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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Help a Mom: Family-friendly restaurants in downtown Raleigh

Posted October 2, 2012 8:50 p.m. EDT

Sitti's golden glow is welcoming on the corner of Hargett and Wilmington in downtown Raleigh. (Photo courtesy Empire Eats)

Here's an email from a mom who is planning a fun day out for her son's fourth birthday:

I'm planning an outing for my son's birthday. We're going to see "Shrek the Musical" in November and I'm looking for a good place to have dinner before the show starts. What's a good kid-friendly restaurant near the Progress Energy Center?

He likes chicken, pizza and pasta, but isn't a big fan of steak or hamburgers, she tells me.

I worked for years in downtown Raleigh and live not too far from the area. So I'm familiar with many restaurants down there, though with all the growth and change in the last few years, I'm definitely not on top of all of it.

Here's what I recommended:

Casual

Vic's Italian Cafe & Pizzeria in City Market.
Tir na nOg, an Irish pub, next to Moore Square
Dickey's Barbecue Pit on Davie Street

A bit less casual

The Pit, on the other side of Davie Street. The food is absolutely amazing and they are very family friendly. In my opinion, this is a great place for kids.
Sitti on Wilmington Street. This is actually my seven-year-old's favorite restaurant. She asks me all the time when we can go back. It features Lebanese cuisine. She loves the hummus. Next door, Gravy is a yummy option for Italian food. (The Pit, Sitti and Gravy are all owned by Empire Eats).
Market Restaurant on Blount Street. The restaurant focuses on fresh, local food. Their kids menu, which includes chicken fingers and fish tacos, made my top 5 kids menus.

Trendy

Beasley's Chicken + Honey and Chuck's on Wilmington Street: They are right next to each other and owned by chef Ashley Christensen. It's amazing food in a couple of fun spaces. These are very casual restaurants that feature fried chicken at one and burgers at the other.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance has links to 130 restaurants in the area, including these. Click here to find it.

What would you recommend? Please share in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").

Help a Mom features questions from readers every Wednesday. If you have a question that you'd like to ask Go Ask Mom readers, click here to email it to me.