10 of the Best Kept Secret Restaurants in Raleigh


Raleigh has its fair share of eateries that are “well-kept secrets” – out-of-the-way spots that don’t always get the attention they deserve. Sometimes, they are kept under wraps to generate buzz with an unmarked entrance or a lack of contact information. Other times, they fly under the radar simply because of where they’re located. All of these “secret” restaurants in Raleigh have one thing in common: delicious food that’s well worth going out of your way to uncover!


The Roast Grill

This nostalgic, hole-in-the-wall hot dog joint will take you back in time! The Roast Grill is one of the oldest hot dog restaurants in Raleigh, and it’s also a landmark. Order a delicious, ketchup-free hot dog with any other toppings you want and request it ‘burnt’ if you want it exquisitely crispy. The pound cake is a must-try if you can manage some dessert!


Mami Nora’s

Talk about hidden in plain sight! Mami Nora’s bright yellow building is easy to spot, but the authentic Peruvian flavors served inside aren’t yet widely known. The charcoal oven used to cook chicken to perfection was shipped from the homeland. Tuesdays are for tacos, and for one day a week, Mami Nora’s wraps their entrees in tortillas for the best of both worlds.


Soo Cafe

Soo Cafe is one of the most unassuming restaurants in Raleigh, yet it boasts the best Korean fried chicken in the area. Everything is freshly made to order, and the menu is large! If you’re not sure what to start with, try small dishes of seaweed salad or shrimp tempura. Bento boxes combining salad, sushi, tempura and an entree make tasty lunch meals if you’re on the go or just want a quick bite to eat.


Ole Time Barbecue

Many of the best BBQ joints in the country are hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and Ole Time Barbecue is no exception. Rated one of the Top Ten Barbecue Restaurants in the state of North Carolina, it offers a variety of North Carolina-style barbecue and sides like hushpuppies and collards. There aren’t many seats inside, so many people order their plates to-go or feast on them outside.


Bull and Bean

Tucked away in New Hope Commons in Durham, Bull and Bean is a hot brunch spot among locals. Each menu item is made using ingredients sourced from local farms, from the omelets to the avocado toast. The large and inviting interior is the perfect place to host an event or carve out a corner to enjoy your coffee and read a book.


Chubby’s Tacos

The Hidden Gems - Secret Restaurants in Raleigh


While Chubby’s Tacos looks unremarkable from the outside, look past the restaurant’s cheesy neon lighting and you’ll find amazing and inexpensive Tex-Mex. The menu offers all sorts of Mexican favorites including tacos, burritos and fajitas. The shrimp tacos are a great dish to try on your first visit. It’s the perfect spot to stop for lunch before heading to the nearby North Carolina Museum of Art!


Dain’s Place

Dain’s Place may look like your average biker bar from the outside, but it’s so much more! Located in Durham, the spot offers an extensive list of craft brews and all-American eats. Create your own grilled cheese by choosing which types of cheese you want to be melted together between two thick slices of bread. This is the only restaurant in the area where you can order Oreos with a glass of milk for dessert!


Pho Far East

Local foodies know that Pho Far East is one of the absolute best pho restaurants in Raleigh. Tucked in a small strip mall, the eatery’s authentic Vietnamese dishes are out-of-this-world. If you aren’t hankering for a steaming bowl of soup, the bun, vermicelli and noodle bowls are equally enticing.


Frank’s Pizza

The next time you’re craving a slice of New York-style pizza, Frank’s Pizza has you covered. Located in Longview Gardens Shopping Center, New York transplants love the shop’s hand-tossed pies. The crust is thin and tasty, the sauce is light and sweet and the cheese is just right! The menu features items for every Italian craving, from cheesesteak sandwiches to pasta dishes.


A’Nets Katch

It might surprise you that you don’t have to go far to find fresh seafood in Raleigh! A’Nets Katch is located just a few miles east of Raleigh, but it’s totally worth a trip. You’ll find the seafood spot behind a car wash in Knightdale, but don’t let that deter you! You can buy fresh seafood to take home or order food to be cooked for you on location. You can’t go wrong with crab cakes or the catfish dinner!


So what are some of your favorite hidden gems to grab a bite to eat? Please be sure to let us know so we can add them to our list of must-try restaurants in Raleigh. Stop by and we’ll give you a tour of our high-rise apartment community in the Midtown District of North Hills. Visit Park Central online at ParkCentralRaleigh.com to schedule a tour or call us directly at (919) 800-0619.


Hope to see you soon!



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