City Guides for a day or two in Raleigh brought to you by Team PofR.
Leslie is a mama, designer & merchandiser, and a huge fan of creativity, art, and small business.
Before you arrive in Raleigh, make sure you book your weekend stay at The Guest House — the brand new hotel experience in downtown!
As you arrive in Raleigh, head straight to Brewery Bhavana on Blount St and get your name on the list for dinner, it’s worth the wait! They have exquisite Dim Sum cuisine, but the restaurant is an all encompassing curated “living room” experience — housing a flower shop, books, and thoughtful cocktails.
For dessert, take a leisurely walk up Blount St, cross over to Peace St and when you hit Franklin St. stop by Two Rooster’s Ice Cream. They have the most inventive, exciting flavors!
Start your day slow by heading to one of the many great coffee shops in downtown! Take your pick between Yellow Dog Bread Company (coffee + fresh pastries!), Lucette Grace (coffee + sweets), or Morning Times (coffee + breakfast). Then grab an Uber and go west to the state art museum, NCMA. They have gorgeous permanent collections and always have an exciting seasonal exhibitions. They also have vast outdoor spaces to relax, walk around with kids and family, and even picnic! Or if you prefer to remain in downtown for morning family time, Marbles Kids Museum is the perfect place to play! Admission is inexpensive and children under one are free!
For the afternoon, head back to downtown and spend the rest of your day exploring the newly renovated Warehouse District! Definitely stop by The Assembly space on Martin St. and check out their Pop Up Shop featuring some of my favorite artists and businesses in Raleigh. They have a textile-dye clothing designer, multiple handmade jewelry brands, pottery, books, and a pop-up coffee shop!
Then head a couple blocks south and walk through the new Union Station, and the inspiring contemporary design. Next to Union Station is a bar, Junction West, with a lovely courtyard for relaxation + play, and a vintage shop, Father & Son. And across the street is the brand new Dillon building — there’s restaurants, retail shops, and the lovely Heirloom Brewshop.
Spend your evening experiencing the tailored Whiskey Kitchen just a couple blocks north on the corner of Martin St. & McDowell. They have an outdoor patio with evening lights and community tables, and the food is unique and seasonally selected.
Take a morning walk and make your first stop Boulted Bread for some simple coffee and great pastries. But don’t meander too long, the line for brunch at Poole’s Diner starts to build, and you’ll want to get there early for their 11am opening. It is hands down THE best brunch in town.
And after you stuff yourself happy, it’s time for Sunday shopping — my favorite part about Downtown on the weekend. And luckily, next door to Poole’s is Port of Raleigh, the city’s design store for modern home and lifestyle goods both locally designed and globally sourced . Then around the corner on Davie St. is Gypsy Jule, a perfectly quirky yet thoughtful vintage store. Then you’ll want to head east on Davie St, turn left on Salisbury St. and stop into Deco Raleigh, the best gift shop in town. Other shops you can venture to as your time allows: Edge of Urge, The Art of Style, Raleigh Vintage, Retro Modern, and Raleigh Provisions.
And if you can manage to squeeze in one more meal, grab an early dinner at the Morgan Street Food Hall on Morgan St. and West St. This fresh take on food court dining has over 15 restaurant options, a bar, dessert, and even retail goods! There are family style tables, cafe seating, and lounge areas.
Hope you enjoy your time in Raleigh — our city is full of life, intention, and beauty. And you can always check out the following websites to find any weekend events happening during your stay:
Thank you, Leslie!