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Downtown Raleigh Challenge (tonight!)

I am looking for three different restaurants in downtown Raleigh to go this evening and am interested in hearing recommendations for the best choice for starter, main, and dessert. Bonus points for drinks too - and a walkable itinerary. (There will be two of us, so in some cases we might be able to eat at the bar rather than waiting for a table in each location.)

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Drinks/starter at the Foundation, dinner at Mo's Diner, dessert at The Mint.

    For Glenwood South you could go to Solas for starters,Tasca Brava for dinner and Zely and Ritz for dessert. Or switch the starter and dessert locations.

    Fun idea!

    Mo's Diner
    306 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601

    1. Do you specifically want or need to go to three different ones or do you want the best offering in each category in downtown Raleigh? If the later, I'd just park myself at Poole's for all three courses, especially with the Fins / BuKu transition, etc. (Actually, I'm not much of a dessert person so maybe I shouldn't speak to that but I'm betting that their desserts are pretty good.)

      1. I might start at Sitti for a couple of small plates in the bar and a glass of wine. From there, I would stop in at Foundation for a fun mixed drink. Then, on to Buku for more small plates and more wine or cocktails. I would finish at Poole's (after the dinner crowd dies down a bit) to close out the night with dessert and wine.

        137 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601

        1. Another itinerary could focus on Glenwood South. Some combination of Tasca Brava for a starter and wine, followed by Solas or Zely & Ritz, and ending at Second Empire's Tavern could do the trick. Or, you could do Second Empire's Tavern for a main, then end up back on Glenwood South at Solas or even Helios for late night wine and/or coffee.

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

          Tasca Brava
          607 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603

          1 Reply
          1. Thanks everyone - for the suggestions so far. I had already thought of trying to include Poole's and Foundation. And I'd considered the Mint (I haven't been there yet). I just thought it would be a fun way to help my friend celebrate her birthday...... Keep 'em coming! Thanks again....

            1 Reply
            1. re: cackalackie

              I think Mo's has the best desserts downtown, Poole's included. They always have an awesome bread pudding available.

            2. Hmm, this is a bit of a challenge! I'm having a hard time with the dessert course... Let me toss out the Warehouse district and Humble Pie, The Pit and Jibarra as options. All three of them have good bars and cocktails, good appetizers and I know that the Pit and Jibarra do decent desserts. Can't remember if H-Pie does them. What I like is the decor is unique to each space AND then you can go catch some music/drinks at White Collar Crime or the Union. There's also a new resto there called Blue for Italian.

              For S. Glenwood I'd probably do apps and drinks at Red Room, dinner at Tasca Brava/518 West/Thaiphoon/Zely and then finish off at the Cupcake Shoppe?

              Or maybe drinks/apps at the Point, dinner at Lilly's and dessert at Hayes Barton Cafe?

              Have fun!

              Jibarra Restaurant
              7420 6 Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615

              Red Room
              510 Glenwood Ave, Ste 101, Raleigh, NC 27603

              White Collar Crime
              319 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601

              1. Thanks your post inspired the wife and I to do this last night. We started with drinks at Foundation, dinner at Poole's, and dessert at Krispy Kreme.

                Foundation really was excellent, the drink selection inspired and executed well. Will definitely be back.

                Poole's - I have mixed feelings about, it is crowed and noisy. We shared the pate, my wife ordered the short ribs and I ordered the lamb. Everything was absolutely delicious, but for the price I could wish for more of a complete plate of food. The pate was perfect for 2, far too much for one person alone, but the entrees seemed more like small plates. Had we not had a substantial lunch earlier, we would have walked away still hungry.

                After drinks and wine with the meal, going to Krispy Kreme is the perfect ending. Being slightly buzzed and watching the donuts go by is loads of fun.

                Krispy Kreme
                2706 Watson Blvd Ste A, Warner Robins, GA 31093

                1 Reply
                1. re: chazzer

                  Regarding Poole's - I hear you. I really enjoy the food and the atmosphere - I like that it can be a little raucous. But, I've been a little disappointed with some of the portion sizes too, especially for brunch. It's not the type of place where you can just do an entree and leave satisfied. Granted, that's often true of better places where you're expected to do multiple courses; but, being a comfort food oriented place, my mind still refuses to accept it.