Raleigh’s Hidden French Village Also Serves Up Some of the Best Southern Comfort Food Around

Consider this a two-for-one spot: a destination within a destination. Not only do you get to escape to the wildly decked out Provençal-inspired Lafayette Village, but you’ll also get to chow down on top-notch, homestyle cooking that’ll warm you up from the inside out, courtesy of Driftwood Southern Kitchen. 

Read on to learn more about how to find this gem within a gem, and eat your heart out once you’re there. 

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A French Feeling, A Southern Philosophy

Just a 20-minute drive out of DTR you’ll find yourself in the adorably quaint Lafayette Village. Architecturally inspired by the small European towns of France and Italy, it boasts super Provençal vibes with plenty of space, restaurants, and boutiques to peruse. We suggest taking a leisurely stroll through the winding grounds, where you’ll stumble on plenty of patio seating for nicer days and even an outdoor fireplace for those cooler evenings. You’ll feel totally transported—no passport necessary. (And if you’re wondering why this shopping center is French village-theme, we remind you not to look a gift horse in the mouth—Lafayette Village is best unquestioned, simply enjoyed.)

Once you’re done wandering around and pretending you’re in Paris, you may find yourself craving a slice of home. That’s where Driftwood Southern Kitchen comes in. From decor or dessert, Driftwood is all about rustically-inspired, upscale, southern-style comfort food. Everything gets made in-house, and the menu focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. They’ve just released their winter menu and it’s full of rich, soul-warming dishes that’s stick-to-your-ribs delicious. 

Food to That’ll Put Your Southern Grandma’s To Shame 

Photo by Stacey Sprenz, Tabletop Media Group

Driftwood’s menu evolves seasonally, but they’ve got some fan-favorite signature dishes that are tried, true and here to stay (lest they take them off the menu and incite a riot). 

The Chicken Fried Chicken ($15.95) comes topped with sausage gravy and the locally-sourced Shrimp and Grits ($18.95) feature a perfectly-spiced andouille-tomato beurre blanc. Of course, their menu wouldn’t be complete without some decent BBQ offerings, and these guys don’t disappoint. Holy smokes they’ve got grilled ribs, slow smoked Angus brisket, pulled pork ($15.95+)—served with all the obligatory fixins, of course. 

On the seasonal side, there were a bunch of dishes we fought for the last bite of. The Blackened NC Catfish ($17.95) comes with sweet potato-andouille hash and the bessssst crawfish remoulade we’ve ever had. The Ancho and Coffee Braised Short Ribs ($17.95) were melt-in-your-mouth good and the Rigatoni Pasta ($13.95) was paired with sweet, fried eggplant and creamy, homemade mozzarella. Lastly, while not *technically* a “southern” dish, the Lobster Roll ($16.95) consists of not one, but TWO lobster rolls, each with a generous serving of lobster meat that was lightly dressed and incredibly flavorful. And don’t get us started on the hand-cut chips that came alongside damn those were hard to stop eating. 

PS: For those with dietary restrictions, the menu denotes gluten-free and vegetarian dishes—there are plenty of options so get ready to chow down. 

Drinks (Plus Daily Specials) Worth Clinking Glasses For 

This wouldn’t be a true southern spot without some solid Moonshine offerings. Featuring freshly squeezed juices and delicately flavored shines, these cocktails are refreshing, bright and yes, quite boozy. 

It’s also worth calling out that the She’s a Beekeeper ($10), featuring whiskey and ginger-infused honey, comes in a pour-it-yourself glass flask that easily holds two cocktails—get there on their half-price Whiskey Wednesday to nab this killer drink at a killer price. 

Another fave of ours? The Old Fashioned Breakfast ($12) has BACON-INFUSED BOURBON AND MAPLE SYRUP. Need we say more?

Feel free to plan your visit around their daily specials:

  • Moonshine Monday: all signature cocktails, $5

  • Tappin’ Tuesday: all draft beers, $3

  • Whiskey Wednesday: all American whiskey is half-off

  • Thirsty Thursday: all glasses of wine are half-off

  • Finally Friday: Really Dark & Stormy cocktails, $5

  • Sangria Saturday: pitchers of Red Sangria, $20

  • Sunday Funday: Mimosas, $2; Bloody Marys, $5

The Brunch Buffet to End All Brunch Buffets

For under $20 (and less than $10 for kiddos), you can treat yourself to the perfect hangover cure: $2 Mimosas, $5 Bloody Marys and—most importantly—an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet featuring bacon, eggs, french toast, biscuits + gravy, mac ‘n cheese, and way, way more. Items rotate each week, and they always feature some additional specialty items (think fried chicken, BBQ, etc). Their regular menu isn’t available during the 10a-2p brunch slot, but with so many options, you won’t miss it. 

[Offline Premium members get a $25 tab here in January! Not Premium yet? Click here to join the waitlist or, better yet, ask one of your cool Premium friends for a referral link]

Raleigh’s Hidden French Village Also Serves Up Some of the Best Southern Comfort Food Around
Raleigh’s Hidden French Village Also Serves Up Some of the Best Southern Comfort Food Around