While I am really looking forward to Raleigh Supercon, I am also super excited about getting some great food while I am there! Raleigh has some amazing places to eat, and the Convention Center has some pretty tasty places right outside its back door like Fire Wok, Happy Hole (a pizza joint), Shish Kabob, and Jimmy John’s. While those places are good, they tend to get crowded very quickly especially when events are going on. That is why I went on a mission to find some super tasty, affordable, and off the beaten path but still walkable places for you to enjoy while at Raleigh Supercon. The best part of my round up? All these places are less than a 10-minute walk from the Convention Center!
My top choices that won’t break the bank are
The Remedy Diner: Remedy is one of the few places downtown that offers diverse vegan and vegetarian options. They also offer selections for the meat eaters like myself. I tend to get their Cuban sandwich, and it is amazing! Also, their desserts are delicious! Chocolate cake for the win!
Walking Time: 7 minutes
The Mecca Restaurant: This place is great! They offer a late night menu, so when the con is winding down and you have the munchies, head to Mecca for the Pig in a Pup appetizer. It is hushpuppies stuffed with bbq pork! Culinary genius! Mecca also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but the hushpuppies are a late night menu item only.
Walking Time: 7 minutes
Carroll’s Kitchen: Not only does Carroll’s have great food, but they also support a great cause. This non-profit restaurant strives to help the female homeless population by giving them job training, life skills, and housing. Definitely try the kolache, which is a sweet roll stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Walking Time: 7 minutes
Calavera Empanadas and Tequila: This place is seriously one of my favorite places downtown. The empanadas are perfectly crisp, and the flavors are amazing. Also, you have to try the street corn! The flavor is completely worth getting corn stuck in your teeth. The drinks are also delicious. But be warned, the place is affordable as long as you don’t order a drink. It is the drinks that push this place out of the cheap eats range, but if you can swing it, order the Caipirinha.
Walk Time: 7 minutes
Some honorable mentions that are a little bit more expensive are
Jose and Sons: A unique blend of Mexican and Southern cuisine. The brunch is one of the best around!
Walk Time: 8 minutes
The Pitt: A Raleigh restaurant staple. This place has been written up numerous times for its barbecue and for good reason!
Walk Time: 8 minutes
Bare Bones: Rustic atmosphere with great burgers. Seriously, the Bear Claw Burger is amazing.
Walk Time: 5 minutes
Videri Chocolate in Raleigh, NC is a sweetery and coffee shop located on the outskirts of downtown. Honestly, it is the perfect place to go for a light dessert after an amazing meal at The Pit or Jose and Sons.
Videri Chocolate has a rustic feel with exposed beams and brickwork. To the right is glass cases filled with truffles. To the back left is the coffee shop where shipping chocolate is being churned.
Sometimes I feel like Trae and I get into a dating rut: dinner and a movie. (Actually, it is more like Chinese take-out and Redbox.) And honestly, this bothers me a little bit, especially since our area has a lot of fun events going on. The problem is trying to figure out what events are going on, who is having events, etc. I have found social media is the best way to be in the loop on what events are going on and to also know when a lot of unique events are happening.
And since the weekend is fastly approaching, here are the five tips on how to use social media to enhance your date night.
1. Like your local town’s page as well as surrounding towns’ pages
Towns continually update their pages not only with the news but also with new businesses opening up and community events. Trae and I just learned that our town is holding its first food truck rodeo thanks to its Facebook page. Also, thanks to the town’s Facebook page, we learned one of our favorite, but normally too expensive to eat at, restaurants is holding a tasting for its new menu items. Looks like we have two yummy dates in our future! We also like Raleigh’s page and get tons of updates of fun events and downtown festivals that are only a short drive away. Not too long ago we went to watch The Goonies (Trae’s favorite movie) for free in Raleigh’s town square. Don’t forget to check to see if your town’s downtown has their own Facebook page. A lot of times towns will have one main Facebook page and then one downtown page. Greenville, SC, has two pages, and I used to get a lot of great ideas and updates from their downtown page when we lived in that area.
Biscuit Head originated in Asheville, NC, and thank goodness has expanded to Greenville, SC. Without their magical cat head biscuits or maple bacon latte, I am not sure if we would have survived a car break down in South Carolina.
A couple of weekends ago, we went to visit Trae’s family and see the Clemson University football game. When we started home on Sunday, the check engine light came on. We had to scramble to contact bosses in order to make sure we could stay in Greenville, SC for another night. By 8:30 am Monday morning, we had the car at the Subaru dealership. (A completely unrelated sidenote, we absolutely love this dealership. All of my family’s Subarus have come from this place, and we were greeted like family when we walked in. My mother has even been in a commercial for this place!) By 9:00 am, we were at Biscuit Head. By 9:10 am, we were smiling again over coffee and a bacon maple latte. (Who knew that a bacon garnish soaked in coffee could taste so wonderful?!?)
Biscuit Head’s cat head sized biscuits aren’t a gimmick; they are fluffy and light, making them the perfect vehicle for a Jam Bar tasting. We tend to order one plain biscuit just so we can sample all the different jams. My favorite is probably the peach rosemary while Trae tends to favor the pumpkin chai. However, we both agree that the banana fosters jam is truly amazing.
We found the Grand Asia Market by mistake. (Seriously, isn’t that how all the best places are found?) Now, this market is one of our favorite stops when we go to Raleigh.
Trae plays hockey on a local team and had heard that Five Hole Sports off Buck Jones Road in Raleigh was the best place to get skates sharpened. Five Hole happens to be near an outdated-looking shopping complex, and in that complex, we found the Grand Asia Market. Since the town we live doesn’t have an Asian Market, we decided to check it out.