buku: Global Street Food
buku: Global Street Food

buku: Global Street Food

  • 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: 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.
Continued
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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
208 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (147)special occasion (122)good for groups (109)romantic (80)great for outdoor dining (78)hot spot (74)great for brunch (49)vibrant bar scene (48)neighborhood gem (41)notable wine list (36)great for lunch (33)late-night find (23)scenic view (10)kid-friendly (6)Show More
  • Mrwebb427VIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    The food was good and the ambience. We liked our server. Dessert was not warmed up but they were very accommodating to fix it. a little pricey
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent dinner lived up to our expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    So many good things on the menu - you could come back and have totally different food experiences many times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Beautiful restaurant. The food was unique and delicious and the service was impeccable. We tried several small plates and a couple of large plates. All were fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem in Raleigh
    Chefohle
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Bu•ku is one of those restaurants that you must try and try again in Raleigh. It's food is totally memorizing, a true delight to the senses and something completely different than other restaurants. The service is spot on, the atmosphere is beautiful with clean lines with many soft touches to keep the noise down. The drink list rivals those of big city hot spots, but without the high prices. In a nutshell, bu•ku is just what Raleigh needs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy Tapas
    lilyandivysmom
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We celebrated our daughters 24th birthday at Buku's. There were six of us and we ordered many, many tapas and 2 bottles of wine and we still came in under $200. We all left very satisfied, stuffed even, so great food at good prices, can't beat that! Definitely would recommend!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great variety
    Foxhall
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    When you can't decide what you are in the mood for, or if your group can't agree on where to go, Buku is the best solution! There is something there for everyone! Great ambiance too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice feel
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    This was a unique place, the food was awesome ,but the waiter said they are changing the menu completely to keep it new (this was on 10/26/14) so i wont go into it to much since you wont be able to order it. But if they keep up the quality and variance it will be worth the visit. Really cool bar area to wait in as well. Good date spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Always a little something for everyone. And all the choices are delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always lovely
    SirenaVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We have been coming to Buku for years. This time for an early lunch after being at the convention center a few blocks away. We especially like their small plates for sharing. Service has consistently been professional and friendly. We have had several business group dinners here and everyone has always enjoyed themselves.
    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
  • Buku
    Eatoutyesplease
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Yum, as usual! My go to place when consistency counts and there's no room for mishaps! Delicious every time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch after early voting/birthday
    Edgar
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Great food and service. It was a bit loud inside due to minor construction but outside city noise was unbearable. The staff took great care of us. The food is great but their desserts are to die for.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love this place!
    RaleighNative
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    On our second visit, my wife and I are still impressed. We love the tapas dishes so that we can share and try several things in one visit. Our absolute favorite is the Buku Hot Pot, I could eat that everyday and be satisfied. We've never been there when it's crowded, so service is quick and the restaurant is quiet. We heard the menu is changing soon, so we hope our favorites are still there!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Enjoyable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    We visited Buku on a Sunday evening. There was no waiting. Our waitress was very helpful and made good suggestions. I had the Chilean Sea bass and my wife had the salmon. Both were very delicious. We tried the tiramasu for dessert and were surprised when it arrived in a tall glass inspite of our surprise the tiramisu was delicious. We will most definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great as usual! what you get
    gregwnc2
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Buku never disappoints for brunch. Yes, it might be a bit pricey (typically about $50 for two) for brunch, but it's well worth it for what you get. Honestly, you'd probably have to go to Vegas to get the variety of foods you get at Buku. There's obviously cheaper brunch/lunch places in the area and it might not be an every weekend place, but it's unlike anything else in the area. When family comes in for out of town, I head straight to Buku with them and nobody has complained yet!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    JennandRyan
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We had a lovely lunch with family and friends. The food and service were exceptional!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 3Goldens
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Came in for our anniversary with a party of 8 and it was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Buku never disappoints
    businessdiner
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    I've eaten at Buku many times but I don't think I've ever done a review. They never disappoint. The food is always very good. It's not your typical selection of dishes which adds a little adventure to eating there but I've never disliked anything I've tried. Service is pretty much top-notch every time and the selection of beers and wines has always been good as well. Whenever a business dinner or lunch comes up I try to make Buku my destination.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delightful surprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000VIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    While in Raleigh for a conference, with trepidation I selected Bu Ku for a team dinner that included a few extremely picky eaters. Its unusual to find a restaurant that accomplishes excellence with a cornucopia menu, however, Bu Ku achieves this and more. Touting farm to table ingredients, they have mastered dishes from around the world. My lamb kabob was one of the most delicious I've ever eaten. My pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan colleagues raved about their dishes as well as the carnivores. The waitress was very patient, kind and didn't miss a beat answering questions about the menu and food preparation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Buku rocks!
    LorinanaVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Had the opportunity to have lunch and dinner at this treasure last weekend. Their menu is a variety of skillfully prepared dishes from around the world-Thai, Russian, Spanish, Japanese. With an assortment of tapas as well as large plates, there is a dish for every food preference! Highly recommend and plan to dine there often!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent!
    LuvItalian
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    From start to finish, Buku was absolutely wonderful. It is beautiful and comfortable. The staff were very nice, very knowledgeable and helpful since it was our first visit. The food was phenomenal! I will definitely return and take friends. I have already recommended it to a few people. Thank you for a wonderful evening!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Try Buku! They don't disappoint!
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Great ambiance- check! Great food- check! Great service- check! If you're in Raleigh, Buku is definitely a must try! There are a variety of appetizers, small plates, and entrees, and the desserts are amazing! The Pad- Thai was a group fave, along with the chocolate soufflé! Buku offers a good selection of wines and cocktails; the sangria was a crowd pleaser!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent food, great service
    tonym
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Nice place. Excellent food and variety. Enjoyed arriving early before crowds. Best meal I've had in Raleigh in a while.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • kktryrori
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Our service was sensitive -- our waitress checked in with us but was open to our need to talk and the slowness with which we ordered. As a Wednesday night, it was also not too loud. I ordered some of my favorite dishes -- Vietnamese crepe, Indian sweet potato cake, chocolate souffle -- and continued to find them tasty. But I particularly want to commend the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • my birthday celebration
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    I always enjoy eating at BUKU. We go at least three or four times a year. It is highly recommended
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • too many choices
    Byrdman
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    I had never been here before and wondered what world street food was......Three of us tried completely different things throughut the meal and everything was superb! The waiter knew his stuff and was very helpful on both wine and food. Cant wait to go back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • cb315
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    One of my favorite Raleigh restaurants. We moved to Charleston, but when we are back in NC we try to get to Buku!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very good brunch
    Gary
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    We had a family get-together, group of 6 total, and were seated at a half-circle booth, at our request. The service was fast, courteous, and attentive. The Sunday brunch was very good and had a great variety of choices, some a little more off the beaten path and with a delightful twist, which we much appreciated. It was a buffet-style service, but the food was fresh, hot, and delicious. Recommended!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My group and I had a great time Saturday night! We really enjoyed the ambiance as well as the hospitable staff. Thank you much!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will definitely return!
    JBRaleigh
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The food we had was awesome! All 4 of us agreed, and we all had different items. Had trouble ordering, because so many different things sounded great. Have to go back to try more.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Interesting
    LoveDiningOut
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The food was interesting - not food you will easily find anywhere else. It was exciting to try new things. The food was good, with unexpected flavors and textures. The outdoor dining was exceptional. The tables were nicely spaced so we could move around freely. The table is just off the sidewalk, so you still get the street vibe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Extremely pleased!
    Regina
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I've been to Buku many time over the last 2 years and will go back many more times. I'm always more than satisfied with the ambience, food, and service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good. Not Great
    CarpeNC
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Outdoor dining will be great when construction across the street is complete. Indoor atmosphere seemed great. Portion sizes are very small. One dish was very dry, my Korean bbq was excellent, but sparse. For us, good but not great. Worth a 2nd try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • diner
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Welcoming staff, who also were ready with accommodation for person in wheelchair, and respectful. Unfortunately, the seating was such that sun was in our eyes, and we had to adjust seating at table. Vegetarian selections not quite up to quality of nonvegetarian; but I personally enjoyed my Chilean sea bass, which is a factor in our choosing buku.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not tasty enough for the price
    LeeS
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I ate at Buku while on a business trip to Raleigh. We needed a restaurant with walking distance from the convention center and decided to eat at Buku because several in our group wanted Asian food. I had several of the small plates and tried the Pacific roll and the Pad Thai. The food was not bad but not nearly tasty enough to be worth the $20 price tag per entree. Our server was nice and attentive. She knew the menu and answered our questions well, but I would not go back to this restaurant or recommend it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fave
    Praxis
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    As we embrace people from around the world, we embrace their food traditions. While BuKu slightly Americanizes the global street food spices, it does make you remember your travels to places you've enjoyed and those you have yet to enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Went back 2 days in a row
    Boomie
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Super great food! Went back two nights of a five day trip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • BuKu
    Makewayforducklings
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    My husband and I have dined at BuKu twice in the last month. Once for date night and once with friends. Both time the food and service were wonderful. The outdoor patio is great for people watching and the ambience in the dining room is chic and romantic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Buku is always delicious
    Raleighgirl
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The food was fabulous. Only complaint is that I made reservations several days in advance and still managed to get stuck right next to the kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Taste the World in Downtown Raleigh
    EatingwellinCharlotte
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    This hopping spot in downtown Raleigh offers a varied menu that will take you around the world if you let it. The menu is arranged into small plates and large plates, which made for a fun food sharing experience. We ordered 4 small plates and 2 large plates for 3 people. The sushi is delectable and plentiful. Pork dumplings is sumptuous, with a sweetish ginger sauce on the side. Crab stuffed avocado is fresh and light. The tandoori chicken did not have the rich red coloring I remember from Indian restaurants in New York, but it was tender and flavorful. Our server was friendly and knew the menu well. Try the fresh ginger ale made by the tall bartender. The chocolate soufflé and coconut ice cream closed the meal with aplomb!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Experience
    drmcchesney
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Would have to say that it was a little fancier than what we expected, but we were still comfortable in our jeans and polos. Our server recommended one small and one large plate for each of us, however, we shared five small plates and that was plenty. The Pierogi and the Mexican Grilled Corn were amazing. Our other dishes were very good, except for the mussels... they were good, but the broth was lukewarm and they were a bit gritty. Finished off dinner with the Filipino Halo Halo and the Chocolate Soufflé. The Halo Halo was amazing! Not crazy about the sauce, but the custard and ice cream were delicious!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.