Our Five Faves

Best Comfort Food

Posted April 2, 2012
Updated April 3, 2012

We all have bad days! Maybe your allergies are getting the best of you. Or maybe you’re bummed about your bracket. Maybe the baby is teething and you haven’t slept in weeks, or maybe your spring break plans fell through.

Whatever it is that’s got you feeling down, you deserve a little comfort food pick-me-up! Here are our Five Fave comfort foods in the Triangle.

Coconut Cake from Hayes Barton Cafe (Raleigh): Chocolate is a common comfort food choice, but don’t underestimate coconut! It’s beachy and tropical in a Jimmy-Buffett-take-my-blues-away kind of way. The slices are huge and if you order one for dessert, plan on taking half home to enjoy the next night. It’ll give you something to look forward to all day! One caveat… if you’re having a bad day, you do not want to tackle Five Points parking. Maybe call on a best friend who owes you a favor and ask them to pick up the coconut cake and bring it to you.

Mama Dip's Chicken and DumplingsChicken and Dumplings at Mama Dips (Chapel Hill): This might actually be better described as chicken and pastry, but no matter what you call it, it’s guaranteed to ease that aching feeling. The dough is perfectly chewy, the chicken is tender and shredded, the gravy is creamy. And the wait staff at Mama Dips is friendly and warm and sure to bring a smile to your face. If you’re still feeling down after you eat, take a walk down Franklin Street and browse the shops and boutiques for a little retail therapy!

Pullen Place Cafe (Raleigh): Pullen Park = Happy Place. Pullen Park just reopened after a year’s worth of renovations and the Pullen Place Cafe is one of our favorite upgrades. They source local, seasonal ingredients for their classic, family favorite foods. They make our list of Five Fave Comfort Foods because of their Dinner-to-Go catering option. Meatloaf, mac and cheese, and spaghetti with meatballs are just a few of the comfort food choices that you can order, pick up and eat in the comfort of your own home. Because no one feels like cooking after a bad day.

Rockwell's American Grill Grilled CheeseRockwell's American Grill (Cary): They are somewhat new to the scene, but they’ve proved themselves Five Fave worthy and we couldn’t leave them off our list! Self proclaimed “comfort foods with a twist” Rockwell’s offers entrees like meatloaf and mashed potatoes served family-style and classic comfort foods with an upscale twist like Gouda grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh, and breakfast is served all day! With music like Mumford and Sons and Kings of Leon in the background, their playlist is just as cozy as their menu.


Original Glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme (Various Locations): If you wake up in the morning, and just can’t motivate yourself to get out of bed, think of the “Hot Now” sign. What’s more motivating than that? Put your two feet on the floor and get out of bed and make sure you have time to swing by Krispy Kreme before work. Pick up a dozen to share with your coworkers and make everybody’s day!

What are your go-to comfort foods?


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  • smadams Apr 3, 2012

    Thanks Garnerwolf!

  • cwood3 Apr 3, 2012

    There is no better treat in the world than as KK donut. I was in Chicago once and a KK store had just opened near the hotel is was staying in. I asked the lady at the desk in the hotel if she had tried them. She said no-and asked why. I gave her a $5 and said-repay me if you like them. Several days later, I had a message with a comment that my $10 was waiting for me---nough said!!

    A close 2nd to KK could be Lexington Style BBQ!!! Or-Sanitary Fish Market's famous shrimp and flounder platers!!

  • Garnerwolf1 Apr 3, 2012

    It's Jimmy Buffett, not Buffet. But you're right about the parking!

  • happy2.0 Apr 2, 2012

    I ate at Hayes Barton on Friday. The cakes are HUGE! And amazingly good. I didn't have the coconut. I had the yellow cake with chocolate ganache. Holy yum.

    Fried okra is my comfort food of choice. I can order it just about anywhere and be happy I got it, regardless of how bad it was cooked.

    Boiled peanuts go on my list as well.

  • hangry Apr 2, 2012

    Try the stuffed pork chops at JC's Kitchen in Durham, it would make this list

  • 2thebeach Apr 2, 2012

    Oh eoms - I know lots of skinny folks that eat chicken and pastry!

  • eoms Apr 2, 2012

    No wonder there is so much obesity in this country.

  • Gerbil Herder Apr 2, 2012

    Fried chicken livers and gizzards from Carolina BBQ...yeah, really.

  • garnertoy Apr 2, 2012

    chicken and pastry also meatloaf and mashed potatoes

  • ljones5 Apr 2, 2012

    Grandma's Chicken and pastry is still the best, but Mama Dip's comes in a very close 2nd!