9 Famous Raleigh Dishes To Add To Your Bucket List

By Lindsay Underwood
Monday, Sep 04 2017

Raleigh is experiencing a golden age of openings. It seems like every weekend there are new restaurants to explore. We all love hitting up the new spots, but there are some oldies that are so quintessentially Raleigh that you can’t stay away for too long. Here are some of my favorites.

Photo by @bjk1008

Pizza & Beer at Trophy Brewing

There are many opinions in the 919 about which pizza is best. If you are looking for a new and exciting pie (a different feature every day!), then Trophy is the place for you. Even if you don’t want to go for the special, they have a great regular menu. Try the Most Loyal, which features pesto, marinated chicken breast, and is topped with a mozzarella blend. Don’t forget to pick up a local brew while you are there!

Sip on Tasty Beer at Trophy
$   .  Trophy Brewing   .  Raleigh
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Photo by @etcavanaugh

Chicken and Waffles at Beasley’s Chicken + Honey

This Raleigh staple comes from our favorite local restauranteur, Ashley Christensen. The extra crispy fried chicken and fluffy waffle (not to mention that perfect drizzle of honey on top) is the epitome of #brunchgoals.

Enjoy Home Cookin' Just Like Grandma Made It at Beasley's
$   .  Beasley's Chicken and Honey   .  Raleigh
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Hot Cakes at Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant

More like hot cake (singular) from Big Ed’s. A single hot cake will take up your whole plate and then some. If you are a glutton for punishment, try the hot cake challenge and wolf down three of these bad boys in one hour. Good luck!

Hot Cake Eating Contest at Big Ed's
$   .  Big Ed's City Market Restaurant   .  Raleigh
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Photo by @ashley_christensen

Mac and Cheese from Poole’s Diner

Yet another great dish from Ashley Christensen. This is one that I specifically mention to people who are new to the area or visiting from out of town. I’ve never had a cheesier or creamier mac. Once you’ve had the real thing, you can snag Christensen’s cookbook of the same name and give it a whirl on your own. On the other hand, you may not want to know exactly what is in this one.

Get Your High-Class Comfort Food Fix at Poole's
$   .  Poole's   .  Raleigh
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Photo by @midtownmagazine

BBQ Sandwich from Clyde Cooper’s BBQ

This classic Raleigh joint has been serving up Carolina-style BBQ since 1938. Step right up to the old-fashioned counter and snag a BBQ sandwich with hush puppies and slaw. If you want to do as the locals do, order a side of “skins” (pork rinds) to go with your meal.

Find Cash-Only Carolina BBQ in DTR
$   .  Clyde Cooper's Barbeque   .  Raleigh
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Photo by @rmdame

Hot Dogs from Roast Grill

This little diner does one thing and (basically) one thing only: hot dogs. They have a small dessert selection and bottled Cokes, but for your main course, hot dogs are it. Once you snag your dog you’ll have to keep it simple, as you won’t find ketchup or mayo in this joint. No worries though, the dog is all you need.

Eat a Historic Hot Dog at Roast Grill
$   .  The Roast Grill   .  Raleigh
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Photo by @fiftyshadesoffoods

Howling Cow Ice Cream from N.C. State’s Campus

I think even Carolina fans would agree that this ice cream is about as fresh and delicious as it comes. It is made right on campus, with fresh milk and cream from the farm. If you don’t want to hang out on the campus, snag a tub to go. If nothing else, you can get it every year at the North Carolina State Fair.

Enjoy a Scoop of Howling Cow Ice Cream
$   .  The Creamery   .  Raleigh
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Photo by @p.sanks

Oysters from 42nd Street Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill

This local spot started slinging oysters and brews in 1931. It doesn’t get much more Raleigh than that. All of the food is great, but go with what they do best and get a dozen oysters on the half shell.

Watch 'Em Shuck at 42nd Street Oyster Bar
$$   .  42nd Street Oyster Bar   .  Raleigh
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Photo by @ncfoodfinds

Cheeseburger from Jerry’s Grill

You’ll find this little spot tucked away off of Whitaker Mill Rd. The burger is one my favorites in town. The patties are fresh, thick, and made to order! Don’t forget a side of the crinkle fries.

Grub on Classic Cheap Eats at Jerry's Grill
$   .  Jerry's Grill   .  Raleigh
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Lindsay Underwood is the author of the blog Welcome To Raleighwood, where she documents her adventures and culinary shenanigans in the Oak City.