A local’s guide to living in the Triangle area

As someone who’s lived here for 23 years, I think I have enough experience to offer suggestions. :) Most of my suggestions will be from Cary and Durham, since I’ve lived in Cary for 13 years and Durham for 5 years.

What to expect:

  • Food
  • Free things
  • Living on a budget
  • Nightlife
  • Must-sees
  • For the Insta


Mostly on the $$ side. But not $$$.

Nasher brunch
Maple View
Burger Bach
Parker and Otis


M Kokko

Free things

Living on a budget

  • Buy groceries and fresh produce from Aldi. It’s often way cheaper than Harris Teeter, Publix, Kroger, Food Lion, etc.
  • Buy Asian groceries from Today Asia Market. They’re often much cheaper than H Mart, Grand Asia Market, or Li Ming’s. H Mart may have the widest selection of Asian goods, though. I also highly recommend the cosmetics section (TonyMoly). Grand Asia has a bakery with authentic Asian bread that’s much cheaper than pastries from the bakery in H Mart.
  • Get a subscription to the News and Observer. The savings you earn from coupons that come with it are unheard of. And you support a local newspaper!
  • Buy clothes from TJ Maxx, Ross, Uptown Cheapskate, or Plato’s Closet. Goodwill also has cheap clothes. TJ Maxx has cheap, fashionable brand name clothes. Ross has cheap prom dresses. Both are good for cheap gifts, too. I’ve found a NY&C professional blazer at Uptown Cheapskate for $4 in really good condition.
  • Take advantage of the parks and greenways. They’re free for the most part and open to the public! Better than any gym membership when it comes to cardio.


He’s Not Here
rooftop bar
  • Durham Hotel Rooftop Bar: for ppl who try to be classy; view of Durham is incredible
  • Alley 26: bar/restaurant with the amazing Scotch egg
  • Pour: bar with all the types of beers you could want, charged per ounce
  • Boxcar Barcade: from DDR to MarioKart, this bar/arcade combo is hard to beat


For the Insta

  • Namu
  • Downtown Apex
  • Fountain area near the Cary Arts Center
  • Old Well (Chapel Hill)
Duke gardens



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