I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

Where We’re Regulars


This July will mark six years that I’ve lived in the Triangle of North Carolina. That’s only one year away from this being the place I’ve lived the longest! I’m so thankful that even though I didn’t grow up here, it absolutely feels like home. I think part of that has been finding go-to places that we happily return to again and again, knowing our favorite items on the menu or the store’s hours without ever needing to take a second look. Some of these are new spots (Dove & Olive) and others have been our favorites for years (love you, Jubala!) but they’re all places that make us feel right at home. Especially in a city like Raleigh, where there’s always a new spot to check out, there’s something so grounding about “being a regular” somewhere.

Dove & Olive Mercantile: This sweet space is new to Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood and I knew it was going to be a go-to spot for us from the moment I walked through the door. Hannah, the owner, and her husband greeted us so warmly and told us all about the heart behind the space, which consists of a beautifully curated boutique, a play area for kids, a coffee and tea bar (complete with treats from Yellow Dog Bread Co., see below!), and plenty of seating. They’re also using the space for events like workshops and private parties. It’s the perfect spot to meet a fellow mama for a play date!

Jubala Coffee: Dave and I joke that proximity to Jubala was one of the reasons we bought our house, and to be honest, we are only half-joking :) This is my go-to coffee shop, the place I take Charlie on days when we have nothing planned, my occasional workspace, and my first choice of places to meet friends on a weekday. Both the coffee and food are fantastic, and the grassy area right outside makes it easy for kids to run and play during a coffee date.

Best Brunch in Raleigh: Jubala

Vita Vite: Ever since Vita Vite opened a North Hills location (parking!!!), it has become a regular spot in my rotation. It’s my go-to place for girls nights, either sitting on their porch in the spring/summer or hanging out by their cozy fireplaces in the fall/winter. They have an excellent selection of wine, plus great charcuterie and cheeses! It’s also so much fun to check out the art they have on display all around the space. The owner is also so sweet and welcoming to kids—we’ve brought Charlie multiple times!

Whiskey Kitchen: There are so many reasons we love Whiskey Kitchen! From a restaurant standpoint, it’s our number one brunch spot lately–they are great about accommodating Charlie’s allergies and Charlie loves the go-to meal we’ve found for him there. We’ve sat inside a few times, but usually snag a corner table on the patio so we can enjoy the outdoors and Charlie has some room to play if he’s feeling antsy. Since drinks are inexpensive and delicious, we also frequent Whiskey when meeting up with friends or grabbing an after-dinner drink while on a downtown date night.

Wine Authorities: If you live in Raleigh and you’re into wine, this needs to be a must-visit spot on your list. They have the best selection of wine we’ve found, as well as incredibly knowledgeable sommeliers. You can pick up a bottle in their shop and enjoy it right there, or you can order wine by the glass. Their buyers travel all over the world to select their inventory, so they have great anecdotes and stories about the wines, vineyards, and producers—one of the most fun things about wine, in my opinion! They also have a little lego table and coloring things for kids in the store, which is way more fun for Charlie than being chased around the store hearing “don’t touch!!” while we pick out our bottles ;)

Yellow Dog Bread Company: A few doors down from Wine Authorities is Yellow Dog, my absolute favorite place to pick up coffee and a scone to take on a walk through beautiful historic Oakwood. They have the most amazing baked goods that I can literally never resist–their chocolate chip scones, croissants, and homemade pop tarts (in a new flavor each month) are my favorites. We love supporting this family-run business!

I’d love to hear about where you’re a regular below! What do you love most about your most-frequented spot?






  1. Stephanie says:

    I love your list so much, and Raleigh has definitely become home for both of us, too. We share many of the same regular spots (no surprise!): Jubala, Whiskey Kitchen, Yellow Dog, and also Dove and Olive. Raleigh has no shortage of beloved neighborhood gems!! We also love and very often frequent Sola (we used to live next door!), Brewery Bhavana, Vita Vite Wine Bar (I’m friends with the owner! we love the downtown location), and The Cupcake Shoppe. I also realized I’m going to half of these places listed above this week alone!!

    • Lisa says:

      Your comment made me realize an earlier draft of this post went up–Vita Vite is on my list too (but we usually opt for the North Hills one)! I love Sola, but don’t make it there quite often enough to consider myself a regular. And we’ve only been to Brewery Bhavana once!! I’ve been so anxious to go back, but we have had the worst luck getting reservations and a babysitter on the same night, haha! :)

      • Stephanie says:

        We love, love, love Brewery Bhavana (their beers are Rob’s favorite in all of Raleigh, too!) — and they only fill half of their tables with reservations and leave the other half open for walk-ins! I doubt 5:00pm is your ideal time to go, but if you get there early, you generally don’t have to wait whatsoever. Sometimes we do this if we have a more spontaneous date night and haven’t thought ahead to get a reservation — and then we enjoy walking around downtown afterwards! (PS: call us if you ever need a date night sitter!)

      • Lisa says:

        Oh, you’re so sweet!! Filing away this advice! :)

  2. Dana says:

    I think I’ve been to most of these with you! Can’t wait to try out the new additions this summer!

  3. Sara says:

    Love all of these! I’ve been meaning to check out Dove and Olive! Matt and I love going to all of the Trophy’s. Other favorites include Night Kitchen, Gringo a Go Go, and the Pharmacy in the Person Street area and Sassool in North Raleigh!

  4. Darby says:

    Your list makes me want to book a trip to Raleigh!
    Our absolute favorite regular spot is Castalano’s in Morgan City, Louisiana. We are greeted by name when we walk in, which is always so welcoming. We haven’t had a bad dish!

    • Lisa says:

      Aww, I love that!! I am not at the greeted-by-name level at any of these places, I’m afraid, but it’s my goal! ;)

  5. CS says:

    I love your gray bowtie mules in the pic above! Can I ask where you got them? P.S. – I love your posts and the pictures are beautiful.


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