What are the five best Raleigh-Durham food experiences?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

You’ll have a hard time making a trip to the South without having a fabulous food experience, and Raleigh-Durham is no exception to the rule. The five best Raleigh-Durham food experiences are:

1. Locopops, for a sweet pick-me-up. It’s a fave among locals for sweet paletas. An ever-changing menu ranges from the traditional Mexican (hibiscus, Mexican chocolate, mango chile, tamarind) to the internationally delicious (coconut ginger, pistachio, pineapple basil). You’re going to want to order the large size - trust us on this one.

2. Shrimp and grits at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill. Since 1982, Crook’s has been slinging the best in Southern cuisine. The shrimp and grits with a side of jalape"e;o hushpuppies will tickle your tastebuds like few meals you’ve ever had.

3. Barbecue. Everyone has his or her favorite spot for a pork-butt sandwich, but you may want to start with one of the all-star players — Q Shack, or Allen and Son.

4. A pie from Scratch. It’s been called one of the best places for pie, but we just call it irresistible.

5. Food trucks. Raleigh-Durham is in the midst of a food truck craze, so some of the best local flavors these days can be found on wheels — such as eclectic pizzas from Pie Pushers, Polish sausage with pimiento cheese from Farmhand Foods Sausage Wagon and gourmet sliders from Slippin’ Sliders.

Theresa Chiettini

The best Raleigh-Durham food experiences can be found at The Fearrington House Restaurant in Pittsboro, Herons at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, Waraji Japanese steakhouse in Raleigh, Poole’s Diner in Raleigh and Lantern in Chapel Hill.

Jim Beley

Of course, we highly recommend Herons restaurant, particularly the exquisite Chef’s Tasting Menu that’s served nightly or our lunchtime Market Menu. Both feature the best local produce of the season. Other suggestions include a taste of eastern North Carolina barbecue at Coopers in Raleigh, buttermilk fried chicken and Southern veggies at Mama Dips in Chapel Hill, fried green tomatoes at NoFo in Raleigh, or a walking food tour with the company Triangle Food Tours. These tours are offered in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary and include the best of our talented local chefs, pastry artists and farmers.

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