It’s official guys! Chappy and I have survived our first year of marriage! To celebrate we decided to take a long weekend trip up to Raleigh. A little over a year ago Chappy and I had taken a day trip up there and completely fell in love with the city! It has really grown over the last few years with great breweries, cocktail spots, and amazing restaurants so we thought it would be the perfect place to spend our one year anniversary.
Here are a few of our favorite spots that you MUST visit when traveling to Raleigh.
This place single handily made Chappy and I fall in love with Raleigh. It is a beautiful Laotian Restaurant located right in downtown Raleigh. The first time we visited we just sat at the bar and tried all their yummy cocktails. Talking with the bartender Jordan was truly inspiring. He spoke about the craft of making cocktails as if it were art. Everything he made for us was better than the last and he even introduced me to my first cocktail with egg whites. After giving us a list of places to visit ALL over the country he directed us to our next Raleigh stop, The Fox (which is number 2 on my list.) He gave us a mystery ingredient to bring with us to The Fox to see if their bartenders could guess it. The whole experience was very friendly, welcoming, and exciting.
This trip we decided to go in and get food since we remembered how amazing it had smelled last time. Of course we couldn’t pass up sitting at the bar again though, so that is just what we did! The food and the drinks did not disappoint. Again the conversations with the bartenders were enticing and exciting. For dinner we tried the Crispy Spring Rolls, Pork Belly Soup, and Glazed Ribs. If you are looking for a unique culinary experience this is the place to go! Maybe it was the chilly air outside, but the Pork Belly Soup was the perfect bowl of everything wonderful. It was hearty and creamy yet somehow still light and refreshing with a punch of brightness from the added spice. This soup is one of those dishes I will always have to get from now on.
The drinks were again on point and the bartenders gave us another mystery ingredient to bring to The Fox. Chappy and I have decided that this will be our new Raleigh tradition!
The Fox Liquor Bar is a hip basement liquor lounge offering amazing cocktails, beer, and a limited menu of cheeses and meats. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and are well equipped to make any and everything you could ever desire. Chappy insists his all-time favorite drink came out of our first visit back in 2014. A tasty tequila and cucumber cocktails that initiated Chappy’s love for cucumber drinks! The bartenders are great conversationalist so Chappy and I love just sitting at the bar and picking their brains! This is the one big thing we think Charlotte is missing. There is nothing quite like a serious cocktail bar!
Just walking into this place makes you feel hip. Poole’s maintains the perfect balance between retro and modern. Walking in you will immediately see a beautiful tin ceiling, double horseshoe bar, and some very oversized chalkboards displaying their seasonal menu. We ordered Macaroni au Gratin to start and very soon realized we might not need two entrees. IT WAS HUGE and bubbly, and cheesy, and crunchy, and tangy, and creamy, and –sorry I’m drooling over here—amazing. After all that awesomeness we decided to just share the Short Ribs with Gnocchi and get some Apple Hand Pies for dessert. Both of those were equally great. The Gnocchi was probably the best and lightest gnocchi I have ever had in my entire life. If I went back tomorrow I would order the exact same meal. It was that good.
Besides the delicious Maple and Sage Latte I had, the best part about this place is the historic vibe you get. The entrance way is titled with penny tiles and there is a rustic wood bar top with swivel chairs in the display windows. I loved sipping on my coffee and people watching all the worker bees headed to the office.
Right next door to Joule Coffee is the Busy Bee Café. Chappy and I decided to hop in for a Saturday Brunch and it was the perfect fix after our Friday night out. Chappy ordered the breakfast burger and I got the Hash. Both were exactly what we were looking for, large portions, perfectly seasoned, and just the right amount of grease to heal a hangover. We also order a Bloody Mary and a delicious stout iced coffee which flawlessly completed the Brunch.
Sweet potato, Apple, Honey Chai, Salted Butter Carmel, there is nothing quite like handmade ice creams especially when they are such unique flavors. The Parlour offers the usual ice cream flavors but also has a rotating seasonal menu. Everything I tasted (and trust me I tasted a lot) was flavorful and delicious. So this place is actually in downtown Durham but if you are close by and feeling like a unique ice cream experience I would highly recommend stopping in!
As a suggestion from my dad we decided to hit up The Roast Grill for a quick lunch before heading home. Walking into this place is like walking back in time. An adorable Greek couple owns the place and they only serve up hot dogs, glass cokes, and Greek desserts. We got hot dogs with chili, onions, and mustard and I even got a glass coke to embrace the entire experience. Everything was delicious! I felt as if I was just at my grandparents’ house getting fed, or maybe even like I was back in time when my dad lived in Raleigh. I will definitely go back to this place again—I swear it is frozen in time!
For us Raleigh is the perfect weekend getaway trip; although I swear the three days just flew by! You really get that historic ambiance when walking through the downtown area and the restaurants and bars all have a unique feel to them. There is so much to do, eat, drink, and see when visiting the area. I cannot wait to plan our next trip back there!