Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit downtown, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.
1. Bida Manda
Photo: bida manda/Yelp
Topping the list is Laotian spot Bida Manda. Located at 222 S. Blount St., it's the most popular business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 1,140 reviews on Yelp. Check out Bida Manda's featured dish: crispy pork belly soup with coconut curry, julienned vegetables, herbs and rice noodles.
Yelp reviewerIan L. has high praise for the restaurant: "The atmosphere, drinks, service and food are all amazing. This place has my favorite drinks/cocktails in all of Raleigh and the food is right up there with it. It is a great date spot or for the family and friends if they come into town."
2. The Pit
Photo: Lori R./Yelp
Next up is soul food spot The Pit, situated at 328 W. Davie St. With four stars out of 2,289 reviews on Yelp, it's proven to be a local favorite. According to its website, The Pit is a restored 1930s meatpacking warehouse that serves "Texas-style brisket, baby back ribs, barbecue turkey, fried chicken and a can't-miss barbecue tofu dish."
3. Brewery Bhavana
Photo: ko k./Yelp
Brewery Bhavana, a florist, brewery and dim sum spot, is another much-loved neighborhood go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 449 Yelp reviews. The cocktail list includes the Hurricane Mule, made with dark rum, passionfruit, fresh lemon juice and spicy ginger beer. Head over to 218 S. Blount St. to see for yourself.
4. Boxcar Bar + Arcade
Photo: boxcar bar + arcade/Yelp
Check out Boxcar Bar + Arcade, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 441 reviews on Yelp. On its website, the business says it features hundreds of arcade-style games, including classic and modern arcade offerings, over a dozen pinball machines and 175-plus console games. It also offers a full liquor bar with 24 rotating American craft drafts. You can find the arcade and sports bar at 330 W. Davie St.
5. Beasley's Chicken & Honey
Photo: linda n./Yelp
And then there's Beasley's Chicken & Honey, a local favorite with four stars out of 1,297 reviews. Check out the Carolina Reaper hot chicken sandwich: house-made pickles, iceberg lettuce and buttermilk herb dressing between two slices of buttermilk bread. Stop by 237 S. Wilmington St. to hit up the Southern spot next time you're in the neighborhood.