WALTER’s Top Stories of 2021

From an inside look at the career of our hockey patriarch to a kind of love letter to our city’s beloved but underrated restaurants, we love to celebrate — and read about — the people and places that make Raleigh tick. Here are our top 10 most-clicked online stories from 2021.
by Addie Ladner

20 Raleigh Hidden Gems and Long-Standing Restaurants Worth Supporting

What do old-school diners, strip mall stalwarts, and under-the-radar restaurants have in common? They’ve all been in Raleigh for ages — and especially after these tough pandemic times, should be on your list to visit again.

7 Small Towns in Central NC to Explore

Just a short drive away, these central North Carolina towns offer countryside views, historic sites, good food, and more, all within two hours of Raleigh. Ready for a quick weekend escape, anyone?

photo credit: Baxter Miller

20 Raleigh Restaurants and Bars with Heated Outdoor Seating

From patios to rooftops, to courtyards and converted parking lots, these restaurants have made space for cozy outside food and drinks. Let’s offer toast to the hospitality workers who got us through the darkest months!

photo credit: Bryan Regan

A Nude Attitude: An Inside Look at the Triangle’s Naturalist Community

What’s behind the instinct to bare all? Billy Warden made it a mission to find out — and finds folks shed much more than clothes when they go naked.

30+ Notable Strip Mall Eats in Raleigh

From cheap tacos to fine French and Italian cuisine to authentic Ethiopian, these strip mall joints dish up food in both unexpected and convenient locations. Are your favorites on the list?

photo credit: Bob Karp

The Perfect Storm: Rod Brind’Amour on Raleigh Life

For over 20 years, this Carolina Hurricanes player turned coach has ruled the rise of hockey in the Triangle. Learn about Brind’Amour’s inauspicious arrival — and the drive behind the success that’s followed.

photo credit: Jessica Crawford

First Look at Scott Crawford’s Cookshop in Clayton

It’s always exciting when one of Raleigh’s celebrity chefs starts a new venture! In this piece, we say down with Crawford + Son and Jolie’s Scott Crawford to talk his latest venture: a casual, family-friendly eatery in downtown Clayton.

Your Guide to Secondhand Shopping in the Triangle

In the midst of this darned pandemic, let’s not forget about the beauty of second-hand shopping here in Raleigh. This list breaks down where to find vintage clothes, European antiques, used goods that benefit a cause, and more.

photo credit: Samantha Everette

Family Ties: Meet the Hayes Sisters

These five Raleigh sisters, all in their 90s, rarely spent a week apart — until the pandemic. Learn about their early days in the city, and the family and church communities that have supported them over the years.

photography credit: Bob Karp

Growing Our Own: On Onslow County Tradition

For writer Lenard D. Moore from seed to stovetop, family and food are intertwined. In this essay, he shares what he learned about farming, fishing, and putting it all together in the kitchen.


This article originally appeared on in December 2021.