Along with the Mecca, Finch's Restaurant is one of those places that often gets mentioned as a taste of old-school Raleigh. And it TOTALLY is exactly that! Located in a dusty parking lot on Peace Street near the on-ramp for Cap Boulevard, Finch's looks like it used to be a drive-in eatery. And the lot is usually packed on the weekends so try not to be scared off! Inside Finch's you'll find a lot of formica, wood paneling and worn chrome. Opened in 1953, Finch's lays claim to being one of the oldest restaurants in Raleigh. I grab a seat at the counter to watch the action in the kitchen and at the grill. Order up the Big Man breakfast and it's time to hang loose.
At the counter, I can spin around on my stool and check out the rest of the diner space. Great mix of people, all ages and all colors, a real cross-section of Raleigh. An old boombox is gently pumping out some pop tunes, regulars are stopping in to say hi and the grill cook is sassing the waitresses, it's all good here at Finch's! My breakfast comes out on two plates: a couple of hotcakes on one, and my eggs over easy, sausage and home fries on another. There is a lot of food here and even though I'm more of a small guy, the Big Man breakfast makes me happy.
The pancakes are decent, probably buttermilk, light and fluffy. With a bit of butter and syrup, we're talking about a solid starter. The eggs and home fries aren't quite as successful. The eggs are fine and well-fried, the home fries are red skin potato chunks and tender but sorta flavorless, oh well. The star of the plate is the hot link sausage which is different from what you usually get at breakfast spots. It's spicy and delicious, nice change of pace. Overall Finch's is a decent spot if you're not expecting stellar food and just want a comfortable spot to nurse your hangover and watch the nice people of Raleigh pass by. This Raleigh classic is still classic but don't get too focused on the food, it's all about the overall experience.
401 W Peace Street
Raleigh, NC 27603