midtown-raleighnc

Head for the Greenway, 11 a.m.

Part of the larger Capital Area Greenway System, many of Raleigh’s trails converge in the Midtown neighborhood, providing numerous opportunities to stretch your legs and enjoy the morning sunshine. At the end of the wooded and quiet Crabtree Creek Trail, bikers and joggers will find one of the oldest mill sites in Wake County: Lassiter Mill, which offers a history lesson to visitors as they take a peek at its powerful dam. For a long stroll, head farther north and try the trail that wraps around Shelley Lake, which is slightly more than two miles long. While the kids will enjoy watching the large number of ducks waddle and float, there are also docks from which fishermen have a good chance of catching plentiful catfish and the occasional bass.

Lassiter Mill. 3300 Lassiter Mill Road.

Shelley Lake. 1400 W. Millbrook Road.

Would you like sushi with that?, 1 p.m.

Marcus Hall, owner of Huntersville’s eeZ Fusion & Sushi, was looking to open a second location in an available restaurant space in Charlotte when he came across Alan Springate’s gourmet burger restaurant next door. The pair got a crazy idea: Why not tear down the wall between the two spaces and create a joint sushi and burger bar? The Cowfish was born. At best, people were skeptical. But soon enough, word began to catch on that these culinary opposites, burger and sushi, can coexist quite wonderfully, though it’s difficult to explain why. “The things that we put together work, even though you wouldn’t expect them to,” Springate says. After the success of The Cowfish in Charlotte, the Raleigh location opened in 2013. The restaurant’s signature dishes revolve around the now trademarked concept of “Burgushi” — sushi rolls made from burger ingredients and burgers served in the form of sushi. Hall simply describes it as “straight-up weirdness.” (But that’s a good thing. Trust us.) For the indecisive diner, there’s the ever-popular bento box, which offers a little bit of everything: sushi, a miniature burger, crispy sweet potato fries, salty edamame, and a Thai cucumber salad that’s both sweet and spicy.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar • 4208 Six Forks Road, Suite 100 • (919) 784-0400 • thecowfish.com

Beer from around here, 3 p.m.

Right on the southeast border of Midtown, you’ll find the city’s oldest existing craft brewery, serving eclectic styles of beer. At Big Boss Brewing Company, bar manager Pete Bassett likes to approach beer-making just as he would a chili cook-off. “You can make the spiciest chili in the chili cook-off and get an award for it, but you don’t want to eat that chili every day,” he says. Instead of solely focusing on trendy sours or intense IPAs, Big Boss brews consistently good beer that appeals to passionate beer enthusiasts and regular ol’ beer drinkers alike. Most popular is the aromatic High Roller IPA, balanced with a nice malt backbone. The brewery is also known to offer cask ales that are made using the hops grown alongside the building. Stop in for a brewery tour, held at 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, or simply kick back with a cold one and play a round of pool or darts with friends. “We believe beer brings people together, no matter who you are,” Bassett says. Nearby are the newer and smaller, but also noteworthy, Blackjack Brewing Company and Sub Noir Brewing Company, which are great to explore if you want more of a taste of Raleigh’s beer culture.

Big Boss Brewing Company •1249 Wicker Drive • (919) 834-0045 • bigbossbrewing.com 

Get a taste of the Andes, 6 p.m.

Tucked away in an unassuming, low-slung building of a strip mall, MachuPicchu Peruvian Restaurant is a culinary hidden gem for those in the City of Oaks who have adventurous palates. Cuisine from the South American nation can be hard to find in the United States, but it is lauded as one of the world’s best by many chefs. Being the most ecologically diverse country, Peru has access to a flavorful variety of grains, spices, and produce. Those who have never had Peruvian food before can expect fragrant, colorful dishes at MachuPicchu. Before your main course arrives, go all out with an order of ceviche, a mixture of fresh, raw, marinated seafood, sweet yams, onions, and corn. The restaurant’s signature entrée, Lomo Saltado, is the ultimate comfort food. Its tender beef melts in your mouth, and stir-fried onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers provide a light, sweet flavor to the overall dish. If you’re still unsure of what to order, just ask one of the friendly staff members for a recommendation. 

MachuPicchu Peruvian Restaurant. 4500 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 100 • (919) 526-7378 • machupicchuperuviancuisine.com

Practice your Pollock, 8 p.m.

After a busy day, unwind in a relaxed, creative environment while making a masterpiece that you can hang above your home’s mantle. At Art Bar Raleigh, visitors can pour themselves a glass of wine or beer from the self-service tap machines and work on a project of their choice using the resources and materials available. And don’t worry if you aren’t a full-fledged artiste. “There’s a group of people that just kind of want to do something different, but they won’t ever want to call themselves an artist,” says director Samantha Velkoff. “They just want to play and have fun.” Every day, Art Bar offers one-hour “Experience” sessions in which participants of all skill levels can paint in the styles of Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet, or others. On Saturday evenings, the large studio transforms into an all-you-can-make “Project Bar.” If you don’t know where to get started, Art Bar has prompts and projects available for inspiration. Draw, sculpt, or paint the night away at this event, which runs from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Art Bar Raleigh • 6109 Maddry Oaks Court • (919) 307-8107 • artbarraleigh.com

All the Ambience of France, 10 a.m. 

Conclude your worldly culinary tour of Midtown by stopping for brunch at Coquette Brasserie. Black-and-white tiled floors and comfy red leather booths give the impression of a Parisian café as aproned servers bounce from one table to the next delivering slices of freshly baked baguettes. For brunch, do not miss Coquette’s fluffy, large slices of quiche. The saltiness of the ham and bacon in the Quiche Lorraine is mellowed by the sweetness of caramelized onions. A side salad of fresh greens is tossed in a light vinaigrette and provides a nice bite.

Coquette Brasserie • 4351 The Circle at North Hills Street, Suite 119 • (919) 789-0606 • coquetteraleigh.com

Stay

Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel has 222 rooms and is within walking distance of shops and dining. It features an indoor pool, a fitness room, and free on-site parking.

Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel • 4100 Main at North Hills Street • (919) 571-8773 • marriott.com

Presented by North Hills

Live, work, shop, dine, and play at North Hills. This innovative, multi-faceted district offers many options to live and stay a while— with four-star hotel rooms, Allister North Hills Apartments, Midtown Green Apartments, Park and Market Apartments, and The Alexan. Midtown Park and many gathering spaces offer plenty of fresh air, while conveniences such as groceries, banks, and a pharmacy are just a leisurely stroll away. Quality-of-life amenities are also at your fingertips, such as renewing spas, salons, a state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot gym, 14-screen cinema, and Kings Bowl.

Reinvented from an old, enclosed mall, North Hills is now a walkable, outdoor world of shopping bliss, with over 130 of your favorite brands and more – from Vineyard Vines to Vermillion, a local boutique honored by Southern Living magazine. If you’re hungry, welcoming cafes sit alongside the best restaurants in the Triangle serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including Yard House, The Cowfish, and Coquette Brasserie.

Feel free to stay for a while at the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel or HYATT house Raleigh Hotel and be entertained with outdoor concerts, music, and events, such as Midtown Music Beach Music Series on Thursdays, Friday Night Tributes Series, and the Saturday morning Midtown Farmers’ Market.

Centrally located at the corner of one of Raleigh’s main thoroughfares, Six Forks and Lassiter Mill Roads and the I-440 beltline, North Hills hosts the outdoors. Discover North Hills.

Find out more at visitnorthhills.com or stay connected with us @VisitNorthHills.

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Quine is the digital editor at Our State. Her favorite stories to write are those born out of conversation. She won the first-place 2013 NC College Media Association award for feature writing.