buku: Global Street Food
buku: Global Street Food

buku: Global Street Food

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bukuraleigh.com/
  • Phone: 9198346963
  • 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: European, Global, International, Asian
  • 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 9198346963
  • Entertainment: DJ Triple B & Friends in the bu•ku BAR from 5pm 'til Late Night nightly.
  • Special Events: 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
buku: Global Street Food reviews from OpenTable diners
197 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (128)special occasion (107)good for groups (84)great for outdoor dining (79)romantic (76)hot spot (61)great for brunch (51)vibrant bar scene (42)notable wine list (34)neighborhood gem (29)late-night find (25)great for lunch (25)scenic view (9)kid-friendly (6)Show More
  • Better late than never...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Our night started off on the wrong foot when, despite arriving promptly at 8:00 pm for our 8:00pm dinner reservation, we had to wait 34 mins to be seated. We were very disappointed and almost left. Once we were seated, a very friendly server greeted us and within 10 minutes we were under her spell and forgot all about the wait. The food was great and the experience felt like a guided tour of of the restaurants menu. Out server did a great job connecting with us and relating, but kept her distance balanced with exteme professionalism. In the end, it was worth the wait and our special anniversary dinner was capped off with commentary glasses of champagne. Bravo, Buku, Bravo!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sexy
    ThePrize
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    I must say I have been living in the Raleigh area for over 6years and I think this is thee best resturant that I've been to. The food was delicous..as well as the winem The vibe was so sexy the dim lights, and the cozy vibe. ..I just lived it.if you want to put on a nice dress or relaxed attire this spot is everything! Dates spot for sure M
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ask for Jackie
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Excellent service throughout the evening.........................................................................
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Remarkable in Raleigh
    OpsimathVIP
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Buku was one of the most pleasant dining experiences I've ever enjoyed. The food is creatively spiced snd prepared, beautifully presented and served. The young wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable and attentive. The decor of the restaurant is elegant and tasteful. The red curry hot pot was the best I've had in twenty years and beggars most Thai restsurants and the duck breast was among rhe three best ever. Simply superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Really unique buffet
    local
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Enjoyed the mixture of traditional and ethnic foods on Sunday buffet. Will definitely go back as there was so much food that we couldn't try it all. Cold salads were great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Give it a try, we really liked it!
    DawnT
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We enjoyed our waiter, he was attentive and knowledgeable. Our cocktails were delicious and creative and the menu was culturally diverse which worked well together. We several shared several small plates and most of the food was very good. We loved the two dishes the waiter recommended (I wish I could remember their names, they were Great, sorry!) the dish with chickpeas was really good also. However, the naan was ok, the sushi roll we ordered (could have been our tastes) but the crab and cream cheese was very average. The empanadas need work, the dough seemed too thick and the chicken filling was blah. However, we really liked the overall experience (and most of the food) so we will definitely try it again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious!
    EmilyVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Buku is amazing! This is not my first time eating there, and I've never had anything I didn't love. We especially enjoyed the Empanadas, Crab Flautas, Argentinian Short Rib (it has an incredible Chocolate/Espresso mole sauce), and Crab Stuffed Avocado. There's such an interesting variety of food on their menu, and all of it is delicious. There are plenty of great drinks to choose from, too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Raleigh top five best restaurants
    Navydentist01
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Food was great. Service was friendly and quick Had a great time. Me and my date enjoyed the whole experience even the late night bar. 😃
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    Happygolucky
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    This place is awesome! The staff was friendly, very fast service, the food that was ordered came out pretty fast. Everything was good I would recommend anyone to try this place
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Brunch!
    BirdieVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Quite possibly one of the best brunch spots in Raleigh. All different types of food-- not just the standard pancakes and sausage. Layout of buffet line created an easy flow to walk in and back to the table. Fabulous made to order omlets!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overpriced bruch
    oldlady
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    We were in Buku for Sunday brunch. The buffet food was not bad, but nothing spectacular either. The service was excellent, but not that much is needed for a buffet. The price for the brunch buffet is outrageous, $20 for adults, no drinks included, and $10 for kids, we even had to pay the $10 for a 2 year old girl. There must be better and cheaper places for brunch in this town.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    I brought my 3 friends from out of town to Buku last weekend and we had a WONDERFUL time. I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant - the food was outstanding, and the service was unbelievable. Our waiter made it a very special occasion for us. 5 stars and would recommend to anyone who lives in/is planning on visiting Raleigh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great at lunch or dinner
    SirenaVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We've eaten at Buku many times. Both lunch and dinner. FYI Sunday brunch is a buffet and not their usual unique menu items - more general breakfast items (not for us). We have had many dinners where it's just the two of us or with friends & a few business dinners as well. Never disappointed. Great food & friendly professional staff without being stuffy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • When can I go back?
    EPOD
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Totally awesome brunch! I've eaten here for dinner and that was excellent, too. Decided to try it for brunch with a party of 14. They were ready for us at our reserved time and the food did not disappoint! Pretty much everything is made in-house. Delicious! Bravo, Buku!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good
    Helio
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    One of the best restaurants I have been to in the Raleigh region. Very creative menu, good wine options ans excellent ambience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesomesauce!
    Pchekeen
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I recently celebrated my birthday at Buku with 16 of my closest friends and it was simply amazing. The waiter was kind and accommodating, the food was delicious and the room was beautiful. I have never had a better birthday party. Buku is my favorite spot in downtown Raleigh and I highly recommend it to others seeking a top notch dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and many choices
    NOLady
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food was good and so were the portions. There was a great selection of everything. My husband had a beer from Brazil. We both had tiramisu which was enormous and delicious. The servers were both good at their jobs as well as very pleasant. It was expensive but well worth the price.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My new favorite downtown restaurant
    Mike
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    This was our first time dining at Bu Ku but we will be back. Love everything about the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • bbqlover
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Thanks for consistently being one of the premier restaurants in downtown Raleigh
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • cgw68VIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Consisitently one of our favorites in the Triangle. Great, varied, & unusual menu, & always a reliably nice experience. This time, went for Ral. Restaurant Wk. Our food was extraordinary in every way (esp in taste, where it counts most) & the wait staff were very accommodating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great brunch- get there early
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Great brunch, great staff. The buffet is very spread out so evaluate all the choices before filling up your plate- or just make multiple trips to try it all! After 1:00 the crowd picked up quite a bit, making the buffet lines long and crowded, but the staff did a great job of replenishing the food and keeping dishes fresh. I am typically not a buffet-type of person, but they do a great job!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent!
    Yumcentral
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    A terrific brunch, couldn't think of anything better!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • You must go here at least once
    amckanna9
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    This place really sets itself apart from other restaurants in the Raleigh area. The food is unique and fun, not to mention delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food at Buku-check it out!!!!
    mmed
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Had memorable dinner at Buku during restaurant week. Generous portion sizes of appetizer, entree and dessert--made for a great deal! Would definitely recommend going--foodie friends will appreciate the diverse options. Fun and interesting cocktail menu. Would recommend eating outside, weather permitting:) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    HappyEater
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Buku had a lot of interesting dishes. All the food we had was excellent. The service was very friendly and prompt too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food and service.
    Janna
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We had a party of 10 and a show to catch after. We ordered lots of small plates, apps and adult beverages. Everything was delicious and I cannot wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Went with Prix Fix and 1 additional appetizer each. Entrees and dessert were all very good, starters and appetizers were good but not great. Sat outside, which was relaxing and pleasant, service was friendly but spotty--had to wait for each course, drinks, etc. We'll go back but won't rush.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Restaurant Week
    Patrons
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We went for Raleigh Restaurant Week. We enjoyed the venue and service was excellent. We chose the Restaurant Week menu and were not disappointed. We would god back for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Big hit at resto week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    My wife and I were blown away by our experience Friday night with the Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week menu. We both had the snapper entree with forbidden rice and it is one of the best things we have ever had at buku, including its days as Fins in N. Raleigh. The lotus sushi app was also stellar. Paired with a great by-the-glass wine list and wonderful service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing dinner w/ amazing service.
    Russo
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    To start, the service was amazing. Got promptly seated (even though we were early for our reservation), and our waitress was incredibly knowledgeable about the entire menu. Not only that, when she learned it was our first time, she proceeded to give a complete breakdown of buku & what we could expect from our dining experience. Every single dish was amazing, and very filling. The drinks were perfectly crafted, and the atmosphere was perfect for a Friday night dinner. Highly recommend and will definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely evening
    Hisdaughter
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    After a sweltering late afternoon at our son' soccer game, the ambiance and food at Buku were a welcome respite. Our server, Cory, was attentive, friendly and went out of his way to make sure the food was okay for my gluten free sensitivities. My husband's shrimp tempura appetizer was fantastic and he also enjoyed the apple cider pork dish. My shaved sirloin and rice noodle appetizer was good and the black rice encrusted snapper was cooked perfectly although it could have used a bit more flavor. The rice and wasabi edamame puree were perfect with it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous...always!
    cmabryVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    I have loved Buku from the moment I first dined there, and this past week was no exception!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    Outstanding
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    This was our second trip to Buku during restaurant week. Again the food was outstanding, service was excellent and overall the experience was very enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Staff very friendly and helpful when answering questions. There during restaurant week. Food very good
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • the best sunday brunch in raleigh
    tajels
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    Mauigirl
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great spot for dinner with friends
    Bazoba
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Buku is an outstanding restaurant that is unique for Raleigh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate