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Cool or Unique Restaurants in Raleigh NC

I'm going to Raleigh this weekend with Wife, and looking for cool, artistic, unique, etc places to eat.
Also looking for a nice vegetarian place. Please Help!

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  1. For cool, I would recommend Poole's Dinner , not sure how they would be as vegetarian.


    1 Reply
    1. Irregardless Cafe features the work of local artists, supports local food suppliers and has lots of vegan and vegetarian options:


      5 Replies
        1. re: carolinadawg

          However, the food at Irregardless is not all that good. Most of the better restaurants in the area have multiple vegetarian/vegan options on their menus and local sourcing is a major trend here. You will have a better meal at nearly any of the other restaurants mentioned so far.

          1. re: rockycat

            Different strokes I guess. I've always enjoyed eating there.

            1. re: rockycat

              I have to eat there next week for business - the menu doesn't look inspired - what would be a safe/best bet to order?

              1. re: Timbles

                I haven't been there in many years. The Spouse used to like the chef's salad (the lemon-tahini dressing is actually rather good), but that's also been many years.

          2. The Remedy Diner is an excellent vegetarian restaurant in downtown Raleigh. Quirky, artsy and delicious!


            BTW, this Friday is 1st Friday, so lots of galleries open late and street activities!

            2 Replies
              1. re: steven6838

                as a vegetarian/vegan Remedy is on my list.

            1. Poole's is outstanding.

              Market Restaurant would be a good choice. Great vibe, good for vegetarians, and right next door to the fabulous Escazu chocolate shop.

              Other options, if not especially funky, are Zely & Ritz (eclectic), or Dos Taquitos Centro (upscale Mexican), J Betzski's (German), or Mandolin (fancy regional).

              For more casual eats, maybe Raleigh Times, Lilly's Pizza (quirky, artsy, and loud), or stop by Hayes Barton Cafe for a huge slice of cake.

              1 Reply
              1. re: brsmith2

                Thank you! I'm going to Raleigh on Tuesday, from Boston. I think we'll try Pooles, looks great-I didn't see a menu though. If you think of anything else please give a holler! It's my bday too, the "new 30"

              2. This location just opened and I am hearing good things. Very upscale looking, Looks like they have a good vegetarian list in their menu.


                1. fun place for lunch would be Calavera Empanada & Tequila Bar - great quirky Day of the Dead decor, great empanadas, including one sweet potato & black bean if I remember correctly. And the price is right... Also their Cilantro Lime salad is excellent.

                  1. Haven't eaten there in a while but I thought Coquette was a really cool bistro.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bbqme

                      Poole's is good, but overrated in my opinion. The wait and the noise is not worth it. Good bar drinks while you wait, but...the...wait...could lead to DUI.

                      RELISH is a very good. Veg friendly and hearty comfort food. Nice atmosphere.

                    2. I can't say that any places in the triangle strikes me as unique compared to the terms cool/artistic.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        Revolution has a pretty "cool" feel to it. But I have to say, after lots of experience I've found that most cool/artistic type places put that ahead of having great food. Not always, but it seems to be the case most times.

                      2. I'll second Calavera as a cool little spot, great empanadas but maybe too casual for a 30th birthday. Capital Club 16 always does well for me but a bit noisy at times. Poole's as everyone has mentioned is really a Raleigh institution for the short time it's been a around but a bit pricey, noisy and no reservations. J Betski's is an excellent spot. Remedy and Irregardless are both good for vegetarians but I'm not impressed with the food at either space. Hayes Barton Cafe is quintessential Raleigh but not vegetarian friendly. Good luck!

                        1. 18 Seaboard www.18seaboard.com/ is always very willing to prepare vegetarian entrees. You might give them a call ahead of time to see what they can offer that evening.

                          I love Hayes Barton Cafe for dessert. Across 5 Points (the 5-way intersection where Hayes Barton and Lillys and NOFO are) is the more upscale Bloomsbury Bistro. NoFo might meet your off-beat requirement.