Driftwood Cantina

4.3
816 Reviews
$30 and under
Southern
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.
What 816 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JC
JorgeC
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
JanekaJ
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience5

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
Michelle
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

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
LauraS
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience5

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
BerniceA
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience3

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
vipJderwin26
Raleigh
152 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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

t
twocouplesonadate
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience4

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
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
10 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Top notch, as usual.

J
Jimgems
Charlotte
18 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

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

NC
NaomiC
Naples
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience3

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

Driftwood Cantina
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
AmpL
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

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

Driftwood Cantina
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
Piluca
Mexico City
6 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Flavorfull. Nice ambiance

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MM
MorganM
Columbus
3 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

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 Cantina
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
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

c
curxdoc2007
Omaha
6 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

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
vipJoshW
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

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

LH
LizH
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
CrystalG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
3 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

K
Kirby
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience5

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
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

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
Candice
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Angela
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

LB
LindaB
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

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
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

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
Gretchen
Raleigh
11 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

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
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

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

FD
vipFrequentDiner
Raleigh
181 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

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
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and great service!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food good time.

R
Reneefava
Pittsburgh
12 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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

j
jayr
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience3

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 Cantina
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
Melissa
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

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

JT
JanelleT
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

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

RS
RonS
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

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 Cantina
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
HardieJ
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

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
vipGregG
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience3

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
JoyY
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

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.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Driftwood Cantina using the Order Online button. Driftwood Cantina also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (919) 977-8360.

Driftwood Cantina is rated 4.3 stars by 816 OpenTable diners.

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