The history of Downtown Raleigh’s City Market dates back to 1914 when it opened as a central location for farmers to sell produce, meats and even home-baked goods. It was briefly closed in the late 50s and then leased to a furniture store owner. During the 1980s, City Market was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and the City Market as we currently know it began to take shape!

Today, Historic City Market is a go-to destination in the downtown area for food, entertainment, and more.


The retail scene in Downtown Raleigh is still taking shape, but City Market is leading the way! Find unique gifts at shops such as Dechen Collections or The Holy Rose. Purchase original art pieces from a local artist at ArtSpace. You can frequently find craft vendors in the Market Hall on the weekends as well. Check the events calendar to see if there’s anything coming up!


Did all of that shopping make you hungry? City Market is home to many awesome restaurants! For true southern cooking, check out Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant. It’s open for breakfast and lunch Try the Cajun chicken biscuit!

Another local favorite is Woody’s at City Market, which is a great spot to drink a local beer and chow down on some bar food.

Looking for something a little fancier? Try Royale – a French-American bistro featuring dishes such as steak tartare and tarte flambee.

Other awesome City Market restaurants include City Market Sushi, Vic’s Italian Restaurant, and the recently opened Mofu Shoppe.


With all of the awesome restaurants and retail, City Market is always bustling, but it truly comes alive during First Friday. First Friday happens on the first Friday of every month. Throughout Downtown Raleigh, art galleries and boutiques stay open late, giving everyone an opportunity to see the works of local artists. Some even offer wine and beer for you to sip on while you browse! Though First Friday is a city-wide event, the location of ArtSpace makes City Market the hub of it all. There are often musicians performing in addition to all of the art galleries staying open.

In addition to ArtSpace, Market Hall occasionally hosts bands and parties. In 2017, it hosted a 90’s-themed party, and it was awesome. It’s also a popular space for weddings. If you are into people-watching, City Market is a great spot for that as well! With everything to see and do, this historic corner of Downtown Raleigh is a must-visit for any Downtown Raleigh outing.

So what are some of your favorite City Market spots? 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 Downtown Raleigh Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN