Attending a meeting or event at the Raleigh Convention Center (RCC)? You're in luck! Located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, N.C., the convention center has catering which itself is much acclaimed, but the RCC also is surrounded by some of the best local restaurants. In fact, more than 70 places to grab a bite sit within walking distance. Here are a few of the closest places (a six-minute walk or less) to grab lunch near the RCC, if you're looking for a quick, delicious bite. List ordered by walking times.

Happy and Hale

Focused on fresh, fast and healthy fuel, Happy and Hale offers salads, bowls, smoothies and pressed juices in downtown Raleigh's City Plaza. Try the popular Protein Bowl, with roasted chicken, bacon, roasted red peppers, corn, black beans and goat cheese, topped with honey sriracha dressing. Two-minute walk


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Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen

You never even have to go outside to get to Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen. Located on the ground floor of the Raleigh Marriott City Center (accessible via the indoor convention center connector on the exhibit hall level of the RCC), they're known for the "Meat + Two" lunch special, which gives you an entrée, two sides plus a drink for just $12. The entrée varies by day, with options including fried chicken, pork tenderloin and fish of the day. Two-minute walk


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Jimmy V's Osteria + Bar

The restaurant of the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, Jimmy V's was created with Jim Valvano's passion and commitment to excellence—a portion of the restaurant's revenue is donated to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. Grab a panini or a wood-fired pizza; the Twenty Five Pizza is delicious, with BBQ chicken, bacon, pickled red onion, scallions and balsamic BBQ drizzle. Located in City Plaza with a cozy patio. Two-minute walk


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Great food, locally made right here in N.C. A short two-minute walk from the convention center, you can get a taste of some of the best that N.C has to offer. From made-to-order seasonal salads, kale and grain veggie bowls, smoothies and ice cream shakes to grass-fed, locally-raised beef burgers off the grill. Be sure to try some of their sharp cheddar and pimento cheese! Two-minute walk


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Gigi's Pizza 

Choose from options like their specialty pizzas, calzones, sandwiches and salads. The best part? Gigi’s Pizza has a self-service draft system with a large emphasis on local brews. Two-minute walk


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Known for their exquisite sushi and vibrant interior, Sono is a great place for lunch if you're hungry for good Japanese cuisine with extensive selection of fine fish and fusion plates. Located in the Hudson condo building on Fayetteville St. Four-minute walk


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Clyde Cooper's BBQ

An institution open since 1938, Clyde Cooper’s is one of the oldest restaurants in Raleigh and one of the longest-running barbecue joints in the state. You can’t go wrong with a plate of chopped barbecue and fried chicken with some collards on the side. A full meal can be had for well under $10, but Clyde Cooper’s BBQ is and always has been cash only—so come hungry, but also come with a little folding money. Five-minute walk


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The Pit

The Pit makes no bones about it—this barbecue place serves everything but the squeal. Housed in a meatpacking warehouse from the 1930s in downtown Raleigh, the restaurant, like the menu, honors the past but pushes into the present. Sit by the window and have an ice cold glass of tea with lunch. However you have it, you’ll find The Pit is doing things right. Steeped in Eastern style, The Pit cooks up a few whole hogs each night and serves them every day. Five-minute walk


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Sosta Cafe 

Located in the Red Hat building, Sosta offers tasty, homemade options, including custom coffee drinks, fresh salads and sandwiches with unique vegetarian options as well. Be sure to check out the art they have on display when you stop by! Five-minute walk


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Manhattan Cafe

Offering Southern hospitality with a big-city variety, Manhattan Cafe boasts an extensive create-your-own salad bar; enjoy your salad on-site or take it with you to go. Five-minute walk


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AC Restaurants

Two restaurants from America's best chef, Ashley Christensen, serve up delicious lunches: Beasley's Chicken + Honey and Chuck's. Focus is on the food, which is seasonal, simple and precisely executed, using a bounty of fresh ingredients, many grown on artisanal farms or harvested from the nearby coast. Both restaurants: Six-minute walk


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This is just a taste of all the great restaurants downtown, and places closest to the convention center. See a full list here!

Header photo/The Pit: Brian Strickland

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Note: Authored by David Menconi, this piece has been produced in partnership with Raleigh Arts . Menconi's next book,... View More

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