Raleigh Lunch Near Capital and 540
Congrats on the new job but foodwise you're nearly in chain hell.
About 15 minutes up Capital, depending on traffic lights, is Holden's BBQ. Just about as good as you can get in the area. Their hours, though, are unfortuntely erratic.
Shorty's hot dogs is up in Wake Forest. I'm no fan, but many people consider it an institution.
Also in Wake Forest is DaVinci's Italian deli on Rogers Road. They make very good sandwiches.
Good pizza at Bella Italia on Capcom in WF.
Wakefield has sushi, Mizu IIRC, but I'd say it's mediocre at best.
Off Durant near Falls River there's the I Love NY deli, a sorta Jewish-style NY deli run by a Russian couple from Brighton Beach. They used to make their own rye bread until the customers complained that it was too chewy. Go fig.
If you're willing to go south on Capital you may find some more interesting choices.
Thien Phu in An Chau Plaza - better than Pho Cali but further away
Fonda y Birrieria Jalisco - much better than El Mandado but further away
The restaurant inside the International (?) Mexican grocery off Atlantic. Steam table, fill-yer-belly, inexpensive Mexian, Salvadoran, and Italian (!) eats.
Seoul Garden - Korean on Millbrook and Atlantic
Jamaica Marketplace on Atlantic Springs across from the movie theater. There's a Jamaican on Capital but JamPlace is better.
I can't come up with much more right now but I'd love to hear if people have others I've missed.
Near 540 and Capitol.
Near Pho Cali, there's a tacqueria inside one of the gas stations.
For Chinese food, there's Fortune Palace. I rrder off the menu, rather than the buffet.
Swasadee for good Thai off Capitol.
El Mandado is a grocery store that has a taco stand inside plus they make their own tortillas. If you want to make Mexican food at home, fresh, warm tortillas make a big difference.
I like I Love NY Deli. Great sandwiches.
At Falls & Litchford, Z Pizza is a chain, but I like their pizza.
The best spot to seek out chow in that vicinity is the strip mall at New Hope & Atlantic, where International Foods is located. There's a couple of taco places, an Asian grocer, fried fish place and a pizza place.
Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. I had to resort to grabbing a burrito at Moe's today and I don't want to repeat that again. I drove around for about as long as I could looking for something today and just couldn't find anything other than chains.
Now, I'm off to start mapping where these places are in relation to my new digs.