Trendy hangout spots around Raleigh


Of the late, I have discovered some new and rather underground places for entertainment that would appeal to young adults.

Having lived in Raleigh for a decade I thought I had seen everything there is to do around town, Crabtree, Frankie’s and Cameron Village, there didn’t seem to be much more than that. Going out on my own more recently I discovered there are still a lot of places around the city to enjoy.


Boxcar Bar + Arcade

Boxcar Bar + Arcade is located on W. Davie Street downtown. Despite its name, it is primarily a fully-loaded old-timey arcade, with pinball machines, foosball, skeeball and the very popular old style PacMan. There is no ID-ing for entry and although the parking situation is rough — my friend and I paid 20 dollars for parking after 4 p.m. — it is a relatively cheap form of entertainment, especially with friends. For $5 worth of tokens, you can have an hour or so of gaming.


Rialto Theater

Another place that you can have a good night for a decent price is Rialto Theater on Glenwood Avenue. The parking situation is slightly better, depending on the night and ticket prices are 8 dollars for an evening showing. They play strictly independent films. The theater is very large, almost like a huge garage filled with big, comfortable seats — each with a great view of the immense screen. There is more of a community feeling in the theater versus any given Regal Theater I’ve ever been to, as it is a collective group of people with common interest in non-“mainstream” movies.


Cat’s Cradel + The Ritz

There are two other spots for cheap and quality entertainment. Cat’s Cradle and The Ritz, although a bit of a drive away, both are concert venues for mostly alternative music groups. They provide general admission ticket sales that are typically 20 to 30 dollars a-piece, and although there are complaints about things such as the heat and claustrophobia of each venue, I think both issues are to be expected at any concert and shouldn’t be any reason to stray from attending concerts at both locations. Even with these drawbacks, in my experience, both venues are very clean, have great acoustic and very nice bouncers and security guards. The next shows that I’ll be attending are La Dispute & Title Fight on March 24 at Cat’s Cradle and All Time Low on April 18 at The Ritz. I’m very much looking forward to visiting both concert halls again.


Duck Donuts

A bit farther off is the new location of Duck Donuts, Cary. They make made-to-order donuts and arguably the best in the tri-state area. For a little over $6, you can get a dozen, delicious and fresh donuts! It’s the best breakfast place I have been to in a very long time.

There are so many undiscovered spot in the Raleigh area to see and discover. I hope you can find one yourself. Go have fun!


  1. Interesting article. I’ve been driving by the Rialto for years. Time to check it out. My family is crazy for donuts so Ducks is on my list as well. Thanks!


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