I don’t know about you but when I travel, I often take advantage of being on the road by stuffing myself full of high-calorie food. Let’s face it, when you’re flying from airport to airport, it’s hard to find meals that go beyond the local Applebee’s-TGIF-Ruby Tuesday trifecta. Burgers, quesadillas, chicken tenders, you know the deal! But if you are heading over to Raleigh-Durham (RDU) airport in Morrisville, you’ve got some good local restaurant choices to balance out all that chain food. Here’s a guide to some special restaurants that will keep your stomach happy and full before jetting off.
(Note: Dim Sum House is under new ownership) Since you’re probably driving in on I-40, head south down on Airport Boulevard, Exit 284. Pass the Hooters and Cracker Barrel if you dare, and you’ll soon find the delicious Dim Sum House. Dim Sum House is true to its name and serves dim sum (small, Cantonese chinese plates) all day long! Start off with some delicious har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings) or shu mai (pork dumplings), standard dim sum favorites. Dim sum comes in three primary categories: fried-savory, steamed-savory and sweet so you’ll find something to suit your appetite. And depending on what they have available (daily selection changes), I’d also recommend the braised tofu rolls, ribs with black bean and chinese greens.
Dim Sum House does table service during the week but on weekends it can get quite busy with the dim sum served on rolling carts. If you’re not in the mood for small plates, Dim Sum House also does great cantonese Chinese food. Their beef chow fun (thick rice noodles) and salt-pepper pork chops are reminiscent of what I might find in San Francisco, great stuff!
Just a bit west of Dim Sum House is the cozy Smokey’s BBQ Shack on Chapel Hill Road! Smokey’s is the real deal with a pile of hardwoods out back. Try their beef brisket or smoked wings to get your meat on. Order at the counter and then pick up your food at the magic barbeque window. Smokey’s is all about slow-cooked meat whether it’s pork, beef or chicken with all the traditional sides: hush-puppies, brunswick stew, fried okra and mac n cheese. Inside it’s all country casual but perfect for some serious eatin’ So grab an old wooden table, plop your sweet tea down and dig in to some que! The parking lot is always busy here at Smokey’s so you gotta trust the locals.
If you’re up for pizza (and who isn’t?), check out Rosati’s Pizza on Davis Drive. Rosati’s in Morrisville is the only NC location for a popular Chicago deep-dish pizza chain.
We’re talking about thick, buttery crust loaded with chunky tomato, cheese and your favorite toppings: sausage, pepperoni, mushroom or whatever floats your boat. Just give your self a bit of time because Rosati’s is about six miles from the airport and their deep-dish pizza’s take a bit of time. But totally worth the effort if your up for some cheesy deliciousness!
And north of the airport off of Lumley Road is the ever popular, Angus Barn! Super popular steak house that’s usually a great choice for special events and parties, Angus Barn puts out classic eats and is renown for their cheese dip, dry-aged beef and ribs. All presented in a beautiful country and barn setting. For a casual meal, eat at their Wild Turkey Lounge which serves up a shorter food menu compared to the main dining room. Not to be missed if you’ve got some money in your expense account to burn!
Besides these fantastic choices, there are some other great restaurants like C&T Wok (Sichuan Chinese) and Randy’s Pizza further out. There’s definitely no reason to suffer when it comes to food and restaurants around RDU Airport! Great Chinese, Italian and barbeque means you’ll be saying “bon appetit” as your plane circles and lands in the Triangle. Forget about those honey-roasted peanuts my friend, it’s time to eat…