48 Hours in The Warehouse District (see, do, eat, drink, shop)

The Warehouse District is our favorite of the downtown Raleigh districts and an area that has undergone a major transformation in recent years, for the better!

The Warehouse District, Raleigh
The Warehouse District

The six-block Warehouse District has transformed from its former red-brick industrial buildings into a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, bars, a brewery, a food hall, boutique shopping, art museums, studios and technology firms.

Plus, it’s also a transit hub with the opening of the new Raleigh Union Station and a sought after residential location within The Dillon Building.

warehouse district raleigh nc 2
Condos and The Dillon Building

Back in the day when we first moved to Raleigh, we would usually end up in Glenwood South or the Fayetteville Street and Moore Square area. Now you will mostly find us hanging out in the Warehouse District for coffee, lunch, a beer, or a spot of shopping. 

In fact, we could spend a whole weekend just in this district and not run out of things to do, see, eat and drink. This area is home to one of the best BBQ joints, breweries, coffee shops, and boutique stores in all of Raleigh that keeps us coming back for more!

Raleigh's Warehouse District
Looking up W Martin Street towards downtown

Down below we are sharing a guide on how to spend 48 hours in Raleigh’s Warehouse District, including where to stay if you are visiting Raleigh! 

Please Note: at the date of publishing, we are still in the middle of the pandemic so please check every businesses website for up to date dining and shopping guidelines and opening hours – some maybe temporarily closed. Some of my photos below are pre-Covid.

Where is the Warehouse District in Raleigh?

Red outline of the Warehouse District
Red outline of the Warehouse District

Located directly west of downtown Raleigh and in between Boylan Heights, the loose border of the district is W. Morgan St to the north, S Dawson St to the east, Western Blvd to the south, and S Saunders St to the west.

Day One

Breakfast – A Place at the Table

A place at the table, Warehouse District

We love the concept at A Place At The Table Cafe. It’s a pay-what-you-can and pay-it-forward cafe with multiple options to pay and to pay-it-forward if you can. 

It’s a sandwich shop and coffee bar and popular for brunch. They have great pastries, biscuits, breakfast plates and yoghurt bowls.

My pick: avocado on toast, egg + bacon + cheese biscuit, and a latte with oat milk. 

Why not start off your visit to the Warehouse District by being a part of a mission that provides community and good food for all regardless of means.

Morning coffee walk around

Warehouse District

To get your bearings for the rest of your visit, why not get a coffee to go from A Place At The Table (they do a great latte) and wander around the 6 block Warehouse District. You can check out the murals such as:

Women’s International Champions Cup

warehouse district raleigh

Women’s soccer is a BIG deal in North Carolina, and this mural on S Harrington Street by local artist @Taylurk was painted to celebrate the Women’s International Cup that took place in nearby Cary in 2019.

This mural features a key player from each of the teams that competed: Manchester City, hometown heroes NC Courage, Olympique Lyonnais, and Atletico de Madrid. 

Allen Iverson mural

Allen Iverson mural
Allen Iverson

As part of the CAM Raleigh exhibition called “Above The Rim” (closed now) this exhibit explored basketball through the lens of art. @Steveespopowers re-created a scene from 1990’s NBA history of Allen Iverson, sitting on the bench during an actual game, having his hair braided by his mom Ann. Location: 409 W. Martin St

“No Damsel” murals

raleigh north carolina 13
Our kids had fun with this mural.

At CAM Raleigh, artist Dorian Lynde’s critically-acclaimed No Damsel exhibition was a hit. The exhibition featured a series of murals and paintings with re-imagined, modern-day Disney princesses. Lynde painted murals in the Warehouse District that can still be seen today. 

Location: Corner of S. Harrington and W. Martin Streets.

Oaks and Spokes mural

20200529 091113 Landscapes 2

Oaks and Spokes, a nonprofit organization fostering the cycling community in Raleigh, partnered with Crank Arm Brewing to thank riders for doing what they do. Location: 319 W. Davie Street.

Stop in at CAM Raleigh

CAM Raleigh displays new and emerging work by local and national living artists. Every exhibition is unique and thought-provoking. Free admission and popular among local residents.

Litmus Gallery & Studios

Pop into Litmus Gallery & Studios, a working gallery and artist co-working space showcasing resident and guest artists from around the Triangle. This is a regular stop on Raleigh’s First Friday art walk.

Local Color Gallery

Run by local artists, Local Color is a women’s artist cooperative featuring work in a variety of mediums. Here you can meet and interact with the artists who all live in the area.

Lunch – Morgan Street Food Hall

morgan street food hall raleigh

Another great concept in the Warehouse District is the Morgan Street Food Hall. This food hall was a first of its kind in Raleigh and is similar to a food court with lots of dining choices in one spot, but with higher quality food and ambiance.

Here you can choose from 20 different food concepts showcasing local eateries housed in food stalls or free standing kiosks. On weekends there’s a lively atmosphere and it’s perfect for those with different food tastes. 

Popular vendors:

CowBar Burger
CowBar Burger
  • CowBar Burger (my favorite is the Southern Classic burger and truffle fries)
  • Oak City Fish & Chips
  • Curry in a Hurry
  • Raleigh Rolls (ice cream rolled on cold slates with a variety of flavors and toppings)
raleigh rolls nc
For a sweet treat visit Raleigh Rolls
  • See all vendors here. And consider their mimosa weekends deal: $15 champagne buckets. 

Afternoon Shopping

The Flourish Market

The Flourish Market
Some great products and gifts here!

We LOVE this place and its mission, and it’s owner Emily, one of the great young Raleigh entrepreneurs. The Flourish Market is a unique women’s + gift boutique store where all of their products have a higher purpose.

You can shop 60+ cause-based brands and use your purchasing power for good – clothing, jewelry, bags, shoes, greeting cards and more. Tell them Caroline & Craig sent you! 

Raleigh Denim Workshop + Curatory

This is a cool Raleigh story. Raleigh Denim Workshop began with the idea of making the perfect pair of jeans. Located in the front of their workshop, the Curatory stocks the complete Raleigh Denim collection, as well as other exclusive well-crafted collections.

311 Gallery

311 Art Gallery

Home to 12 artist studios, an exhibition gallery and a gift shop, 311 Gallery regularly hosts juried art shows and traveling artists exhibits.

Afternoon Drinks

Crank Arm Brewing

Crank Arm Brewing, Raleigh
Road Hazard, Hazy IPA

If you enjoy tasting new craft brews, the guys at Cram Arm Brewing are passionate about beer and bikes and have a mission to brew delicious innovative beer and support the local cycling community!

Pop in and sample one of the three flagship beers at one of the most popular Raleigh breweries in downtown, or go with a flight. My pick: Road Hazard Hazy IPA.

In nice weather you can sit outside or relax indoors and have the outside come to you – they have an open garage door setup.

OR,

Whiskey Kitchen

Whiskey Kitchen, Raleigh
Such a cool bar, inside & out

If you prefer whiskey over beer, walk one block east outside of the Warehouse District boundary along W Martin Street to one of our favorite Raleigh bars – Whiskey Kitchen.

Part whiskey bar, part Southern kitchen, it’s a beautiful open space and hip venue with a repurposed industrial feel. And with over 300 whiskies, craft cocktails, and great beer and wine options you can’t go wrong. Not sure which whiskey to drink, try a flight.

They also have a cool outdoor patio space which is popular in the warmer months. Plus a great small bites menu – I’m a big fan of their lamb burger and rate it as one of the best burgers in Raleigh!

Even more drinking options:

  • State of Beer  – cool bottle shop offering an extensive list of craft brews + some of the best gourmet sandwiches in town (one block north of the Warehouse District).
  • Flying Saucer – across the street from Morgan Street Food Hall and offer 200+ global beers.
  • Junction West – bar with a nice upscale feel and cool uncovered patio space outside.

Sunset and Skyline View

Top of The Dillon Building

View of Raleigh from top of Dillon Building
View from top of Dillon Building

For one of the best views of downtown Raleigh, jump in the elevator at the bottom of The Dillon Building and head up to the rooftop deck on level 9. 

Anyone can go up here and it’s free. You get magnificent views over the Warehouse District and of the Raleigh city skyline, and the perfect time to go up is just before sunset with the sun’s rays washing over the buildings!  

The Dillon Building
The Dillon Building

You can’t miss The Dillon Building, it’s in the heart of Raleigh’s Warehouse District and stands on a site once owned by Dillon Supply, an industrial supplies distributor and steel service center that opened its doors more than 100 years ago. 

Dinner – The Pit Authentic BBQ

The Pit BBQ, Raleigh

In case you don’t know, North Carolina is a big BBQ state and The Pit Authentic BBQ proudly serves authentic whole-hog, pit-cooked Eastern-style barbecue.

So if this is your first time visiting Raleigh, why not try some Carolina BBQ at one of the best Warehouse District restaurants – just be warned, you may have to loosen your belts!

Popular items: Beef Brisket, Baby Back Ribs, Southern Fried Chicken, Pimento Cheese Balls, Heirloom Cabbage Collards.

Big Boy Burger
Big Boy Burger

But one of my other favorite dishes is their Big Boy Burger: two house-ground brisket patties, western BBQ sauce, brisket, pulled pork, pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion straws. It’s phenomenal. I mean, look at that thing!

They also serve biscuits and hushpuppies with the meal. Prices are fair, and there’s a good beer list. 

And they often have live music outside (check their website) so I always recommend this as one of the best places to eat in Raleigh, period. 

Other dinner options:

Taverna Grecian Grill at Taverna Agora
Taverna Grecian Grill at Taverna Agora

One of the great things about the Warehouse District is all the food options in close proximity. If you’re not interested in BBQ, check out these other restaurants:

  • Taverna Agora – one block north of the Warehouse District boundary, go here for an authentic Greek dining experience that will remind you of your trips to Greece. 
  • The Fiction Kitchen – Looking for the best vegetarian and vegan food in Raleigh? Look no further. Don’t miss the vegan barbecue!
  • Humble Pie – serves delightful dishes meant to share, plus wine and spirits in a casual yet elegant atmosphere with spacious indoor dining and a patio. Locals rave about the Blue Crab Claws and house made Sourdough Bread.
  • Tuscan Blu Italian Restaurant – classic Italian cuisine plus wine and beer in a charming brick-walled setting with a patio.
  • Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern – next door to Taverna Agora, this is Raleigh’s premier fine dining experience and a recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award.

Evening Drinks at Vita Vite Art Gallery + Wine Bar

If you still have some room left in your tummy and would like to extend your night, consider Vita Vite, a premier wine bar that doubles as an art gallery. They offer a great selection of wine and a classy and relaxed atmosphere.

The cozy lounge-style wine bar is furnished with plush, fireside couches and there’s a nice outdoor porch. Decent beer selection too for a wine bar.

Alternatively, pop back to Crank Arm Brewing or Whiskey Kitchen! 

Day Two

Breakfast – Boulted Bread

Boulted Bread, Raleigh
Morning buns / Chocolate croissants

If you’re a bread and pastry lover, Boulted Bread is that chic local neighborhood bakery you’ve been craving that features pastries and loaves of bread made with local, organic grains.

Located a few steps outside the western boundary of the Warehouse District, for Raleigh locals this bakery is a favorite.

They serve pastries ranging from flaky croissants and sweet, fruit-filled tarts to savory breakfast quiches and craft bread created in a bright, rustic bakery that’s small in size but big on quality.

Popular items: The Morning Bun, Chocolate Croissants, Nordic Rye Bread, and the staff favorite is the Baguette.

Pop in and grab something to go then head to one of our favorite coffee shops in Raleigh, Heirloom Brewshop. 

HOT TIP: If you don’t want to visit a bakery for breakfast, or want to skip breakfast all together, Parkside Restaurant (see below lunch suggestion) serves one of the best brunches in Raleigh! 

Coffee 

Heirloom Brewshop

Heirloom Brew Shop
Latte

In my opinion, Heirloom Brewshop makes one of the best lattes in downtown and is one of the best coffee shops in Raleigh.

They are a specialty coffee shop, premium tea house, and sake bar that offers a variety of drinks from brewed coffee and pour overs, to cortados, loose leaf teas, sake, draft beers and cocktails.

Heirloom Brewshop, Raleigh
Their Mochi Donuts are a must too!

When I’m working in the Warehouse District at the nearby Raleigh Founded co-working space, I’ll often grab a coffee to go from Heirloom, and I suggest you pop in here at least once during your 48 hour visit. 

Shopping & Exploration

Father & Son Antiques

Father and Son Antiques

If you like browsing antique stores, the 10,000 square foot Father & Sons antique shop sells modern furnishings, vintage clothing and accessories, records and books. They have one of the best vintage clothing selections in Raleigh.

Raleigh Union Station

Inside Raleigh Union Station
Inside Raleigh Union Station

The City of Raleigh constructed a new train station in 2018, and with a quick walk through you can appreciate more of the architectural and artistic beauty of the Warehouse District. Inside is the cool Glas: Raleigh light display and a Welcome To Raleigh sign.

Union Station is Raleigh’s new transit center. Its main building serves as an Amtrak train station, while a future adjacent building will serve as the bus terminus for GoTriangle.

Sorry State Records

record stores raleigh nc 6 1
We bought our QUEEN record at Sorry State Record Store

If you’re into shopping for vinyl, then check out Sorry State Records – we featured them in our best record stores in Raleigh list.

FUN FACT: This Raleigh record store began as a record label in 2005, releasing a 7″ vinyl record called Nuclear Tomorrow, the second EP by Direct Control. Since then they have put out nearly 100 releases!

Conveniently located on the northern boundary of Raleigh’ Warehouse District. Currently by appointment only but you can also shop online.

Lunch – Parkside Restaurant

Parkside Restauranr
Parkside

With a prime location on the edge of Raleigh’s Warehouse District and with its neon sign, Parkside Restaurant is hard to miss.

As mentioned, Parkside is a retro-industrial restaurant and popular for their brunch menu, but also for lunch and dinner and offers filling Southern dishes with a variety of choices to suit all taste buds, and prices hard to beat for the quality.

This is one of the best restaurants in Raleigh for traditional American comfort food the locals love, including another amazing burger! 

Parkside Burger / Chicken & Waffle Sandwich
Parkside Burger / Chicken & Waffle Sandwich

Popular items: Chicken and Waffle Sandwich, The Parkside Burger, Prime Rib. 

And you can wash your meal down with one of the 20 beers on tap, a cocktail or a glass of wine!

Afternoon Coffee and exploration

Black & White Roasters

black white coffee

I’m a two-coffee-per-day person, so after lunch if you’re in need of another caffeine hit head to Black and White Coffee at Videri who also do a great latte and is a full espresso bar (how about a mocha made with Videri chocolate from next door!)

Pop into Videri Chocolate Factory

Videri Chocolate Factory

Yee, Black & White roasters are attached to the Videri Chocolate Factory and all chocolates lovers need to go here and check out their retail space and sample yummy chocolates!

Get a behind the scenes look at the chocolate-making process from knowledgeable staff, then choose from high quality hand-made chocolate made with organic and fair trade ingredients – vegan and allergy friendly options available.

videri chocolates 1

Popular items: Bonbons, all the chocolate bars, Hot Cocoa. Videri also sells soft serve ice cream! 

Walk around Nash Square

Nash Square, Raleigh

Nash Square hugs the eastern boundary of the Warehouse District and a square we love to walk around or sit in the sun during our afternoon coffee break when working out of the co-working spaces at Raleigh Founded and The Locality in the Warehouse District.

Nash Square, Raleigh
Cool squirrel wood carving

The trees are magnificent, there’s a Raleigh Firefighters memorial in the middle, you can say hello to the resident squirrel, and you get a view of the Raleigh skyline!

Pre-dinner drinks

Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing

View from Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing
View from Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing

Looking for an awesome craft beer, wine or cocktail with the best view in Raleigh?

Not officially within the boundary of the Warehouse District, but literally a 5 minute walk from The Dillon Building, you must go here for the fantastic views of the Warehouse District and Raleigh skyline from the best outdoor patio in Raleigh – and the drinks are super too! 

My pick: the Virtual Insanity IPA. Also their Daydream (Kölsch-Style Ale).

Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing is one of our favorite things to do in Raleigh, period.

Dinner – Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing

Dinner and cocktails with a view!
Dinner and cocktails with a view!

Well if you came for their brews and unique cocktails, then why not stay for more of the incredible views over dinner!

Besides the drinks, Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing is our favorite brewery to eat at and one of the top Raleigh restaurants period. Their food is next level and some of the best we’ve eaten in the city. 

They offer delicious and innovative meals with a healthy twist, an amazing outdoor patio area (covered) with a casual fun atmosphere perfect for a group of friends or a date. There’s also indoor seating, a lounge area plus a bar. 

Popular items: Roasted Beet Hummus, Deviled Eggs, Shrimp & Grits, Wye Hill Burger. Vegan options and kids menu. 

Read our full review of Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing.

Where to Stay 

Origin Hotel

Origin Hotel
Origin Hotel

Located just one block outside the Northwest boundary of the Warehouse District, Origin Raleigh is the newest of the Raleigh hotels to open in 2020 and one of the best hotels in downtown Raleigh that is a full-service hotel.

It’s one of the first boutique Raleigh hotels focused on lifestyle and local community experiences, and you’ll have plenty of fun opportunities right outside your door.

Book your stay here with our affiliate partner, Booking.com.

Airbnb 

vacation rentals raleigh nc 1
Great Airbnb property

Airbnb is another great option if you don’t want to stay in a hotel and get access to a full kitchen, separate bedrooms, more space, and feel like a local.

Check out this awesome Warehouse District property on Airbnb.

I hope this guide to Raleigh’s Warehouse District helps you have a memorable visit. Let us know i the comments if you have any questions, or suggestions of your own!

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