Although not a super popular destination, Cary, North Carolina, was surprisingly relaxing and full of good restaurants and international food varieties. While touring Raleigh, my local guide suggested visiting Cary for their famous La Farm bakery.
As a foodie and a traveler, my instincts always get the best of me. I was touring this small cozy town for a couple of days without a guide, getting directed to multiple great restaurants by the locals.
You are bound to taste some of the most delicious seafood, Indian, and Chinese platters along with fundamental American cuisine. The city will also surprise you with eclectic southern-style fare at Lucky32 and some delicate Mexican varieties in Totopos.
Every restaurant has a traditional charm with an outside patio and aesthetic umbrella shades. I loved how the city was a cozy combination of renowned aesthetics, lakes, greenery, modern ambiance, and the wholesome, down-to-earth vibe.
While looking for restaurants, don’t forget to tour downtown Cary at night; its prominent historic buildings are great to look at while you relish some chilled beer.
After visiting La Farm bakery and collecting some of the most delicious bread I have had, I took off to Bond Brothers Beer Company and enjoyed Berlin Weiss in their beautiful open bar garden.
Here’s my list of favorite restaurants in Cary NC, offering southern, Asian, Mexican, American, and European food platters at their best.
- The 18 Best Restaurants in Cary NC
- Wrapping Up The 18 Best Restaurants In Cary NC
The 18 Best Restaurants in Cary NC
200 S. Academy St. // +19193770509
Forget the high-end chain restaurants and expensive bills; Academy Street Bistro will serve you delicious worldwide cuisine at an affordable price and in great outdoor settings.
Located in the heart of historic downtown, this local restaurant has a beautiful dining scene in a landmark building with an outdoor patio for sunset dinners.
Although famous for lunch breaks, I preferred visiting Academy Street Bistro on a cozy Thursday evening. The weather was perfect; golden bulbs and umbrella shades decorated the outdoor dining tables. ASB offers beautiful sceneries given its downtown surroundings. They have such a friendly staff and excellent service also!
I ordered their jumbo-lump crab cakes and roasted beet and arugula salad for starters. For the main course, they suggested Scallops and Ribeye steaks. Both the dishes were filling and tasty!
I also ordered their shrimp and grits on personal demand and wasn’t disappointed.
Their scallops were mildly sweet and adequately cooked. The ribeye steak was a marvelous delicacy, and the shrimp and grits were buttery. Don’t forget to try their grilled vegetable plate and taste North Carolina’s fresh vegetables (by local farmers)—it’s healthy and slightly crisp.
1388 Kildaire Farm Rd. // +19196783449
I adore Mexican food, and Totopos has a massive Mexican menu to offer! With enchiladas, tacos, fried beans, carne asada, plantains, and quesadillas, there was so much to eat! It had been a while since I last tasted Mexican food, so I ordered a lot! Everything was mouthwatering and perfectly made!
Presenting a calming theme of white and yellow, Totopos is a cozy restaurant with an open dinner garden. The restaurant serves tasty Mexican delicacies and has a beautiful interior with traditional lanterns, glowing paper stars, and decorations. The whole place lights up at night with different lamps and fairy bulbs.
If you are a photography or architecture enthusiast, this is the ideal restaurant for you because of its colorful interior with traditional paintings, lit hanging art, and many other wall decorations.
If you want to taste authentic Mexican cuisine, you should order dinner with multiple varieties, including queso fundido, carne asada tacos, shrimp tacos, carnitas enchiladas, chimichanga, and chilaquiles.
Of course, you cannot finish it alone; Totopos has considerable portion sizes for their main courses. So visit this great place with your friends and share different savory items.
Honestly, I did not expect to find a Mexican gem among the restaurants in Cary. However, this place mastered an ideal combination of rice, beans, tender and crisp chicken, and traditionally baked tacos/tortillas—hot, crispy, crunchy, and savory at the same time! Every flavor and ingredient stands out beautifully.
329 N. Harrison Ave. // +19194601300
For individuals who love trying and tasting international foods, Cary has the Bosphorus Restaurant, famous for its Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. There’s something about this restaurant’s dishes; they’re so full of mouthwatering flavors and rich spiciness.
Also, be prepared to have your stomach filled because they have huge servings. For starters, I was recommended the cigar borek, a popular dish with crisp rolls and cheesy parsley filling.
I personally love warm appetizers and went for the dish straight out—the homemade marinara sauce was excellent and authentic. Bosphorus Restaurant bakes its own bread, and that’s what makes people choose this place over other restaurants in Cary.
Their bread is soft, delicate, and warm—something you rarely witness in non-traditional restaurants.
If you are into cold appetizers, the place offers multiple varieties, from stuffed grape leaves to hummus and baby ghanoush. For the main course, I’d recommend getting the spicy hot Mediterranean-style Adana Kebab and Turkish shrimp pide.
3460 Ten-Ten Rd. Suite #118 // +19192676011
We all crave classic American fast food every now and then, and that’s why I visited Chef’s Palette. Surprisingly, the menu had many more dishes to offer other than the regular burgers and sandwiches.
The head chef Ryan is the winner of a state-level NC competition. His specialty foods, like baby back ribs and vegetarian pasta, were my favorite in the city.
The restaurant offers a wide variety of delicious food, from seafood to meat-heavy dishes, sandwiches, and fried delicacies. Along with the main course, I also ordered their Black Angus burger and the Asian-style pot stickers. The dessert list was short but delicious, nonetheless.
For dessert, I’ll recommend having New York-style turtle cheesecake. It was soft and melted in my mouth right away. The chocolate and caramel sauces enhanced its overall flavor! Their pot stickers were steamed and then fried to perfection—the crisp golden layer added a great taste to the dish.
Chef’s Palette is moderately lit and offers a simple, homey appeal to its interior. The restaurant also proudly displays beautiful art paintings created by locals on their walls.
4248 NW Cary Pkwy. // +19196570657
Inspired and baked by Lionel Vatinet, La Farm is probably one of the city’s biggest attractions, given its ambiance, beauty that surrounds it, wooden aesthetics, baked goodness, the mouthwatering smell, and their traditional baking style and equipment.
Located in three different places in the city, you are bound to eat these delicacies everywhere you go in Cary, whether it’s downtown, Preston Corner, or West Cary.
Upon entering the boulangerie, don’t be surprised by its European architecture and interior. With over fifteen famous and twenty seasonal baked goods, the bakery also has French-style pastries. At the café, taste some delicious French breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
La Farm Bakery is the perfect breakfast spot to drop by at early in the morning after a quick stroll downtown. I am a fan of sweet, soft bread with crisp outer layers and exotic French cuisine, which is exactly what they offer.
“When you are sleeping, we are baking.”—Lionel Vatinet
Yup, they start baking around midnight to present you freshly baked goods early in the morning at around 7 AM. Every ingredient and starter used while baking is freshly prepared and contains zero artificial additives.
Also, La Farm uses traditional, old-fashioned techniques and equipment to bake, which adds and enhances their overall flavor profile. They use unbleached wheat and rye flours to create organic and unique recipes.
La Farm Bakery has an extensive French menu offering multiple sandwiches, seafood varieties, toasts, quiche, etc. I especially enjoyed their egg benedict, egg florentine, and quiche Lorraine with mocha coffee for breakfast.
7307 Tryon R.d. // +19192331632
Craving Southern-style food in Cary? Well, North Carolina has some great cities offering Southern foods. Lucky 32 is a fine restaurant in the town serving delicious southern food.
The restaurant offers a warm, classy dining experience for individuals looking for fine dining with the whole family, an evening date, or a cozy dinner alone. The dark ambiance, low-lit dining room, and soft music add to the perfect night.
The menu is often seasonal, but every season brings out the best of their restaurant. Every food presented on the menu has a unique twist of local ingredients. If you are a fan of salmon delicacies, try their honey pecan-crusted salmon and grilled salmon.
I tried their roasted chicken salad, pimento cheese dip, and autumn squash soup for starters. I also had my favorite skillet-fried chicken and Suffolk grilled chicken; it was perfect. Both the dishes were crispy and tasted exquisite with their heirloom sauce, cornbread, and mashed potatoes.
I will give their outdoor garden dining scene 10/10; it’s an excellent location for early lunch under the shade with plants all around you.
For dessert, among other items on the menu, Lucky 32 offers a delicious sweet potato pecan pie. Although too sweet for me, this would be perfect for people who love intensely sweet desserts. However, I loved the nutty flavors and softness of the cake!
1979 High House Rd. // +19193889930
Open until 11 PM, Doherty’s Irish Pub will serve you great food late at night in a cozy locality and ambiance. The restaurant focuses on providing quality Irish meals, and their Irish egg rolls are to die for!
With a pub, outside patio, and soothing live music, you will enjoy your tasty dinner peacefully. From what I know, the Irish cuisine is famous for its stew, cabbage, and choice of bacon; and that’s what I ordered—beef and Guinness stew, corned beef and cabbage.
On recommendation, I also tried egg rolls, and they were the best I have had in a long time. For dessert, they highly suggest trying Doherty’s special bread pudding with whiskey caramel sauce.
If you are a coffee enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to taste their intoxicating Irish coffee—a cocktail of coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and cream.
Irish coffee gives a light intoxication with an adrenaline punch. Also, Doherty’s has a long beer and wine list that you can choose from.
2428 SW Cary Pkwy. // +19194674600
Salvio’s Pizzeria in Cary delivers food to your home for your fun friend’s night, game nights, or special events. Located downtown, Salvio’s pizzeria is a catchy spot to enjoy beer and Italian food.
I usually prefer a movie night with pizza, but Salvio’s outside patio was appealing enough; a cozy place with umbrella shade where you can sit and enjoy the food and the city. Their pizza is famous all over Cary and for all the good reasons.
Salvio’s menu is massive with starters, subs, salads, calzones, giant pizzas, appetizers, pasta, wings, desserts, and whatnot. It wasn’t easy to choose.
Also, Salvio’s has a gluten-free menu with multiple choices if you are on a diet. The restaurant’s supreme pizza has the most incredible taste you will come across—the combination of meat, veggies, cheese, and mushroom is wild. Every ingredient stands out with cheese that makes your taste buds very satisfied.
Trust me, Salvio’s Pizzeria serves the cheesiest and best pizza bites ever! For sides, order loaded fries covered in bacon and ranch. If you are visiting with your friends, Penne A La Vodka is worth a try.
Being a cheesecake fan, I ordered their cheesecake for dessert, but Cannoli and Tiramisu are also filling Italian desserts after a mouthwatering dinner.
201 W. Chatham St. #103 // +19193778794
Kababish is one of the most popular Indian and Pakistani cuisine restaurants in the Triangle area. There’s no food like spicy and meaty South Asian cuisine. India and Pakistan create some of the most flavored foods with authentic spices, richness, and a unique traditional take on nutrition.
I love all of the tandoori delights that the countries offer, and let’s not forget the famous Chicken Biryani!
While at the restaurant, you have to try their chicken tikka masala with naan. A wild combination of spicy chicken gravy with hot, buttered tandoori corn tortillas—mouthwatering and delicious!
It’s tasty, flavorful, rich, exotic, and beautiful! I’ll never forget the classic combination of chicken, gravy, and naans—it was perfect!
With fantastic food, you will also be surprised by their take on traditional and modern entanglement. Knowing international tolerance over spice, the restaurant produces food that doesn’t scald your insides.
Talk about their ambiance, and you will be transported to a cultural restaurant with traditional lamps, lighting, and interior. It gives away a rich exterior with its Pakistani-style walls and decoration.
Some of the best dishes to try in Kabasish are Kababish biryani (chicken and rice with country chutneys and sauces), tandoori shrimps, kebabs, and the whole main course platter.
The main course platter will serve you dal fry (lentil gravy), naan (butter tortillas), chicken gravy, salad, Shahi Paneer (Paneer is an Indian cheese served with stew), boneless lamb stew, keema, Paya, etc. Also, instead of trying wine or beer at this place, taste lassi (a thick foamed curd beverage) and chai.
2060 Renaissance Park Pl. // +19196771347
Finally, I have the famous Bonefish Grill restaurant for seafood lovers. Although it’s a chain restaurant, the quality and ambiance were unmatched. Every food on the menu looked tempting and tasted delicious. The food and presentation were 10/10.
Seafood restaurants rarely impress me, but the Bonefish Grill in Cary indeed did! So if you are looking for a classy seafood evening date with a pretty neighborhood, Bonefish Grill is the correct spot!
I’ll highly suggest Tempura crunch sashimi tuna with wasabi and soy sauce, and fish and fries. I was there for a quick dinner and ordered Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos.
It’s a delicious dish with perfectly cooked, saucy shrimps wrapped in tortillas. They also have mussels, lobsters, and crab cakes.
I love grilled foods, and Atlantic salmon was just the right choice. You should also try their Mahi Mahi and rainbow trout grill—equally savage dishes. I gotta say I really
Apart from seafood, the menu also offers beef potstickers, filet mignon, chicken marsala, etc. Although a small menu, they have a wide range of cocktails, craft beers, wines, and beverages. I liked their warm cookies for dessert, but go ahead and try their seasonal chef’s special dessert at the restaurant.
100 Macgregor Pines Dr, Cary, NC 27511, United States //+19194670780
Outstanding authentic Mexican cuisine! Fantastic service with spectacular signature dishes. If you are in the mood for some Latin flavor, you cannot go wrong with this restaurant.
The chicken wings and the loaded fries topped with cheddar cheese, broiled bacon and green onions served with ranch dressing are the perfect appetizers with your beer.
There is taco salad, chef salad, grilled chicken salad, and many more on the menu too.
For lunch, you can choose from various options, such as fajitas, burrito grande, quesadilla, rib eye steak with bacon, beef and pork specialties and many more.
The chicken soup is must try. The smell is simply mouthwatering, and the taste is perfect.
You can find this restaurant in 11 different locations in NC.
2310 Walnut St, Cary, NC 27518, United States //+19842419112
Engaging, authentic Korean place with excellent customer service and orders coming out quickly.
All the meat was high quality and delicious. The side dishes were fun additions to the meal. Seol steak was great, but spicy pork bulgogi was the best thing we had.
Beef, pork, chicken, and seafood specialties are also part of the dining menu.
You can also try the unfiltered Korean Sake; it is so yummy and delicious. There is plenty of other beverages too. Such as imported Korean rice beer, cocktails, wines and a luxury liquor collection.
1389 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary, NC 27511, United States //+19196501821
Definitely one of the best oven-baked pizzas in town. Everyone is so friendly and attentive, and there are different options for seating (booth, outside, high chairs, or the bar).
Their bolognese pizza is something you will cant find in another place! Melting mozzarella cheese, sliced meatballs and the San Marzano tomato sauce make the taste unforgettable.
Buffalo chicken pizza, Pepperoni, Quatro Formaggi, the classic Margarita and more than 15 others pizzas are on the menu, so make sure you choose the best.
Besides pizza, they offer sandwiches, salads, wings and plates of pasta. The linguine and meatballs pasta is extremely delicious.
1319 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary, NC 27511, United States //+19844650498
Extraordinary Asian-inspired tea house with a really calming atmosphere and fast service.
The menu is bursting with unique fruit and milk tea options, and every single one of them has been perfectly made and exceptionally delicious.
The most popular is their bubble tea, which comes in many different flavors. Thai tea with boba with mango flavor is a unique and refreshing experience.
I got their tea stew pork and their popcorn chicken. The portion size is perfect for one person. However, their popcorn chicken is small, so you might want to order something else if you have a big appetite.
Snacks such as macarons, chocolate waffles, tofu and similar are also on the menu.
231 Grande Heights Dr, Cary, NC 27513, United States //+19194686007
Sophisticated, southern-inspired kitchen in the heart of Cary, North Carolina. Friendly atmosphere and fast service if you are in a rush and craving perfectly cooked food.
I’m glad I decided to try The Big Easy Oven & Tap. The Gator Bites and Crawfish Etouffee were fabulous. One appetizer and one entree were plenty to feed us both.
There are grilled shrimp, fried oysters, wings, nachos, mini crab poppers and gator bites for a starter. For lunch, you can always go with the southern pimento & bacon burger, pasta primavera, beef sandwich or the marvelous chicken caesar wrap.
For dessert, do not hesitate to try the bananas foster served with vanilla ice cream.
500 Ledgestone Way, Cary, NC 27519, United States //+19194653055
The cozy and pleasant local taverna “Tribeca” is one of the most famous places in Cary known for the good burgers.
Starters like tuna nachos, California salad, classic Caesar salad, garlic mashed potatoes and many other sides are on the menu.
Fried pickle starters with “house” ketchup were great, and the Blue Devil burger was cooked as asked and very delicious. The fries were ok but missing a little salt or other seasonings.
The pan-seared salmon served with garlic mashed potatoes, local seasonal vegetables and butter sauce is worth trying too!
They also offer an awesome whiskey selection, crafted beers, and local and imported wines.
The staff is incredibly committed and ready to help and give a suggestion. In addition, the outdoor seating is simply marvelous.
302 Colonades Way Suite 201, Cary, NC 27518, United States //+19194150447
Chain eatery with perfect greek Gyros and other Mediterranian food available in 2 locations in Cary.
The location has plenty of seating, and the staff is friendly. All of the food is freshly prepared and definitely worth the price.
The smell and the taste of the traditional greek lemon soup are so mouthwatering that you will wish to take the second portion. The greek salad is so refreshing and pairs perfectly with every meal.
I wish they had the traditional Greek pork gyro, but the chicken and beef gyros were also satisfactory.
There is grilled beef, salmon, shrimp and an incredibly tasty roasted lamb that melts in the mouth. In the end, dont forget to try the greek baklava!
701 Cary Towne Blvd, Cary, NC 27511, United States //+19194618100
A chain sandwich restaurant with 5 locations in Cary. Offers always fresh bread, hot or cold subs and sandwich meals.
If you are not satisfied with their choice, you can always customize your sandwich to match your taste.
Turkey sandwiches, veggie sanwich or tuna sandwiches stuffed with fresh ingredients, salad and sauces are always the right choices for breakfast or a snack when you are in a hurry.
The hot grilled Portabella Chicken Cheese Steak will not disappoint you. You can pair your subs with chips and a soda and finish your meal with a brownie or a cookie.
What is Cary NC known for?
- Cary, NC is best known for a good shopping, wide range of leisure and outdoor experiences, pleasant weather, renowned restaurants and many culture and art activities.
What are the most popular restaurants in Cary?
- One of the most popular restaurants in Cary are: “Lucky 37 Southern Kitchen”, “Bosphorus Restaurant”, “Peck and Plume”, “Enrigo Italian Bistro, “Kababish Cafe” etc.
What are the best restaurants in Cary that deliver?
- “Primo Pizza-Ny Style”, “Salvio’s Pizzeria”, “V Pizza” , “China One” and “Lucky 7” are one of the best restaurants that offer delivery services in Cary.
Wrapping Up The 18 Best Restaurants In Cary NC
I must say the city offered various continental foods and famous country cuisine in the small space. The Mexican, Indian, and Irish were some of my favorites.
I mean, we can have burgers in our hometown. When traveling to a different town, you should always try different main courses. The restaurants in Cary offer a great atmosphere and food for everyone who happens to be hungry in the city. Whether it was a sunny brunch or late-night dinner, the town was always pleasant and you will be having a great time for sure.
Don’t forget to pick some delicious scones for your loved ones as souvenirs from La Farm Bakery!
Visiting other destinations in North Carolina? Check out our other delicious guides:
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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