While we all have our personal favorite things we did in Raleigh in 2018 (mine is a tie between weekly ice cream trips to the new Two Roosters this summer and exploring The Bittery's reopened cocktail supply shop and soda fountain), the data doesn't lie when it comes to figuring out the most popular spots. We crunched the numbers, punched the computer keys and did some unnecessary stuff with a calculator just to look smart, all in the name of gathering the top 25 spots y'all just couldn't stop loving on this year.
If you've done all these things, revel in the nostalgia (and use this as a reminder to go visit your faves). And if some of these are new to you? Think of this as the perfect start to your 2019 bucket list.
We'll also be revisiting some of our favorite moments of the year on our Facebook and Instagram feeds, so make sure to follow us there. And if you're just in it for the noms, check out our list of the best new restaurant openings in the Triangle in 2018.
Did we miss your favorite experience of 2018? Email email@example.com and let us know about the top things you did in Raleigh this year!
Get ready for all the local eats at the first food hall in downtown Raleigh!
Enjoy Thai style hand-rolled ice cream with unlimited toppings made right before your eyes at Milk Lab in Cary! Pair your treat with a delicious assortment of boba milk teas made with organic milk.
The Green Light nods back to the era of speakeasies and simpler times. It's an oasis for imbibing craft cocktails and beer with a classy and cozy ambiance. Find your way in—but don't tell anyone!
City Market Sushi has a new sister restaurant on N. West Street. Seoul 116 is focused on Korean fare, the menu is filled with fun twists on Korean classics. Don't miss their boozy Capri Suns.
Two NC bros are bringing crazy smashed waffles to Hillsborough St. The menu is made up of waffle-wiches, candy covered waffles and ice cream waffle-wiches. Sugar coma here we come!
Boylan Bridge Brewpub, a local brewery that has one of the most magnificent views of Raleigh.
You heard us right: A Taco Bell WITH BOOZE is now open on Hillsborough.
Fig is serving up coffee, craft cocktails, and tapas in Raleigh's Oakwood neighborhood. Come for the food and libations, stay for the massive patio and rustic-modern vibe!
Not only can you get some of the best views of DTR from The Dillon's gorgeous rooftop park, it's also BYOB, making it a great date. It won't be open to the public forever, so enjoy it while you can!
New York Bagel Café & Deli in downtown Raleigh is ready to fuel your hustle with fresh baked bagels, delicious sandwiches and house-made salads. Don't forget to try their coffee and fruit smoothies!
Experience art in all of its forms during First Friday in downtown Raleigh. From fire dancers to fine art, First Friday promises to impress and entertain.
From lunch to late night, satisfy your cravings at The Pizza Times, a walk-up window dishin' out full pies and by the slice. This new edition comes from DTR faves The Raleigh Times and Morning Times.
Who's ready to live la Vida Dulce? Now open in Cary just in time for summer, Vida Dulce is serving up traditional Mexican paletas, aguas frescas, ice cream and more. Time to satisfy that sweet tooth!
Kick back with a pint in hand at the world-renowned Raleigh Beer Garden.
If you're not easily spooked and like a little underwear running to accompany an evening at the theater, head to the Rialto for one of our fave cult classics.
This popular chain for fresh Latin American cuisine and juicy cocktails has landed in North Hills!
Get ready to clink glasses in Midtown—Vita Vite has opened a second location of their swanky wine bar in North Hills!
At Mulino you will find freshly prepared Italian plates and wines selected to complement each.
The Alamo Drafthouse is serious about offering the best films, food and drinks all in one seat! Now the team that started it all in Austin, Texas is bringing the popular cinema experience to Raleigh!
Jordan Lake is the perfect day trip. Just minutes outside of the main Triangle area, this natural space provides stunning views and activities for all, from camping to swimming to fishing and more.
The Neuse River Trail is a 27.5 mile adventure course that will never leave you bored!
Formerly Pop-Up Sunday, Pop-Up Raleigh is DTR's original monthly vintage market. Now it's coming at you bigger and better than ever before on Saturdays at Trophy Brewing on Maywood.
Take a self-guided tour of Raleigh's best and most vibrant murals and behold the beauty and wonder of these large scale works of public art and the awesome creative energy they share with the city.
Get a dozen of their hot mini donuts. The donuts are rolled in cinnamon and sugar and are served in a coffee filter. Don't feel that bad if you eat the whole dozen by yourself, the donuts are mini.
Hummingbird, a new cafe, bar and event space has opened at Loading Dock Raleigh. Enjoy coffee in the morning, cocktails in the evenings and a seasonally rotating menu that will make your mouth water.