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Raleigh Near Marriott City Center

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We will be in Raleigh at the very end of July for two nights staying at the Marriott City Center. Any suggestions for restaurants within walking distance? Any type of cuisine is OK. If there is something unique to Raleigh/NC that would be great. Mid-priced (most entrees up to the $20s) or even very casual is OK. Also please let me know if you think reservations are necessary for the place on a Friday or Sat. night. Thanks!

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  1. Poole's is two blocks west of your hotel, http://ac-restaurants.com/pooles/. Christensen won the Beard award this year for best chef Southeast. They don't take reservations, get there early.

    1. You are in a really good location as far as walking and food! Like D R C said, Poole's is an excellent point, I also am dying to eat dinner at her coffee shop Joule, I went in there for coffee one morning and the previous evening specials were on the board it sounded fantastic!!

      And while were at it, you might as well go to her bar too! Fox Liquor Bar! If you like destination cocktails, go to Foundation too.

      If you like spicy food go to Bida Manda, - make a reservation!

      Check out Buku, Mo's Diner, for lunch I would check out Centro (Mexican) and Spize (Vietnamese, especially if you like Bahn mi)

      1. As others have mentioned, Poole's is a great choice. Bida Manda is good too. Spize cafe was great but is no longer there. Other options might be capital club 16 or Garland. I'd also recommend a short walk over to Videri chocolate, which is a bean-to-bar operation in a cool space near there

        2 Replies
          1. re: waitress

            Yep - Spize closed several months ago.

        1. FWIW I think all the AC places are "unique to Raleigh/NC" given her downtown restaurant "empire" and the Beard award this year.

          1. Thanks for these suggestions. I will look into them.

            1. Just wanted to report back. We ended up at Capital Club 16 for dinner. This was a really interesting place. Plenty of vegetarian options, but a steak on the menu, too, and sandwiches offered for dinner. I had the schnitzel sandwich and DC had the Portobello mushroom grilled cheese. Both were very good. We also had the pimento cheese and fig crostini, which were simple, but surprisingly tasty. Service was warm and friendly, yet efficient. Prices were extremely reasonable.

              The next night we went to Bida Manda. I had the best Manhattan I've ever had there -- the perfect mix of bourbon and vermouth, a touch of bitters and a lemon twist. We had crispy lettuce wraps and summer roll appetizers. Both were very good. I had the carmalized ginger pork ribs. These were very good, but I know there were some more interesting things on the menu that might have impressed me more. But, I was just in the mood for something on the hearty side. DC raved about the sea bass. Said it was the best fish he ever head.

              By chance we ended up in Centro for lunch/brunch. Steak tacos were good. Made with nice cuts of meat.

              The first night we went down to Poole's, but DC leans vegetarian and the menu that night wasn't doing it for him. I was kind of glad because it was ear-shattering noisy in there.

              Thanks for all the recommendations.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pemma

                Capital Club is great! Good choices.

              2. Also, one night after dinner we stumbled across The Mecca Restaurant and went in and had a couple of drinks. A friendly, funky, place with real character.