Bluegrass Raleigh

Looking to eat or drink while downtown for bluegrass? Here are some good bets

Diners enjoy lunch at Big Ed’s Restaurant in Raleigh’s City Market in 2014.
Diners enjoy lunch at Big Ed’s Restaurant in Raleigh’s City Market in 2014.

A sampling of some of the many dining options within walking distance, a short Uber ride or a jaunt on the R-Line from World of Bluegrass festivities:


Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant: Serving a filling Southern breakfast, where you can order country ham and red-eye gravy, scrambled eggs and brains, and delicious biscuits. 220 Wolfe St., 919-836-9909,

Cafe Lucarne: A City Market counter-service spot serving toast, biscuits, eggs and grits for breakfast; the housemade bread is getting great reviews. It also serves lunch and early dinner (it closes by 8:30 p.m.). 309 Blake St., 919-803-7475,

Lucettegrace: A modern French pastry shop selling croissants, macaroons, cookies and cakes. You must try the Dixie Cannonball, a biscuit filled with sausage gravy. Also serves lunch. 235 S. Salisbury St., 919-307-4950,

Mecca: Raleigh’s oldest restaurant and a classic meat-and-sides lunch spot. It is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night. 13 E. Martin St., 919-832-5714,

Lunch and Dinner

Beasley’s Chicken + Honey: One of James Beard award-winning chef Ashley Christensen’s restaurants; it offers fried chicken, chicken and waffles, and chicken pot pie, plus sides and desserts. 237 S. Wilmington St., 919-322-0127,

Bida Manda: Serves Laotian food, a close cousin of Thai food, and the staff will put you at ease when ordering. Try the pork belly soup. 222 S. Blount St., 919-829-9999,

Chuck’s: Christensen’s burger restaurant offers house-ground 100 percent chuck meat burgers in half-pound or 5-ounce patties. 237 S. Wilmington St. (Same building as Beasley’s, with different entrance), 919-322-0126,

Clyde Cooper’s BBQ: Serves a hybrid of North Carolina barbecue traditions with chopped pork shoulder doused with vinegar. 327 S. Wilmington St., 919-832-7614,

Garland: Indian food is the starting point for this restaurant that gains inspiration from the world’s cuisines. 14 W. Martin St., 919-833-6886,

Parkside: A modern take on a meat-and-three: you can order a rib-eye, salmon, baked or fried chicken or pulled pork with three sides, prices range from $11-$28. Or choose four sides for a “vegetable plate.” 301 W. Martin St. 984-232-8969,

Whiskey Kitchen: A fun barroom and restaurant with a great patio overlooking Nash Square. If you have more than two hungry people, order one of their platters: shellfish or pork shank pot pie. 201 W. Martin St., Raleigh, 919-803-3181,

Dinner Only

Death & Taxes: Another Christensen’s restaurant with a menu centered around a wood-fired grill. It was named one of the best new restaurants by Food & Wine and Bon Appetit magazines. 105 W. Hargett St., 984-242-0218,

Fiction Kitchen: A vegan and vegetarian restaurant serving delicious, satisfying food that carnivores will not complain about. 428 S. Dawson St. 919-831-4177,

Poole’s Downtown Diner: Christensen’s flagship restaurant offers Southern seasonal food. 426 S. McDowell St., 919-832-4477,

Stanbury: A cozy neighborhood restaurant serving well-executed, local seasonal fare. 938 N. Blount St., 919-977-4321,


Bittersweet: A cocktail and dessert bar. 16 E. Martin St., 919-977-3829,

Dram & Draught: The owners claim to have the city’s largest selection of whiskey. Food trucks are often outside serving food. 623 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, 919-607-8501,

Foundation: Basement bar devoted to sourcing ingredients as locally as possible, 213 Fayetteville St., 919-896-6016,

Fox Liquor Bar: Basement bar that prides itself on creating killer cocktails. 237 S. Wilmington St., 919-322-0128,

Person Street Bar: Want to enjoy a nice cocktail, craft beer or glass of wine among adults? Head here. The bartenders are the best in the city. 805 N. Person St., Raleigh, 919-977-5953,

Slim’s: Cheap beer and a good jukebox. 227 S. Wilmington St., 919-833-6557,

Andrea Weigl: 919-829-4848, @andreaweigl