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.
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?