Three of Raleigh’s oldest and most iconic restaurants continue to survive and thrive in spite of the ever changing and growing nature of this 230-year-old city. Classic local restaurants keep the heartbeat of the city of oaks pumping strong. I bring to you 3 restaurants rooted deep in traditional southern cuisine with some of the oldest founding dates in the Raleigh area!
Our tour begins with Shorty’s Famous Hot Dogs. This family-owned business opened its doors in 1916. This local favorite is located in the original Wake Forest location that began nearly a century ago. Serving up traditional southern “red” Jesse Jones Hot Dogs is their specialty. They also offer the very popular Nathan’s all beef dog. All of Shorty’s dogs are grilled to perfection and topped with fresh ingredients like, hand chopped onions, and their very own homemade chili recipe. The steamed buns are what does it for me! Shorty’s is definitely one of my favorites!
The next restaurant along our tour is Raleigh’s Mecca located just a few blocks from the NC State Capitol. They are known for serving NC politicians traditional southern classics since 1930. Printed on the menu is the saying, “He profits most who serves the best.” The building housing the restaurant was named as a historic landmark in 2014. Their hearty ingredients show up in favorite dishes like the Western Omelet, made from scratch biscuits, fried chicken and the Glorified Jumbo Hamburger!! Quintessential comfort food is what you can expect at the Mecca.
Last but certainly not least on the list is Clyde Cooper’s Barbeque. You will most definitely feel as though you have stepped back in time as you enter this Raleigh staple with a stainless-steel counter, wooden booths and walls filled with historic photos. This local favorite was born in 1938 and has seen its fair share of awards over the decades. Clyde Cooper’s Barbeque was even named one of the 20 Best Barbeque Restaurants in America in 2012. They serve up their BBQ Eastern Carolina style with a vinegar-based sauce. You won’t want to ignore the rest of the menu. The fried chicken is so good it may make you want to slap your mamma. But don’t! Fried okra, mac and cheese and baked beans also top the list of favorites. You will not be disappointed!
With so many diverse dining options in the area, it’s nostalgic and important to acknowledge three of Raleigh’s oldest and most iconic restaurants. We are fortunate to live in such a great city with deep roots that have withstood the test of time. If you have any questions about the Raleigh area in regards to real estate or any general information, I am an open book and would love to begin a conversation with you. I am here to help. You can connect with me here and on Facebook and Instagram!