How to spend a night out on Hillsborough Street

How to spend a night out on Hillsborough Street

Everyone enjoys a night out once in awhile.  On Hillsborough Street, you can turn up, chill with friends or get a late-night bite to eat.

Above, photo by Shayla Johnson.

This story was written by Shayla Johnson, a communications intern at Live It Up! Hillsborough Street.

During the summer, when students have more time on their hands, they’ll go to great lengths to have fun. My neighbors recently partied for three days straight, from sun up to sundown. 

You may not be on that level, but everyone enjoys a night out once in awhile.  On Hillsborough Street, you can turn up, chill with friends or get a late-night bite to eat. I’m from Virginia and am new to N.C. State, so I was unfamiliar with fun things to do around campus. I consulted some Raleigh natives to find the best places to hang out on Hillsborough Street.


Photo by Shayla Johnson.

Gumby’s Pizza

Gumby’s is known for some of the best pizza on the street and its world famous Pokey Sticks. On the weekends, there is usually a pretty entertaining late-night crowd. It is definitely a favorite of N.C. State and Meredith College students. If you are not in the mood for pizza, they also have wings, salads, quesadillas, subs and a variety of desserts. Also, if you are in for the night, they will bring their hot and ready food to you!

East Village Grill

Photo by Shayla Johnson.

East Village Grill

East Village Grill has been around since 1992. It’s a Hillsborough Street institution. EV, as it’s known to students, is popular for its drink specials, karaoke, live music and trivia nights. Their patio offers prime viewing for the commotion on Hillsborough Street. During the school year, it is also a great place to watch college football and NFL games. On popular nights, this place will be packed with people of all ages. While you’re taking advantage of those drink specials, don’t forget to try some of their food. They have burgers, salads, hot dogs, wraps and fantastic starters for groups. Go on a Tuesday night to try their 50-cent wing specials. They serve a full menu until 10 p.m. and a limited bar menu from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Nara Lounge

Photo by Shayla Johnson.

Nara Lounge Hookah Cafe

If you want a chill environment to hang out with your friends, then Nara Lounge Hookah Cafe is the place to go. The staff is friendly and attentive to all guests. You can sit inside on their comfy couches or outside for a view of Hillsborough Street. You’ll hear a lot of hip-hop and upbeat music. Not into smoking hookah? Nara Lounge also offers delicious coffee and tea.


Photo by Shayla Johnson.

Caza Nightclub

This is the place to go if you like to dance. They have a fully stocked bar and some seating areas, but it’s mostly a big dance floor. On the weekends, there’s usually a line to get in that stretches down Hillsborough Street. I would definitely suggest arriving early to avoid a wait. This place can get pretty packed with students from all the colleges and universities in the Raleigh area. They have different themed nights, so it is good to look into that before you decide to go. They have college nights, Caribbean nights and traffic light parties. You might spot an event hosted by the National Pan-Hellenic Council or even the N.C. State basketball team.

Insomnia Cookies

It’s the perfect way to end your night. Insomnia Cookie is conveniently located right next to N.C. State’s main campus. It satisfies your sweet tooth whether you are hanging out with friends, coming in from a night out, or need to relax from a long day. They have delicious warm cookies and ice cream with a variety of toppings to choose from. If you are feeling lazy, they will even deliver fresh cookies until 3 a.m.!

Pressley Baird

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