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Where to sip and sup outside Raleigh this month
This darling little dinner spot is growing (!) with the addition of two new talented chefs at the helm—NC natives chef Elizabeth Murray, most recently of Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn; and pastry chef Tanya Matta, who boasts a celebrated background in the industry, from Atlanta’s Seeger’s to NYC’s Gramercy Tavern. Together, the pair have reimagined the Littler menu, with such additions as bluefin tuna crudo, housemade carrot cavatelli, Southern fish cassoulet and—for dessert—red currant mousse. Clearly, you’ll “littler-ly” need a “little” bit of everything.
Bootch, please. You’re gonna wanna chill with your scobies at this kombucha taproom offering a broad variety of “better not bitter” alcoholic (!) and nonalcoholic fresh fizzers made with high-quality ingredients. Get in the spirit with refreshing flavors (think hibiscus strawberry lemonade, tamarind, black raspberry and white pomegranate) serving up allll the health benies of bootch—like antioxidants for a healthy energy and immunity boost. And if bootch isn’t your thing, beer is on tap as well. Bottoms up!
Monster margaritas, cheesy ACPs and 12 different kinds of tacos. … Is this heaven? Because it sure tastes like it. Enter Mezcalito, which offers a unique Tex-Mex take on Mexican cuisine boasting a blend of bold, authentic and fresh flavors at three locations across NC, plus another one coming soon to Durham. Now more about those margaritas. … They’re legit as big as your head and come decked out with an assortment of toppings—from popsicles to watermelon on a stick to tamarind candy sticks. And they’re strong, so order up some quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and more to line your stomach.
Don’t worry, be hoppy. Belly up to the bar at this family-owned craft beer and wine shop (or pop a squat on the sunny patio) for a curated selection of over 25 local beers (plus prosecco) on tap—served by cicerones and sommeliers (!). Founded by Pavel and Kelly Chtcheprov, Bottle Theory features a tap system built by Pavel, a home brewer and engineer, that reduces waste and prevents brews from going flat. (Um, no flat beer? Yes, please!) Weekly events like trivia, free wine tastings and live music—plus weekly rotating food trucks—raise the bar even further. Our (bottle) theory? You’re gonna wanna stay awhile.
An ice cream a day keeps the summer humidity away! And this beloved locally owned ice cream shop in Wake Forest knows how to keep it cool. Best known for its soft serve cones, Dairy Depot offers a myriad of unique flavors (think butter cookie, maple, cotton candy and cinnamon bun—plus the classics), as well as sundaes, milkshakes and parfaits. And not to be missed are its signature Train Wrecks, aka essentially an elevated McFlurry-esque creation featuring ice cream with flavor, candy and fruit mix-ins. I scream, you scream…
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