Raleigh, North Carolina

Photo: Brewery Bhavana

Crab rangoon. Crispy pig ears. Duck egg rolls. Seafood dumplings. Shanghai-style mooncakes. As soon as plates start filling your little round table, you realize you ordered way too much food. Oops. They may be small plates, but there’s a lot of them. Everything sounded delicious. So instead of narrowing down your choices, you took them all. Now you could be here for a while. At least it’ll give you a chance to try a bunch of beers, too.

This is a popular place in which to hang out. A community hub is exactly what the owners—a group of friends—were trying to create. It started with two siblings, a brother and a sister, who owned a Laotian restaurant. They wanted to open a dim sum spot next door. But the building they were eyeing was huge. Three stories. An open floorplan. Too big. Unless they expanded their vision. So they started talking to their friends. One was a brewer. Another was a florist. On paper, they didn’t make sense together. So they did something unprecedented.

Brewery Bhavana is now a four-in-one destination. The bright, cheerful space features three large fig trees and lots of natural light thanks to a huge skylight. Bite-sized plates are served at small cafe tables and a long communal table. Forty taps line the wall behind the marble bar. Ten of them are reserved for core beers, which range from a Session IPA to a Quad. The rest of the lines swap out regularly. Another wall is filled with beautiful books. They’re paired with the sweet smell of locally grown flowers that’ll quickly be combined into custom arrangements. No wonder Brewery Bhavana started winning awards shortly after it opened.

This is starting to feel more like your living room than anything else. It’s not surprising given the neighborhood. Moore Square is a historic neighborhood in downtown Raleigh. Its small park hosts a farmers market and summer movies. It’s surrounded by cobblestone streets and iron lamps, historic churches and preserved houses. The open-air City Market was restored with art galleries, restaurants, and little shops. Breweries, cafes, and design stores spread out from there. You have a new favorite spot in North Carolina’s capital.

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