Welcome to the second largest city in the Carolinas, aka the City of Oaks, – Raleigh!

If you think the only things Raleigh has to offer are the Carolina Hurricanes and the Wolfpack, you’re in for a treat. The High Five Conference, in collaboration with storytelling platform Fabl, is pleased to share some of our favorite spots in town to eat, drink, and play.

Show everyone the great things YOU discover about Raleigh by tagging your Instagram and Twitter pics #high5conf and #youRhere.

Consider it your cheat sheet for Raleigh.


Chef and owner Cheetie Kumar is a rock star. No, really, she is. Kumar plays guitar in the Raleigh band Birds of Avalon, and is a co-owner of the music venue Kings Barcade and its downstairs bar & lounge neighbor, Neptune’s Parlour. She’s a rock star in the kitchen, too-- one taste of her seasonal pakoras and you’ll be a believer. Bonus: a takeout window serves street food for the movers and shakers among you. Menu

The capital of Ashley Christensen’s tasty kingdom, Poole’s Diner is the place you take out-of-towners to show them how innovative and special Southern food can be. The unctuous, tangy baked mac and cheese may have you packing a UHaul for a move to the Oak City. Artisanal cocktails, beer, and wine are served at a double horseshoe bar that is original to the diner.

The Dodd-Hinsdale House, a Second Empire Victorian manor on the Capitol’s western corridor, was painstakingly renovated into the breathtaking beauty of its earlier years in the early 1990s. Second Empire is the gold standard of fine dining in Raleigh; the appeal of the restaurant extends beyond its 14’ ceilings and heart pine floors, to the extensive and lauded wine list and – American cuisine by Chef de Cuisine Daniel Schurr. Private dining is available, as is a Chef’s Table in Schurr’s kitchen. Menu

What was that deliciously umami and surprisingly bacon-like crunch on top of your grits bowl? It wasn’t meat–the Fiction Kitchen is Raleigh’s most popular vegetarian/vegan eatery. The Fiction Kitchen started as a pop-up shop, and quickly gained a groundswell of support from devoted foodies. It opened its brick-and-mortar place only a couple of years ago, but its succotash farro risotto is already legend. Menu

Take your taste buds, and dining experience, to the next level by enjoying some authentic Lebanese dishes. Sitti honors the grandmothers, or sittis, who were the caretakers and teachers of the Lebanese culture, faith and food. End your day in Raleigh with a glimpse of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Menu

There’s nothing quite like a toasty empanada in one hand and a glass of tequila in the other. What’s an empanada you ask? Well, think Mexican hot pockets times a thousand. This baked bready goodness is stuffed with the freshest meat, cheese, vegetables or fruits. Not a tequila connoisseur? The folks at Calavera will be more than happy to assist in your decision between 80 tequilas. Menu


A huge selection of bourbons makes even classic Old Fashioneds new again, and the Whiskey Sours at this underground industrial joint are revelatory. The space is intimate (read:small) but you can enjoy your cocktails outside on Fayetteville Street as well–recommended on weekend nights when Foundation is packed to the gills.

You know a bar is serious about its cocktails when ice is carefully shaped, chipped, or shaved to complement each drink. You will not find $4 vodka soda specials at Fox Liquor Bar; revival and new cocktails are $11 and are perfectly executed every time, with fresh citrus, berries, herbs, and specialty garnishes like candied ginger and brandied cherries. Fox Liquor Bar also serves snacks of the meat, cheese, and olive varieties. Menu

Yes, it’s way out of the way, but if you happen to find yourself in Glenwood North, check out House of Hops. This neighborhood bottle shop has a couple dozen beers on draft and a dizzying wall of bottled selections to take home for later perusal. There are labeled jars of barley and hops on the bar–inhale each one deeply. Your scent preferences will help you profile the types of beers that you will most enjoy. Cool, huh? Also, bartender Gabriela wins our unofficial award for Nicest Bartender in Raleigh. Menu

If you haven’t been to Raleigh Times in a while (or ever) you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the new rooftop patio. Now the stellar views equal the impressive selection of Belgian beers and cheeky pub fare- PBR-battered catfish and chips, anyone? Vintage clippings from the restaurant’s namesake press adorn the walls, so you’ll have something to read while you wait for your friends to show up. Menu

This craft brewery and tasting room is located in the warehouse district, a few of its staff also operate the Crank Arm Rickshaw Company. Now on tap: Boyznbiken Hefeweizen. It’s infused with Boysenberry! If you’re not into bells and whistles, the Tandem Double IPA or the Eat Sleep Bike are among many of the more straightforward brews on tap. (And yes, all of the beer names have something or another to do with bikes. It’s pun-tastic.) Menu

Whether you’re looking for a cup or coffee or a glass of champagne, you’ll find it here at Bittersweet. Pair it with a biscuit, pie or cake baked the the owner, Kim Hammer. Bittersweet has a saying, “champagne saved is champagne wasted.” Get your seasonal sip on! Menu


The NCMA has the best of both worlds. Surround yourself with the Carolina greenery of the Museum Park. As you stroll, enjoy billboard murals produced by UNC–Asheville, University of Mount Olive, and St. Augustine’s University as an outreach program. Looking for a quiet, cool space? Visit NCMA’s “Chisel and Forge: Works by Peter Oakley and Elizabeth Brim” exhibit. Examine our everyday objects - egg cartons, bars of soap, and the likes - chiseled out of marble through Peter Oakley’s work. Question why we gender our materials through Elizabeth Brim’s sculptures. See all current exhibits.

As a non-collecting art museum, CAM Raleigh always offers something new. Enter the video and installation, Failure of the American Dream by Phil America. The exhibition explores the realities of poverty in the United States that are frequently ignored in Western culture. More Info

Explore how the Tar Heel state has been shaped in the last 14,000 years. In the museum’s largest collection, you’ll see stone tools dating back to ancient times, the state’s fourth oldest house, civil war relics and much more. Wander the 3-story museum to learn about state history, music and basketball. Current Exhibits

End your High Five Conference with a viewing at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Every storyteller needs to experience one of the world’s classic tales of life, love and death. Based on Shakesphere’s, The Tempest, this ethereal ballet features the well-known characters Prospero, Miranda, Caliban, and Ariel. Show starts at 8pm. Get your tickets.

Take a trip to Little Raleigh Theater and enjoy Sweeney Todd directed by Patrick Torres. Watch how all of London is dying to know what the secret ingredient is in the pies on Fleet Street. The Guardian sums up the musical as a "skillful mix of savagery, tragedy and comedy that creates a work of art and leaves one in awe.” Tickets start at $17.


Pick out a pair of handmade jeans, crafted from locally sourced and woven cotton, at Raleigh Denim + Workshop. Head across the street to Videri for the perfect bite of chocolate, and put it all in a quirky new Holly Aiken bag from Stitch Whether you’re on the lookout for antiques, records, or a new pair of shoes, you can find it in downtown Raleigh.

Part of the nation’s top research park located at NC State’s Centennial Campus, the Hunt Library offers many books as well as a documentary film screenings. Come view a presentation on how resources at the NCSU Libraries can assist researchers and others wanting to learn more about the legacy of women in STEM at NC State, from its earliest pioneers to today on Wednesday, March 2nd, 7pm. More Info

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. The Rialto is the perfect spot to do just that–the 1942 theater shows independent and foreign films and serves wine and beer as well as popcorn and candy treats. So, unplug and lose touch for a couple of hours. We all need it from time to time. Now Showing

How fast can you connect the dots? Find out at Tic Toe Escapes where you and a group of people will be locked in a room full of puzzles. You have one hour to find all the clues in order to unlock the door! Don’t worry, you won’t be locked in forever, times up after one hour! Which world do you want to be trapped in: “The Green Room,” “Night at the Mausoleum,” or “A Very Tacky Christmas?” Book your escape.

There’s something magical about this park, which is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Buy a $1 ticket and ride a jackrabbit or lion around the carousel (a surprisingly fast ride, for a circa-1920 piece of machinery!) or hop on the train to take a trip around the 66-acre park. Watching the kids at play will certainly transport you to the sunniest days of your childhood.