A couple months ago, while procrastinating during one of our study sessions, I told my friend Maria that I’ve lived here in Chapel Hill for almost 2 years and basically never been to Raleigh (besides a couple super quick trips for specific events at night). Given that Maria went to NC State undergrad and has lived in the Raleigh area for years, she decided it was her duty to take me on a tour of Raleigh before I move back to DC next week. Yesterday morning was finally the day!
Our crazy busy schedules meant that we only had a few hours to play because I had to be back in Chapel Hill at 2 for a group project meeting and Maria had to pick up her kids from school, so we decided to meet at Maria’s at 9 a.m. and embark on a “quick and dirty” tour of Raleigh. We did some driving and some walking. There was a lot to see and we were on a tight schedule. ;)
Our first stop before heading into the downtown was the Raleigh Farmer’s Market! This is seriously the most awesome farmer’s market ever — it’s ALWAYS open!
I wish this were next to my house. We’re getting into prime farmer’s market season — check out all this gorgeous produce!
NC strawberries are AMAZING right now. Beautiful flowers and herbs for sale, too.
I picked up some sweet potatoes, kale, cucumber, asparagus, tomatoes, and, of course, some of those beautiful strawberries, all for less than $15. Sweet!
After the farmer’s market, we headed downtown! We drove through NC State to see Maria’s old stomping grounds, and then parked and got out to walk around the capital area.
We drove around through a few more cool areas before stopping at… Krispy Kreme!! Maria told me we had to check it out because the Raleigh store is not just a normal store — the back of the store is glass so you can see the donuts being made! Fun.
Mmmm… icing. We thought about getting a donut to share but we were heading to lunch in like 15 minutes so we decided to hold off. :)
On the way to lunch, we stopped at the cutest place ever for tea:
And then headed to Maria’s favorite restaurant in the area for lunch — a cute place called Irregardless!
Sidenote: does the word “irregardless” (which is actually not really a word, technically, since regardless means the same thing) remind anyone else of the movie Mean Girls? :)
Maria had a feeling I would love this place and she was right. Awesome menu — I wanted everything, but finally decided on the South American Quinoa Salad topped with salmon.
Isn’t that pretty?! The salad had black beans, quinoa, sweet potatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds, mango guacamole, and a poblano dressing (the green sauce on the side).
SO. GOOD. I mixed it all together and it was almost even prettier after I did — so colorful!
I only made it through half of it — it was a massive portion — so half came home with me, plus some yummy whole wheat bread they brought to the table. Yay for leftovers!
Delicious lunch. If you ever find yourself in Raleigh, check this place out!
Sadly after lunch it was time to hightail it back to our respective commitments. The morning went by way too quickly — we had so much fun playing hooky from responsibilities and exploring Raleigh. Thanks to my lovely tour guide, Maria! :)
I have a TON of work to get done today — time to buckle down! Happy Thursday, friends!