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Aug 11, 2008 04:37 PM

Lunch in Raleigh / surrounding


I am going to be in Asheville in a couple of weeks, and am driving to Raleigh area to meet my parents for a long, leisurely lunch while there. They are driving from VA. Couple of things I am looking for...

+ reasonable price. casual environment.
+ open later than 2:30pm for lunch!!! we plan on lingering.
+ NOT downtown Raleigh - I'm going to be hustling to get there and don't want to fight downtown traffic. Easy-to-find.

I've been searching sites for over an hour, and any place that looks like it would be good closes between lunch and dinner. I really prefer not a big, noisy chain, OR a dinky hole-in-the-wall.

Type? American, BBQ, something with a lot of choice on the menu. Not Italian.

Suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help!! :)

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  1. Check out The Rockford on Glenwood Ave, I am not sure if they stay open during the day or close in the middle of the shift. There are also restaurants at North Hills mall, I am not sure if it is called a mall anymore, but that might be a good meeting spot.

    Your parents coming from VA, they will drive straight into downtown, so downtown might not be a bad idea. If they take 95 South to 64 to Raleigh, it feeds right into downtown no turns.

    HIllsborough Street, Glenwood Ave could be some options. maybe some chowhounds will know specific hours of operation. Have fun!

    1. Hi. How about Elmo's Diner in Durham? It's easy to find off I-85. It's more like a nice cafe, quite casual. I like to take visitors there because everyone can find something they like. Elmo's is open all day, so no worries about them closing. You can get breakfast all day, too. It's a good place to linger. The food is very good, and so is the coffee. Take a look:


      1. Waitress' suggestion of North Hills is a good one, especially since there are shops, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, and a nice greenspace if you want to walk around or linger after lunch. If you're into Japanese/sushi, one of my favorite restaurants in town is there - Mura. There's also a great Italian resto (Vivace), a smallish cafe (Hot Point), and BBQ from a local chain called The Q Shack. Other than that, it's chain stuff, although McAlister's isn't bad. (Oh, and park in the garage - much easier than driving around up top looking for parking.)

        1. For ease of driving and meeting, I'd say your best bet is for them to head south (Inner Beltline) when 64 hits 440. You continue on 40 as it merges with 440 and you both run into each other at the southeast side of Raleigh, away from downtown. The problem is that there is little in the way of notable dining there. One possibility is the North Carolina State Farmer's Market Restaurant. It is open until 3pm, isn't a chain, is of the average size you asked for, is casual and reasonably priced, has American food with choices. Not known for fine dining, but seems to fit your criteria pretty well.
          Menu is online:

          NC State Farmer's Market Restaurant
          1240 Farmer's Drive, Raleigh, NC

          1 Reply
          1. re: klmonline

            Thank you all so much for your responses! I'm checking out the North Hills area website - that looks like that may be the place to go. Everyone in this group appreciates a good meal, and were we actually staying in Raleigh I'd seek out some of the great places I've read about in other posts. Unfortunately, given the circumstances, ease must trump caliber - although to find both would be a boon! I'd have not found it without your suggestions, thanks again! :)