Poole’s Downtown Diner

courtesy of Poole's Diner

Poole’s Downtown Diner

Hidden in downtown Raleigh is a charming retro-chic diner with a lot of history.  Poole’s began as Poole’s Pie Shop in 1945 with the moto “Life is short, eat dessert first.”  While the Winston Churchill saying is still taken seriously, the modern day diner has a new motto, “If you don’t use profanity you will not offend anyone”, and it proudly hangs throughout the narrow restaurant.

North Carolina native, Chef Ashley Christensen, has restored the original diner into a contemporary downtown hot-spot.  The restoration includes the authentic double horseshoe bar and bright red leather booths, with a modern presentation of the menu written on oversized blackboards.  Changing daily, the menu is inspired by the season and availability of locally grown food.  Christensen puts a creative spin on traditional southern food, while carefully executing the made to order dishes.  However, you can always count on pie and mac-and-cheese to be available, and what a flavorbomb they both are! The mac-and-cheese is perfectly crafted and includes a unique twist of brie cheese.  If available, I recommend the devil’d eggs, soft shell crab, and chocolate soufflé.

True to diner fashion, Poole’s is open late, even after the kitchen has closed! Open until 2am, diners can enjoy the exceptional cocktail list, with drinks like Wake County Cooler and Mile High Club.  With a blend of the past and present, Poole’s Diner continues to be the local’s choice, while reinventing the diner experience.  It really had me wondering, is Raleigh the new foodie destination of America?


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