Our Story


Raleigh needs a place where all people can EATRaleigh needs a place where COMMUNITY can be built. Why does Raleigh needs such a café?  We have soup kitchens, we have nice restaurants, but we do not have a place that brings us all together to eat.

Mission: A Place at the Table provides community and healthy food for all regardless of means.

Vision: Soon to be located in downtown Raleigh, A Place at the Table will be a welcoming and inviting space that provides an opportunity for all people to come and experience conversation and community while enjoying an excellent, fresh, and healthy meal. People long for a community, a place to fit in, a place to feel welcome, and a place to be a part of something bigger than just themselves.

We also all love to eat. Right? Food nourishes our minds, bodies, and souls. We also all need to eat. Food is necessary to survive.

However, not all people can afford to eat the good food that nourishes the mind, body, and soul. Not everyone can afford to eat in a restaurant where they are able to feel a part of a larger community. Not everyone feels welcome, included, and experiences a feeling of dignity to enjoy a fresh, healthy meal among all different kinds of people.

How: We are a pay-what-you-can cafe.

What does this mean if you want to eat here?

You have five options:

  1. Pay what you are able to afford.
  2. Pay what you would typically pay for a similar meal. (We will have a suggested donation)
  3. Pay what you would typically pay, plus an extra donation.
  4. Pay specifically for someone else’s full meal.
  5. Pay by volunteering with us.

We believe in and are putting faith into the sustainability of A Place at the Table. We believe in our core values and believe that this will work. We want to invite all people to engage in community with us and engage in community with others.

We’re in good company. A Place at the Table is proud to service alongside the more than 60 other pay-what-you-can restaurants in the global One World Everybody Eats network. Head west to Boone and you’ll find our mentor restaurant, F.A.R.M. Café ,one of the most successful models in the country.

Our Core Values:

  • Pay-what-you-can pricing · Each customer pays their own price for a meal, based on what they can afford, a suggested price or price range is also provided.
  • Patrons choose their own portion size and what they want · We’ll offer a variety of choices supporting our paying customers in sticking to a budget.
  • Healthy, seasonal foods · A commitment to providing local and organic whenever possible. We’ll focus on sourcing sustainably grown, raised, or caught foods.
  • Patrons can volunteer in exchange for a meal · This concept provides a “hand up, not a hand out” opportunity. Keep in mind that a volunteer with proper restaurant training has opportunities for future employment in the food service industry.
  • Maximum volunteer engagement · This concept and core value is key to building community and  restaurant sustainability.  Volunteers can work just for meals, and/or because they want to support our efforts to curb hunger in our community.
  • Paid staff earns a living wage ·  We will pay a living wage standard from NC to all employed in the café.
  • The community table · In order to foster a hospitable space that creates opportunities for patrons to cross social, economic, and other boundaries, we’ll have a large table where individuals and small groups can sit together and build community over their delicious and healthy food.

Please stay tuned and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to check out the progress and status of the café.  Check out our calendar of events and attend a pop-up!

See you around the table soon!