What do people in the Triangle care about? Google has the answer. The go-to search engine released its annual report of the most popular searches in the U.S. this week, including searches by people living in North Carolina and the Triangle. 

In Raleigh and Durham, many searchers were looking for things to do, including comedy shows and live music. Some were also looking for the best international food in the area, namely Asian restaurants. If you’re looking for the best Chinese (or Japanese) restaurants in the Triangle, check out our 2022 Best Of winners — including Happy China (in Durham), Gourmet Kingdom (in Orange County), and Five Star (in Wake County). As a Raleigh resident, Taipei 101, M Sushi, and Waraji also have a special place in my stomach. 

Other “near me” searches were influenced by the pandemic and rising inflation, as people searched for at-home COVID tests and cheap gas. Finally, North Carolina wouldn’t be North Carolina without a persistent love of guns (despite equally persistent mass shootings). The 10th most typed “near me” search was for shooting ranges.

Top “Near Me” Searches in the Triangle:

• Comedy shows near me

• 4th of July events near me

• Asian restaurant near me

• Cheapest gas near me

• At home COVID test near me

• Live Music near me

• Pilates near me

• Food pantry near me

• Gas prices near me

• Shooting range near me

This year, change and curiosity were also “major themes across Google Search,” according to spokesman Greg Behr. That’s unsurprising, given the massive upheaval most people experienced during COVID. Over the past year, we’ve spoken to many people who have started new careers, opened their own small businesses, or pursued other lifelong dreams. 

“Our annual Year in Search trends are showing us that in uncertain times, people are turning to [Google] to learn how to make changes,” Behr wrote in an email. 

Over the past year, people in North Carolina searched for information about how to move overseas; how to become more frugal and environmentally friendly; how to become a pescatarian; and how to learn Cherokee, Tagalog (a language spoken by an ethnic group in the Philippines) Braille, German, and Chinese.

Many were also looking to change jobs, searching for information on how to learn Python, a programming language, and data analytics, two increasingly in-demand skills. On new careers, North Carolinians searched “how to become” a:

• Medication aide

• QA tester

• Criminal psychologist

• Real estate attorney

• Driving instructor

• Cloud engineer

• Nuclear medicine technologist

• Officer in the Air Force

• IT specialist

• Bee keeper

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Follow Staff Writer Jasmine Gallup on Twitter or send an email to jgallup@indyweek.com. Comment on this story at backtalk@indyweek.com.