Restaurants in Raleigh, NC

North Carolina’s capital city sports a boatload of museums, galleries, and concert venues as well as a handful of restaurants that are beloved by Roadfood travelers. As opposed to the high-end cultural activities, these eateries are, shall we say, a bit declasse. Motto of the Roast Grill, for example, is “We burn ’em for you.” That refers to the fact that hot dogs are cooked on a grill until their skin begins to blacken. A downtown favorite since 1940, this hole in the wall has a menu of nothing but hot dogs, available with chili and slaw. There are no utensils and no plates; dogs are presented on wax paper. For hamburgers, Raleigh is the home of the first Char-Grill (now a local chain), where flame-cooked burgers come normal-sized or as quarter- and half-pounders. Char Grill is open until 3am on weekend nights. For breakfast, it’s no secret that Big Ed’s City Market is the town’s top choice — there’s always a line waiting to get in. The pancakes are plate-sized and the menu is old-time Dixie, including such fare as brains & eggs, biscuits & sawmill gravy, and fish roe & eggs festooned with crisp-fried fatback.

Raleigh’s Most Famous Dishes

hot dog with hot mustard and relish

Classic Hot Dogs

Burger on a tender bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo ... car hop service

Grilled Hamburger

Strawberry shake in a tall soda fountain glass is accompanied by a silver beaker of extra milk shake for refills

Milkshakes

Apple pie is topped with a crust ribboned with streaks of caramel

Apple Pie

Raleigh’s Best Restaurants

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