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Raleigh makes up one of the three booming cities in the region of North Carolina known as the Triangle. Featuring top-tier universities, cutting-edge health programs and growing startup and tech companies, it’s no wonder the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area’s popularity is on the rise — with Raleigh ranking high in the U.S. News and World Report Best Places to Live and growing its population to 1,591,000 in 2023. A growing population means a growing number of visitors and it’s the perfect time to discover some hidden gems the locals rave about.
Bolt PR is proud to have our teams located all over the U.S. and Raleigh is certainly no exception. Senior Data Strategist Steven Wright, who calls this electrifying capital of North Carolina home, is sharing his top insider list of places to eat, stay and play the next time you plan to visit Raleigh. Trust us, you won’t want to wait long before booking your trip!
If you haven’t tried authentic Lebanese food, you are not going to want to miss stopping by Sitti. As Steven’s personal favorite restaurant in the area, Sitti features light and refreshing cocktails like the Spritz, signature and hand-crafted falafel dishes and a Baklava that will delight your taste buds beyond imagination. This dining location also features regular events, such as Wine Wednesdays, where guests can enjoy half-off bottles of wine. This is an excellent opportunity to socialize with other foodies in the community while enjoying delicious bites and sampling some top-tier Lebanese as well as French wines.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you will absolutely love the Fiction Kitchen. As a vegetarian of 10+ years, Steven raves about the Vegan Lion’s Mane Rangoon starter and popular Peanut Noodle Bowl. Dining at the Fiction Kitchen is certainly an adventure of whimsical tastes and fantastical sips, featuring cocktails such as the Oaxacan Holiday and a creative spin on the classic Espresso Martini that compliment the meal exquisitely. Located just south of Downtown and the Warehouse District, this is the perfect location to sample world-class Raleigh dining at its finest.
We are going to take a moment to pause and appreciate the luxurious scents of Italian red wine and fresh garlic bread complimented by a savory, seasoned olive oil. If that made your mouth water, make a reservation at Raleigh’s premium Italian-American eatery, Gravy, when you’re in town. Steven made special note of their delightful stuffed Risotto Balls dish and simply out-of-this-world Gnocchi, which includes local mixed mushrooms and roasted red peppers doused in a creamy leek sauce and finished with a drizzle of truffle oil. If wine isn’t your style, Gravy’s signature Old Fashioned cocktail is also a delight to sip. When Steven is feeling extra celebratory, he complements his meal with decadent cheesecake or tiramisu. We don’t know about you, but we’ll take an extra one or two slices of celebration over here.
Located right in the heart of where the Raleigh woodland and North Carolina State’s Centennial campus collide is a retreat of luxury, rejuvenation and world-class service. The StateView Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel, is popular for its convenient location just minutes away from all that exciting downtown Raleigh has to offer. In addition, the StateView is a popular choice for students planning to visit the N.C. State Campus, business conferences and culture-boosting retreats as well as weddings of any size. With amenities such as a relaxing pool and outdoor dining area that overlooks the towering Raleigh pines to a full-service bar and floor-to-ceiling windows in event rooms, it’s easy to see why this hotel is highly recommended by Steven and countless Raleigh locals.
The Casso is a luxurious downtown Raleigh accommodation that dares to be unique, playful and adventurous. Featuring over 126 rooms that are each intriguingly different and authentically inviting - just like the beautiful cityscape surrounding it - The Casso is just the place to rest peacefully after exploring downtown or taking in an electrifying concert at the nearby Red Hat Amphitheater. Plus, with fresh and local flavors featured on an impressive menu, The Casso offers their Good Day Good Night restaurant, which is open for an energizing coffee-to-go, filling breakfast, luxurious evening meal, or refreshing nightcap. Day or night, your stay is sure to be oh-so-memorable.
As you continue to explore the Triangle, Unscripted Durham is an option you don’t want to miss in your travel planning. Progressive and energetic are two words that describe Unscripted’s truly modern design, which has been reconstructed from a mid-century modern iconic landmark known as the Jack Tar Hotel that operated in the 1960s. Each room has a uniquely exciting characteristic unlike any other and amenities include a rooftop patio with endless views and a Mediterranean dining experience that promises to wow your taste buds. All of the offerings by Unscripted operate in true Raleigh-Durham fashion because no great experience in the Triangle is like any other.
Come see for yourself why Boxcar Bar + Arcade was voted one of the best bars in Raleigh! Step through its doors, and you'll be transported to a nostalgic realm where childhood dreams meet adult beverages. Grab a hand-crafted cocktail or one of Boxcar’s many draft beers on tap and head over to the vast collection of vintage arcade games from Pac-Man and pinball to Street Fighter, where you can unleash your inner gaming champion. This entertainment venue also features free weekly tournaments, live music on their expansive covered patio and much more pixelated fun.
Whether you’re a long-time comedy fanatic or just feel like enjoying a good time and a good laugh while you’re in town, Steven highly recommends the Goodnights Comedy Club. This venue is known to have been frequented by many famous comedians as they climbed the ladder to national fame, including Jerry Seinfeld. Goodnights Comedy Club also boasts an exciting lineup of upcoming speakers, shows, events and an extensive menu of delicious bites and drinks to enjoy as the lights dim and the fun begins.
One of Steven’s favorite locations to unwind and de-stress from a long day working or exploring is Urban Pothos. Urban Pothos is a queer and minority-owned plant boutique with a ton of love and a ton of - you guessed it - plants! This “jungle” features houseplants of all shapes and sizes and is designed to make plants the ultimate form of self-care, as well as help foster a community of fellow green-thumb enthusiasts. Even if you aren’t gifted with a green thumb, there are many opportunities to learn about how to become a better “plant parent” and appreciate the toxin-cleansing beauty of nature’s flora.
When it comes to bringing national recognition to local brands in the Raleigh and Triangle market, Bolt PR has a proven track record of success. With decades of expertise in the food and beverage and hospitality industries, we put together a powerful mix of PR, digital strategy and irresistible content to boost awareness, build brand loyalty and ultimately drive sales. Whether your company is in Raleigh or across the country, let’s talk about how to make sure your brand is on the top of every traveler’s list.