Thrive NC Just Revealed the 50+ Local Spots Handing Out Unlimited Samples at This Year’s Festival

Ashley Christensen. Vivian Howard. Cheetie Kumar of Garland. Michael Lee of M Sushi. It’s clear Thrive NC is bringing out the big guns for their second year of this epic local food festival. 

Not only will the May festival include unlimited samples from 50+ of your favorite restaurants and breweries, you'll also get exclusive access to live chef demos, panel talks, live music and more. 

Check out the full lineup below for all the restaurants you can look forward to seeing. If you've already got your tickets, we'll see you at City Market on May 9th or 10th—come hungry. If you don't have you ticket, Thrive NC is unfortunately sold out, but watch our Instagram and Facebook for giveaways in the coming weeks, or keep an eye out for next year's festival (and make sure to snag tickets early!). 

Local Restaurants Giving Out Unlimited Samples

Restaurants with a * are new this year!

  • 18 Seaboard
  • 42 & Lawrence 
  • Bella Monica*
  • Benchwarmers Bagels*
  • Benny’s*
  • Brew N Que*
  • Bida Manda
  • Calavera Empanadas and Tequila*
  • Captain Cookie and the Milkman*
  • Carmen’s Cuban Cafe & Lounge *
  • Carolina Ale House*
  • Carroll’s Kitchen
  • Centro
  • Che Empanadas* 
  • Coronato Pizza*
  • Counting House
  • Curry in a Hurry*
  • Gonza Tacos y Tequila
  • Herons*
  • La Farm Bakery 
  • Longleaf Swine*
  • Mama Bird’s Cookies + Cream
  • Mandolin
  • MKG Kitchen*
  • MOFU Shoppe
  • Neomonde Deli*
  • Oak City Fish and Chips*
  • Oak City Meatball Shoppe
  • Oak Steakhouse*
  • O-Ku Sushi*
  • Papa Shogun*
  • Plates Neighborhood Kitchen*
  • Royale
  • Sam Jones BBQ
  • Sassool
  • Southern Charred
  • Southern Smoke BBQ*
  • SweetWater Ices
  • Tastefully Served*
  • Tonbo Ramen
  • Umma Dumpling*
  • Viceroy*
  • Vic’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
  • Videri Chocolate Factory
  • Vidrio*
  • WakeMed’s Café 3000
  • Whiskey Kitchen
  • Wyatt’s BBQ*
  • ZenFish*

PLUS Plenty of Wine, Beer, and Liquor From

  • Appalachian Mountain
  • Aviator Brewing
  • Babe Wine*
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider
  • Brewery Bhavana
  • Carolina Brewery
  • Catawba Brewing
  • Diageo*
  • Dogfish Head
  • Lonerider Brewing
  • Natty Greene’s*
  • Neuse River Brewing Co.*
  • Tito’s Vodka
  • Trophy Brewing Co.
  • White Street

Chef Demos

The chef demo stage will be hosted by Ashley Christensen and Vivian Howard, and will feature presentations and limited samples from:

  • Lin Peterson - Locals Seafood, Raleigh, NC
  • Vansana Nolintha - Brewery Bhavana, Raleigh, NC
  • Cheetie Kumar - Garland, Raleigh, NC
  • Michael Lee - M Restaurants, Durham, NC
  • Dean Neff - PinPoint Restaurant, Wilmington, NC
  • Brian Noyes - Red Truck Bakery, Marshall, VA
  • Cynthia Wong - Life Raft Treats, Charleston, SC
  • Meherwan Irani - Chai Pani, Asheville, NC
  • Keith Rhodes - Catch, Wilmington, NC

Live Music 

  • Adam Pitts
  • Bull City Syndicate 
  • Danielle Ward
  • Marcus Anderson
  • Taylor Leopold
  • Jeanne Jolly
  • New Reveille 
  • Raleigh Jazz Duo
  • Shana Tucker

The icing on the cake here? Thrive NC’s real mission (yes, beyond offering amazing food) is to fight food insecurity and bring the community together through food. Ticket proceeds benefit local hunger orgs like Interfaith Food Shuttle, bringing a whole new meaning to eating good and feeling good.

Thrive NC Just Revealed the 50+ Local Spots Handing Out Unlimited Samples at This Year’s Festival
Thrive NC Just Revealed the 50+ Local Spots Handing Out Unlimited Samples at This Year’s Festival