Downtown Hillsborough Street: Foodie Fun on a Budget

(The Triangle Trend) — Home to NC State University’s North Campus, downtown Hillsborough street is constantly bustling and renovating.

Consisting of a nightclub, Target, CVS, State Employees Credit Union, FedEx, cafes, fast food stops, and diners—downtown Hillsborough street is a college student heaven. Although the other amenities are nice, there’s just something so universally appealing about budget-friendly, delicious eats.

So whether you’re a 19-year-old sophomore or a 40-year-old mom of two, you’re bound to find something to satisfy your cravings for well under $10.

If you’re looking for cafe drinks…

Möge Tee

2304 Hillsborough St, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27607

Word on the street is that Möge Tee’s tea is good, yet not too sweet. Their drinks are made with real ingredients and not from powders. A nice place with a cute and cool atmosphere.

Jubala Coffee

2100 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

About a 1-minute walk from Möge Tee, Jubala serves great, fresh coffee with a variety of options including french-press. Great location and great vibes in the heart of the NC State campus.

Global Village Organic Coffee

2428 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

Also near Jubala Coffee and Möge Tee, Global Village serves lots of options (hot and cold) for a nice strong brew. They also have an extensive tea menu and lots of friendly employees.

Cup A Joe

3100 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

A little further down the street, you’ll find Cup A Joe, a hipster cafe that has been around for over twenty years now. It’s known not just for amazing coffee and snacks, but for its atmosphere. We’ve heard their drinks aren’t overly sweet and sugary but are full of bold flavor.

If you’re looking to dig into some fast food…

Zaxby’s Chicken Fingers & Buffalo Wings

2901 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

We’ve heard this location praised as one of the cleanest Zaxby’s in the area. They serve great food alongside great service. If you like wings, chicken fingers, and cobb salads, then this is your spot.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

2316 Hillsborough St, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27607

We hear this Chipotle never fails to satisfy. The employees are always nice, the food tastes great, and the area is clean. Their burrito bowls are hard to pass on, and they serve options for vegetarians, vegans, whole30, keto, and gluten-free. This location also serves margaritas, which is a tasty addition to any meal.

Pizza Hut

3116 Hillsborough St, Suite 103, Raleigh, NC 27607

This location offers delivery and take-out only. We’ve heard they almost always have quick service, and the pizza is typically amazing.

For some delish international cuisine…

Jasmin & Olivz Mediterranean

3801 Hillsborough St, Suite 149, Raleigh, NC 27607

Look forward to a friendly staff, wide selection of choices, healthy menu, and hygienic environment. We’ve heard their Greek salad is good and fresh, their hummus isn’t heavy, and their herb sauce is delicious. Oh, and their falafels are a must-try!

The Wild Cook’s Indian Grill

3212 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

This female-led grill has great chaat and chicken Bhuna. Look no further if you’re searching for a spot with good naan bread. All their meals are well-seasoned and reasonably priced.

Kabab and Curry

2412 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

According to past diners, Kabab possibly serves the best Indian food in Raleigh—and we know that’s saying a lot! Featuring the usual menu items, they also showcase some truly excellent Hyderabadi and Nepalese dishes. The prices are quite fair when taking into account the fresh, quality ingredients used and very generous portions served.

Gonza Tacos y Tequila

2100 Hillsborough St, UNIT 110, Raleigh, NC 27607

Gonza’s food is impressively flavorful. Stop by to feast on the “Mexican Flag”: 3 enchiladas filled with chicken, beans, and beef, each topped with different sauces. The queso, salsa, and guacamole are fresh and tasty.

Coco Bongo Mexican Express & Cantina

2400 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

We highly recommend coming on Tuesdays for Taco Tuesday! You can order tacos for a dollar. Plus their chips and salsa are great. You can’t beat their $4.99 daily specials.

Beansprout Chinese Restaurant

3721 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

According to reviewers, Beansprout is one of the best takeout Chinese restaurants in the area. They give you big portions of veggies and meat and are quite loved for both their tofu and General Tso’s chicken. Give them a try—you won’t regret it.

Umami Asian Bistro

2420 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607

Umami is a women-led, LGBTQ+ friendly Japanese diner serving up phenomenal chicken and steak hibachi bowls stuffed with lots of meat, flavorful veggies, rice, and noodles.

Those eateries are only a sample of all downtown Hillsborough street has to offer for the frugal consumer! We recommend parking your car somewhere, preferably on the weekend since parking is free, and walking down the street yourself to experience the lively, delicious food scene in person.

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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