It has been a very challenging year for everyone, especially restaurants and all those in the hospitality industry, but there is some good news that came out of 2020 – a number of local entrepreneurs persevered in 2020 by opening new businesses in and around Raleigh, NC.
visitRaleigh has put together a list of some of the best new restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries that opened their doors in 2020 so you can check them out yourself (while wearing a mask, of course). As a reminder, here are a few ways you can support local businesses during these troubling times:
- Dine-in or get takeout
- Tip well
- Order directly from the restaurant instead of using a third-party app
- Purchase a gift card
- Leave a review if you had a good experience.
Be sure to check out visitRaleigh for the full list and for other things to do in the area. They have great ideas for safely entertaining guests, kid-friendly activities, places that are open during the pandemic, how to enjoy Raleigh right now, and more.
Let’s Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in 2021
- Standard Beer and Food – If you love matching thoughtfully curated beer, wine, or cider with delicious food—and who doesn’t—the new Standard Beer and Food, opened in October to much fanfare, should be on the short list for your next outing.
- Hightop Burgers – Burgers, fries, shakes. Nothing fancy here (or so it seems). Just good old-fashioned smash burgers that will make you lose your mind.
- Otra Vez – Step inside this Midwestern-inspired kitchen for fresh, vibrant flavors influenced by Mexican, American and Puerto Rican cuisine.
- Prime BBQ – Self-described BBQ nerd Christopher Prieto is a champion pit master, book author, barbecue judge, teacher and—of course—barbecue eating expert. And if you’ve missed out on his brand new ‘cue restaurant just east of Raleigh in Knightdale, Prime BBQ, then it’s time to fix that.
- Bowstring Pizza and Brewyard – Amazing pizza, a wide selection of cocktails, local craft brews and a large indoor/outdoor space—Bowstring Pizza and Brewyard is exactly what 2020 called for near Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood.
- Daybreak – Located in beautiful downtown Cary (and from the owners of the popular pub next door, Crosstown Pub & Grill), Daybreak offers a tasty breakfast and taco menu sure to satisfy taste buds (and the coffee and tea options to fuel your day).
- Good Day Good Night – Serving a plant-forward menu with the addition of high-quality proteins, Good Day Good Night—located at the hip new Origin Hotel in downtown Raleigh—boasts locally sourced ingredients, a fully stocked bar with classic and signature cocktails and the rotating “dirt list,” featuring the freshest produce to come in the door that day.
- The Optimist – If you’re going to open a coffee shop during a global pandemic, what more appropriate name to give it than The Optimist? This tastefully-appointed coffee shop located between Raleigh’s Mordecai and Oakwood neighborhoods is warm and welcoming.
- Idle Hour Coffee – A wonderful way to brighten your day, Idle Hour’s late summer opening in Raleigh arrived like an early Christmas gift to coffee lovers in the City of Oaks.
- Iris Coffee Lab – Set in a modern, minimalist space, the newly-opened Iris Coffee Lab is an art-forward coffee shop located in downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South district (and the menu features a sure-to-please variety of coffee drinks).
- Purr Cup Cafe – If you love cats and coffee as much as we do, this is the place for you. Purr Cup Cafe’s mission is to create a haven for cat lovers to enjoy a quality beverage or locally made treat in the company of adoptable cats looking for love and forever homes.
- Norse Brewing Company – Located in the heart of downtown Wake Forest, Norse Brewing Company features new craft beer releases on tap, great Scandinavian food with a Southern twist and always a hearty Norse welcome!
- Bearded Bee Brewing – Brand new in downtown Wendell, Bearded Bee Brewing is on a mission to support honeybees and local beekeepers, create a place for the community to gather and brew awesome beer using local ingredients—and husband-and-wife team Derek and Keri Ayscue are doing just that.