If there is anything better than window shopping on a lazy Saturday, it's capping it with a tasty treat. We are lucky in the Triangle to have a number of unique places that combine those pleasures. Here are my five favorites to shop and dine:
Probably the best-known place for foodies to spend a day (and a small fortune) is Chapel Hill's Southern Season. From gourmet coffees and teas near the door through to the international candies at the back, A Southern Season will tempt you at every turn. If your recipe calls and ingredient or tool that you can't find, guaranteed Southern Season stocks it.
The dining options are just as varied. You can choose to sit and be served at award-winning Weathervane, or you can build your own meal from the fresh cases of sandwiches, baked goods and prepared foods. They also have coffee and ice cream sections for you to sit and enjoy.
Nofo at the Pig's upstairs shopping area is small but creatively curated. Swing through here while you wait for a table to browse offerings from handmade children's toys and clothes to crafted chocolates to paper goods.
Once you are seated, you can enjoy some of the best shimp and grits in the area.
Raleigh residents can indulge a green thumb and an empty stomach with a tour of Logan's Trading Company in Seaboard Station. It'd be a mistake to overlook the Seaboard Cafe tucked in the back. You can eat under cover or out in the weather, but both spaces have a view over the garden center's vast selection. Follow them on Twitter for daily lunch specials.
After your meal, wander through rooms of ideas for your outdoor space. Need a water feature, new clogs or a couple dozen flats of tomato plants. Logan's has them. They also have expert advice, tasty NC-grown jams and jellies and a section of educational toys.
If you don't have hours to wander, but still want a snack with your shopping trip, Parker and Otis in Durham may be more your speed. It can also serve as a reminder of the true bounty of North Carolina. The breakfast menu, served seven days a week, features eggs from Hillsborough, dairy from Julian, NC, and coffee from Durham's own Counter Culture.
The curated selection of wines, oils, candies, cheese and more is perfect for assembling a made-in-NC gift basket.
Finally, Relish in north Raleigh is the kind of neighborhood restaurant that lets diners bring home and replicate their favorites. I go back time and again to work my way through the variety of grilled cheese sandwiches and mac and cheese skillets.
The Relish market allows you to buy that mac in bulk, or to carry out other tasty favorites like pepper jelly or pimento cheese deviled eggs. They also stock select local products like Little Herb House body products and Midtown Olive Oils.
Where do you like to shop and dine?