Cary, NC, is a city that is the home of the USA Baseball National Training Complex. For me, it’s a vibrant town full of interesting restaurants and luxurious shopping centers. When I decided that my next adventure will be in this popular town, I was attracted by the hot weather, open green spaces, and of course, the list of award-winning restaurants.
There is a wide range of restaurants in Cary that offer great food. So if you are planning a trip to Cary, or even better, you are planning to move to the southeast, we recommend you add these downtown Cary NC restaurants to your list. Enjoy your meal!
Visiting other destinations in Cary, NC? Check out our other delicious guides:
Table of Contents
My Top 3 Picks of the Best Downtown Cary NC Restaurants
|Restaurant||Top Pick||Our Rating|
|Scratch Kitchen & Taproom|
Crispy Chicken Sandwich
Toro and King Salmon sushis
|Bosphorus restaurant||Bread and Dip||4.5/5|
The 7 Best Downtown Cary NC Restaurants
301 S. Academy St., Cary, NC 27511, United States // +19198041400
As I walked into Peck & Plume, the feeling I got was pure sophistication and elegance. The place is very elegant and modern, and there is a big truth in every word in the synopsis that describes this amusing place – “Modern American classics taking inspiration from our southern surroundings.” This restaurant is charming and offers incredibly great food with ingredients that give a southern vibrancy.
When you are sitting in this restaurant, you have the feeling that every detail is carried out carefully. It carries from the decor of the dining room to the decor of the restroom. It has a beautiful dining room, a cozy library where you can sit by the fireplace, and a breezy terrace. `The architecture of this place is beyond ordinary, and it is a very impactful part of the impression people have about this place.
And now let’s talk about the food. You can choose between different menus such as breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and a blue plate special. We came for dinner and brunch. I ordered roasted heirloom cauliflower, which was very delicious and professionally prepared. One of my friends had the burger, which he considered one of the best burgers he had ever tried, and the other friend had bourbon liver, something he couldn’t stop talking about.
This place is perfect for a casual dinner with your friends or a date night with your partner. Peck & Plume also has a magnificent bar where you can have cocktails and drinks. I had a dirty martini, and I really enjoyed it.
This restaurant is also a perfectly suitable place for different gatherings such as baby showers, birthdays, weddings, and even for a girl’s weekend since this place has rooms to stay.
If you are planning to visit this Cary restaurant, I would definitely come here for brunch and try the French Toast Brick with mixed berry crush and mascarpone. This was my brunch choice and a smart one.
Reservations are essential if you want to visit and enjoy this place.
One of those experiences I want to talk about, and easy to see why it is one of the best downtown Cary NC restaurants!
Hank’s Downtime Dive is a very pleasant, comfy, and clean place where you will receive a warm welcome as soon as you arrive. We came here for lunch when we previously booked a table on the lovely terrace. Very cozy and calm outdoor seating area.
Before lunch, I had a breathtaking salad with blood orange, marinated fennel, watermelon radish, oil-cured olives, and pistachios. The wine list offers a variety of wines. We ordered Conti Origini Bianco, a special wine that fit perfectly with my salad.
Enjoying the nice ambiance and friendly environment, we had such a pleasant time and good conversation while having outstanding food and drink.
For lunch, we had house pappardelle, ramp pesto, morel mushrooms, soft egg, and breadcrumbs. It is a combination of ingredients that really surprised me.
Another dish that I recommend in accordance with my ways of experiencing food is Crispy Cauliflower and Roasted Oysters. Very yummy and tasty!
I highly recommend visiting this place, listening to beautiful blues and jazz music while you are drinking delicious drinks, and enjoying local heavenly bread from La Farm.
The food is really amazing, as are the ambiance, beautiful decor, and knowledgeable staff.
All high marks for this Cary restaurant.
154 E. Chatham St., Cary, NC 27511, United States // +19196502853
Another restaurant you should add to your restaurant when you are visiting Cary, NC, is the Crosstown Pub & Grill Restaurant.
Here, you can have a trio of beer-battered shrimp, calamari, and the restaurant’s special of-the-day fish.
For appetizers, we recommend having baked French onion soup, a dish that will open your appetite and increase your desire to try different dishes in this lovely and comfortable restaurant.
Of course, skipping a dessert here would be a real crime, so you should try chocolate mousse made with Bailey’s Irish Cream and a hearty amount of rich dark chocolate and topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
Believe me, you will be in heaven.
This friendly and neighborhood pub offers a nice selection of wines, liquor, and cold beer as a great fit with the fish and chips that were authentic, crispy, plentiful, and delicious.
This is one of the best downtown Cary NC restaurants and is a perfect place to relax and laugh.
225 N. Salem St., Apex, NC 27502, United States // +19193725370
Scratch Kitchen & Taproom is a fun place where you can have a great meal with your friends and family. This place has beautiful decor and respectful staff that will make you feel at home.
The food here is really delicious, and it is made from scratch and very carefully prepared and served with all details that bring excellent hospitality.
The Crispy Chicken Sandwich I ordered was a mouth-watering sandwich, battered fried chicken with spicy maple syrup aioli, candied bacon, and house pimento will definitely make you wish to come here again and visit this lovely place.
The Truffle Mac & Cheese Burger and Lobster Mac & Cheese were excellent too.
If you are not a meat person, we recommend having General Tso cauliflower, crispy cauliflower florets topped with sesame seeds, tossed in a sweet and spicy Hunan-style orange sauce.
And if you love desserts as much as I do, the Texas Sheet Cake dessert is something that you can’t miss!
200 S. Academy St., Cary, NC 27511, United States // +19193770509
Located in the flourishing center of Cary, Academy Street Bistro is an unpretentious restaurant where you will experience global cuisine in an unpretentious and beautiful way.
Here you will try excellent local beers, fantastic wine, and astounding cocktails with some of the finest international and local spirits.
I had the Butterfly Effect cocktail on the lovely restaurant’s roomy patio. Sitting here and enjoying the marvelous food and having a drink with friends was one of those moments that will always inspire me to come and visit this unique place for worldwide cuisine and outstanding service.
The first thing I ordered was the Academy Street Cobb Salad, which contains lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon, egg, croutons, gorgonzola, and ranch dressing, a perfect combination of flavors and tastes.
For the main course, I ordered Bistro Bruschetta, and I also managed to try the restaurant’s Firecracker Shrimp.
The menu that this restaurant has is unique and special, and it is hard to decide between great options. Here you will find a great choice of appetizers, soup, salads, main courses, and desserts.
Next time, when we will come again, we plan to order multiple appetizers for a variety of flavors because of the crab cake appetizer we tried, which was really amazing.
We sat outside, but you can sit inside, too; the ambiance is beautiful inside and outside.
Elegantly fantastic food is served perfectly in one of our favorite downtown Cary NC restaurants.
324 S. Academy St., Cary, NC 27511, United States //+19196501738
I am a huge fan of Asian cuisine. Needless to say, that made it mandatory to visit MC Restaurant, a modern Asian restaurant in Cary with simple but warm decor and delicious food.
I have to say that this place exceeded all my expectations.
Here the real star of the show is the food, complemented by the excellent service.
I ordered Toro and King Salmon sushis, which had excellent combination flavors. They had fresh blue tuna as a special, which my friend liked a lot. I can say that it is the best sushi I have tried.
For dessert, I had delicious bread pudding.
Here, you will be served by a friendly staff who nail it in recommending dishes.
The location is also nice. This restaurant is located in Cary in a beautifully renovated home across the street from the fountains of Cary and the Cary Art Center.
It was one of our BEST experiences in one of the most unique downtown Cary NC restaurants.
You will dine in a fine environment and enjoy every food offering, from appetizers to desserts, all exceeding your expectations. Even the cocktail offerings are unique but achieve the highest rating for their perfection.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
329 N. Harrison Ave., Cary, NC 27513, United States // +19194601300
Bosphorus Restaurant is located in a small commercial area in Cary. This is one of my favorite downtown Cary NC restaurants that offers traditional Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. The food is fast and fresh, and very delicious. The bread and dip this restaurant has is something that you will be dreaming about.
Specialties include grilled meats and kebabs, and you will experience real, authentic food from Turkish and Mediterranean cuisines.
The atmosphere is elegant and welcoming. The decor is simple but nice.
One of my favorite dishes at Bosphorus Restaurant was chicken shish-kebob which almost made me lick the plate. It was so good and tasty!
We also ordered the Bosphorus Meze Platter, which was a melange of Hummus, Baba Gounush, Ezme, Tabouli, Eggplant salad, Cucumber Dip, and Stuffed grape leaves.
Everything is made from scratch and will remind you of Turkey. Amongst all downtown Cary NC, restaurants, they have the best Turkish coffee.
The cigar bourke, hummus, beyti, yogurt kebab with chicken, and baklava are the most highly recommended dishes.
Come and visit this charming little Turkish restaurant in Cary, North Carolina. This cozy place features indoor and outdoor dining.
If you are in the mood for Mediterranean food, Bosphorus is a must-visit.
Absolutely authentic fare!
Conclusion: Downtown Cary NC, Restaurants
Which one of these downtown Cary, NC, restaurants do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
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Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever