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Five Places to Visit in Raleigh, N.C., With a Local Chef and Musician | Press "Enter" to skip to content

Five Places to Visit in Raleigh, N.C., With a Local Chef and Musician

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The recent revival of downtown Raleigh hasn’t garnered as much attention as that of neighboring Durham. But North Carolina’s capital, with its inviting new train station, restored warehouses and celebrated food scene, is no less impressive.

“It’s a place that is so surprisingly and unboisterously diverse,” said Cheetie Kumar, a local chef and rock guitarist who grew up in northern India and the Bronx before moving to Raleigh in the 1990s. As the chef-owner of Garland, an Indo-Pan-Asian restaurant with an adjoining music venue, Kings, and cocktail bar, Neptunes Parlour, Ms. Kumar is emblematic of the city’s evolution.

These days, she said, “the cornerstones of our city, as far as the downtown culinary scene, are all owned and operated by either women or immigrants.” In addition to her own businesses, she easily rattled off a list of notable neighbors, from Bida Manda and Brewery Bhavana (run by Laotian siblings) to Poole’s Diner (one of six Raleigh establishments from the chef Ashley Christensen, a James Beard award winner). And, Ms. Kumar said, “there are new places opening up all the time.” Here are a few of her current Raleigh favorites, where you might find her when she’s not in the kitchen or playing with her band, Birds of Avalon.


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