Manhattan Cafe one of our Premium partners for Raleigh, so we headed over there to get the DL on how to have the best experience possible. Whether you're Premium or not, read on to learn why it’s awesome, what dishes not to miss, and pro tips for making the most of your time (and moolah).
Not in Premium (or not even sure what we're talking about)? Learn more here about this monthly subscription for exploring your city and get on the waitlist (or ask one of your Premium friends for a referral to skip the line!).
Anyone who works in Downtown Raleigh knows Manhattan Cafe is the spot for a fast, delicious and wallet-friendly breakfast and/or lunch. But for those not fortunate enough to have offices nearby, Manhattan Cafe is a hidden gem. Yes, it’s a Big Apple name with a location in the heart of Downtown Raleigh, and the irony isn’t lost on the three Florida-born brothers who took the cafe over in 2014. They completely revamped the location, overhauled the menu with a massive variety of scratch-made items, and made quick, friendly service a top priority.
Walk into Manhattan Cafe and you’ll find a bustling crowd of hungry downtowners. Colorful graffiti abounds, there’s a hand-painted, Raleigh-themed mural on the back wall and chalkboard paint columns that invite you to doodle while you wait.
Over the past few years, Manhattan Cafe has established itself a downtown hub and hidden gem for those in the know looking for a fast, filling and affordable meal. And when we say “fast,” we mean it. Manhattan Cafe is a quick-service spot that makes it a point to get you in, out and on your way in under 10 minutes (and only six minutes during breakfast). They’ve also got a bangin’ brunch that not enough people know about (you’re welcome for spreading the word).
With 50+ items on their menu—not to mention the innumerable combos you can make when you start customizing—you can essentially eat something new every day, any time of day.
With delicious varieties of sandwiches, salads, pasta, and paninis, this little nook in downtown Raleigh is sure to knock your socks off when you're looking for a quick and easy lunch. Their deli sandwiches and wraps include everything from Smoked Turkey + French Brie ($7.49) to Garden Veggie ($5.99), and their pippin' hot paninis ($7.49) include Chicken Parmigiana, Fresh Mozzarella, and Turkey BLT.
Their most popular items lunch items include the Cajun Chicken Panini ($7.49), Philly Cheese Steak ($7.49), and Prosciutto De Parma, which puts a generous portion of salty, thinly-sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and an herbaceous sun-dried tomato spread between two perfectly crispy and chewy slices of Neomonde baguette.
If nothing particular on the menu tickles your fancy, get creative and design your own lunch. The Pasta Bar ($8.99) let’s you create a hearty dish that’s entirely your own and with 40+ toss-ins their made-to-order Salad Bar ($8.49) gives Chop’t a serious run for their money.
During the week, breakfast is all grab-n-go. The Breakfast Burrito ($5.99) is a local fave, and for those looking for something a little healthier, The FIT ($3.99), made with egg white and sun-dried tomatoes, is an equally delicious choice.
It’s also an underrated Brunch destination, offering patio seating, a calmer vibe and ALL YOU CAN EAT PANCAKES ($7.99) on Saturdays. They’re buttery, fluffy and the size of your face—the most anyone has ever eaten is six but we bet one of Premium members can top that. They’ve also got open-faced omelets, bagels and more.
Their homemade chipotle mayo is unofficially known as “crack sauce.” It comes on all their hot sandwiches but you can (and should) request it with whatever you order. It’s got a cult following for a reason.
Every Friday the Philly Cheese Steak comes with free fries.
You can basically get whatever you want. As long as they’ve got the ingredients on hand, these guys will make you whatever you want. They can also modify items to any diet, including keto, vegan, and gluten-free diets.
Don’t be deterred if the place is packed when you walk in. These guys serve 500+ customers a day and are pros at moving the lines along quickly.
Looking for catering? These guys gotcha covered.