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Adorned with Latin American textiles, art and candles, this spirited dining room draws crowds with its fun atmosphere and succulent eats. Grab a table while you can, and be sure to raise a margarita with the splendid house chips and salsa. Wait staff, clothed in traditional Mexican garb, balance abundant dishes of everything from the signature taquitos to burritos to fried plantains while mariachis provide the entertainment. If the interior's too crowded for you, opt for a spot on the patio. Reservations accepted Monday-Thursday; call ahead seating available Friday-Saturday.

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Housed in a lovely historic building downtown, this pharmacy has an old-fashioned lunch counter, whcih offers traditional hot Southern breakfasts and lunch fare. Menu items include a variety of sandwiches, soups, burgers and hot dogs. For dessert, try one of their delicious ice cream soda concoctions.

Read more about Person Street Pharmacy Soda Fountain →


Angus Barn


A Raleigh fixture since the mid-1960s, Angus Barn serves close to 20,000 perfectly grilled, dry-aged steaks every month. Eight different cuts are available, with your choice of six different sauces and toppings. In addition, you'll find a variety of seafood and lamb dishes, plus barbecued ribs and even a few vegetarian options. For dessert, try the award winning chocolate chess pie, or blackberry cobbler. Arrive a little early to relax with a drink in the Wild Turkey lounge, or visit the country store, where you can purchase many of Angus Barn's signature sauces, cheesecakes, and more.

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Accented with painted orange walls and white paneling, this inviting space is the perfect spot to start your day. Indulge in a Carolina velvet latte, flavored with chocolate and hazelnut, and a fresh muffin or pastry. Heartier eaters may opt for bacon and eggs, or a breakfast sandwich. Free WiFi makes the café a popular hangout throughout the day, and sandwiches, soups and salads satisfy the lunch crowd. Two other locations in Raleigh on Fayetteville St. and Daniels St.

Read more about Cafe Carolina & Bakery at the Arboretum →


Brigs Great Beginnings


Brigs Great Beginnings offers some of the area's best breakfast fare. If you have a hankering for a traditional Southern-style breakfast, this is the place to go! Generous portions of bacon, eggs, grits, and pancakes smothered in maple syrup are just waiting for you to call their name. Should you miss the most important meal of the day, never fear – you can order breakfast all day. They also serve tasty sandwiches and have a great kids menu. On weekday mornings, from 7am-10am, enjoy an omelet, waffle or pancake combo plate for $6.

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The signature Ruth's Chris sizzle is in full evidence at this respected chain's Austin outpost. Notable for prime steaks, upscale decor, elegant but relaxed ambience, first-rate service, and an impressive wine list, the restaurant is ideal for business dinners and special occasions. You truly can't go wrong with anything on the menu, from shrimp cocktail and crab-stuffed mushrooms to broiled rib-eyes or chocolate sin cake. An exceptional meal from start to finish.

Read more about Ruth's Chris Steakhouse →


4
Downtown


Since 1930, this family-owned downtown eatery has served some of the best burgers and country-style meals in the area. Hearty Southern breakfasts include eggs and grits, biscuits, cheese toast, and good coffee. If you are coming here for lunch, plan to arrive before noon or after 2pm to avoid the crowds.

Read more about Mecca →




In 1977, the Selah brothers, immigrants from war-torn Lebanon, opened this restaurant featuring Middle Eastern cuisine. Delicacies on the menu include stuffed grape leaves, tabbouleh, kibbeh, and fatayer. Traditional deli sandwiches on just about any type of homemade bread you could imagine are also available. Unless you go early, be prepared for a wait – this place is very popular. Extensive Middle Eastern and Specialty Grocery selections also available.

Read more about Neomonde Baking Company Café & Market →




Since 1975, Irregardless has been a Raleigh favorite for innovative, healthy cuisine and nightly live music. Lunch fare includes freshly made soups and salads, plus a host of creative sandwiches. Daily specials are always a good choice, with entrees like shrimp with polenta, Philly steak omelette, or Greek chicken and penne casserole. Follow up with a slice of one of their freshly baked desserts – lime chess pie, million dollar fudge ribbon cake, or chocolate amaretto roulade. Regulars love the music as well – live jazz Tuesday through Thursday, "Torch Songs" Fridays, and various dance bands on Saturdays.

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You'll encounter a line, but don't pass on the opportunity to sample the good Southern cooking dished out at this local treasure. Enjoy a home-cooked breakfast amid the rustic surroundings of well worn tables and antique farm implements adorning the ceiling and walls. Feast on a meat-n-three lunch of fried pork chops, country-fried steak, country ham with red-eye gravy and sides of collards, mac-n-cheese, butter beans and blackeyed peas. Rumor has it that if you visit on Saturday morning, you'll be treated to a Dixieland band playing outside.

Read more about Big Ed's City Market Restaurant →


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