About buku: Global Street Food

110 East Davie Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
View Larger Map

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.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Global, International, Asian, South American

Hours of Operation:
Serving our Full Menu
Monday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am-12am

Sunday Brunch Buffet: 10am-3pm
Sunday Dinner: 5pm-10pm

Cross Street:
Wilmington

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 834-6963

Website:
http://www.bukuraleigh.com/

Catering:
We would love to host your next event! Please ask Katherine, our Events Coordinator, for an Events Package and any additional information you need.

Parking Details:
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.

Executive Chef:
Amanda Haisley

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: 9198346963x

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

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.

Restaurant Photos

  • Porkbelly Buns
  • Pierogi
  • Trio Of Creme Brulee
  • Plantain Crushed Sea Bass With Mango And Spaghetti Squash
  • Korean BBQ
  • Viet Cucumber Salad
Porkbelly Buns
Pierogi
Trio Of Creme Brulee
Plantain Crushed Sea Bass With Mango And Spaghetti Squash
Korean BBQ
Viet Cucumber Salad

buku: Global Street Food Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.6

ambience

4.4

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Most Booked
Raleigh
Best Restaurants in Raleigh ›

fit for foodies (126)
special occasion (99)
good for groups (93)
See All
great for brunch (66)
great for outdoor dining (57)
romantic (56)
hot spot (55)
great for lunch (37)
notable wine list (31)
neighborhood gem (30)
late-night find (27)
vibrant bar scene (26)
kid-friendly (15)
scenic view (9)
Sort By:
Newest
2155 reviews
Loading Reviews ...
food5
ambience5
service5

This restaurant is always a winner! High ...

vip
Dined on June 19, 2016

This restaurant is always a winner! Highly recommended- especially for brunch.

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Terrific full brunch buffet. Great sele ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Terrific full brunch buffet. Great selection, delicious food and reasonably priced. Friendly staff. We'll be back for sure.

Tags: great for brunch
food3
ambience4
service3
value1

We went to Buku for lunch at the recomme ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

We went to Buku for lunch at the recommendation of a friend. The small plates were good, but I thought the large plates and big bowls on the menu were dinner portions and could have been scaled down. I found the food to be hyped and overpriced for their interpretation of street food.

Tags: notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My friends and I had a wonderful time at ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

My friends and I had a wonderful time at buku - everything more than met our expectations.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

AMAZING FOOD! The best experience I have ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

AMAZING FOOD! The best experience I have ever had!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience5
service4
value3

We had an early dinner pre-show at Red H ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

We had an early dinner pre-show at Red Hat. Our server took a step above and beyond and helped me find a cushion to sit on so I could reach my bowl (I'm short, and bowl was large). I took a chance that night and ordered something different, which I wasn't crazy about, but everything I have eaten there on previous occasions has been great. The crème brulee trio, however, was amazing! My boyfriend did enjoy his entrée, and the empanada appetizer was great. Next time I may just try a few small plates or get the steak frittes as usual.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5

Might have been the best meal I ever had ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

Might have been the best meal I ever had. I had the duck adobo and it was perfection, the duck was deliciously balanced by the papaya and lemongrass salad. My husband had the ramen and it was also very good, as well as the tuna tataki roll and lumpia. The cocktail, beer and wine lists were quirky and well curated. If you are looking for something different in Raleigh, this is your place. Our sever, Nathan was great, friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. Only downside was that it was very warm inside, but that may have been our table that was by the window kind of under a false ceiling. Beyond that...this is going to be our new date spot.

food3
ambience4
service2
value3

I have been to buku several times and ev ...

vip
Dined on June 13, 2016

I have been to buku several times and everything from food to service has been very good. This time things were slightly off all the around but I think that stems mainly from the server. Everything sort of gets influenced by the server. Took him a while to get to us, recommended a glass of wine that wasn't on the list and told me the dish I was ordering would be bland without a protein (which I then added). Then once the dish arrived it had a different protein than I asked for... and the server was MIA again. Everyone else had their food so I decided to eat what I was given anyway - and I just put the protein aside. He was right... it was bland. Once the server reappeared, he told me it was the kitchen that had made the mistake and he was glad for it because what I got was better than what I ordered. Huh? No apology? No offer to fix it? No discount on the bill? I'll give them another shot in the future but won't order the Pad Thai again and may ask for a different server if I end up in the same server's section.

Tags: great for outdoor dining
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We came here late after one of our child ...

Dined on June 13, 2016

We came here late after one of our children's high school graduation downtown! The service was excellent and even our picky eaters and celiac family members left full and happy! Thank you for a wonderful post-graduation dinner for my family!!!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent service - friendly, efficient, ...

Dined on June 12, 2016

Excellent service - friendly, efficient, non-intrusive. Great gluten-free menu, which was important for our party.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

I went Buku for restaurant week. It was ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

I went Buku for restaurant week. It was amazing. The food was all delicious but I was a little less impressed with dessert. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back and try more of their food.

Tags: fit for foodies
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

the duck was highly recommended by the s ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

the duck was highly recommended by the staff but was impossible to chew or cut...totally undercooked. Starters were the best as well as sushi rolls, chicken dish and Pho.

Tags: good for groups
food2
ambience4
service2
value1

The place wasent busy at all however, th ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

The place wasent busy at all however, the service was not great. The waiter was a very nice and helpful, just slow. The dining room set up was weird with tables squished into places people walk through causing people to have to scoot their seats when 2 or more people walk together. Was there for restaurant week, and had the noodles and lamb chops...for $30 a plate, it was not close to worth it. The noodles were ramen noodles, and if they were home made, the chef stole the recipe from the from the guy who invented ramen noodles. The brunch there is great, but I will not be going back for anything else.

Tags: great for brunch
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Restaurant Week Date

Dined on June 10, 2016

Really nice experience, we went for the special menu and enjoyed every dish. Our server was fun and attentive. We'll be returning to sample the small plates.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Service made the day

Dined on June 9, 2016

Went during restaurant week which can be hectic. Food was very good except for the Eton mess dessert. Service by Justin was great. He was very knowledgeable and professional. Knew about all the options wine and food. Accommodated a gluten free diner very well. We went on a Thursday night where there was some Raleigh music event so parking was tough. When we arrived at the restaurant after parking , we discovered that there was complimentary valet parking.. Buku should advise diners of this very very attractive feature for those of us who are hesitant to come to downtown because of the parking.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

We were there to celebrate my son's high ...

Dined on June 8, 2016

We were there to celebrate my son's high school graduation. We had friends with us and the food was excellent and the service was top-notch. We spent two hours on the patio eating, drinking, and celebrating. We appreciate the patience and care of the folks at Buku. Really topnotch.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find
food4
ambience5
service5

The choice of food available is decent a ...

Dined on June 5, 2016

The choice of food available is decent and the food quality was very nice. Ambience is really nice

food5
ambience5
service5

BuKu is always great. Lamb dish (for res ...

vip
Dined on June 4, 2016

BuKu is always great. Lamb dish (for restaurant week) was incredible.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

another great meal

Dined on June 3, 2016

Great food and ambiance. Lots to choose friend. Tasty drinks too.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

A Destination Restaurant

Dined on June 1, 2016

On our visits to Raleigh for symphony concerts, we've found Bu Ku the ideal place to dine before the event. A convenient walk from Meymandi Hall (or valet parking at the restaurant), Bu Ku never disappoints.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great restaurant with eclectic flavorful ...

Dined on May 30, 2016

Great restaurant with eclectic flavorful food in a nice ambience with great service

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Girls Sunday Brunch!

Dined on May 29, 2016

It was recommended that we try brunch and it was a great decision. The staff was polite, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was great. I would definitely come back here for another occassion.

Tags: great for brunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Great food, great ambience, small portions

Dined on May 29, 2016

I loved buku, it was very tasty and the service was good. I was surprised that the portions were so small; i ordered one and a half plates and still had to eat at jimmy johns later so if be full. Great place for a date with a great patio view, but be ready to spend a bit of money if you want a filling dinner.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

One of my new favorite restaurants!

Dined on May 29, 2016

We enjoyed every single bite. Beautiful decor, great food, excellent service and I even loved the music. We had a hard time narrowing down what to order because so many things looked good. You HAVE to get the Halo Halo for dessert... make room for it!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food3
ambience3
service5
value1

Dinner at Buku.

Dined on May 28, 2016

Overall I liked the restaurant. The food was good but in my opinion at bit over priced. The Buku rolls was not as tasty as I expected. My wife had the Korean BBQ and he egg was over cooked and not runny enough.

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch
food3
ambience2
service3
value2

There for a get-together with a friend. ...

vip
Dined on May 28, 2016

There for a get-together with a friend. The menu has a lot of diversity and I consider that a big plus. Menu is rich but taste is somehow poor. People are very nice and competent which is a big plus. I went because of their highly publicized Chocolate souffle, but, in my view, the Mandolin's one is just better. If you are in town for few days, it is nonetheless a must-see.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5

It was a fun night. Great wait staff

Dined on May 26, 2016

It was a fun night. Great wait staff

food5
ambience5
service5

Food was delicious, service was excellen ...

Dined on May 26, 2016

Food was delicious, service was excellent

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We celebrated a wonderful family wedding ...

Dined on May 22, 2016

We celebrated a wonderful family wedding the night before and your restaurant carried the wonderful warm vibe the following morning for a family birthday brunch. The food and service was outstanding. Highly recommended!

Tags: great for brunch
food5
ambience5
service5

Food is fantastic as is the venue. Reco ...

vip
Dined on May 21, 2016

Food is fantastic as is the venue. Recommend it highly

food5
ambience5
service5

Great food. Love how you can sample cuis ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

Great food. Love how you can sample cuisine from around the world all in one place. Watch out for the Indian potato patty. I love spicy food but it was almost too much for me. The BBQ bibimbap and Ramen were amazing, though I wish the former was served on the traditional stone/earthenware bowl to retain the heat. The empanada appetizers remind me of the ones I had in Buenos Aires (no dulce de leche here, however). The tiramisu with kahlua is always awesome as well. It's quite a production, as they serve the kahlua at the table, pouring it down the side of the glass. Big enough for 2, unless like one of our party, you're a dessert fiend.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Our family doesn't go out to eat regular ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

Our family doesn't go out to eat regularly, so it always feels like a bit of an occasion. That puts pressure on the restaurant we've chosen to be truly exceptional, unbeknownst to them. Our visit to bu-ku happened to be celebratory, so that ratcheted up the hope that it would be an outstanding experience. It was. From the incredibly friendly, helpful and attentive service from Liz--who responded with enthusiasm to our banter and was patient with our extensive questioning and mulling of choices--to the atmosphere to the delicious food, it was an absolutely delightful dining experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience5
service4
value3

Buku is great for sampling from a wide a ...

vip
Dined on May 20, 2016

Buku is great for sampling from a wide array of street food, some of which is better than you can find anywhere else in the area, the rest of which is on par with the average. Crispy Vegetarian Dumplings, for instance, were some of the best dumplings we've ever had in the Triangle-- second only to Juju in Durham-- and their limited Sushi offerings are certainly of the highest quality, although the selection is more limited than a dedicated sushi restaurant like Sono. Another dish we enjoyed was their Steamed Bun, but the bun itself lacked the fluffy lightness that the best steamed buns exhibit. Also, be forewarned: There are many dishes that you would not expect to be spicy, but are. Still, Buku is a great place for a special occasion-- wide selection of delicious foods, and FANTASTIC desserts. Definitely worth a try if you haven't been before!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

My first time at Buku was overall a wond ...

Dined on May 20, 2016

My first time at Buku was overall a wonderful experience. The ambiance was very nice (my favorite thing was the water wall behind the bar), the wait staff was very helpful, and most importantly the food was incredible. There were 4 of us and we ordered 6 or 7 of the small plates. It was the perfect amount of food. The Chinese steamed buns were my favorite thing we had by far. I will definitely go back to Buku and would recommend highly to others who enjoy a good tapas-style outing.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

An great find in downtown Raleigh.

Dined on May 18, 2016

We had a great evening at Buku! Started with some excellent small plates including steamed dumplings, Buku roll and Japanese deviled eggs. The Vietnamese Pho' and Korean Bibimbap were great choices from the "big bowl" selections! Their craft cocktails were perfect!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Buku never disappoints. Excellent food ...

Dined on May 16, 2016

Buku never disappoints. Excellent food and even better service.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Jason was our server and he was excellen ...

Dined on May 15, 2016

Jason was our server and he was excellent!! Very attentive and added special touches as we were celebrating my son's college graduation. Buku is our favorite brunch spot and never disappoints.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service1

They left my table unattended for the fi ...

Dined on May 15, 2016

They left my table unattended for the first 30 minutes. And they kept forgetting the details of my order

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food and service

Dined on May 15, 2016

The menu was eclectic, the ingredients fresh, the service was superb with a knowledgable server ( thank you Kyle) the presentation perfect and the taste was exactly what we wanted . There were plenty of selections for vegetarians like my self and for non vegetarians like my wife. They were happy to alter the dishes. To our preferences Definitely will be back

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

All the dishes we got were great. The or ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

All the dishes we got were great. The ordering of the dishes was also perfect so it allowed us to eat 5 different small plates without feeling overwhelmed

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.