For the past 8 years, Buku has been consistently one of the hottest, busiest and most popular restaurants in all of Downtown Raleigh. Buku carved out its own niche pretty much since day one of opening its doors and quickly established a diverse loyal following by serving up “food from around the world” and a fun atmosphere to go along with all the delicious, global cuisine options that are typically hard to find at any other place.

Back in early 2016, the owners started working on expansion plans for its second Buku location to be built out in the fast-growing Heritage master-planned community over in Wake Forest. We are hearing the new location is almost ready, and will finally be opening its doors as soon as March 2018, which is only a couple of months away. The brand new menu, decor, etc are all being finalized as we speak. Buku #2 will be one of the largest and most unique restaurants in all of Wake Forest, featuring an emphasis on shareable small plates.

The highly anticipated 5,000 sqft Buku restaurant in Wake Forest will be able to accommodate as many as 250 people in its spacious indoor dining room and outdoor patio areas. Over 50+ employees will be hired at the new location. The investment in the new restaurant is estimated to be in excess of $1,000,000+.

The name “bu•ku” comes from an international slang twist on the phrase, “Merci, beaucoup,”  meaning, “Thank you, very much.”


Buku will be sharing space with one other business next-door in the newly constructed free-standing building right off Rogers Road. Buku’s neighbor, Wine & Beer 101, is another popular and local “customer first wine and beer shop.” The Wine & Beer 101 shop also has 3 Triangle area locations in Raleigh, Wendell, and Youngsville. The new Buku restaurant will be easily accessible. It is in a prime location right across from the recently opened Publix anchored shopping center, which is in one of the most popular and prestigious areas of Wake Forest.

Buku in Wake Forest will be the third restaurant for partners Sean Degnan, Tony Hopkins and Todd Ohle, who is a long-time resident of Wake Forest. The Chef will be Andrew Smith and Emily Phelps will be the General Manager at the new restaurant. The three partners most recently opened Soca Cocina Latina – a Caribbean, Central & South American inspired restaurant plus craft cocktail bar over in Cameron Village in early 2017.

The new Buku restaurant will have a diverse menu featuring a mix of global street food options such as the acclaimed cuisine from the Soca Cameron Village location and Buku in Downtown Raleigh. Both restaurants are well-known for shareable small plates.

About Buku Global Street Food

A local restaurant telling a global story. Inspired by the pushcarts of street vendors in cities across the globe, we harvest an array of unique and distinct flavors and present them authentically in a virtual kaleidoscope of plates. The common link being, 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 our Peruvian Hokkaido Diver Scallop Tiradito, Empanadas, and Indian Aloo Chana Chaat can be found on the street corners of Lima, Oaxaca, and Delhi. These are foods that have been shared and developed in their communities for hundreds of years. At bu•ku, we strive to convey the immediate thrill a traveler feels as these foods first cross over the cart and exchange hands into the urban setting.

Our Global Street Food menu is a new type of dining, designed for the type of mix & match tasting and plate-sharing that sparks conversation.  We are a locally owned and operated restaurant that opened to fill a growing niche in the Triangle; a place where people with different backgrounds and nationalities can come to eat something familiar, while at the same time, locals can try something they’ve never had before.

Our casual fine-dining atmosphere and large private banquet room make us well-suited for romancing a significant other, meeting up with friends, or holding a special event.  Our menu represents our commitment to serve a high-quality product as we source our produce locally whenever possible.  We also aim to serve as many types of diners as possible as our Gluten Free and Vegetarian and Vegan selections continue to grow.

Global Street Food naturally lends itself to a fresh, fast, affordable downtown lunch with healthy options.  The bu•ku BAR offers a culinary-inspired approach to cocktails, hand-crafted beer, and wine. Our Sunday World Tour Buffet Brunch is another can’t miss and one of Downtown Raleigh’s best!

So what are your thoughts about this new restaurant that is opening soon in Wake Forest? 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 919 Blog editorial team for exclusive digital publication on via The Triangle Blog Network