOING HALF PRICE ALCOHOL THROUGH JUNE 10! I am not kidding. Liquor, Sake, Wine and beer ALL half price.

      I just wish Cary had a few more hip restaurants.

      1. re: shrixer78

        Since Cary is considered pretty much the 'family friendly' area of the Triangle, you just aren't going to find much of what you describe there. Especially establishments with large bar areas that permit smoking.

      2. re: Suzy Q

        Yep! Hawg Wild. Really good food. I like their sides more than at Smoky's (which has better meat). Overall a great addition tot eh area.

        1. re: Westy

          I drove by Hawg Wild this weekend and it looks like they have gone out of business. Saturday night the lights were off and there was a letter from PSNC on their door saying that gas had been disconnected. It's too bad, I really liked this place.

          1. re: mr_big

            That is a shame. I liked their food a lot. That being said - their ribs were not as good as Smokey's/Rub's in Morrisville.

      3. So are you looking primarily for good *food*, or for a good bar scene? It sounds a bit like the latter rather than the former. Which is fine, but I'm with roman - you won't find a lot of both in the Triangle, but especially in Cary.

        Why do you find the Hibernian too stuffy?

        Check out Connolly's, if you haven't been there. And the Macgregor Ale House. Those about the only Cary neighborhood hang-out bar kind of places I can think of.

        1. Not sure how new it is but I had a great lunch over at Havana Grill. I had a terrific cuban sandwich but wasn't terribly impressed with their cuban fries. They told me that they would substitute another side for the fries the next time I stop in. Looks like the place would be a lot of fun at night, theres a covered outdoor area with live music on the weekends. This particular building has been through a lot of different restaurants in the past but hopefully this one will last!

          9 Replies
          1. re: mr_big

            Has anyone tried the "YumYum Thai Cusine" place on Harrison Ave, near Sam's Club?

            1. re: ToothTooth

              Yes I have! For lunch a couple of times. The food is really good. Apparently the woman (chef) who owns it also owns the Thai Villa in South Hills.

              1. re: cackalackie

                I drove past Thai Villa a few days ago, and it looks like it has closed shop and been replaced with a chinese place called Super Wok?

              2. re: ToothTooth

                Yes, I've eaten there a few times now and it is really very good. The service has always been good for me. I highly reccomend the Khee Mao Noodles with the level 2 spice.

              3. re: mr_big

                I was there on a weekend night in December - they had heaters out in the dance area. We stuck around for a bit watching the dancing. Mainly early 20's, but a scattering of families and folks of all ages. Everyone was having a great time, very lively!

                My plantains were great, everything else was adequate. Owners were very nice & brought out samples for us.

                1. re: meatn3

                  There's a dance area? Wow...they must have really done a big remodel since the Shanghai Garden days. Sounds like a good place to check out.

                  1. re: Suzy Q

                    I think they are talking about the Cuban place on Chatham. They have made the area to the right of the main building into a patio for outside dining and dancing.

                    1. re: blewgo

                      Got it - my mistake. I was racking my brain trying to figure out that configuration - but then again,Torero's has that outside stage, so anything's possible I suppose.

                      Speaking of Thai, what about that Thai Spices & Sushi place in Preston?

                      1. re: Suzy Q

                        I've been to Thai Spices and Sushi in Preston a few times. Great fresh spring roll, and an app that you assemble yourself - spinach leaves, diced ginger, hot peppers, plum sauce, coconut, peanuts, roll it up and pop it in. I have had the udon noodles on the lunch menu a few times, a fried tofu dish with peanut sauce and broccoli as an entree, stir fried basil dish, daughter always gets pad thai which is good. They will make it spicy if asked for it that way, staff is very friendly. Greg Cox did his n&o review a few weeks back. Kinda panned the sushi, but I personally have not tried. Worth a shot, open for saturday lunch which is a big plus.

              4. If you can, check out the bar at the Umstead Hotel and Bar, beautiful inside and great friendly service. Bar snacks include super tasty Pickled Okra and the Grasshopper icecream sandwich for dessert is Yummy!
                Really it's not stuffy at all there, quite relaxing!

                1. I just wanted to bump up this thread.

                  What - if anything - is going on interesting in Cary these days???

                  Thank you!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Tehama

                    Since this thread is on a "dead" board, I think you'd be much better off starting a new thread on the current Southeast Board. There's very little traffic on this board.

                    1. re: carolinadawg

                      Thanks so much for the reply. It is already showing up as "Southeast" in my account Just curious as to how you are seeing it. This was the most recent "anything new?" type thread that I saw on Chowhound. Do you have a better thread I can tag-along with?

                      I saw 4.5/5 stars on Yelp for MammaMia in Apex earlier this week and we ate there the other day. It was very nice and the management were top-notch.

                      1. re: Tehama

                        The mods moved it from the South Archive Board.

                    2. re: Tehama

                      Corbett's Burger & Soda bar opened recently. This is the place with like 200 sodas. The burgers are actually very good.

                      http://corbettsburgers.com/

                      Not strictly food related, but Gather is a new co-working / coffee spot in downtown Cary. Yeah, it's my wife's place, but it's lovely.

                      http://www.gathernc.com/web/

                    3. The only places worth hanging out in Cary are Pure Gold or Herons. Choose your poison.

                      Edit: Also for a dive-ish bar hang, go to Rally Points or Woody's.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ToothTooth

                        AN is worthy is it not? La Farm is good... However to answer Tehama's question.. no there isn't anything really new or interesting (since there may be a burger joint or something that opens).

                        1. re: ToothTooth

                          My boyfriend wants to know what's on the menu at Pure Gold. hahahaha

                          1. re: Tehama

                            There is a song from A Chorus Line that would answer that question aptly.