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going to raleigh/durham for the first time

I am going to N.C Durham/Raleigh area and suggestion other than what I can get here in south florida. local foods and stuff like that..not concerned so much about price more about carolina foods and good local influences. visiting my sister for the first time looking for at least one memorable dinner or lunch

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  1. The Raleigh/Durham area is pretty big with multiple towns spread apart by as much as 30 miles. If you tell us where you're staying, we could provide more specific recommendations. I'Here's a start though:
    Now's a great time to visit the area. The farmer's markets are brimming with summer produce. There's little better than a tomato sandwich made with local heirloom tomatoes and good bread. My favorite tomato variety is called Cherokee Purple. If you're able to, check out the Durham Farmer's Market and while you're there try OnlyBurger, a seriously good food truck.

    In Durham, I'd recommend Watt's Grocery, Toast, and Magnolia Grill. In Raleigh, I'd recommend Poole's Diner. Poole's uses lots of local ingredients. For Chapel Hill, there's Sandwhich and Vimala's Curryleaf. Vimala's serves Indian food unlike any place I've been. She sources most or all her food from local farms.

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    Watt's Grocery
    1116 Broad St Ste 100, Durham, NC 27705

    5 Replies
    1. re: Tom from Raleigh

      I recently ate at Toast and absolutely loved it.

      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

        Also in Chapel Hill you could treat yourself to some NC BBQ at Allen and Sons on Hwy 86 (not the 15-501). I'd also suggest looking into one or more of the microbrews in the area. Try to get to Locopops for something a bit different.

        1. re: Tom from Raleigh

          I am staying about 4 miles east if the international airport just off the leesville rd exit on540(northern wake expressway I already looked up Toast,Loco pops, and i was also thinking something upscale like second empire but so many times location beets out taste I do not mind a 20 mile drive if the food is good

          1. re: pikiliz

            540 and Leesville: you're about equidistant to downtown Raleigh, Durham or Cary. You're quite close to the Angus Barn, if you're in the mood for steak. I've never been there, so I can't recommend it.

            If you don't mind driving a bit further, you could try Lantern or Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill.

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            Angus Barn Restaurant
            9401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617

            Bonne Soiree Restaurant
            431 W Franklin St Ste 10, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

            1. re: pikiliz

              I live very near that exit and find that sometimes it is easier to get to Durham from home than to go downtown. It can take me 15 minutes to get to downtown Durham, yet over 25 minutes to get to Glenwood South. Either way, though, the distance is not too far. Chapel Hill can be a bit of a drive, but if something out there appeals to you, go for it. Again, the drive is not a really big deal.

              I'll happily second Tom's recommendations of Magnolia Grill and Watts Grocery. You're unlikely to find anything like that in FL. Also, consider driving out on 540 to Capital, head north to Youngsville and try Holden's BBQ. Just call first since their hours are worse than erratic.

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              Watts Grocery
              1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

          2. For restaurants that use local food -- in addition to Poole's in Raleigh, try Piedmont in Durham and Zely & Ritz in Raleigh, also Elaine's in Chapel Hill, Acme in Carrboro and Saxapaw General Store, just a few miles west of Carrboro.

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            Zely & Ritz
            301 Glenwood Ave Ste 100, Raleigh, NC 27603

            1 Reply
            1. re: jnwall

              These are good tips. Just to be clear, Saxapahaw is a 10-15 minute drive from Carrboro.

            2. thank you for all the rec's I am here now and will report in a few days as to what Places I have tried

              1 Reply
              1. Thank you for all your replies and suggestions I ate like a fool and it follows as such
                1) second empire. as good as it gets high end to be sure but service and quality if food was unsurpassed rarely have I eaten such a great meal
                2) loco pops the greatest thing every so much to chose from and amazing combos of flavor
                3) The pit BBQ as good as Adam said in my opinion as a newbie to NC BBQ I am no expert but I had the Platter which came with an array of there flavors and foods
                4) nosh rocked the house just great breakfast at a great price
                5) blu fish cool place good food maybe a tick higher than it should be
                6) toast awesome great place nice people great food

                4 Replies
                1. re: pikiliz

                  Thanks for letting us know. I'm glad that, overall, you had a good food experience down here!

                  1. re: pikiliz

                    "blu fish"? Did you mean "Blu Seafood" in Durham? If not, please inform what "blu fish" is and where it's located.

                    Thanks.

                    1. re: d.v

                      yea that's it sorry for the name slip

                      1. re: pikiliz

                        No problem. Just didn't want to miss a good seafood restaurant in the area!

                  2. Vit Goal is a tofu soup joint near The Park off 54 / 55.

                    If you have time, the BLT's at the Merritt Mill in Chapel Hill are mind-bendingly good.

                    If you're here for the weekend, try to get to downtown Durham for the Durham Farmer's Market. There's a truck there called Only Burger. They do a breakfast burger with pimento cheese, fried green tomato and a fried egg over easy. All that and the burger. It sounds ridiculous but is ridiculously good.

                    The Pretzel dog at Neal's Deli in Carrboro is a singularity in the universe: a veal and pork dog, served in a pretzel roll, topped with melted cheese and stewed apples. Sounds crazy but it works. Expect lines out the door for the last two and people stacked ten deep for hours at the Only Burger truck.

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                    Vit Goal
                    2107 Allendown Dr Ste 101, Durham, NC 27713

                    Neal's Deli
                    100 E Main St Ste C, Carrboro, NC 27510

                    Farmer's Market Cafe
                    63 Chattahoochee St, Helen, GA 30545