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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 67 times today

buku: Global Street Food

4.5
2911 reviews
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$30 and under
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Global, International
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Good for a Date
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Global, International, Asian, South American
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Hours of operation
Serving our Full Menu
Monday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am-12am

Sunday Brunch Buffet: 10am-3pm
Sunday Dinner: 5pm-10pm
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Phone number
(919) 834-6963
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Amanda Haisley
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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.
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Private party contact
Katherine Darden: (919) 834-6963
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Catering
We would love to host your next event! Please ask Katherine, our Events Coordinator, for an Events Package and any additional information you need.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Wilmington
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Parking details
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.
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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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Gift Card
Additional
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
What 2911 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined 4 days ago

Even on a quiet Sunday evening, our waiter couldn't seem to find time to visit our table. Drinks sat at the bar before being served, gap between courses was long, very slow to bring check. Food was OK, but not worth the price and, given the service, we won't be going back.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

My brother was visiting from out of town and we went here because of its proximity to his hotel and wide variety of food options. We were all very pleased with our meals and service. Only complaint is that the small plates are a bit overpriced for the amount of food you get, but all very tasty!

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful experience! Food selection was awesome!! Great service! Will visit again!

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Waitress wasn’t very knowledgeable on menu items, and wasn’t the most accommodating. It was prom night apparently, and very noisy - not that it was the restaurant’s fault. We dine there frequently, and this was the first time we didn’t have a fantastic experience.

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

The small plates and salmon were exceptional. The Bibimbap Bowl was good but not worth the price with about 2 tbsp of filet. The service was also somewhat lacking for a restaurant of this caliber. It took a very long time to get water and even longer time to get drinks. Small plates came out pretty fast and entrees did as well. Our waitress would disappear for long stretches. A second round of cocktails was served promptly but water was never refilled even after requested. Not quite the wow I was looking for for a special night out with old friends. They did, after we finished dinner, bring my friend whose birthday we were celebrating, a complimentary glass of champagne which was nice. The small plates were tasty enough that I may be lured back for another visit.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Excellent waitstaff, attentive and helpful. Food was unique and delicious as were the creative cocktails. One meal was served cold but happily sent back and brought out nice and hot. It was rather loud but there were many large parties since it was prom. Fun atmosphere.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

We came here on a double date. The food was great (highly recommend the big bowls) and the service was excellent. Definitely recommend and will return!

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

wait staff was very friendly and helpful. seated right away with reservation. food was unique and delicious. liked the idea of small plates to share so we could try new things. restaurant environment was very pleasant (especially liked the background music).

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

It was early evening (6 pm) and it took an hour for our dinner to be served.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Lovely atmosphere, excellent food, great service! Highly recommend!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Birthday dinner. GREAT TIME!

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Ate here before seeing a show; the service was great as they met our needs on a tight schedule.

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5.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Our meals were excellent, and the service was great. We stayed after eating for another cocktail in the bar.

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Enjoyed the small plates and wine for a light meal and a taste of different cuisines, mostly Asian and MiddleEastern.

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Hummus was not good. Like the original menu better. Need more simple choices.

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Soup & Spring Rolls heaven!
Not realizing there were a zillion events, proms, etc in downtown Raleigh the night in question, I made a day-before reservation for 2 at buKu for a preconcert supper. Hmm maybe that's why there were only 4 available slots all evening - so we took a 6:45pm. OMG all we had were spring rolls (EXCELLENT) and soup (OUTSTANDING) - yet we were SO HAPPY. It took exactly an hour on a busy busy night - we got there 15 minutes early and they seated us early. SO I would say give it more like 1.5-2 hours if you really want to savor and eat large. However, our quickie dinner was PERFECT for us - and the spring rolls and soup were HEAVENLY!

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

My family had an excellent meal before a symphony concert. Our server thoughtfully asked if we had an event to attend and made sure that we had enough (if not ample) time to eat our meal and get on our way.

The menu has changed since our last experience a few months ago, but all the dishes were excellent .

buku has very interesting decor and although it was very busy, we were able to carry on a conversation with out being drowned out by chatter and clatter from other other diners.

Be aware that the "big bowls" are very big and easily could feed two, especially if a couple were also to order an small plate appetizer!

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3.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Arrived at 6:00pm, told waitress we had tickets to the NC Symphony at 8:00pm ordered denied eggs,spring roll, salad with salmon and mussels. By 6:45 the eggs and spring roll came. At 7:25 pm we gave and left because the Solomon salad and mussels had not come. The suggested we wait and the would give us carry out, ridiculous.

As the Symphonyi asked the Vice President-for philanthropy to remove Be Ku from recommended restaurants.

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2.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Poor service, waiting for 75 minutes for food, a broken noodle spoon that cut the lip of someone in our party and raw brussel sprouts made this an unpleasant evening. Some dishes were excellent and tasty but the delay in getting large plates (an hour) was unacceptable. Most of the party was finished when the last two dishes arrived. When we showed the broken ceramic spoon to the waiter and the cut/blood, he didn't notify management which is an expectation in nice restaurants. Management did not seem to be anywhere on this busy Saturday night. We had to ask for more drinks, checks, etc. I have had excellent service and food at this restaurant but it will be a while before I go again. And, I'll probably never go on Saturday night.

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2.0Dined on April 14, 2018

We dined at buku last September and were completely enthralled. We dined there last night and decided we would not return. The staff was very good; however, aside from the beet hummus, the meal was poor to inedible. My Duck dish was overly salted, extremely rare, very gristly, and the sides were poorly prepared (overcooked). My wife's Pho was salty as well, the meatballs tough, and the broth unlike any Pho Bo (beef pho). The changes in the menu were not necessary and I will not be coming back anytime soon.

They deducted the duck and the replacement chicken skewer from out bill. Nice touch; however we would have enjoyed a delicious dinner more.

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Buku never disappoints! We were a group of 6 for a coworker's birthday lunch! Service was great, food was amazing! We'll be back!

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4.0Dined on April 12, 2018

It was a birthday celebration. Our waiter Sloan was fantastic. He was the best part of the experience.

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Every aspect was great! As always food wonderful....lobster appetizer not to be missed!

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Creative and delicious food choices served with a flare.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2018

Best Brunch in Raleigh! ❤️
Great food, great service consistently

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3.0Dined on April 8, 2018

As always we enjoyed the food at BUKU as it is one of our favorite brunch choices. Usually, we get stellar service, that is prompt, efficient, and friendly. Unfortunately, this time we rarely saw out waiter, so that coffee and hot water for tea was incredible slow. We even tried flagging down other wait staff who just walked by and ignored us. After we left the restaurant, all six of us commented on worst service ever received at BUKU. Disappointing service this past Sunday. This will not deter us from returning as I would hope this was an anomaly.

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3.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Food was all wonderful and creative, but the portion sizes greatly vary from dish to dish. Slightly on the expensive side but seems worth it. Mostly group dining there, so waiters were thin and could have done better with watching people's drinks... Other than that pretty good place to go with friends.

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3.0Dined on April 7, 2018

It was a nice setting, however was disappointed to see the menu had changed. It was all good, however all 5 of us agreed we weren’t so moved we would be rushing back. I was probably more upset than anyone at the table because I talked up the old menu, and how delicious it was. It was everyone else’s first time there. However I do understand changes need to be made, rent needs to be paid! Wish this business the best! The menu was good but not something I would personally crave like I did the old Buku menu!

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Fantastic as always!

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

The atmosphere, service, and meal was exceptional. We plan on being regulars!

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

It's a great way to try a lot of different options. Great for people who don't mind sharing.

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4.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Good Asian/Korean style food. The bibimbap is great. The deviled eggs are awesome. Sangria is definitely worth getting.

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4.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Great adventurous dining! Great service and ambience.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Great brunch Large choice of all foods and plenty of it. Handle lines very quickly

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

We were very impressed by the quality and quantity of their brunch items; they know what a brunch is supposed to be!

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Very good. I don't think they used my name for my reservation. No points for me

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2.0Dined on March 31, 2018

We enjoyed the beet hummus, but would have liked more pita points. The char siu bao was good, but a little on the cold side and could have use more steaming time. The bao were nice and moist and the pork was tender. Everyone (3) ordered the hot pot. 2 thumbs up and one sideways. The curry was flavorful. I expected more meat and rhapsody for the chicken to have more of a melded flavor of the curry. I’m not sure that is possible unless it is cooked in the curry, but it might as well have been served in the side.
Overall, I expected so much more. I heard the menu changed. I’m not sure I’d go again or recommend it.

Our waiter was nice. He offered to work to compromise if the food was too spicy.

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3.0Dined on March 31, 2018

We brought out-of-state guests here because of the wonderful food we had eaten the last time we came here. Everyone had looked at the menu online (that day) and were excited about a number of the dishes. When we got there, we were told the menu had changed (quite a lot) and we discovered that none of the dishes we wanted were still on the menu. In addition, we asked about specials and were told those were only available after 6pm. The dishes we ordered were quite good and the service was great, but we were just so disappointed in the lack of selection this time around. We probably will not be returning unless the menu changes again.

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2.0Dined on March 31, 2018

The restaurant has changed their menu impacting the quality, selection and overall experience. Our server indicated that the chef's are trying new menu items to validate entrees that will be served at the Wake Forest location (future).

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3.0Dined on March 27, 2018

We liked the cocktails, but the food was really inconsistent. For the prices they charge the food really should be much better consistently. The filling on the char siu bao was good but the wrapper was super doughy and not really edible. I have eaten bao elsewhere so it wasn't like it wasn't what I was expecting. The same for the empanadas. Part of the wrapper was gummy. The Vietnamese Spring Rolls were OK, but not amazing as you would want for the price. The tuna tataki, however, was superb, as was the Ethiopian Kolo. The atmosphere was very nice and the service was friendly and competent. And we did really like the cocktails! But I don't think we will be back, except maybe for the cocktails and the kolo!

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