Driftwood Southern Kitchen

4.1
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815 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Southern

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About

Driftwood Southern Kitchen is located in Lafayette Village. Our ever-changing menu showcases the finest of ingredients from supporting local farms and purveyors, allowing us to make as much as possible in house. For us, cooking is not a job- it is our lives, and we believe breaking bread at the table should be a fun and soul satisfying experience. Born out of our strong love for southern ingredients and southern hospitality, Driftwood displays rustic farmhouse cooking at its best. Our menu is designed so our guests can playfully piece their meals together and share with one another for a true communal dining experience, just like sitting down for supper at your grandmother's house.
We're a little quirky, with a touch of serious, but we put a lot of love into what we do. Come join us at Driftwood Southern Kitchen to create memories and share your experiences, we can't wait to see you at our table.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Southern, Comfort Food, American
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Hours of operation
Mon–Thu 11:00 am–9:00 pm
Fri, Sat 11:00 am–10:00 pm
Brunch
Sun 10:00 am–2:00 pm
Dinner
Sun 4:30 pm–8:30 pm
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Phone number
(919) 977-8360
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Nunzio Scordo
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Private party facilities
Driftwood Southern Kitchen features a communal style semi-private room, and a large open dining room. Join us at Driftwood Southern Kitchen to create quirky, yet serious memories that will be shared for a lifetime. We can't wait to see you at our table!
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Private party contact
our Private Dining Coordinator: (919) 977-8360
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Falls of Neuse Rd. and Honeycutt Road
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Parking details
On site parking in private lot, underground parking garage, and street parking
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 815 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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JC
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A fantastic modern day southern eatery. The staff was friendly, the food came fast and it tasted amazing. The margarita we ordered was on point. Will visit again!

JJ
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

I had brunch at the Driftwood and it was less than stellar. I did not enjoy my food and thought they would have a few more options than they displayed.

M
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Our waiter was really nice and very efficient. The restaurant was SO loud, we literally had to shout to each other, and we were only a party of 3, so it’s not like we were far away from each other! The food was prepared well, but it seemed like the menu choices were the same ones that have been on the menu for the last 3 years (with the exception of the biscuit appetizer, which was eliminated from the menu a while ago, despite being universally loved). We love Driftwood’s location and the waitstaff, but the school-gymnasium-level noise and the tired, Southern style, heart-attack-inducing menu items probably will keep us from returning for a while.

LS
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We have gone to Driftwood several times and it seems to get better each time.

OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

I’ve never posted a bad review until now, but the experience left me feeling compelled.

We went for brunch. Served us iced tea... with no ice. Refills of tea were even hotter than the last. Guess they ran out of ice when cooking the eggs. More on that in a moment.

Breakfast buffet featured ice cold, flavorless eggs, rock hard flour balls posing as biscuits, cold sausage gravy, and burnt bread for French toast. The bacon was very good, for what it’s worth.

Lunch buffet offered bland spaghetti with meatballs that made chef boyardee look like Eric Ripert. Cold, boring macaroni and cheese. Tough, tendon-y, over-fried chicken pieces. Decent looking salads, and a decent green bean almondine.

Desserts were inedible: hunks of mystery sheet cake you had to cut with a knife, a flavorless puff pastry just thawed from the freezer, and chocolate chip cookies I’m still picking out of my teeth.

All that for $18 per person. Never again unless some very drastic changes are made.

There’s a reason the place was empty at peak brunch hour.

Spend the extra $2 per person and go to Buku for a real brunch buffet..

BA
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

Yesterday was my first time visiting Driftwood Southern Kitchen. I decided to check out their Sunday breakfast brunch. I was extremely disappointed! There weren't many options and the food didn't taste good. It reminded me alot of a continental breakfast at a hotel. The manager came over and asked us about our experience and I told him we weren't very satisfied. He informed us that they were ending the breakfast brunch in the coming weeks...good move.

J
New York Area
139 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Mac and cheese was my favorite part and absolutely delicious. I wish there was a bit more variety in the buffet.

t
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Was expecting something a little bit more authentic but the Sunday brunch was very basic. I read all the reviews that the food was slow to come out which was true. The chicken was over fried. The beef was over cooked in some areas. The scrambled eggs were average.

OT
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Top notch, as usual.

J
Charlotte
18 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Great service. Good food. Recommend the pimento cheese with crackers and bacon jam and jelly. Fair prices.

NC
Naples
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

Very limited Sunday brunch buffet. They have really scaled it down. Very disappointed.

Driftwood Southern Kitchen
Responded on August 14, 2019

Sorry you were disappointed. We have actually increased offerings on the buffet. We look forward to having you when we launch our NEW a la carte brunch menu in September 2019 as we are doing away with the buffet altogether. See you soon!

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AL
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food was decent overall. I have one piece of advice though.......Don't fry the shrimp in shrimp and grits!!!

Driftwood Southern Kitchen
Responded on August 14, 2019

The menu clearly states it is "Crispy" shrimp and grits. We can grill the shrimp for you upon request anytime. Most guests love the unique take on the dish!

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P
Mexico City
4 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Flavorfull. Nice ambiance

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MM
Columbus
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The restaurant itself is beautiful and there's so much potential! We went for their Sunday Brunch buffet which is $18.95 per person. The food wasn't rotated often, so items were very dried out. There was very minimal options and no labels indicating what each dish was. The service was slow and it initially took over 5 mins to have someone greet us at our table though the place was pretty empty. If you're looking for a good brunch buffet, try Bu-Ku which is the same price, better quality, and way more options! We won't be returning.

Driftwood Southern Kitchen
Responded on August 14, 2019

Sorry you were disappointed. We look forward to having you when we launch our NEW a la carte brunch menu in September 2019 as we are doing away with the buffet altogether. See you soon!

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time there and it was fabulous. Can’t wait to go back.

c
Omaha
5 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The food was mediocre as was the service. The macaroni and cheese tasted like it came from a can, the ribs were dry, the salmon was over cooked and the apple crisp was 90% canned apples. The shine drinks were the best thing we had all night!

JW
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Really great food and service! Only thing we didn’t enjoy was how loud it was.

LH
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress/staff were very friendly and attentive. She joked around with us and talked with us for a while here and there. Just makes it more enjoyable when you know your server is there because they want to be.

CG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and our waitress was very friendly and attentive. Enjoyed our visit! Highly recommend !

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food were outstanding. Perfect place to bring out-of-state guests who want a taste of NC. So many delicious options. Fawn was our server and she was fantastic!

OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Went for a low key birthday party. Friendly and knowledgeable server. Food came out quickly and was excellent.

K
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Overall, the experience at Driftwood was excellent and I would recommend it to a friend. The ambience was comfortably lively without it being obnoxiously loud or oddly quiet. The food was fantastic (although the BBQ pulled pork sauce was a little heavy, making it a bit too strong), especially the mac and cheese side. The waitress was uncomfortably apathetic, although that was likely be due to something beyond her control.

OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

I made a 5pm Saturday reservation but was stunned to see how empty the place was. It really made it feel like something was not right. But even with so few patrons, out service was still really lacking. Our waiter would vanish and not be seen for a long time. Once I had to go get my own refill from the bar. And while we are on the topic of refills, they really should get some bigger glasses.
The food was ok. Overall it struck me as trying too hard to be southern quirky.

C
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and wonderful service! Our tea was never empty and we felt a very positive vibe from all who were working. Will definitely be back!

A
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always delicious and well presented. Servers are knowledgeable and helpful with suggestions. Casual, cool vibe.

LB
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Fabulous Sunday brunch experience. Our server was extremely attentive and friendly. Food selection was good and beautifully presented. This was a perfect location to meet up with our out of town friends.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

The wings were very dry and tasteless, too much strange dressing on the wedge salad that was way overpriced. Ribs were very fatty with too little sauce. Just wasn’t a good meal.

G
Raleigh
10 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

the brisket indicates bbq sauce and the pulled pork doesn't which led me to believe its more like eastern bbq pulled pork. It was good but not what I expected. Maybe thats my bad. Anyway portions are a bit small for the price but food is good. Especially enjoyed the baby tomato salad. So fresh and summery.

OT
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Every appetizer and entree our family had was outstanding. Great atmosphere. Will definitely be back.

FD
Raleigh
175 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Driftwood’s take on guacamole is amazing with blue cheese, corn and bacon. Totally amazing. I had meat loaf and my companion had a burger, both were awesome! Katherine our server was the best!

OT
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service!

OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food good time.

R
Pittsburgh
9 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Service was awesome. Loved the atmosphere. Food was good but not great.

j
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 3

Absolutely not. Had to wait 1/2 hour after reservation time. Meats were greasy or tough. Baked beans were cold. Dessert station had an empty plate of what should have been cheesecake for at least 30 minutes. French toast not fresh and greasy. Total waste of $100.

Driftwood Southern Kitchen
Responded on June 19, 2019

Hi Jay, We are taking these reviews seriously and will be correcting issues for next year's holiday buffets. I hope you have received my email that I sent you from your private note. Talk to you soon. Justin

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M
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

A bit noisy interior staff was friendly and attentive! food was good.

JT
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Good atmosphere and friendly staff. The food was very rich, could improve selection to offer a wider variety of foods.

RS
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Nice place with excellent staff. Appetizers and drinks were great. Unfortunately, 2 of the 3 entrees were less than quality and were sent back. Replacement orders were taken and served quickly and were great. There was no hesitation by the staff to handle the issues and to their credit all was done with a smile and they constantly checked back, expressed concern and apologized. Things happen and we understand that. We will go back without a doubt.

Driftwood Southern Kitchen
Responded on June 19, 2019

Hi Ron, thank you for allowing me to correct your issues. Looking forward to seeing you again soon! - Justin

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HJ
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

This was a selection we made for my birthday dinner and we had never visited before. We are very familiar with Lafayette Village, however. When we came in to check on our reservations it was very noisy, especially for a Sunday evening, so we chose to eat outside. It was a great choice as the evening was cool and the patio was very private. I had the Goat cheese lasagna, with crawfish, wife had the pork short ribs. Both meals were excellent and provided a lunch snack two days later from the to-go box. Good choice, we'll return.

GG
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

We have always enjoyed Driftwood in the past, but this time was really disappointing. I don't know if something has changed in management or the kitchen, but we were very taken aback when we received our meals. I ordered the salmon entree, which has always been good, but this time, the portion was half of what one would expect. It was tasty, but seemed a lunch portion rather than dinner. My wife ordered the Roasted Squash and Farro, and it was mostly Farro but very little squash, very little mushroom (like 2 or 3 in the whole thing) or arugala. Driftwood has always been one of our favorites, but I don't think we will be back after this disappointing experience.

JY
Raleigh
7 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

I wasn't very impressed with their brunch. A very limited selection, desserts consisted of a plate of snickerdoodles and small cannoli that probably were purchased in bulk. I had to ask for my coffee to be refilled, though they were not busy. Not planning to return. One good point - their cheesy breakfast potatoes were delicious.

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