Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About buku: Global Street Food
Located at the corner of Wilmington and Davie Streets in the heart of downtown Raleigh, bu•ku is a local restaurant that tells a global story. The name "bu•ku" itself is an international slang twist on the phrase, "Merci, beaucoup" meaning, "Thank you very much." Inspired by the pushcarts of street vendors across the globe, our chefs harvest an array of unique and distinct flavors and present them authentically, in a virtual kaleidoscope of plates. The common link: these are foods that people love. Working within different regional traditions, our menu brings together complex and flavorful dishes that have been honed over generations. Foods like Filipino Lumpia, Jamaican Lamb Patties and Chinese Steamed Buns can be found on the street corners of Manila, Kingston and Beijing. We strive to convey the immediate thrill a traveler feels eating foods like these as they first cross over the cart and exchange hands into the urban setting.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Global, International, Asian, South American
Hours of Operation:
Serving our Full Menu
Friday & Saturday: 11am-12am
Sunday Brunch Buffet: 10am-3pm
Sunday Dinner: 5pm-10pm
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
We would love to host your next event! Please ask Katherine, our Events Coordinator, for an Events Package and any additional information you need.
Complimentary valet every day after 5pm and during Sunday Brunch. Lunch parking is available in the public deck.
Enter the City Center Parking Deck from Wilmington Street
Take elevator to ground floor; exit out at revolving doors turn left and enter double doors on the left at the corner of Davie and Wilmington.
Private Party Facilities:
Private and semi-private dining rooms are available for parties and special occasions up to 150 guests. Full-facility rentals are available for up to 293 guests.
Private Party Contact:
Katherine Darden: (919) 834-6963
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
We would love to help you plan your next event. Our private and semi-private dining rooms seat parties of 10-150 guests and we have a virtual kaleidoscope of menu options for you to choose from! Please speak with Katherine, our Events Coordinator, for more information.
buku: Global Street Food Ratings and Reviews
Went with a friend for restaurant week. We served cocktails with incredibly huge garnishes and no straws. The coconut-lime gazpacho with lump crab contained zero crab and was basically coconut milk with tomatoes; served to me with no spoon. My date order soba noodles that were mushy and overlooked and again, no spoon or proper utensils. After this I asked a different to speak to a manager, and was told "I don't want to get the manager because it's your servers first day." Was told I would be comped the gazpacho because it didn't contain crab. Was NOT comped anything, and was given the checks with no pen. This is not a cheap restaurant and should be held to a higher standard. This was a 7:30pm dinner, I'd hate to see the effort they put into lunch.
I've heard mixed reviews on BuKu since moving to Raleigh, but decided to give it a chance on my own. Glad I did! I ordered the BuKu ramen and it was outstanding. Exquisite flavors and the pork belly and shoulder melted in my mouth. A little pricey, but the quality of the food is excellent. We had a reservation on a Saturday night and were seated right away.
Not my first time at Buku for Sunday brunch. As always, food was great - both in selection and flavor. The brunch spread doesn't change much (at all?) from week to week, but that's a plus and minus.
Service is usually a bit better than it was this Sunday, though. Had to kind of flag down our waiter to get more coffee, and they had trouble keeping up with stuff running out on the buffet. Not horrible, just not as good as usual. As spendy as the brunch is, I'd hope that getting a refill or having everything well-stocked wouldn't be a problem.
Dishes were hit or miss. Wait staff not knowledgeable about the menu items. Menu items do not reflect reality. They claim to serve global street food, but only a small percent of the items would be recognizable by folks in the respective countries they claim the dishes are from. Later one of the chefs explained that it's not so much the menu item, but the spirit of the item. "Filipino deviled eggs" really? They are a real thing, but almost never made in the Philippines and certainty never, ever served by a street vendor. Fish balls and turon yes, but you will not find those items here.
Quality food, with attention to detail in the flavors of each dish we tried. With a theme of elevated street food, their drinks are also elevated and thoughtfully created to complement the menu. It's a beautiful place with beautiful food, can't wait to explore their menu further.
Went there on a Friday night with my brothers and 2 sisters-in-law. We had reservations and were seated immediately at the requested time. We sat outdoors and didn't try any of the alcohol menu, so I can't speak to the variety/quality there. Our waiter was polite and helpful but a little slow to refill water glasses. We were served our meal fairly promptly and the food was delicious and plated very prettily. We really enjoyed it and would come back to try other menu items. I was pleased that my guests enjoyed it so much!
Interesting menu selection and nice interior. Unfortunately we started out on the patio and as soon as our food came we were mobbed by flies. Some of the food was great, but some was only so-so. Service started out quick and then turned glacial (thinking the kitchen was under-staffed).
The food at Buku is fantastic. I work very close by and everything I've had there has always been very flavorful and elegant. The empanadas are one of my favorites. Different from the ones you can get from calvera down the street, but really great. The Pad Thai is excellent, bursting with complex flavors that really help take the dish to another level. If you're not in the mood for more Asian style dishes, the Scottish salmon is a good choice, especially if you don't want too many spices. It's like you're traveling around the world with the various plates you can order.
The only thing I've ever ordered that I wasn't a fan of was the Tiramisu. My boyfriend and I both ordered one and when it came out the entire restaurant started staring at us (for good reason). It came in a very large, tall glass and had these ridiculous spoons to help you eat it. The flavors were great but the overall presentation really detracted from the experience. I felt like I had ordered a dessert at a theme park, not a restaurant. Its really at odds with the rest of the plating at Buku.
I first went to Buku with a friend last week before a downtown show and was wowed by the food flavors and recommendations. We asked our server to recommend 5-6 small plates and "surprise us" and each plate was amazing! It was so good that this week when my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary and had reservations at a different location I changed the reservation so he could try Buku as well! We had our server make recommendations again and again another great meal and evening.
We've been to BuKu several times and have tried quite a few of the dishes. The food is always really good, but this time it seemed a bit pricey for the portion sizes.
We order the Ahi Poke small plate. It was delicious but at $14 I would expect a bit more than 5 or 6 small bites of tuna. We had 3 small plates each and left feeling a bit hungry. I wouldn't consider us big eaters but we spent 25-30 per person without drinks. Just feel like that's not a very good value for what you are getting.
The atmosphere is lovely and it's a great date night destination.
First off, the food was great! Like, really, really good! That said, nor for everyday dining unless you are prepared to $$$PEND!!! Clearly, this is for foodies. Ambiance was great, service was good, but in order to eat and be satisfied be prepared to order a few of their small plates!
Since you asked. I took my wife and brother there for Sunday brunch at 2:00. My, made to order,omelet was very good. The taste and appearance of the biscuits and gravy was not good. The bacon and sausage were cold and limp. The grits were about a 2 appearance and taste. The salad/dessert bar was much better in appearance and freshness. The fruits and green salad were good. The assorted specialty salads were 50/50. Some of those recipes were just not tasty. A couple of items I only had 1 bite. Sweet tea at $3.50 a price was a ripoff. $105.00 + gratuity was way too much for this brunch.
Absolutely a wildly creative, thoughtful menu. Delicate tastes up and down the menu. From powerful Korean BBQ to sublime cucumber Thai salad. Loved it. Music was two notches too loud, and the wrong playlist for the nice ambiance. Too much driving hard, Las Vegas music to get you chewing on a 1-2 beat. Please improve on that. Overall, a great dinner.
After our last mediocre experience at Buku, we decided to try again. We booked for a party of 8, for a special occasion. First thing I noticed was that it was over 80 degrees inside. We had a pregnant guest dining with us, and our waitress/bartenders were very confused by the idea of a "mocktail". Food quality has gotten worse, prices are expensive, service terrible and inconsistent. Needless to say, we will never be returning.
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