To a visitor or newly settled resident, Cary definitely may seem like a brand new town that has just been built out not so long ago. There are always new buildings, shopping centers, and restaurants popping up seemingly overnight everywhere you look. However, like most towns, there are hidden gems located in some of the older shopping centers that aren’t always in a prime location. These restaurants may appear unassuming, but some of them are super popular local spots. Do not be fooled by what is on the outside.

Check out these top ten most popular hole in the wall delicious spots in Cary definitely worth the drive. Many are true havens for foodies!

Himalayan Range Nepali Restaurant

Himalayan Range Nepali Restaurant is located in a small strip mall off of NE Maynard Road. It features dishes from Nepal, which is a small country located between India and China. The cuisine reflects both regions and is tasty and affordable.

Roma’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria

Roma’s Italian Deli & Pizzeria is located along the train tracks on the outskirts of downtown Cary. It features pizza, calzones, strombolis, sub sandwiches and fantastic lunch specials. This place is easy to pass by on your way to downtown, but it’s definitely worth a try. Be aware of the limited hours though. It’s only open until 4pm on most days.

Upper Deck Sports Pub

Upper Deck Sports Pub opened in 1990 on the outskirts of downtown Cary. It’s a favorite among locals and a well-kept secret. It offers traditional pub fare, daily specials, and 28 rotating taps!

El Cuscatleco

El Cuscatleco is located in a small strip mall off of SE Maynard. It features Salvadoran and Mexican cuisine. Popular menu items include tamales and pupusas. It also has a location in Durham.

Taste of Jamaica

Enjoy a taste of the Caribbean at Taste of Jamaica in Cary! This tiny spot is located off of E Chatham Street features jerk chicken, lamb curry and other popular Jamaican dishes.

Little Tokyo Japanese Restaurant

Little Tokyo Japanese Restaurant is a small, but very popular restaurant featuring sushi and other Japanese dishes such as Chicken Teriyaki and Hibachi. This restaurant isn’t much to look at, but the food is superb!

Salvio’s Pizzeria

If you are seeking a great cheese slice, you’ll be thankful to stumble upon Salvio’s Pizzeria. It offers the best New York Style pizza in town, and that is a tall order coming from Cary citizens, many of which relocated from the north. It also has a location in Raleigh.

Tangerine Cafe

Tangerine Cafe is a small, unassuming cafe that offers delicious Asian cuisine. It features dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea. Popular dishes include the Pad Thai, Pork Dumplings and the Coconut Rice Pudding.

Awaze Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine

Awaze Ethiopian & Eritrean Cuisine is the only Ethiopian restaurant in Cary and it’s easy to miss, due to its location in an unassuming strip mall. It is beloved by Cary foodies and those who enjoy learning about other cultures through food. Try the meat sampler or the chicken tibs!


Oiso doesn’t look like much from the outside, and even the inside is a bit lacking in decor, but you do not want to pass this place by. It features Korean BBQ along with a fantastic sushi menu. Not sure what you want? Check out the Bento Box on the lunch menu!

Other hidden gems in Cary you’ll want to check out include Bosphorus and Banana Leaf. These restaurants just go to show that it’s what is on the inside is what truly counts. Even if the outside isn’t in tip-top shape, the food is what really matters the most at the end of the day. Keep this list in mind next time you find yourself in the mood for a foodie adventure! You may just discover your new favorite place.

So what are some of your favorite hidden gems in Cary for a great meal? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Cary Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN