Adé Carrena’s Favorite Places to Eat & Drink

The owner of Dounou Cuisine share’s what she’s most excited for in the culinary scene this year, where she goes for coffee plus more
by Catherine Currin

For our 2024 Guide to Where to Eat and Drink in the Triangle, we asked ten food and hospitality industry folks to share their tried and true spots for everything from a casual lunch to happy hour to a place that’s worth hopping in the car and heading out of town. One of those was notable chef Adé Carrena. Carrena specializes in neo-West African cuisine, hosting farm-to-table dinners in addition to serving food from her Beninese food truck. Voted the 2023 North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association Chef of the Year, Carrena moved to the Triangle in 2016 and left a career in finance to pursue her passion of bringing people together through food. Here are her favorite food and drink spots around town.

Where do you go for happy hour?

Crafty Beer Shop

What or where is your guilty pleasure?

The spicy Tonkotsu Ramen from Masa Sushi & Ramen

What’s somewhere that’s worth the drive?

Catch in Wilmington

Photo credit: Chris Charles

Where do you go for lunch?

Saltbox Seafood Joint

If it was your last meal in the Triangle….

The Curry Chicken Bao at Brewery Bhavana

Photo credit: Bryan Regan

What’s your favorite new spot?

Cheeni Indian Food Emporium

What’s your favorite coffee shop?

Rofhiwa Book Café

Where do you venture for a bite to go?

Taipei 101 for takeout, get the toothpick lamb!

What are you most excited for?

I’m super excited for chef Preeti Waas’ new space in Durham!

This article was originally published on December 28, 2023 on