Downtown Wake Forest

The heart of Wake Forest is vibrant, and full of charm and Southern hospitality. A mix of independent retailers, restaurants and businesses line the beautiful landscape of Wake Forest’s carefully preserved historic district. More than 200 surrounding acres are in the midst of revitalization, guided by our strategic and professionally designed Renaissance Master Plan.

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Grabbing a bite to eat in downtown Wake Forest is convenient, memorable, and will leave you craving more.  Our award-winning food scene on White Street isn't just affordable, it is rich in big city character that adds to Wake Forest's small-town charm. Restaurants like Shorty's Famous Hotdogs, a local favorite since 1916, Over the Falls, and more than a dozen other eateries bring both food and atmosphere to the table for the whole family. Check out one of 300 unique flavors at Lumpy's Ice Cream with the family, settle in for a speciality coffee at Wake Forest Coffee Company with a friend, or relax after work with a craft beer brewed on-site at White Street Brewing Co., one of the top 5 fastest growing microbreweries in the nation.  



The dozens of unique events hosted each year in downtown Wake Forest add to the more than 50 community-wide events that take place each year.  The character of downtown is amplified by its many events including a seasonal farmer's market, Dirt Day, Beach Night on White, Mardi Gras and Christmas paradesFriday Night on White, a concert series throughout the summer that attracts more than 15,000 people, and many more.  For more information about events occurring downtown, check the Town of Wake Forest's Community Calendar.




On a stroll down White Street you'll encounter unique boutiques, thrifty antiques, practical stores for every day living, and one-of-a-kind local finds.  Our downtown is home to an increasing variety of shops that keep the heart of Wake Forest lively and charming. A few of our key stores include The Cotton Company, offering products from local small businesses and artisan entrepreneurs. For Old Times Sake Antiques sells affordable, yet fine antiques, and a quick trip across the street to B & W Hardware Co., a downtown staple since 1949, is essential for any fixer-upper.  A walk with the kids to Sweeties Candy Shop makes for family fun with all the excitement of a big city, and all the charm of a small town. 


Renaissance Center

The well-rooted and expanding Renaissance Center in downtown Wake Forest features 10,000 square feet of versatile event and meeting space providing the perfect venue for a variety of events and activities, including exhibits, concerts, plays, recitals, conferences and private celebrations.