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  • buku: Global Street Food

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buku: Global Street Food
buku: Global Street Food

buku: Global Street Food Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bukuraleigh.com
  • Phone: (919) 834-6963
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday - Saturday 4:00pm-10:00pm, Late Night 10:00pm-12:00am Friday - Saturday 4:00pm- 11:00pm, Late Night 11:00pm-2:00am Sunday 5:00pm-12:00am Lunch: Monday-Saturday 11am-4pm Brunch Buffet: Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Global, International, Asian, European
  • Executive Chef: Tony Hopkins
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We would love to cater your next event! Our Chef will work closely with you to create a custom menu to your liking. Please speak with our banquet manager for more information.
  • Private Party Facilities: Private dining rooms are available for parties and special occasions up to 40 people.
  • Private Party Contact: Ellen Hopkins (919) 834-6963
  • Entertainment: DJ Triple B & Friends in the bu•ku BAR from 5pm 'til Late Night nightly.
  • Special Events & Promotions: We would love to help you plan your next event. Our private dining room seats parties of 20-60 and we have a virtual kaleidoscope of menu options for you to choose from! Please speak with our banqueut manager for more information.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Wilmington
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Complimentary valet Monday-Saturday after 5pm. Lunch parking is available in the public deck. Enter the City Center Parking Deck from Wilmington Street Take elevator to ground floor; exit out at revolving doors turn left and enter double doors on the left at the corner of Davie and Wilmington.
A word from buku: Global Street Food
Located at the corner of Wilmington and Davie Streets in the heart of downtown Raleigh, bu•ku is a local restaurant that tells a global story. The name "bu•ku" itself is an international slang twist on the phrase, "Merci, beaucoup" meaning, "Thank you very much." Inspired by the pushcarts of street vendors across the globe, our chefs harvest an array of unique and distinct flavors and present them authentically, in a virtual kaleidoscope of plates. The common link: these are foods that people love. Working within different regional traditions, our menu brings together complex and flavorful dishes that have been honed over generations. Foods like Polish pierogis, Colombian arepas, and Thai barbecue prawns served in a banana leaf with green papaya salad can be found on the street corners of Warsaw, Bogota, and Bangkok. We strive to convey the immediate thrill a traveler feels eating foods like these as they first cross over the cart and exchange hands into the urban setting. Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "I have loved Buku from the moment I first dined there, and this past week was no exception!"
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "While I have had good experiences at Buku, the menu for restaurant week this year was disappointing. It lacked flavor. The summer squash on one of the dishes was just a large piece of squash that was tasteless. We gave the feedback to the waitress who was very helpful and asked for feedback so that they can always improve. That was very positive and every business can have an off night or an off dish. While the dessert sounded good on the restaurant week menu, it, too, lacked the flavor that I remember from previous dining experiences there."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "I decided to try this place as many of my "go to" restaurants downtown are closed on Sunday evening. What a pleasant surprise Bu-Ku was! Awesome food, great atmosphere and the waitress basically guided us deliciously through the menu. She was super knowledgeable and all around awesome!"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "absolutely the best sunday brunch in raleigh. a little pricey, but the made-to-order omelets and waffles were amazing. the selections were impressive. everything was delicious."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "The atmosphere is great at BuKu. The service has been good everytime I've visited. Everything is prepared to perfection (fresh made in house including all breads etc)and the variety of items and tastes on the menu is amazing. My family just had a 50th wedding anniversary brunch in the private room. It was flawless!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We went as a group of 8. The waitress was a dream. She described the specials and she described her favorites on the menu. The variety of flavors kept the palates jumping for joy. I cant remember the last time I laughed so much and enjoyed the food so much."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Buku is an outstanding restaurant that is unique for Raleigh."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "I've had dinner several times and enjoyed it but not a huge fan of the brunch, I think it's too expensive and my regular coffee was $4 a cup. REGULAR COFFEE!"
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Servers passed us over and over again. Finally, after 15 minutes of waiting: "oh, I assumed someone was helping you already. We started at the bar with water and sprite, then moved to our table. One server filled my sprite with water, the other said she's get me a refill and never did. Over all, it was a horrible experience. The food was ok."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "All items were absolutely great, Korean BBQ has to be tried as well as soups/hot pots. And do not leave without trying desserts."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "This was my first visit to Buku. The restaurant was highly recommended to me. The food and ambience were superb!! My server was disappointing. She was very timid and lacked self-confidence, was like a fish out of water!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "I've eaten at Buku twice and absolutely LOVE it! The food is always fabulous and the service is great. You will dishes that you cannot find elsewhere. They also have an EXTENSIVE gluten free menu, the largest I have seen anywhere. One of the chefs' has celiac's so he is very in tune with GF options that taste delicious!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Service was great but food was not good. The chef needs to step up his or her game ."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "This is the second time I have combined eating at buku with going to a show at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium, and it makes the evening very special. I brought guests who had never eaten at buku, and they were astonished at how every mouthful of food was a treat. An espresso martini, the Ahi Tuna Poke, and the made to order chocolate souffle are always a must. The caramelized scallop special this visit was superb. Lastly, I appreciate the convienence of the valet. Overall, a brilliant night!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "This is the second time I had been to Buku, the first being in a moderate sized group of 6 where I enjoyed my experience. This time I dined in a couple, and found the experience equally positive. The food was all amazing; the empanadas, short rib and creme brule were particularly memorable. The portions were on the smaller side, but I found this to be a positive because it meant we were able to try lots of different things. The waitress was very nice and fun, but I'd describe her as a little scattered. The atmosphere was lively but not so loud as to impede conversation. Overall a great experience- I can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Dined here with my boyfriend and another couple. Ordered the First Friday wine flight for $15, featuring different wines from South America. Overall good, and the price was fair. We all shared sushi, 4 small plates and one large plate. I was still hungry at the end, so I would recommend either getting your own plate or maybe 2 more small plates.. food alone came to about $80 at that point anyways. I can't say it wasn't delicious though and I thought it was well worth the price. Would definitely go back but be prepared to spend more."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Our waiter. He never brought me my second drink and we had to ask twice for our bill. We wanted at least 20 minutes just for the bill."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "We were celebrating taking the bar and buku was the perfect place. Great food, great staff, great atmosphere."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "This was our first time here. The food was amazing and so was our waitress. We will be back!!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Another great dinner at Buku. For our large plates, two of us ordered the beef short ribs, one ordered the salmon, and I got the Korean Bbq flank steak. All was outstanding. Favorite on the table was probably the beef short ribs."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "The food and service were impeccable but the seating was simply too close. And even this may not have been a problem if we weren't seated next to an obnoxious couple of older women acting like teenagers but it really put a sour note on the experience. The restaurant needs to consider spacing the seating out a little more."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "My wife and I tried Buku for the first time prior to attending a concert at nearby Red Hat Amphetheatre on a saturday evening. The ambiance, decor and energy at Buku was a good fit. We enjoy sharing plates and trying new cocktails, and Buku did not dissapoint. From the Tuna Poke to the empanadas, arepas, and argentinian short ribs, we enjoyed every thing we tried. The tiramisu dessert was definitely big enough for sharing but we also tried the creme brule trio. Both were excellent ends to the meal. We would definitely eat here again!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "It's strange that this restuarant would have their online reservation open for time slots that they are not open. Recently I was meeting a friend for brunch on saturday morning at Buku and made a reservation through Open Table and upon arrival was surprised to find out that the restuarant was not opened for brunch on saturday. So we had to walk around the neighborhood to find a place to eat. Very disappointed!!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "unfortunate there was a hair in my food!! The manager was not present right away to apologized. I had to asked for him. He offered me the option of not to pay for the food that had a hair on it. I do consider that as a poor managing remedies to meet with such problem. At the end he discounted the drinks, but to me that was not good enough."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Had a wonderful meal with good friends. The food was eclectic and yummy. Our friend said it was out of his comfort zone and ate every last crumb. The ambience was perfect.. A great evening for all"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "We tremendously enjoyed the wide variety of hot, delicious foods for brunch. The eclectic and varied choices made for a delightful experience. Well done!"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Wonderful Service....Amazing Food..Good variety of food for the Sunday Brunch..valet parking so no worries abt finding a park downtown."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "This is the second time we have been to BuKu and each time have experience good food, and good service. Need to be careful ordering small plates, as they add up quickly, especially if you have drinks, so is a little cost prohibitive for a casual night out, more for special occasions."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "It was our first time trying this restaurant with another couple. We had heard good things about it from friends and radio advertisement. We enjoyed our evening out. We sat outside as the weather was very enjoyable so I cannot say how the inside of the restaurant was. Our server was friendly, energetic and informative. We tried several small plates, which were okay, and the Hot Pot Yam Talay (which was delicious), then had the Argentine Short Ribs, the special for the day Pecan Crusted Snapper and Belgian Steak Frites and they were all good. I would go again, but just stick with a large plate and their specialty drinks (yummy)."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The food is over the moon great.... still dreaming about the Vietnamese Street Roll. The bar is a little slow, but Andy, the server makes up for it with awesome service."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Beautiful decor, amazing menu, great service. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "This place is better every time we go, they asked if we were celebrating and yes my birthday.....magically a cake arrived. Service wonderful, and food absolutely incredible!!!!!!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Congrats for the food, really eclectic food, we enjoyed dinner"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We enjoyed the food tremendously. Pork dumplings, empanadas, and arepas were especially tasty and highly recommended. Our table was back by the kitchen which diminished the overall ambience for us but tables in the front section looked to offer a better overall feel. Place has a nice vibe with patrons of all ages. If there can be such a thing, we found the service to be a bit too attentive and a tad intrusive when our conversations were interrupted to clear individual plates as soon as they were finished. Overall we enjoyed our experience and would return for an occasional visit."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Went through open table for a reservation, great starters, good drinks, and great entree. Did not try the dessert but the ones that passed us looked great. We had the lamb, did not particularly love the potato salad but the rest was good. Also the pierogies were great!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Love the concept of this restaurant and was excited to eat here based on the reviews. That said, the execution fell short of what I felt was promised. The food was okay, but not anywhere near the level of excellence needed to justify the prices. Service was disappointing. Our server came around a lot, but never seemed to really connect with us or what was going on at our table. She asked a lot of misplaced questions and didn't listen to our answers or understand what we wanted when we asked questions, which in the end resulted in us being interrupted a lot but not really being served. ADD, maybe? Who knows. Really a shame. The watermelon white wine sangria was awesome. The rest of our experience left us wanting more."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "We had a party of seven ranging in age from 8 to 71. Everyone had fun; we enjoyed the varied menu and appreciated the good service."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Great menu, great food, great service plus good ambiance. BuKu's got it all."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "A fun mix of small plates, a couple of great asian salads, respectable sushi rolls and some interestimg entrees. The filipino dessert was a fantastic end to our meal."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Excellent find. Very different kinds of food - an Americanization of foods one would find in distant places, often sold by street vendors. Our server was very good and the food was fantastic. We will be going back soon."
    Dined on 6/28/2014