Red Eats and Drinks in Raleigh for Juneteenth

Good eats and drinks for Juneteenth

Barbecue, strawberries, cake—oh, my! Like with most holidays, fab food and bevs are at the center of Juneteenth (June 19). From delicious fall-off-the-bone ribs to red beans and rice to red velvet cake to hibiscus sweet tea, the fare surrounding this cultural celebration never disappoints. And in case you didn’t notice, all of the aforementioned foods are red—and with good reason. 

According to Unpeeled Journal, the tradition of eating red foods on Juneteenth is possibly linked to the enslaved West African tribes Yoruba and Kongo, who were brought to Texas in the 19th century. In these cultures, the color red symbolizes spiritual power and transformation. Hey, we’ll nosh to that! Here, the rundown on Juneteenth dishes and where to dine around town to honor the freedom of African Americans in the U.S.

Jack’s Seafood & Soul Food 

Soul food is, ahem, good for the soul! Naturally, you should load up on seafood dinners (catfish, flounder, shrimp, etc.) and/or soul food selects like chicken gizzards, BBQ chicken, beef ribs and more.

Lee’s Kitchen

If your taste buds are hurtin’ for a jerkin’ this Juneteenth, Lee’s Kitchen won’t disappoint. Try out the food truck’s BBQ chicken and baby back ribs boasting a flavorful Jamaican twist. 

Madame B’s Bakery

If you’re in search of strawberry cake or red velvet cake, look no further than this local bakery touting “heavenly goodness in every bite.” Sign us up! 


Sharing is caring—and this uberpopular DTR restaurant and lounge is known for dishes that can be shared among friends and family. We rec the NY strip steak, smoke lamb ribs or cast iron picanha—or heck, all three!

Fat Boys Kitchen

You’re gonna wanna belly up to Fat Boys Kitchen’s recently opened brick-and-mortar for an array of flavorful fare, from burgers and sandwiches to seafood platters and boils to seafood and chicken gumbos. Just be sure to save room for the red velvet cake (!).  

Bestow Baked Goods

Birthday cakes, cupcakes, wedding cakes… You name it, Bestow Baked Goods can bake it. Choose from its many types of red cakes, or create one of your own. Bakers gonna bake! 

Bon Fritay

It’s bon! First and foremost, order the red beans and rice. And don’t sleep on the rice bowls, fritay bowls or handhelds either from this traditional Haitian cuisine food truck rollin’ its way around town.

Flavor’s Ice Cream

With a variety of flavors and creations, this ice cream shop takes your average scoops to the next level. Ask for the strawberry cheesecake milkshake—and thank us later.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.