There are more places to eat out than at all the malls around the city put together, and new places to live downtown are popping up.
According to the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the capital city has 5,000 more residents within a two mile radius of the downtown area than Charlotte does.
"On a residential side, we're seeing a very strong demand for apartments. We're estimating that by next year we could have a thousand apartment rooms downtown," said David Diaz with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
Diaz says investors are looking at building apartments in at least six different locations downtown.
And those who live downtown typically dine there. There are more than 150 restaurants open for business and more under construction.
A new restaurant called Mantra which features Indian cuisine will be opening soon.
"The downtown, there is a very good location in the restaurant business and I'm very, very, very passionate about the downtown area, offered owner and chef Gamer Rawat.