During the first weekend in September, the musically-hip cognoscenti will descend upon downtown Raleigh for the multi-day music festival known as Hopscotch. Popular indie acts like St. Vincent, Mastadon and De La Soul are expected to headline the festival September 4 through September 6 on Fayetteville Street’s City Plaza stage.
Shows from over 160 bands will take place at venues spread around downtown and wrist-banded festival attendees are expected to bounce from show to show to catch the various artists over the course of the three-day festival.
Those concert-goers seeking nourishment in between shows have a multitude of dining options nearby. Here are eight hip must-try restaurants, ranging from full-service to casual, that are all within walking distance from a Hopscotch venue:
Garland (14 W. Martin Street , $6-$21) Located next to Kings Barcade, Garland is a hip Asian and Indian fusion eatery that uses seasonal and local ingredients. The fare at Garland packs a lot of robust flavors and boasts a range of textures.
2. Capital Club 16
Capital Club 16 (16 W. Martin Street, $10-$20) Explore the vestiges of old Manhattan through Capital Club 16, where some of the furnishings hail from historical New York City landmark restaurants. Capital Club 16 bills itself as a traditional American restaurant, but entrees also reflect its European and German influences.
Chuck’s (237 S. Wilmington Street, $6-$10) 100 percent ground chuck patties are dressed with decadent toppings at Ashley Christensen’s popular casual burger restaurant Chuck’s. Burgers like The Dirty South and the Last Word come in two sizes, half pound and five-ounce, and the Belgian-cut fries are served with your choice of dipping sauce.
4. Bida Manda
Bida Manda (222 S. Blount Street, $8-$20) As a neighbor to the Pour House, Bida Manda is the prime spot in Raleigh for sophisticated Laotian eats. The vibrancy of Laotian cuisine comes to life in Bida Manda entrees like its Green Papaya Salad and Caramelized Ginger Pork Ribs.
5. Tasty 8's
Tasty 8’s (121 Fayetteville Street, $5-$7) Eight is the only number you need to know at Tasty 8’s. The newly-opened hot dog restaurant eatery boasts eight varieties of gourmet hot dogs, fries, dipping sauces, craft brews and milkshakes. The all-natural beef dogs come with whimsical names like the Southern Comfort and the Windy City Weenie.
6. Happy + Hale
Happy + Hale (443 Fayetteville Street, $6-$10) If you’re in search of food on the lighter side, Happy + Hale may be the ticket during Hopscotch. Happy + Hale offers a wide variety of premium salads and cold-pressed bottled juices perfect for a concert-goer on the run.
7. The Fiction Kitchen
The Fiction Kitchen (428 S. Dawson Street, $6-$15) Though a bit of a longer walk from some of the Hopscotch venues, the vegetarian and vegan fare at The Fiction Kitchen makes the trip worthwhile. Dishes like the Noodle Bowl and Crispy Fried “Chicken” and Waffles prove that vegetarian dishes can pack tons of flavor without any meat.
Bittersweet (16 E. Hargett Street, $5-10) If you’re hankering for food of the sweeter sort, Bittersweet may be able to satisfy your cravings with its array of desserts like Derby Pie and Peach Donut Cobbler. Bittersweet also serves bar snacks, Counter Culture coffee, craft beers and cocktails.
Bonus: 9. Stanbury
Stanbury (938 N. Blount Street, $7-$26) Stanbury is a bit outside the Hopscotch vicinity, but well-worth the R-line ride over to the Mordecai neighborhood. Dishes like Crispy Pig Head and Roasted Marrow and a variety of small and large plates made from fresh, seasonal ingredients make Stanbury a stand-out in the Raleigh culinary scene.