48 Hours in Raleigh: Where to Eat and Drink
As North Carolina’s capital city, Raleigh has it all: a thriving downtown, several notable music venues, sports teams for days, an exploding arts community and, as of late, a growing culinary scene that rivals its neighboring Southern cities—going way beyond shrimp and grits, biscuits and pimento cheese.
Most visitors tend to sandwich Raleigh and Durham into one area simply because of the airport’s name, “Raleigh-Durham International Airport,” but let it be known that Raleigh has a shining personality of its own—and quite frankly, some of the most notable chefs in the South who continue to pave the way. "It's such an amazing time for food in Raleigh,” says chef Ashley Christensen. Poole's, Christensen’s first restaurant situated in downtown, will celebrate its 10-year anniversary on December 13. “In that time, we've seen a real boom of new restaurants with unique perspectives that have really enriched our community,” she adds. “It's been tremendously energizing as a chef. We used to look beyond Raleigh for inspiration—to big cities like New York or San Francisco—but these days we have so much to inspire us right within our own city."
If that’s not enough to prompt a quick trip to Raleigh, well, here’s a 48-hour eating and drinking guide that will.
With so many direct flights into RDU daily, you should have no problem arriving shortly after noon, if not earlier, to start the weekend off right. Head directly downtown for one reason only: Christensen’s hyped fried chicken and a glass of Champagne at Beasley's Chicken + Honey (237 S Wilmington St.). Whatever you do, don’t forget to order a side of pimento mac-n-cheese custard—it’s worth every calorie consumed. Just around the corner is 42 & Lawrence (134 E Martin St.), a science lab-meets coffee shop, where a pick-me-up is in store. The draft latte, crafted with locally sourced milk, cold brew and house-made vanilla syrup, resembling the “creaminess of a milkshake,” is all the rage—or sip on a refreshing coffee soda if the weather permits. A brisk stroll downtown is mandatory to survive the remainder of the day.
Brewery Bhavana (218 S Blount St.) is anything but an ordinary brewery. Co-Owner Van Nolintha and head brewery Patrick Woodson brought to life a beautiful space that serves as a brewery, dim sum restaurant, book store and flower shop, all in one. Sit at the gorgeous marble top bar and throw back a “Grove,” the most delicious, cloudy Double IPA you’ll ever taste. Order the scallion pancakes and don’t share with anyone. Trust us, you’ll want to slurp up every scoop of oxtail and bone marrow as you weep for joy (plus a few steamed buns and dumplngs). Nolintha also owns Bida Manda next door, one of the country’s very few Laotian restaurants. If time allows, peek inside and order the best pina colada in the South. The secret? It’s made with fresh juice and coconut cream.
Once hunger strikes, make your way to Death & Taxes (105 W Hargett St.), Christensen’s latest outpost with a focus on wood-fired cooking. Roasted oysters, grilled North Carolina fish and embered veggies will leave you feeling giddy inside. Watts & Ward (200 S Blount St.), a swanky underground speakeasy, is an exceptional place for a proper Negroni and jazz music after dinner. Andust down the street, Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria (106 S Wilmington St.), North Carolina’s first mezcal-centric bar, offers an award-winning list of rare mezcals and an innovative cocktail list.
Look no further than Big Ed’s (220 Wolfe St.), a downtown staple since 1989, for a quintessential Southern breakfast. Salt-cured country ham and red eye gravy served alongside fresh tomatoes, eggs and a mouthwatering homemade buttermilk biscuit is a combination you won’t soon forget. On the sweeter side, hot cakes (pancakes) the “size of a hubcap” made with cake batter exist and are everything you’d imagine.
For beer geeks, spend some time getting hungry again while making your way through Raleigh Beer Garden’s (614 Glenwood Ave.) entire room dedicated to North Carolina beers. If you’re lucky, they may even have Foothills Brewing’s Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout, a beer that sells out in Winston-Salem the day it’s released. And if the sun’s out, the rooftop garden is the perfect place to throw back a few cold ones.
Tonight’s dinner is a toss-up between Scott Crawford’s Crawford and Son (618 N Person St.) and Steven Devereaux Greene’s eight-course Kaiseki tasting menu at Herons (100 Woodland Pond Dr.). The decision making is simple; casual and cool or fine dining? We’ll let you decide your dinner fate based on the below:
Scenario one. Venture to Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood and post up at The Station (701 N Person St.), housed in an old Amoco gas station, for pre-dinner libations and a charcuterie board. Crawford & Son is just across the street, so mosey over when its time. Note that reservations are strongly recommended for this hotspot. Start with a “Lemongrass Gimlet” and order everything under the “raw” section. No, seriously, do this now. The Yukon potato chowder with crispy oysters and ham; Kabocha squash with mushrooms and farmers cheese; and cornbread pudding with onion marmalade and pecans showcase Crawford’s seasonal and down-home approach to cooking. But save room for dessert, the olive oil cake with goat cheese is out of this world. Just next door, William & Company (616 N Person St.), specializing in locally sourced cocktails, will satisfy all post-dinner nightcap cravings.
Scenario two. Herons, located in the Umstead Hotel and Spa in neighboring Cary, is arguably one of the most immaculate dining experiences in all North Carolina. Executive chef Steven Devereaux Greene concocts whimsical, gastronomic bites that tell a story through taste and texture, so you’d be a fool not to explore his eight course Kaiseki menu. The 62-degree egg with grit chips and uni is a mainstay for obvious reasons, but each dish and presentation will delight and surprise every step of the way. Bonus: on the way to Herons, stop at La Farm Bakery (4248 NW Cary Pkwy.) to score a few of baker Lionel Vatinet’s coveted white chocolate mini baguettes.
Rise and shine, as you’ve still got a few more spots to hit. Start strong with the “Pedro,” a giant, fluffy biscuit filled with house made chorizo, egg, avocado, ranchero sauce and habanero cheddar from The Pharmacy Cafe (702 North Person St.), where you can also pick up your prescription drugs. It’s wise to use the top portion of the biscuit as a vehicle for house made jams via the jam bar. Next, hit Videri Chocolate Factory (327 W. Davie St.) and sip on a frozen hot chocolate while shopping for the best edible souvenirs around.
A departure lunch at Garland (14 W Martin St.), helmed by James Beard Award-nominated chef and musician Cheetie Kumar, is a no-brainer. Sip on the “Dalai Palmer,” Kumar’s take on an Arnold Palmer, while noshing on flavorful warm hummus, a pork loin bahn mi and a spicy chili peanut cucumber salad. It’s the most delicious and not-too-aggressive way to end any trip to Raleigh.
As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.
Appointed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Jill joins the New Jersey Restart and Recovery Advisory Council — a group of business and municipal leaders tasked with planning to restart the state's economy.
"Serving on Governor Murphy's Restart & Advisory Council uniquely positions us in the epicenter of helping to restart state's economy by providing innovative ideas, sharing best practices and creative thinking to help ensure the rebuilding of New Jersey's economic vitality alongside notable business leaders," said Jill. "I'm honored to represent United Airlines and the transportation industry as a core building block to expediting the state's recovery."
United is the sixth largest company in the state and one of the largest essential businesses continuing to operate through this crisis, and as or advocate, Jill will share some of our best practices and lessons we're learning with the nine different committees through the customer and employee lens.
On the opposite coast, California Governor Gavin Newsom last month appointed Janet to his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. Joining Janet at the table are former California governors, legislative leaders and CEOs and executives from numerous businesses with large stakes in the state, such as Apple and Disney. In addition to Janet's position on the task force, Janet is also serving on the Long-Term Jobs Recovery sub-committee and will advocate for industries suffering long-term ramifications of COVID-19 such as tourism, travel and entertainment.
"Being appointed to Governor Newsom's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery ensures that United is part of the important conversation and part of the plan to help California pave the way toward a fast, safe recovery of jobs," said Janet. "It is an honor to represent the only transportation business on the task force, and I look forward to working alongside a group of very distinguished leaders and focusing on innovative ways to rebuild the economy for our 40 million residents. This work will build on our partnership with the Governor to provide free flights for medical volunteers and having our employees call to check in on isolated older adults as part of the Social Bridging Project."
Pre-COVID, we transported 38 million passengers to, from and within California each year, and directly and indirectly supported tens of thousands of jobs, so the health and well-being of the industry is vital to the prosperity of the state.
As the only airline represented among each of these groups, Jill and Janet are working hard to ensure that our voices, as a company and industry, are heard, valued and utilized as a new chapter dawns on the horizon.
Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.
While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.
First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.
As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.
Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.
We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.
But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.
Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.
Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.
While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.
Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.
At the airport
1Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
2Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
3Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
4Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
5Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
At the gate:
6Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
7Providing hand sanitizer and
8Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
9Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
On our aircraft
1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
2Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
3Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
7Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
- Limiting middle seat selection
- Moving customers seated closely together
- De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
8Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
9Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles
We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video conferencing tools that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
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This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.