southern-inspired eats for pairing with your fave libation
by Avivah with Offline
Whiskey Kitchen 101
If you haven’t yet experienced Whiskey Kitchen, you’re in for a serious treat. As the name suggests, Whiskey Kitchen specializes in over 400 top-notch whiskeys, pairing its libations with elevated, Southern-inspired eats, a stunning interior, and what’s bound to be your new favorite patio (if it isn’t already). Beyond their day-to-day awesomeness, they also regularly host noteworthy events and specials worth coming out for.
Inside, Whiskey Kitchen is a lofty space, with high ceilings, exposed bricks, beams, and a gorgeous hand-painted backsplash mural behind the bar. There’s plenty of seating both inside and out, plus a small lounge in the back with comfy sofas you’ll simply sink into. Outside, the patio pretty much speaks for itself—it’s full of string lights, benches, and tables large enough to fit your whole crew. WK’s got an effortlessly hip vibe, but don’t think for a second that that means they’re unapproachable. Here, Southern hospitality abounds; feel free to share a table outside with some strangers if there’s not a ton of free seating—we promise it won’t be weird.
In addition to a solid cocktail list and their standard menu of customer faves, WK also boasts a rotating menu of daily features (jumping ahead to “Pro Tips” right now and telling you to take advantage of whatever the day offers). Show up for a wallet-friendly lunch, Sunday brunch, or dinner (which is served ‘till 11 pm—a major find in Raleigh!). They’ve also got a limited late-night menu that’s available EVERY DAY UNTIL 2 AM—eat your heart out, night owls. Now let’s get to what you’re ordering…
What to order
Self-described as a “chef’s barroom,” Whiskey Kitchen’s got an all-scratch kitchen with ingredients sourced as locally as possible. Their menu ranges from light shareable snacks to hearty fare—all designed to pair beautifully with whiskey.
If you’re looking for something shareable, Farm Cheese ($9) is an excellent and unexpected order. Pierce the freshly poached duck egg on top and go to town dunking bits of charred bread into that creamy goodness.
Of course, the Chef’s Board ($16/$27) and Boiled Peanuts ($5) are also solid shareable options. The Offline staff is also known to throw down on some Fried Cauliflower with shaved pecorino and sunflower pesto ($11).
If you’re looking for something more substantial, the Lamb Burger ($15) and Fried Chicken Sandwich ($13) are both crowd favorites for good reason.
Their brunch has somehow flown under the radar for a while, but it’s 100% worth checking out. Those that are in-the-know clamor in for fluffy Quiches ($11+) and their goat cheese-frosted Cinnamon Rolls ($9). It’s also served until 3 pm so late-risers need not hurry.
Save room for dessert. The Shoo Fly Pie ($8) is a bestseller and their House Cake ($8) rotates frequently, ranging from classic flavors to creative combos.
Their drink menu is of classic whiskey drinks and house specialties (there’s also beer and wine if you’re liquor adverse). Given their impressive number of offerings, it’s hard to narrow down exactly what you should get so feel free to ask your bartender—guaranteed they’re a huge whiskey nerd and happy to advise.
We can say that Beer + Loathing is a long-time staple made with two kinds of bitter amaro, and an allspice black peppercorn honey that’s made in house. The result is sweet, tart, and fizzy. “It tickles parts of your brain that shouldn’t be activating at the same time,” explains a bartender. We’re sold!
Another notable choice is the Kitchen Whiskey, which is an in-house, barrel-aged cocktail that rotates every few months. Barrel aging gives the drink a more complex flavor with toasty notes and a fuller mouth-feel.
Take advantage of their massive whiskey collection and order a Whiskey Flight. Whether you’re a whiskey novice or a certified pro, WK’s flight is here to teach you something. They’ve got various, expertly curated flights that’ll help you discover something new. We like to order their seasonal Pickle Jar ($6) alongside it since it’s got a little bit of everything and the acidity pairs perfectly.
- Show up Tuesday from 7-9 pm for COMPLIMENTARY WHISKEY TASTINGS (!!!), led by the pros.
- All lunch plates are just $10 Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 3 pm.
- WK regularly hosts unique special events. Their super clubs, flight nights, and other event series are all worth checking out—take a look at their calendar to see what’s happening.
- All whiskey flights are $10 on Wednesdays.
- Don’t forget the lounge in the back! It’s the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a solid drink.