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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
  • Email: sean@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
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "We came in early in the evening and enjoyed our dishes from the gluten-free selection, including the days special. Prices ranged appropriately for different selections. Food came out quickly and looked and tasted great. The pad thai was very spicy but not overpowering."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "I must say ....being in the field I know it is difficult to please a chef. Buku has done it! The wife and I NEVER have a chance to have date night...EVER! We got the opportunity and went to Buku. We did a few small plates to try a little bit of everything. (Our waiter Brent recommended!) Food was great, atmosphere was perfect, staff was very polite and knowledgeable. Buku will be our "date" spot from now on..."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Brunch is expensive. This is our forth(and last) brunch here. I kept hoping food would get better, but it didn't. They put out a fruit platter with hardly any fruit. Food was cold, except for my eggs that were prepared. Most of the "heated" food choices seemed to be from sam's club. I can do that at home for a lot less. Why wouldn't they include coffee in the cost of brunch. They didn't have enough food for the amount of people eating. They are slow to replenish. Skip it save your money."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Outstanding variety of food types on menu, each one perfectly executed. My first visit last Saturday, and I got my large group to try a full variety of menu items. Nothing was bad, and most were outstanding."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We are from Chicago , but we were very impressed with this place ( and we know good restaurants) Our waitor, Nicholas was excellent , only outdone by the food, which was spectacular. We were celebrating our anniversary, and they made us feel special. We will be back"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Went early evening on a Sunday. Thought that it would be uncrowded but there seemed to be a slight server shortage. Service was slow and server was new and thus not overly familiar with menu. Ordered four appetizers. They were all tasty--maybe we had a few too many fried items. I heard that the fish is delicious and many people around us ordered that. We are not huge fans of fish, but may try it next time since it is a specialty."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Great dining experience on a Wednesday evening, very unique and diverse menu filled with fascinating choices and fusion combinations of flavors and textures. My colleague chose a starter and main course ( scallops ), while I had a salad and 2 small plates ( pierogi and flautas ) to create a "dinner ". A crisp glass of white for him, and a local craft beer for me, 2 expressos, and voila . . a memorable evening. All dishes were created and executed with care and imagination. If you enjoy adventurous dining, this place is sensational. If you are more " safe " and middle of the road, you can find dozens of other nice, nearby places to dine at . . and that is a great part of the new, dynamic downtown Raleigh dining scene."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I have looked inside the window a few times and seen great presentations of it. we tried 3 different dishes a naan with cucumber sauce that had 4 little triangles and about 1/4 cup of the sauce. only way we could have used all the sauce was if he pilled it on causing it to just taste like the cucumber stuff. As to the next dish it was basically a spring roll but was very dry on both the inside and out, it was tightly wrapped at least, and they still brought out the peanut based sauce even though it states both on here and when i go i said that i was allergic and cant have it. all the dishes we got was ment to share but even at 3 dishes with 3 people left even the tiniest stomach hungry. the last dish was so in impressive i cant remember it."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The small plates have never disappointed and their flavor and presentation are great. It's not one order that makes it good, it's the variety. Food delivery is paced very well. Never feel rushed, but also don't have to wait around between ordering additional small plates."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Great food, terrible service! Had a reservation, but hostess advised there was a wait. Walked right over to the bar to grab a drink to enjoy while waiting. While seated at the bar (as it wasn't that busy) waited 15 min for a bar tender to approach us and another 15 minutes to receive a glass of wine and a beer. Returned to hostess stand and waited 20 more minutes and finally approached the GM. The GM sat us immediately. Waited 20 addtl min until a bus boy offered to take our order. Then we tried to sit outside to enjoy a drink after closing our tab inside and waited another 15 mins without a single server approaching the table. We just got up and left. Absolutely awful, awful service."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "This was my second time at Buku and the first for my husband. Took him there for his birthday. The food was spectacular - from the birthday shot (very cool idea) through to coffee and dessert - and so was the service. Not a big fan of the wine flight but no other complaints. Five star experience."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The food there is always good: not fancy,but very tasty! An enjoyable evening..."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Food is fantastic but it never changes. I am not able to go there as much because they always have the same food for months at a time."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Wow, what a great Sunday brunch. I imagine their regular, day-to-day food is great, too."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "We tried this on recommendation from a friend and enjoyed our experience. I felt like some of the small plates were a little pricey for what you received. Overall, our experience was good and I would recommend it for someone wanting to try something different. I like the ambience and the bar area was nice."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Dinner was great we loved the crab filled tortilla got small plate which is what most people call appetizers. It's was a little pricey for us we ordered one drink two small plates and two large plates and the meal was over $90. We did not mind doing it once every so often like this was our anniversary . At least well worth it because everything was delicious."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The food is great!! The service is great! Everyone should experience Buku!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Attending a conference. Five minute walk from convention center. Made reservations for two and they easily accommodated when two additional people joined us. Excellent food!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "We've been to Buku several times always for dinner and this was our first brunch. The food as usual was very tasty and there was a lot at the brunch buffet that even a vegetarian like me could enjoy. However, this is the fourth time we have had HORRID service (not mediocre but truly bad) at Buku. I don't know what it is with the servers there. They have no personality, don't smile, don't engage, and are never around when you need them. I had specifically mentioned to him that we were there to celebrate a birthday and I don't think he cared because I had to mention it three times before they got a cake with a candle to the table. Buku is a great restaurant and people will come back for the food but not for how they treat their guests!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Interesting and well prepared food, nice ambiance, the service is great."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Good, eclectic menu options. If you opt to do a selection of the "small plates", they recommend you have three as an alternative or equivalent to the regular plates (which are good sized portions). However, two small plates would probably be sufficient for most folks (although the sushi choices looked a bit smaller than the "small plates" we had...four or five small plates to share would probably satisfy most couples. The desserts were very good."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "They have a great menu! My husband and I like to share food and try multiple dishes and their small plates and large plates are great for that. The duck adobo dish it to die for! The lumpia is also a delicious starter. We will definitely try to find an excuse to go back soon."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "This was my first trip to Buku and was not disappointed. The food was delicious and could easily be ordered in such a way that everyone at the table could get a little taste of each plate. The staff was very accommodating about bringing extra flatware/plates/etc so we could all taste each thing we ordered. The service was a little slow but considering it was our waiters first week working there, he did a fine job. Very personable and knowledgeable about the menu. Would definitely go back, possibly on a warm evening so I could sit on the patio."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "This is a nice place to dine in downtown Raleigh. Great food, very good service and nice ambience. If you like to try different foods from around the globe, this is the place to do it. We had a great waiter who even shared a little bit about his life with us. We will go back."
    Dined on 9/29/2013
  • "The food was alright but if you are coming from Durham or Chapel Hill, don't bother. There is a good selection, but like with most buffets the food is not very fresh. The service was much better than the food. I don't plan to go back here again. Maybe I'll try the regular dinner menu some time."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Buku has an eclectic menu, delicious food, excellent service, and a very pleasing ambience. Unlike many restaurants, the space is large enough that you can have a conversation without needing to shout to be heard. The lighting is neutral: warm but not bright. Highly recommended for business meetings, and for late night dining and drinks."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Overall Buku maintains a good quantity and quality of food. for brunch on Sundays. It was not quite as good as the last couple times we had brunch at the restaurant bur for the $20 price tag plus drinks and tip, it is a good buy. Restaurant provides valet parking which is important for this area as street parking can be difficult. Dessert selection can be limited but you can fill up on many other options. Reservations are important - otherwise expect a wait for a table."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "I loved the idea of this restaurant and menu. Loved the decor and feel. Would have been 4 stars had our server been more attentive. The menu was great. Everything looked amazing and the prices reasonable. Food came quickly and was good. Our server seemed distracted and was slow to bring drinks, respond to requests and take our dessert order. I would say our the molten chocolate cake was overcooked and dry, which was disappointing. Overall a solid restaurant but I think it could be great!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Food quality, service, and ambience excellent -- will go back !"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "we got the German pretzel knots, empanadas, some kind of mango sausage, a veggie sushi roll, the Korean bbq, and pad thai for a table of 4 to share. All was delicious, though some of the small plates were smaller than I had anticipated. Everything was delicious. The korean BBQ is cooked sous vide, so if you like your meat well done, be sure to say that up front. I forgot, but they were very accommodating in cooking it a little more for me anyways. Try the ginger beer! Homemade and delicious :D"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Took my wife and 6 friends to Buku to celebrate her birthday on a Friday night. Made a reservation for 6 initially and was able to adjust to fit our group only a few hours before the reservation time with no hassle from the hostess. The food was delicious and drink selection was great. Would recommend to anyone."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We loved this place. It has a varied menu and wonderful ambience. The service was excellent...we had a watress named Victoria. She was knowledgeable of the food items and friendly. My husband had the seabass and it was cooked to order perfectly. I had a delicious pierogi and crab flautas that i would highly recommend. The beer and wine selection was bountiful as well with local crafts."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Picked restaurant from the internet never having been there but reviews and menu sounded positive and interesting. What a great and pleasant surprise. The food is absolutely outstanding from the shared appetizer plates to the main courses, there was nothing less than fabulous. We had 7 people all tasting the various dishes and we were unanimous in our support for the visual presentation, complexities of taste, sauces that were just divinely inspired. Our waiter, Justin, added to the experience being friendly, helpful, he had suggested dishes that were perfectly delicious. We had emailed the reservation request and mentioned it was a birthday and were presented with a wonderful individual cake for the birthday guest. Can't rave enough."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Loved the food and had great service. Also, they do have a nice outdoor patio but it is positioned towards the street which can be very noisy."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "I brought my wife here for our wedding anniversary. It definitely felt very special and was a nice break away from our kids! When the staff found out it was our anniversary, they gave us complimentary champagne and chocolate cake. They were both so nice, and the chocolate cake was very nice! We had the yellow curry, sushi and lumpia at our table. All were very nice, and I would order those again. I don't think we would get the deviled eggs again. They were not bad, but did not stand out like the other dishes! Overall we really liked this choice for the occasion."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Food was not good. We have been here several times and the food gets worse and worse. We will not go back.. They charge too much money for bad food. They should give you free coffee and tea for the price."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Had a lovely lunch with my parents, we all loved the small plates as well as the entrees!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Really had a great time with the wife. Amazing service, amazing food, really enjoyed ourselves here and will definitely do it again!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Dinner was excellent. Server gave great suggestions. It was fun to get several small plates and try a variety of items."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "This was our first time at Buku and it was delicious. We will definitely go back because there are so many tasty sounding items on the menu that we certainly couldn't try them all. Our only minor complaint was that our waiter wasn't great. We heard the waitress at the table behind us giving great descriptions and recommendations, but our guy was kind of a dud. Food was great, decor was very nice and trendy."
    Dined on 3/8/2014