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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.

110 East Davie Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
View Larger Map

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: (919) 834-6963

Additional:
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

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (61)
Good for a Date (54)
Fit for Foodies (49)
See All
Special Occasion (45)
Good for Groups (39)
Good for Anniversaries (38)
Tapas (35)
Good Vegetarian Options (35)
Good for Birthdays (35)
Authentic (27)
Handcrafted Cocktails (27)
Worth the Drive (27)
Tasting Menu (26)
Great for Brunch (25)
Bar Seating (24)
Hot Spot (23)
Fun (23)
Spicy (22)
Great for Outdoor Dining (22)
Sunday Lunch (20)
Neighborhood Gem (20)
Romantic (20)
Pre/post Theatre (19)
Casual (19)
Great for Lunch (17)
Business Meals (16)
Local Ingredients (14)
People Watching (13)
Happy Hour (12)
Vegan (12)
Vibrant Bar Scene (11)
Quiet Conversation (10)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Cozy (9)
Late-night Find (8)
Notable Wine List (7)
Modern Decor (7)
Great Beer (6)
Comfort Food (5)
Seasonal (5)
Family Style (4)
Private Room (4)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Live Sports (3)
Organic (3)
Molecular Gastronomy (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Historic (1)
Live Music (1)
Scenic View (1)
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2660 reviews
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·Dined 2 days ago

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.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 3 days ago

We were four friends celebrating four birthdays. Wait staff helped to make it a special evening.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Happy Hour, Tapas, Good Vegetarian Options, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 3 days ago

My silverware was dirty, my glass was dirty, and there was a fly annoying our experience. Not sure I will be back.

Tags: Tapas
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Best traditional brunch I have had in a while. Includes several in the Washington DC area.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined 4 days ago

Way too crowded for a buffet. Not a nice brunch when you have to wait in a VERY long line in the heat.

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (Houston)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Hot Spot, Fun, Spicy, Good for a Date, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 5 days ago

This is our second time back at BUKU and we tried all different dishes from our first time and we were still impressed at how good everything was. Service is awesome and food is a foodies dream!!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating, Authentic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Casual, Hot Spot, Great Beer, Creative Cuisine, Tapas, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Appetizers (Gyoza and Sushi) were fine, but the taste of the main dishes we ordered (Pad Thai, Pho, etc.) were not as good as we expected. I can image the chef might not come from Thailand or Vietnam .

Tags: Sunday Lunch
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food2
ambience4
service4
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 6, 2017

My girlfriends and I had a BLAST at Buku for Sunday brunch. Great food and cheerful service - especially at the waffle and omelette stations. Oh, and the 90s music was awesome! We were singing along and dancing in the buffet line.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on August 6, 2017

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.

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined on August 5, 2017

The food was the best meal I have had in a long time.
Amazing juicy duck, coconut rice that could be eaten by the bowl, and topped with a duck egg, because why not?

Tags: People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 5, 2017

I've been to Buku twice now, and every time, I like it more and more. Definitely one of my favorites!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Organic, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 5, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
·Dined on August 5, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Tapas, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Spicy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 4, 2017

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!

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Spicy, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Tapas, Fun, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 4, 2017

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).

Tags: Bar Seating
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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (London)·Dined on August 4, 2017

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.

Tags: Spicy, Romantic, Healthy, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 1, 2017

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.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Great Beer, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Happy Hour, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 30, 2017

Staff was horrible minus the hostess and management was super rude.

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food5
ambience5
service1
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Overall the service was good and small dishes were excellent. However, I had the Ramen as a main course and felt the broth was not very tasty and needed something to kick it up. As the crowd grew so did the noise level.

Tags: Casual, Tapas
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 25, 2017

Didn't pay attention to our order when we asked for yogurt on the side

Food is highly overrated

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food1
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 24, 2017

Love it! One of my go to spots. Food is always amazing.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Brunch buffet is amazing!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on July 22, 2017

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.

Tags: Tapas, Special Occasion, Authentic, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Had a wonderful meal at Buku. We split four small plates and all were delicious as well as creatively plates. I enjoyed a Pims cup which I greatly enjoyed. Service was very knowledgeable and quick, will definitely be back.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Key West)·Dined on July 21, 2017

Great gluten free menu. One person in our group is Celiac and he had no problems eating at BuKu. Their chef was Celiac so the kitchen does well not cross contaminating. Overall it was a good experience and good food.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 19, 2017

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!

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Good Vegetarian Options, Spicy, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 18, 2017

Food was excellent and service was outstanding in every area of the restaurant

Tags: Healthy, Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 18, 2017

My wife and I have made Buku a staple of family special occasions. Whether it is just the two of us, or bringing the kids as well... we know we are going to have a wonderful waiter/waitress and amazing food!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on July 17, 2017

Will need multiple trips to try everything! Bring your sense of adventure, as you'll see things here you won't elsewhere.

Tags: Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 16, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 15, 2017

Had a lovely night. Loved the different food!!

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 15, 2017

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.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 15, 2017

Fantastic service. Loved the vegan menu, and the flavors were excellent.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Good Vegetarian Options, Vegan
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 14, 2017

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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food2
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 14, 2017

Great place always a treasure for us. We love their food and the atmosphere. we celebrated our grandson's 18th birthday.

Tags: Bar Seating, Casual, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Happy Hour, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on July 12, 2017

Interesting menu! Hard to choose from so many great dishes. Food was excellent!

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on July 11, 2017

Great food, good drinks, fun environment. Great place for get togethers. The outside seating looked really nice as well and I heard great things about their brunch.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Spicy, Tapas, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 9, 2017

The atmosphere was pleasant but the food lacked flavor.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 8, 2017

We've eaten at Buku many times over the years. This is the second time that we've found the food to be mediocre. With all of the restaurants opening in Raleigh and Durham we will probably try something else next time.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

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