Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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 Filipino Lumpia, Jamaican Lamb Patties and Chinese Steamed Buns can be found on the street corners of Manila, Kingston and Beijing. 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.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Global, International, Asian, South American
Hours of Operation:
Serving our Full Menu
Friday & Saturday: 11am-12am
Sunday Brunch Buffet: 10am-3pm
Sunday Dinner: 5pm-10pm
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
We would love to host your next event! Please ask Katherine, our Events Coordinator, for an Events Package and any additional information you need.
Complimentary valet every day after 5pm and during Sunday Brunch. 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.
Private Party Facilities:
Private and semi-private dining rooms are available for parties and special occasions up to 150 guests. Full-facility rentals are available for up to 293 guests.
Private Party Contact:
Katherine Darden: (919) 834-6963
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
We would love to help you plan your next event. Our private and semi-private dining rooms seat parties of 10-150 guests and we have a virtual kaleidoscope of menu options for you to choose from! Please speak with Katherine, our Events Coordinator, for more information.
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buku: Global Street Food Ratings and Reviews
Best Brunch in the Triangle! My wife and I took our 1 year old daughter there for my wife's birthday. The food was Awesome and the staff was even better. The manager was extremely attentive and engaging. Our waiter was perfect. We've tried this place before and it keep getting better. They have highchairs so feel comfortable taking kids to brunch.
We've been to BuKu quite a number of times. Service is always great, food is too. Lovely menu, great variety of options. I've enjoyed everything I've had there and have never heard a complaint from a guest. The only thing I don't care for about BuKu is that, although they have a very nice kids' menu - they don't print it, nor do they tell you about it. The regular menu choices don't really suit kids, so when a little one arrives - someone should be ready to tell them their options.
We LOVED Buku...each and every one of us. The variety is amazing and yet the quality of the food isn’t compromised due to the restaurant’s varied menu in an attempt to make lots of different types of food very well. Buku accomplishes this seamlessly. This restaurant is a gem and should be in other cities.
My husband and I have been to Buku several times but took friends for their first experience. It was a great success. We shared many of the small plates and also had a couple of main dishes. The server helped us pick out the small plates since we weren't familiar with many of them. All were delicious. We enjoyed stretching our culinary boundaries!
My wife and I were here for a marriage conference and weekend getaway. We wanted something romantic and cool. Buku was both. The food was fantastic and our waiter Micheal made some get suggestions and was super. We had the Vege Gyoza, Chaa, Rainbow roll and Korean BBQ.
Will definitely be back
Used to be so much better. So disappointed, we had out of town guests and had to apologize for the service, table (next to a loud party of 20), food (ordered gluten free and got "vegan" short ribs - what the heck are "vegan" short ribs, waiter said "oh" I'll get you some meat..., the Bibimbap had a completely fried egg flopped on top, couldn't hold a conversation due to being set next to the huge party in the back room. We scheduled weeks in advance and that is the table we got... $200 bill for a party of 3 and totally not worth it. This used to be our go to for any special occasion. We are writing it off.
This is my 3rd visit. The food was pretty good, but not amazing. I will return and try other options. We sampled quite a few things from the menu but I realize sometimes it's a matter of finding just the right selection. Service was pretty good. It was a very busy night. Pricing was...pricey, yet expected considering the location.
I have been to Buku 2 times for special occasions during brunch hours with large parties of 15 + and both time service was great. Everyone was attended to in a timely manner and every one was courteous. I would definitely recommend because you will get your monies worth.
Sunday brunch was delicious! Our server was so feiendly, even gave us a quick tour of the buffet options. Make a reservation or you I could be waiting a long time! They had a waffle bar, omelette bar, meat carving station, homestyle foods, salads, fruits, baked goods, pastries, desserts and more!
Pro tip: valet service for parking
We brought a family group to dine at Buku on an early Saturday evening. The menu is fun, and there are lots of choices for small plates to share. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food. The space is attractive and interesting, and it was bustling on a Saturday evening. I will definitely return when I am in the area.
Had a great time at Buku this past weekend. It never fails to deliver. The menu is a lot of fun with great variety and the food is outstanding. We like to have everyone in the group select a "small plate" and then we also order a could of "big plates" then we all share. That way we all get to experience great variety and try new things. My wife tried sushi for the first time, which she would never have ordered as a meal herself, and she really enjoyed it. Parking can be a little difficult in this area, so take advantage of their valet parking. It is well worth the $5. Bart drinks are very good here as well. You can dress up or come casual, either works well.
I like the place and have eaten there on several occasions. Had 5:30 reservations for 5 on Saturday, 10/28. Unfortunately, our server Deezus (sp?) was a huge disappointment and regrettably was tipped well ($20 for our table total of $94, although we were billed separately). I brought a few friends who had never experienced buku, and who will probably never go again. We were heading to a concert that night. Part of the group was seated first and looked over menu, but did not get any input or assistance from the server. When the remainder of us arrived, we do not recall being asked if we wanted anything but the water that was brought to our table. No info was offered about what the plates, description clarified, how the small and large plates worked or they are good to share, etc. She gave us time to look...way to much time...to look at the menu. We finally ask another server to find her because it appeared she went awol! Table next to us of 4 seated after us ordered and received their food before she ever returned to take our order. We also had to listen to the server for that table for description of items, suggestions and options, in addition to asking those guests about their food choices, etc. (he was great, wish we had him). The guests were very kind, apologized for our server as they could see and hear what we had to deal with. They did say it is unusual as it is normally great service there, but we happen to get a bad server and they apologized again (although not their fault). We did enjoy the sample desserts they brought at the end of our dinner because many complained about not realizing certain plates were going to be hot. I truly wish we had smaller dollar bills because she definitely would not have received the $20 tip we left, she didn't even deserve $10. We just wanted to avoid talk about how certain ethnic people never tip, which is so TOTALLY untrue.
Our server did a great job grouping the flights of food that we ordered. The Harissa Hummous was outstanding as were some other items that I can't name without a menu. I will return and would happily recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a spot to eat in downtown Raleigh. Thanks, Buku.
I've been wanting to try buku for a while now, I follow them on instagram and their food always looks so delicious. So when we needed a brunch spot before the ballet, I set up a reservation for Sunday brunch and figured it would be a good opportunity to try it. Our service was fantastic, you could really see the benefits of a strong team throughout the restaurant. Our drinks were rarely empty and plates were cleared by just about any server walking through. As two veterans of the service industry, we appreciated the attention to detail.
The food was pretty good. You can tell that they're trying to cater to a wider variety of pallets and they do a pretty decent job. But the hidden knock out of the experience were the curry vegetables that my husband picked out from the buffet but I stole most of them. They were heavenly. We asked to see their dinner menu just to see what the rest of the experience might be like so we look forward to being back to enjoy their real menu. If you're looking to meet a variety of tastes for your group, buku will deliver for brunch. But we were hoping for a little more global variety to their buffet. So we'll be back for lunch or dinner, for sure.
It was my daughter's birthday, and I made a reservation for 8 We were seated at tables put together lengthwise in the corner of the bar, couldn't hear anyone, didn't have room to eat, and it completely defeated our ability to share small plates as we like to do. One of our party didn't get his entree until everyone else had finished eating - they obviously forgot to cook it, but was there an apology? No - they were doing us a favor by letting us be there, apparently. My previous visit was in the main dining room, which was what I was expecting. We didn't have silverware for everyone until 45 min in, the appetizers came out 10 min before the entrees, and it took half an hour to get water each time my glass was empty while our waiter hung out in the other corner of the bar chatting, and his general attitude was not unlike not wanting to be there. We won't be returning.
Nice! We had not been to Buku for dinner for several years since there are so many places to eat downtown. Decided to give it try again because the menu looked interesting. We like the chance to try different cuisines and Buku has a good variety. The crab flautas were outstanding! The mussel appetizer was decent, although we have had equally good mussels elsewhere. Our entrees (my husband's had shrimp; mine was short rib kebabs) were both very good. Our only complaint really was the huge mark-up on the wine, which is why I didn't rate them "very good" on value. We are used to checking online and finding the same bottles for less but this was a lot more mark-up than we are used to.
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