In one of Raleigh’s oldest neighborhoods lies a treasure hunt of goodies—and we partnered with @rdugems to come up with the perfect plan for exploring her favorites in Historic Oakwood. Aside from the Victorian houses and 19th century details, some of Raleigh’s best stops are in this neighborhood that leads up to the Governor's mansion. Come out for a whole day, or just pick one of these spots and see where you go from there—no matter what, you won't be disappointed by a visit to Oakwood.
The dark interiors of this intimate neighborhood gold mine lure you to come in, close your eyes, and take a bite. Chef Scott Crawford is a multiple James Beard Award semifinalist, so you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. While still being a top-rated dining experience, Crawford makes his food accessible through the Blue Plate special—every Tuesday through Thursday there is a new, seasonal dish priced under $20.
This vibrant hole-in-the-wall holds some of Raleigh’s best tacos and you won’t want to miss out on their prized patio. Bring your pup, sip on their marvelous (read: strong) margs made with Lunazul tequila, or come in on Tuesdays for $2 Tecates.
Pelagic means “of the sea,” so get ready to dive in. This fun, laid-back neighborhood bar and bottle shop is tucked around the corner from Crawford and Son and always has six brews on tap and an impeccable selection. Every weekday features a special, with some favorites being $1 off drafts on Mondays and half off wine and cheese on Thursdays. Come in early for a table or chair, because by the time it hits 4:30 on Saturday, the place is standing room only, filled with Oakwood neighbors and beer enthusiasts.
Natural light pours into So & So, illuminating the shelves filled with carefully-curated books. Take a seat, crack one open, and let your imagination race through the books that are hand-selected for this store. Get inspired and join other book lovers at their book club on the last Wednesday of every month or at their weekly live events.
Oakwood is full of so many beautiful historic homes—some that are obvious, and some that are easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. Luckily, there’s an official self-guided walking tour found on the Historic Oakwood website. Grab the map and go for a stroll! One of my favorites is right on the edge of Oakwood (and actually not on the map!)—the Heck-Andrews House at 309 N Blount Street, an exquisite Second Empire home that’s been standing tall for over 140 years.
This quintessential neighborhood bar and lounge is the best spot to hang and watch the city-strollers of Oakwood. Margaritas are blasted with fresh herbs or seasonal ingredients and $2 Tecates are consistently flying off the bar. Order your aromatic cocktail or seasonal margarita and all is well until you see others holding coveted tamales. Tucked behind the bar are Coco’s hand-made tamales every night. They’re typically $3, but on Mondays you can get your hands on these gems for just two bucks.
This timeless local pharmacy and cafe has been serving Raleigh for over 100 years and has transformed their cafe over time. They still use one of their original soda makers, but the entire cafe is modernized. Dine on fizzes, homemade sodas, shakes, beers on tap, and cafe food around community-style tables topped with board games. Plus, their famous jam bar consists of eight homemade jams in Mason jars. Do you dare try them all the next time you come in for breakfast?
Once a gas station, The Station now serves up American eats and welcomes you to chill outside on its massive front patio. Order from the bar and grill and hang out on the patio at the dining tables, lounge seats, outdoor bar, or picnic tables. Favorite Station gems include $5 burgers on Mondays, half-priced wine on Wednesdays, and $4 pints on Thursdays.