Lauren Ivey’s Favorite Places to Eat & Drink

The executive chef of Death and Taxes in downtown Raleigh shares her favorite restaurants, bars and coffee spots in and around Raleigh.
by Catherine Currin

For our 2023 Guide to Where to Eat and Drink in the Triangle, we surveyed a dozen food industry folks to find their go-to spots for everything from an elegant date night to a casual drink, to the best place to bring someone in from out of town. One of those folks was Lauren Ivey, the executive chef at Ashley Christensen’s downtown’s Death and Taxes. There she executes a menu completely inspired by the restaurant’s hearth from the grilled octopus appetizer to the poulet rouge entree to the chocolate tart for desert. When Ivey’s off duty, here’s where she goes for the best food and beverages in Raleigh.

Where do you go for a good craft beverage?

Weaver Street. It’s a great stop for a cold kombucha, iced coffee or sparkling water on the go. 

What’s your go-to dive?

Players Retreat. I order the chicken wings and a Caesar salad.

Where do you go for a date night?

Stanbury. They stay open late, so I can go for snacks when I finish working. 

Photo Credit: Trey Thomas, Longleaf Swine BBQ

What’s your favorite new spot?

Longleaf Swine BBQ!

Where do you take an out-of-towner?

Poole’s Diner. Order anything and everything — and make sure to get something from the Vinaigrette section.

What’s your go-to coffee spot?

lucettegrace. My go-to order is a cappuccino and a chocolate chip cookie. 

Where do you go for brunch?

St Roch. I’m not a big fan of breakfast foods, so I love all of the ‘lunchy’ options there. 

Photo Credit: Anna Routh, St. Roch

What would be your last meal on earth?

My dad’s ribs, enjoyed outside with friends and family.

What’s a place that’s worth the drive?

Hayashi in Wake Forest 

What’s your favorite meal to get to-go?

Take out from Mami’s Latin Style Rotisserie Chicken. Get the whole chicken, rice, black beans, extra green and yellow sauce.

Photo Credit: Joshua Steadman, (ish)

Where do you like to go for a weekday lunch?

(ish) delicatessen 

Where do you like to go for international cuisine?

Soo Cafe

This article was originally published on on December 29, 2022.