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Nearly a North Carolina landmark, Mitch’s Tavern is an old-school pub that serves good beer and hearty American dishes including gluten-free gumbo and stews, gazpacho, and Cuban sandwiches. The bar is tucked away in a brick building on Hillsborough Street, and walking in you’ll feel as if you have stumbled into a simple, valuable secret. Mitch's is located nearby North Carolina State University, and has a history of feeding generations of students with items from a specials menu known for miles around.
Mami Nora’s offers Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken in a fun and friendly atmosphere. The restaurant’s roasting method, using wood charcoal, house marinade, and Peruvian ovens, makes the place quite popular. It’s nice to know that the chickens are steroid and hormone free, and the produce used in the restaurant is usually brought from a local farmer’s market. Chickens are available in quarter, half, and whole sizes. They pair well with plantains and yucca fries. You can wash everything down with the purple corn chicha morada drink, and celebrate the finish with caramel flan.
The Morning Times is a brick-walled coffeehouse that serves coffee, breakfast, and sandwiches for a hip and bohemian-leaning crowd. The coffee bar is downstairs, while a secluded upstairs gallery is perfect for catching up with friends over a group brunch. Outdoor seating spills onto the sidewalk on East Hargett Street. The Morning Times is quick, friendly, and right in the middle of downtown Raleigh. If you ask the baristas kindly, they might jazz your coffee with a shot of bourbon.
This is home-style Southern cooking in its purest form. Some breakfast items include the thickest biscuits coupled with the finest sausage gravy and plate-sized pancakes, while some others like the Fried Cajun Chicken Breast and Fried Egg Burgers are a big hit with locals. If you come in for lunch and find barbecued chicken on the menu, you are in luck. Also,an added bonus is that this cozy eatery looks like the inside of a Southern kitchen, with pots, pans and other odd paraphernalia scattered for effect. Big Ed's only accepts cash, so come prepared.
Taqueria El Toro is a clean and friendly Mexican restaurant located just south of Raleigh proper. Tucked away next to a small plaza and market of the same name, El Toro has a large open dining space and a first-rate condiment and salsa bar known for miles around. Locals come here for the sope, gorditas, torta sandwiches, and tacos. Every item on the menu is fresh and well-prepared. Counter service is carried out in English and Spanish.