Summer Hot Spots

Escape the Heat and Enjoy Local Food and Spirits in Cary

Article by Christina Minnish

Photography by Christina Minnish

Originally published in Cary City Lifestyle

Academy Street Bistro

200 S. Academy St., Cary,

For upscale-casual dining, visit Academy Street Bistro in the heart of downtown Cary. Since taking over as owner and executive chef in 2016, Tom Havrish has brought new life to the menu with his take on Italian-American cuisine. Additionally, Tom owns the widely popular Lugano Ristorante, also in Cary. The Bistro is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, as well as for brunch on Sundays. Customers can also stop by Tuesday through Thursday for drink specials.

BottleDog Bites & Brews

8306 Chapel Hill Road, Cary,

With a full food menu, BottleDog Bites & Brews is not your typical bottle shop. Canadian poutine, Montreal smoked meat, Nashville hot chicken, gourmet hot dogs and pizza flatbreads are just some of the choices offered by owners Ram and Niruja Thapa. Pair your dish with one of the bar’s 12 rotating taps. BottleDog offers more than 100 carefully selected bottled beers, along with a Crowler machine that allows beer lovers to take home 32 ounces of draft beer in an aluminum can. For advice on beer selection, see general manager and beer buyer James Higgins. Enjoy your grub inside with the televisions or outside on the dog-friendly patio.

Cotton House Craft Brewers

307 S. Academy St., Cary,

If you’re looking for a unique summer experience, stop by the historic Pasmore House in downtown Cary, and grab an artisan beer from Cotton House Craft Brewers. Owner Brent Webb branded his business on the ideals of community, farming, history and Southern hospitality. While you sip your drink, enjoy food from the Mayton Inn located next door, and view and purchase local artwork. Select a spot at the Prohibition-era styled bar, in one of the comfortable rooms or outside on the porch. Brent’s brewers use hops from Running Turtle Hops Farm in Liberty, North Carolina, and hop farmer Art Robertson works with the North Carolina State Agriculture Department to engineer some of the hop varieties.

“From the hops to the history to the house, it’s all local,” Brent says.

Maximillians Grill & Wine Bar

8314 Chapel Hill Road, Cary,

The mantra of Maximillians Grill & Wine Bar is simple: eat. drink. local. When the previous owners decided to retire, 20-year veteran employees Will and Margie Hennessee purchased the restaurant. It’s evident that Maximillians has been home to the husband-and-wife team for a while. Executive Chef Margie and General Manager Will strive to provide a sense of community from the instant customers walk through their door. The cuisine is made of locally sourced ingredients yet also features textures and flavors from around the globe. From the kale vegetable salad, Asian barbecue pork tacos and seafood brudet to the legendary Voodoo tuna, this is foodie heaven. The wine list offers more than 20 wines by the glass, a global bottle list, handcrafted cocktails and local craft beers. Come for the food, and return for the homey ambiance.

Once in a Blue Moon Bakery & Cafe

115 W. Chatham St. G, Cary,

Whatever sweet treat you’re craving this summer, it’s bound to be at Once in a Blue Moon Bakery in downtown Cary. From cookies, bars and brownies to breakfast pastries and sweet breads, there are multiple mouthwatering options to enjoy with your cup of coffee. And, if you want cakes, cupcakes, pies or cheesecakes, owner Lily Reed has them all. Blue Moon has been serving up baked goods in the Triangle for more than 20 years. Her attention to detail and taste are evident, as is her charming persona. Stop by her small-town shop and savor some sugar.

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