Raleigh Food & Drink

Grits-tastic: A Countdown of Raleigh’s 12 Best Places for Grits!

Raleigh, North Carolina is known for its Southern charm and hospitality. And what better way to experience that than through a hearty bowl of grits?

Whether you like them creamy or with a bit of texture, Raleigh has no shortage of places to enjoy this beloved dish. From brunch spots to diners, there's a grits destination for every occasion.

But with so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. That's where this guide comes in.

We've scoured the city to bring you the best places to indulge in this staple of Southern cuisine. Whether you're a local or just visiting, these grits spots are not to be missed.

But what exactly are grits? For those unfamiliar, grits are a porridge-like dish made from boiled cornmeal. They're usually served as a breakfast dish, but can be eaten anytime of the day.

Grits can be served plain or with a variety of toppings, from bacon and eggs to shrimp and cheese. It's a versatile dish that can be dressed up or down depending on your mood.

So, let's dive into the best places to get your grits fix in Raleigh. Whether you're a die-hard grits fan or a newcomer to the dish, these spots are sure to impress.

Get ready to indulge in some of the best grits Raleigh has to offer.

1. First Watch

First Watch
6109 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612 (Google Maps)

First Watch is a casual cafe chain that serves health-conscious breakfast, brunch, and lunch options.

They offer a variety of freshly made dishes, including grits, that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that your food comes out quickly and is exactly what you ordered.

The atmosphere is light and bright, making it a great place to start your day. If you're looking for a delicious breakfast spot, First Watch is definitely worth checking out.

2. Irregardless

901 W Morgan St, Raleigh, NC 27603 (Google Maps)

Irregardless serves up a diverse menu of locally sourced, global cuisine.

Their grits are a must-try and they offer vegan and gluten-free options. The atmosphere is charming and often accompanied by live music.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about allergies and dietary restrictions.

Make sure to make a reservation, as the restaurant can get busy.

3. St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar
223 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601 (Google Maps)

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar is a must-visit spot for grits lovers. This oyster bar restaurant offers a unique twist on the classic dish, with options like Bolo N Grits and barbecued crawfish and grits.

The ambiance is vibrant and fun, with a New Orleans-inspired menu that is sure to delight.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the menu, making for a great dining experience. Don't miss out on the beignets with hot bourbon caramel dipping sauce, a perfect start to any meal.

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar is a great choice for those looking for a new and exciting place for grits.

4. Seasons 52

Seasons 52
4325 Glenwood Ave Suite 2100, Raleigh, NC 27612 (Google Maps)

Seasons 52 is a fine dining restaurant that offers a variety of gourmet dishes, including grits.

The food is well-seasoned and cooked to perfection. The menu has a good variety of options, including vegetarian and gluten-free choices.

The ambiance is cozy and perfect for a romantic date night. The service is attentive and friendly.

The prices are reasonable for the quality of food and service. Seasons 52 is a great place to enjoy a delicious meal, including a plate of mouth-watering grits.

5. Pam's Farmhouse Restaurant

Pam's Farmhouse Restaurant
5111 Western Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27606 (Google Maps)

Pam's Farmhouse Restaurant is a down-to-earth eatery that serves up delicious Southern-style comfort food.

The menu is simple yet full of choices, with everything being homemade. The portions are healthy and the prices are reasonable. The staff is friendly and provides fast service.

The restaurant is a local favorite and is often busy, but the wait is worth it. The grits are a must-try and are cooked to perfection.

The French Toast is also phenomenal. Pam's Farmhouse Restaurant is a great spot for a business lunch or just enjoying time with the family.

6. Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar

Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar
5625 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612 (Google Maps)

Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar is a must-visit place for those craving southern comfort food. The shrimp and grits are a standout dish, with a spicy kick from the bacon and chives.

Vegetarians will appreciate the variety of options available, including the delicious veggie plate.

The service is quick and efficient, but can sometimes feel rushed. The ambiance is calming and relaxing, making it the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner.

Don't miss out on their specialty mac and cheese or the sweet tea.

7. Morning Times

Morning Times
10 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601 (Google Maps)

Morning Times is a bi-level coffeehouse that serves light fare in a bohemian, exposed-brick space.

The place offers a cozy atmosphere and a great view of downtown from the window bar. The coffee is excellent, and they have cute mugs for sale.

Morning Times is a great place to visit for breakfast, and their grits bowl is a must-try. The staff is friendly, and the service is fast.

The upstairs gallery adds to the unique vibe of the place. If you are looking for a cozy coffee shop with great food and coffee, Morning Times is definitely worth checking out.

8. Cape Fear Seafood Company

Cape Fear Seafood Company
832 Spring Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609 (Google Maps)

Cape Fear Seafood Company is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious grits. With quick service and perfect portion sizes, the shrimp and grits are simply amazing.

The restaurant offers a great ambiance and the staff is knowledgeable and attentive.

The seafood is fresh and flavorful, and the jambalaya and crab risotto are highly recommended. Prices are reasonable for the elevated seafood meal you'll enjoy.

The restaurant gets busy, so making a reservation is recommended. All in all, Cape Fear Seafood Company is an excellent seafood restaurant that should not be missed.

9. Poole's

426 S McDowell St, Raleigh, NC 27601 (Google Maps)

Poole's is a retro-chic diner that serves up some seriously good grits. The menu is well-curated and the dishes are creative and distinctive.

The staff is attentive and provides excellent service. The cocktails are strong and the beer selection is superb.

The mac and cheese is a must-try, and the shrimp and grits are delicious. The atmosphere is lively and fun.

While it may not be cheap, the food is well worth the price. Poole's is definitely a must-visit for anyone looking for great grits in a unique setting.

10. Manhattan Cafe

Manhattan Cafe
320 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601 (Google Maps)

Manhattan Cafe is a hidden gem for those seeking a delicious bowl of grits. The cafe offers a variety of breakfast options, but their grits steal the show.

They are creamy and perfectly seasoned, leaving customers wanting more.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a pleasant dining experience. The cafe is located in a convenient spot for downtown visitors, but be prepared for a short wait during peak hours.

For a satisfying and comforting breakfast, head to Manhattan Cafe for their mouthwatering grits.

11. Plates Neighborhood Kitchen

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen
301 Glenwood Ave # 100, Raleigh, NC 27603 (Google Maps)

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen is a must-visit restaurant for those seeking delicious grits.

Their menu is globally-inspired and farm-fresh, with a focus on quality over quantity. The service is outstanding, with attentive and knowledgeable staff.

The menu offers gluten-free and vegetarian options, making it a great choice for all diners. The outdoor seating area is lovely, with heaters for cooler nights.

The cocktails are creative and the food is incredibly well thought out and cooked to perfection. Highly recommended for brunch, lunch, and supper.

12. Watkins Grill

Watkins Grill
1625 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27604 (Google Maps)

Watkins Grill is a down-to-earth, cash-only diner that has been serving hearty breakfast and lunch fare since 1947.

The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is reminiscent of a simpler time. While the décor may be outdated, the food is consistently great and the prices are hard to beat.

They are known for their grit bowls, which are not on the menu, but definitely worth trying.

If you're looking for a traditional, no-frills southern eatery, Watkins Grill is definitely worth a visit.