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.
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
buku: Global Street Food reviews from OpenTable diners
188 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (132)special occasion (102)good for groups (89)great for outdoor dining (76)romantic (72)hot spot (65)great for brunch (43)vibrant bar scene (36)neighborhood gem (34)notable wine list (31)great for lunch (24)late-night find (23)scenic view (8)kid-friendly (6)Show More
  • 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 food, great service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    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.
  • Better late than never...
    HappyCustomer
    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.
  • Fine, at best.
    mchllgrdnr
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    I ordered the scallops and only got three-- they were very good but I was very disappointed that I paid $23 for 3 scallops. As nice as this place is, I don't think it's worth the price.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ask for Jackie
    RagtopRon
    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.