Raleigh’s Dining Scene

How we pick our listings: These listings are not advertisements. They are a selective guide to establishments recommended by Raleigh Magazine. These listings are updated regularly. To suggest a restaurant, please email us at info@raleighmag.com. 

KEY: Average dinner entrée price: $: 8-15; $$: 16-24; $$$: 25-34; $$$$: 35-44


 41 Hundred
4100 Main at North Hills St. (919) 278-1478
41hundredrestaurant.com $$.

Elegantly placed in the Renaissance hotel, 41 Hundred is the newest comer to the North Hills shopping center already littered with hot restaurant locations. Offering a wide range of options from the Oxtail Grilled Cheese to the Seared Ahi Tuna Steak, 41 Hundred hits your simplest desires as well as the more savory parts of your palate. 

Capital Grille
4242 Six Forks Rd.
(919) 787-3901; thecapitalgrille.com $$$

The Capital Grille is a fine dining restaurant and steakhouse located in the Bank of America Tower at North Hills.  Capital Grille specializes in dry aged steaks, artfully prepared seafood and delicious sides to share like our favorites Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Roasted Wild Mushrooms. If you only have time for a cocktail, we recommend enjoying it on their beautiful patio.

Coquette Brasserie
4351 The Circle at North Hills;
(919) 789-0606.
coquetteraleigh.com  $$.

Executive chef Saif Rahman prepares classic French cuisine that never disappoints—from Coq au Vin to Beef Bourguignon—sourcing ingredients from local farms and vendors. All are served in a sophisticated Parisian-like setting dressed in red, white and black with tables open to the sidewalks of Midtown.

Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
4208 Six Forks Road;
(919) 784-0400.
thecowfish.com. $$.

As the name implies, you can get a little bit of everything in this vibrant space with bright red walls and an ultra-mod cylindrical fish tank as the centerpiece. Cowfish is famous for its Burgushi fusion dishes—combining the best of meat and fresh seafood—like the Prime Time Filet and Lobster Roll. Lobster and cucumbers are topped with seared rare filet mignon, pan-fried portabella mushroom tossed in truffle oil finished off with onions and spicy mayo, served with a ginger sauce.

Mia Francesca Trattoria
4100 Main at North Hills Street;
(919) 278-1525.
miafrancescaraleigh.com. $$.

Rustic wood beams and high ceilings are the backdrop to Northern Italian dishes like Pollo Picatta and Spaghetti alla Bolognese as well as a variety of pizzas, salads and antipasti.

Midtown Grille
4421 Six Forks Road;
(919) 782-9463.
themidtowngrille.com. $$

Executive chef Marshall Smith offers sophisticated yet approachable contemporary American cuisine like shrimp and srits, Espresso Rubbed NY strip and PEI mussels. Dessert is a must here  so save room for the Chocolate Torte  or the Creme Brulee.

4121 Main at North Hills;
(919) 781-7887.
muranorthhills.com. $$.

A local favorite for impeccable sushi, Mura has converted many a doubter. Expertly made rolls join other authentic Japanese dishes, including Kaiseki Bento Sets, Short Ribs and Grilled Japanese Ratatouille.  In 2013, Mura underwent renovation to implement a modern interpretation of traditional Japanese architecture, design and landscape.

Pharaoh’s American Grill
4421 Six Forks Rd. ; (919) 420-0840
pharoahsgrillnorthhills.com. $.

Pharaoh’s is North Hill’s oldest restaurant, known especially for having the best chicken salad in town. The locally-owned deli-style shop also offers a famous Philly cheesesteak, as well as burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, and ice cream. Be sure to take home some extra freshly-made chicken salad, which is sold by either the half pound or whole pound.

4209 Lassiter Mill Road;
(919) 787-7747.
vivaceraleigh.com. $$.

This Italian eatery feels like a home away from home with its long cushioned banquettes adorned with colorful throw pillows and spacious outdoor seating. Enjoy Italian classics like Veal Saltimbocca and pizzas as well as a creative menus featuring veal, lamb, chicken, beef, salmon and swordfish. 


 Bloomsbury Bistro
509 W. Whitaker Mill Road;
(919) 834-9011.
bloomsburybistro.com. $$$

Tucked away in a corner of Five Points, chef John Toler creates a seasonal menu every six weeks that blends vibrant ethnic flavors with traditional French cooking, resulting in a globally-inspired menu. You might find a Grilled Scottish salmon entrée served over saffron gnocchi with wilted Rapini, baby carrots, gremolata pesto and Reggiano fumet or opt for Slow roasted Heritage Farm’s pork collar “prime rib” over a stone ground grits cake with melted snap beans, exotic mushrooms and Andouille sausage Red gravy.

Glenwood Grill
2603-151 Glenwood Ave.;
(919) 782-3102.
glenwoodgrill.com. $$.

Putting a modern spin on Southern and Low Country favorites from the coast, chef John Wright sources ingredients from all over the nation to create authentic dishes like parmesan fried oysters and a rosemary garlic crusted rack of lamb.

Hayes Barton Café
2000 Fairview Road;
(919) 856-8551.
imaginarystudioonline.com/hayes/ $.

Frank and Marget Ballard have a thing for the 1940s. Their Five Points eatery with black and white checkerboard floors captures a bit of the romance and innocence inspired by an era of Frank Sinatra crooning on the radio and soldiers returning home from WWII. You’ll find beers from this decade—import, domestic and local craft. Try the old-fashioned meatloaf, fresh fish and burgers or a piece of homemade cake.

Lilly’s Pizza
1813 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 833-0226.
lillyspizza.com. $.

More than 20 years ago, four musicians started a carryout and delivery pizza place in a former biker bar. Folks liked it so much they started bringing their own chairs to hang out for a bit while they ate their pies. Today, Lilly’s is still going strong, serving favorites like the CowTipper with beef, olives, parmesan and feta and South of the Border with salsa, chicken, cheese, jalapenos and cilantro. Lilly’s offers gluten-free versions in a 10-inch pie.

2519 Fairview Road;
(919) 322-0365.
mandolinraleigh.com. $$$.

Raleigh native Sean Fowler opened Mandolin in the old Johnson’s Pharmacy space off Fairview Road and feels like he’s come full circle. He used to eat grilled cheese and drink limeade at the pharmacy counter as a kid and now finds himself in the kitchen preparing fresh Southern food like Chicken Pot Pie, Pan-seared Flounder and Grilled NC Swordfish. Sourcing locally is important to Fowler and menus can change daily.

NOFO @ the Pig
2014 Fairview Road;
(919) 821-1240.
nofo.com. $.

Located in a renovated Piggly Wiggly, NOFO got its initials from its first location on North Fourth Street in downtown Wilmington (now closed). The two-story venue offers both dining and shopping. Downstairs offers a creative selection of starters, salads and sandwiches, including a Shrimp Po Boy and Eastern BBQ Sandwich, while upstairs is a gift shop filled with eclectic furniture, books, kids items and local wines, chocolates and other wares.

The Point at Glenwood Restaurant and Bar
1626 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 755-1007.
thepointatglenwood.com. $$.

Locally owned and operated by Raleigh natives, The Point is a community-focused restaurant and bar that delivers high quality comfort food at reasonable prices in a comfortable, neighborhood setting. They serve both lunch and dinner as well as a Sunday brunch buffet. The dinner menu features a variety of dishes for all tastebuds, including Fried Olives, Duck Wings, Mahi Provencale, Penne A La Vodka and a selection of wood-fired pizzas.

Red Dragon
2513 Fairview Road;
(919) 782-1102.
Reddragonraleigh.com. Menu prices not given.

A Five Points staple with a cozy ambience serving authentic Chinese classics like Kung Pao Beef and Kung Pao Chicken as well as an extensive a la carte menu.

1912 Bernard St.; (919) 948-7815.
thetastebar.com. $$.

Taste offers fresh and whole foods in morsels—portions between appetizers and entrees—from a cheese plate to Angus beef sliders or seared pistachio crusted ahi tuna. Pair your meal with a drink from the owner’s private wine reserve or choose from a variety of select craft beers. 


 Café Tiramisu
6196 Falls of Neuse Road;
(919) 981-0305.
CafeTiramisu.net. $$.

Originating from an old Raleigh favorite, Piccolo Mondo, Chef Paolo DeMartino prepares rustic Northern Italian cuisine in this quaint eatery with a rich rustic décor. Known for its classic Spinach Fettuccine and inventive daily specials, the DeMartino family has been perfecting dishes for nearly 30 years.

Chow Pizza and Wings
8311 Creedmoor Road;
(919) 841-4995.
Chowraleigh.com. $.

Executive chef Bryan Rephann prepares grilled smoked wings, ground in-house burgers, hand tossed pizza and fresh salads—all available with a wide selection of both local and international craft beers. Live trivia on Wednesday nights at 8:15.

Gonza Tacos Y Tequila
7713 Lead Mine Rd;
(919) 846-5478.
Gonzatacosytequila.com. Menu prices not given.

Fresh Mexican cuisine with a hippie-chic vibe, complete with neon colors fashioned into a modern Grateful Dead decor.  Favorites include a modern spin on traditional enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas and fajitas.

Hibernian Irish Pub
8021 Falls of Neuse Road;
(919) 803-0290.
Hibernianpub.com. $.

The perfect place for traditional Boxty or Bangers and Mash, the Hibernian is a comfortable Irish pub with good food and a long beer list.

Brennan Station, 8111 Creedmoor Road;
(919) 846-9846.
Margauxsrestaurant.com. $$$.

Don’t be deceived by the unassuming strip-mall location, Saint Jacques is a Raleigh treasure. Chef Restaurateur Serge Falcoz-Vigne creates a truly authentic French experience with exceptional food and wine. Recently named to the list of ‘8 Best French Restaurants in America’ as well as featured in the Top 100 restaurants in the nation by Open Table.

Milton’s Pizza
8853 Six Forks Road
(919-847-0604) and
14520 New Falls of Neuse Road
Miltonspizza.com. $.

A staple since 1983, Milton’s offers a 40-item lunch buffet with pizza, pasta, lasagna and salad, including smoothies for the kids, as well as traditional Italian dishes, burgers and beer. This family-friendly eatery offers weekly and daily specials—from half-priced bottles of wine to $2 off an appetizer with a large pizza order. If you’re planning on heading to the movies before dinner, use today’s movie ticket stub as a coupon for $5 off your meal.

Nantucket Grill & Bar
1145 Falls River Avenue
nantucketgrill.com $$

Tucked away in Falls River Shopping Center is a restaurant that brings the taste and style of New England to Raleigh, offering classics like the Creamy Lobster Bisque and New England Clam Chowder and shaking it up with Grilled Seafood Kabobs (shrimp or scallops) or the Nantucket Seafood Pasta or Jambalaya Pasta. If seafood isn’t your thing, you’ll find sandwiches, salads, burgers and steak. Don’t skip dessert. Nantucket cakes are famous–all homemade; you can buy them by the slice or by the cake. Our personal favorite: Strawberry Shortcake.

North Ridge Pub
6010 Falls of Neuse Rd.; (919) 790-9125
northridgepub.com. $$.

Decorated with urban decor and clean furnishings, North Ridge Pub is an upscale restaurant serving elevated versions of classic pub fare, including a French Dip sandwich with roast beef, swiss cheese and au jus, Crab Cakes with black bean rice and lemon-lime sauce, and an Asian Burger grilled and dipped in teriyaki soy sauce, then topped with spinach, mushrooms, tomato and cilantro garlic mayo.

The Piper’s Tavern
8304 Falls of Neuse Rd; (919) 676-7413
thepiperstavern.com. $$.

A comforting local pub with a friendly atmosphere, Piper’s Tavern combines a traditional Irish pub, sports bar and family restaurant into one. It’s become a popular spot for both families and friends to gather around both traditional bar food and Piper’s own specialty dishes, including shrimp and grits, low country crab cakes and homemade, grilled bratwurst.

Relish Café
5625 Creedmoor Road;
(919) 787-1855.
Relishraleigh.com. $.

A neighborhood café and bar specializing in comfort foods  with a “new Southern” twist, Relish offers mac & cheese skillets, burgers, wraps, fried black-eyed peas, hearty grilled cheese sandwiches and “farm fresh” sides like Carolina caviar and fried green tomatoes. A seasonal menu changes frequently to showcase local fruits and vegetables.

Saint Jacques
6112 Falls of Neuse Road;
(919) 862-2770.
Saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com. $$$.

Don’t be deceived by the unassuming strip-mall location, Saint Jacques is a Raleigh treasure. Chef Restaurateur Serge Falcoz-Vigne creates a truly authentic French experience with exceptional food and wine. Recently named to the list of ‘8 Best French Restaurants in America’ as well as featured in the Top 100 restaurants in the nation by Open Table.

Sassool Mediterranean Cafe
9650 Strickland Rd.; (919) 847-2700.
sassool.com. $.

Sassool’s began as a family bakery in 1977 and has since rebranded as a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean dishes crafted from high-quality ingredients and authentic recipes. Their menu includes deli platters, pizza-shaped pita pies, deli-fresh salads and pita sandwiches, and daily specials like Lebanese Spaghetti, Basmati Rice with Chicken and Spanakopita.

Sawmill Tap Room
7701 Lead Mine Road; (919) 845-7889
sawmilltaproom.com $

No need to choose between good beer and good food. Plenty of taps and a big variety of artisan burgers and pizzas to enjoy outside on the deck or indoors to catch the game.

Sola Coffee Café
7705 Lead Mine Road; (919) 803-8983
solacoffee.com $

This family-owned neighborhood café does much more than just coffee and food. They’ve brought the feel of a European coffeehouse to the corner of Sawmill and Leadmine.  The morning kitchen menu is full of egg sandwiches, mini-omelets and bagels but if you try nothing else try their hot mini donuts. Just before noon the menu switches to sandwiches and salads offering many vegetarian and gluten-free options. After 5 p.m. the twinkling lights come on with flatbreads taking center stage.

Winston’s Grille
Sutton Square, 6401 Falls of Neuse Road;
(919) 790-0700.
Winstonsgrille.com. $$.

Open since 1986, Winston’s is a local favorite for its Prime Rib, pastas and fresh salads. It’s traditional steakhouse ambience and expansive outdoor terrace for dining is popular with the locals.

Zest Café
8831 Six Forks Road;
(919) 848-4792.
Zestcafehomeart.com. $.

This café combines contemporary American fare with eclectic art and home furnishings in ceramic, metal, linen and glass. Favorite meals include a cashew-encrusted chicken breast, veggie lasagna, salmon tacos and brats and potatoes. 


 Cameron Bar & Grill
2018 Clark Ave;
(919) 755-2231.
Cameronbarandgrill.com. $.

The black, brown and sepia tones of the Cameron Bar & Grill will take you back to the Cameron Village of the 50s and 60s thanks to wall-sized art from that era. Try the black-eyed pea hummus and a CBG Classic like the The Raleigh Burger with pulled pork, cilantro slaw, fried pickles and Cheerwine BBQ. Opt for a traditional side or go a little Southern (why not?) with sweet potato fries, pickle chips or mac and cheese.

Cantina 18
433 Daniels Street; (919) 835-9911
dev.cantina18.com $

With a rooftop bar and an all-glass front, Chef Jason Smith is serving his trademark southwestern dishes with more than a little swank. Sister restaurant to 18 Seaboard, Cantina 18 is a decidedly upscale and urban addition to Cameron Village; open 7 days a week.

Piccola Italia
423 Woodburn Rd. (919) 833-6888
piccolaitalianc.com $.              

Sicily Native Frank Amato has been preparing classical Italian meals in this Cameron Village location since 1982. In this relaxed lunch and dinner location, enjoy a variety of handmade pizzas, delicious homemade soups and salads, as well as your traditional Italian pasta dishes, including an appetizing meat or cheese filled tortellini dish served with your choice of sauce.

so ca
2130 Clark Avenue; (919) 322-0440
socaraleigh.com $$

so•ca focuses on the islands and Americas south of this geographical border (south of the tropic of cancer).  Many of the items on the  menu allow you to travel to unfamiliar lands, and over 20 countries are represented.  Dishes on the menu like Brazilian Feijoada, Peruvian Anticuchos, or Puerto Rican Mofongo can be found on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Lima, and Fajardo in vendor stalls or in homes.

Tazza Kitchen
432 Woodburn Ave;
(919) 835-9463.
tazzakitchen.com. $$

Tazza takes pride in using dozens of local farmers for its ingredients as well as sourcing proteins that are antibiotic and chemical free. High ceilings lend to a simple urban ambience that aligns with the menu, including Chorizo Tacos served with fingerling potatoes, avocado, salsa verde, pickled red onions and queso fresco.

Tupelo Honey Café
425 Oberlin Rd;
(919) 723-9353.

A sister restaurant to the original Tupelo Honey in Asheville (which published two national cookbooks), you’ll find fresh, made-from-scratch eats—from the blueberry jam and biscuits to the fried okra and shrimp and grits. Farms in North and South Carolina are big in the supply chain, providing not only food but often a little décor. Honey drips from honeycombed ceilings; tables are finished logs stumps. Check out the Moonrise Brunch, serving late-night breakfast small plates.

Village Draft House
428 Daniels Street; (919) 833-1373
villagedrafthouse.com;  $

Village Draft House is a “beer friendly” restaurant featuring 100 beers on tap. The atmosphere is relaxed where you can sit inside or outside and still see the game. The menu features everything from salads and great burgers to grilled chicken or bacon meatloaf platters. 


 Driftwood Southern Kitchen
8460 Honeycutt Road;
Driftwoodraleigh.com. $$

Polished concrete floors combine with rough-hewn wood tables and stone accents to present rustic farmhouse cooking using locally sourced ingredients and dishes made in house when possible. Favorites include Smoked and Grilled Meatloaf and Hoppin John Risotto. Chef’s table seating features an open kitchen, and semi-private rooms can be reserved as well. Sunday brunch presents a wide  variety of Southern classics.

8450 Honeycutt Road;
(919) 714-7477.
Farinaraleigh.com. $.

Wood-fired pizzas, small plates and handmade pasta are easy finds at this new neighborhood restaurant. Melinda’s in Durham makes all pasta from scratch—from Lemon Cheese Ravioli to traditional Rigatoni. Try a sample of small plates ($6 each or 3 for $15) to get a great variety of American-Italian fare in a charming bistro setting.

Fresh Levant
8450 Honeycutt Road Ste 106; (984) 200-3999
freshlevant.com $$

Raleigh’s only 100 percent non-GMO, gluten-free restaurant, including pastries, wine, coffee and a variety of sandwiches and salads inspired by the Levant Mediterranean region. Favorites are the Bistro Eggs, lentil soup, grilled haloumi and fattoush. Cinnamon rolls drizzled with an apple cider glaze are sinful.

Simply Crepes
8470 Honeycutt Rd, Suite 100;
(919) 322-2327.
Simplycrepes.com. $.

Started by the Heroux family, Simply Crepes puts  French Canadian family recipe to work as the perfect medium for both the sweet and savory, including Smoked Salmon and Chicken Cordon Bleu. The Grand Marnier crepe is a great dessert option for those 21 and up. Both indoor and outdoor seating available.

Sushi One
8470 Honeycutt Rd, Suite 100;
(919) 615-3209.
Sushionenc.com. $$.

Modern and elegant with stone and granite interior, Sushi One offers sushi and sashimi options, offering both staples (the California Roll) to more adventurous choices (such as the Unagi Roll). BOGO Sushi Rolls are the rule (dine-in only); the restaurant also offers Tempura, Teriyaki, Yakisoba and Hibachi options.

Village Grill
8470 Honeycutt Rd;
(919) 890-5340.
villagegrillraleigh.com. $.

A great burger spot. Try the Pizza Burger, an 8oz burger patty topped with smashed meatballs, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni served on a grilled bun brushed with garlic butter. The grill’s menu goes beyond burgers—offering sharable plates, flatbreads, sandwiches, coleslaw, mac and cheese and Chicken Fried Pork Chops, among others. Work from local artists April Stein and Tom Orsini decorates the space with each picture telling a story. Outdoor seating overlooks a green preserve.

Vinos Finos Kitchen and Wine Bar
8450 Honeycutt Rd, Suite 110;
(919) 747-9233.
Vinosfinosypicadas.com. $.

This local tapas and wine bar offers one of the area’s largest selections of South American wines, pairing wonderfully with Vinos Finos’ renowned beef empanadas. Other small plate offerings include Bacon-wrapped Medjool or Herbed Focaccia Crostini. Entrees include steak, lamb stew and shrimp. 


 Azitra Indian
8411 Brier Creek Pkwy;
(919) 484-3939.
azitra.us. $$.

Enjoy Indian classics as well as a few fusion surprises—from Chicken Vindaloo to Paneer Tikka Masala. Dine indoors for a white tablecloth experience with modern lighting and pops of color or venture outside to spacious patio and bar seating.

Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse
8551 Brier Creek Pkwy;
(919) 544-3344.
brasasteakhouse.com. $$$.

Passadores visit tableside with skewers of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and sausage, offering a taste of a traveling charcuterie packed with flavor fresh off the grill.  All meals are buffet style and include an appetizer and salad bar, the latter featuring shrimp, salmon, grilled and steamed vegetables, salads and more.

Brier Creek Beer Garden
8521 Brier Creek Parkway
(919) 748-3900 $

Located in a shopping center filled with chain restaurants, this locally-owned beer garden and restaurant is a welcome addition. BCBG offers 52 craft beers on draft, more than 100 bottles, wine, and spirits served with lunch and dinner.  The menu features unique dishes like Cowboy Casserole beef, mashed potatoes, peas, gravy and tater tots served in a skillet.

8211 Brier Creek Pkwy.
(919) 908-8094; bepositalia.com  $

This family-owned business is founded on the mission of feeding the body and mind with fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. Positalia is a culinary term meaning, “choose your own adventure.” You start your experience by choosing salad bowl, pasta bowl or Piadina (thin Italian flatbreatd) then choosing your grilled item, fresh items and sauce.

Zayka Indian Cuisine
10410 Moncreiffe Road, Suite 104; (919) 361-5370
zaykaraleigh.com $$

One of the only Northern Indian restaurants in Raleigh or the Triangle, Zakya prides itself on creating savory “Tandoori” oven dishes by blending herbs and spices. Great lunch buffet with a dozen different Indian dishes plus homemade Indian breads made daily. 


 Capital Club 16

16 W Martin Street;
(919) 747-9345.
Capitalclub16.com. $$.

Once home to Raleigh’s social and literary set, this historic building features 14-foot ceilings, vintage subway tile and heart pine floors salvaged from the 1800s. Try the Portobello Grilled Cheese Sandwich or The Butcher Plate, the latter featuring sausage, pork chop and pork belly.

Centro Mexican
106 S Wilmington Street;
(919) 835-3593.
Centroraleigh.com. $.

Bright colors, wood floors and exposed brick are the backdrop to authentic Mexican and Latin American cuisine, including Mole Poblano and Camaron A La Veracruzana, featuring NC shrimp topped with Spanish-inspired Veracruzana sauce and served with jalapeño rice, twice-fried patacones, avocados and cilantro. Other favorites are the guacamole, salsa, queso, margaritas and sangria.

Death and Taxes
105 W. Hargett Street; (984) 242-0218.
Ac-restaurants.com. $$.

The latest offering by restaurateur and chef Ashley Christensen, Death and Taxes is located in a period building with tall ceilings and arched windows, offering a creative selection of food cooked over the open fire. Try the Soft Shell Crab with vegetable stems and con rouge butter or the Lamb Tartare with crisped quinoa and yogurt.

14 W Martin St;
(919) 833-6886.
Garlandraleigh.com. $$.

This artsy Indian restaurant (with some Pan-Asian options, too) is located near the very center of downtown. Colorful art decorates black walls; trees climb to the ceiling in a decidedly exotic décor. The Bo Ssam—Korean pear-glazed pork belly—and the Tandoor chicken are two popular picks.

Happy & Hale
443 Fayetteville St.
(919) 307-4148;  happyandhale.com  $

This all-day counter-service cafe offers a health-focused menu of salads, protein bowls, smoothies and juice. Their mission is to offer fresh, fast healthy fuel for the body. You can order online for pickup and delivery is available.

Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar
420 Fayetteville Street;
Jimmyvsraleigh.com. $$

Named for the head coach of NC State’s national championship basketball team, Jim Valvano, Jimmy V’s offers upscale Italian (Lamb Ragout and Chicken Saltimbocca) as well as more casual fare, including pizza, salads, antipasti and the famous “Whittenburger” named after Derek Whittenburg, one of the players from the 1983 championship team who frequents the restaurant.

Living Kitchen
555 Fayetteville St. Charter Square Building
(919) 324-3515;  livingkitchen.com  $

Living Kitchen is built on the premise that spreading love and feeding people is a singular idea. The organic, plant-based, mostly raw restaurant is built on relationships with local farmers. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a juice and smoothie bar.

Lucette Grace
235 S. Salisbury St.
(919) 307-4950; lucettegrace.com $

This eatery is a great place to start your day, a lunchtime escape or a reward after a long day’s work.  A few of our favorite dishes:  the ham and cheddar croissant, curry chicken salad sandwich, and the salted caramel brownie.

319 Fayetteville Street;
(919) 832-6622.
ororaleigh.com. $$.

Upscale Carribbean dining featuring Seafood Paella, Duck & Waffles and Sticky Ribs, among more casual dishes like flatbreads and jerk chicken. An all-white color palette and two-story dining create a sophisticated, breezy ambience.

Pizza La Stella
219 Fayetteville St.
(984) 200-2441; pizzalastella.com $$

Pizza La Stella brings Neapolitan pizza to downtown Raleigh. The space is substantial with very high ceilings and large greenhouse type windows which allow for a ton of natural light. The interior design is focused around weathered wood, paying tribute to Pizza La Stella’s wood-fired oven. Table service isn’t offered at lunch you order and pay at the from hostess area.  The menu includes a short list of apps, salads, chicken wings and specialty pizzas.

Poole’s Diner
426 S. McDowell Street;
(919) 832-4477.
Ac-restaurants.com. Prices not given.

Open seven days a week from 5 p.m. ‘til midnight, this 1945 pie shop of the same name was restored by Ashley Christensen, keeping much of the space’s original charm and featuring a double-horseshoe bar, red leather banquettes, Lucite chairs and chalkboard menus which change both daily and weekly according to ingredients available.

Raleigh Times Bar
14 E. Hargett Street;
(919) 833-0999.
Raleightimesbar.com. $.

Located in the home of the former Raleigh Times newspaper, this 100-year—old building was renovated in 2006 and now boasts a rooftop patio and second-floor seating. A local watering hole with a generous selection of crafts beers—particularly the Belgian variety—the menu features wide variety as well, including NC Catfish, Pork Belly Bahn Mi and Watermelon Salad.

Sono Raleigh
319 Fayetteville Street;
(919) 521-5328.
Sonoraleigh.com. $.

Chef Hyun-Woo Kim is a South Korea native who is trained in the stylings of Japanese, Korean and Thai cuisines. At Sono he prepares a traditional Japanese menu featuring ramen dishes, rolls, sushi, dumplings, and more. A la carte items are available as well, including tuna, eel, salmon, octopus and Red Snapper.

411 Fayetteville St.; (984) 233-6303
tulummexican.com. $

Beaming with bright and cheery Mayan decorations and a fun-loving staff, Tulum Restaurant and Bar is a great destination for Mexican cuisine, utilizing farm-fresh produce and scratch-made ingredients to create both authentic and unique dishes. Their dinner menu offers all your favorites, including enchiladas, tacos, burritos and fajitas, as well as other special Mayan dishes like Tamales, Cochinita and Papadzules.

Tuscan Blu
327 W. Davie Street;
(919) 834-5707.
Tuscanblu.com. $$.

Order from classics like Veal Marsala or Grilled Blank Angus Beef (also known as the Pizzaiola); also look for daily lunch specials for $10 as well as a variety of dinner specials. Parking is complimentary for guests dining at Tuscan Blu. 


 42nd Street Oyster Bar
508 W Jones St;
(919) 831-2811.
42ndstoysterbar.com. $$.

Opened originally as a grocery store in 1931; after the Prohibition ended, this eatery became the first place in Raleigh to serve draft beers in frosted mugs. Some things never change; there are still plenty of frosty mugs, but now this landmark gets attention for its fresh seafood and seasonal menu featuring the state’s best oysters, shrimp, scallops, clams, fish and mussels.

Clouds Brewing

126 N West St;
(919) 307-8335.
Cloudsbrewing.com. $.

In 1925, Carolina Power & Light Company built a one-story Art Deco building to house streetcars and buses. Today, the building is home to Clouds Brewing; the former garage doors, now all glass-paned, open to an outdoor patio.  Experience “Downpour,” a self-serve wall of beer taps encouraging diners to taste before committing to a pint. The restaurant offers brunch, lunch and dinner and serves more than 80 beers, ciders and meads in addition to the taps.  The BBQ Pork Belly burger is a menu fave.

The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail
413 Glenwood Ave. (919) 342-8227
cortezraleigh.com $.

Occupying the Glenwood South location formerly held by Cafe Helios, The Cortez brings a subtly tropical setting with a modern feel. Known for its dollar oyster special everyday from 5–7 p.m., owners Charlie Ibarra and Chef Oscar Diaz offer not only an eclectic seafood menu but also a wide range of handcrafted cocktails.

Dos Taquitos XOCO
410 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 895-9010.
Dostaquitosnc.com. $.

Although this eclectic taqueria is rumored to be haunted, that doesn’t deter customers one bit. Many admire the apparent thought in décor, including cloth-covered booths, painted glass and artwork from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Favorites include The Original Steak Tacos and Cositas con Mole in addition to a large drink menu.

Hibernian Irish Pub
311 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 833-2285.
Hibernianpub.com. $.

Tip back a Guinness Stout in this traditional pub with painted red brick, wood paneling and a mini library. Traditional Irish dishes abound—from Bangers & Mash to Fish ‘n Chips. Also popular are a variety of burgers (lamb, beef and brisket) and a build-your-own burger night every Monday.

My Way Tavern Eatery & Spirtis
522 St. Mary’s Street; (919) 900-8273
mywaytavern.com  $

This spot will remind you of Cheers where “everyone knows you name.” As soon as you walk through the door the bartender yells out:  “Welcome to My Way Tavern.” The dark wood tavern is a good spot to watch a game with televisions on every wall. Their signature dishes will impress especially the Baja tacos  and the baby back ribs.

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen
301 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 828-0018.
Plateskitchen.com. $.

Nestled in a cozy neighborhood decorated with tiny white lights, Plates serves global cuisine inspired by Southern traditions and local ingredients. Consider the braised short rib with creamy grits, housemade fettuccine, fried brussels sprouts, or the catch of the day served with saffron risotto, a vegetable medley and citrus fumet.

Snoopy’s Hot Dogs
Multiple Raleigh locations.
Snoopys.com. $.

Hot dogs and hamburgers reign at this ultra-casual diner with a walk-up window, but you’ll also find homemade chicken salad and vegetable soup along with traditional sides of seasoned fries, onion rings and chips.

Southern Charred
510 Glenwood Ave. Suite 101; (919) 758-8851
southerncharred.com. $

For classic southern favorites we all know and love down here in the South, head to Southern Charred, a rustic bar and restaurant with wood paneled walls charming North Carolina decorations. The joint features saucy BBQ meat platters on vintage tin trays, complete with comforting side options like biscuits, okra, hush puppies and their beloved SC Mac & Cheese made with beer cheese, brie, and roasted red peppers.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
410 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 833-2888.
sullivanssteakhouse.com. $$.

Located in the Creamery Building in downtown’s Glenwood South district, Sullivan’s is a steakhouse fine-dining experience with rich wood paneling, luxurious seating and hearty plates. Especially popular is the $44 Prix Fixe menu, which allows you to choose from a 6 oz. Filet Mignon, Sliced New York Strip, or Broiled Salmon, along with a salad or side and New York-Style Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, or Bananas Foster Bread Pudding for dessert

Sushi Blues
301 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 664-8061.

BOGO sushi rolls (dine-in only)  are very popular (try the Wolfpack) and half price wine bottles on Sundays and Wednesdays make this an affordable spot to get a wide selection of fresh sushi and sashimi in a casual environment.

Thaiphoon Bistro
301 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 720-4034.
Thaiphoonbistro.com. $.

Traditional Thai cooking with a few modern touches. Try the crispy spring rolls for $4.95 or opt for a heartier meal with a variety of Thai noodle soups, stir fry and fried rice.

Tobacco Road Sports Cafe & Brewery
505 W Jones St.; (919) 301-8793.
tobaccoroadsportscafe.com. $.

Located in the historic Powerhouse building in Downtown Raleigh, Tobacco Road’s newest location offers a terrific blend of fresh food and craft beers, along with sports-viewing pleasure for all types of fans. Their menu features creative dishes crafted in-house by their professional chef, like Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls, Memphis Nachos, a Fried Green Tomato Sandwich and entrees ranging from BBQ Beef Ribs to Black Eyed Pea Cakes.

500 Glenwood Ave.
919-803-6033. vidrioraleigh.com. $$$

Vidrio, the latest dining experience from LM Restaurants, serves family-style Mediterranean dishes in a stunning setting. An enormous backdrop of blown-glass plates anchors the space outfitted in European furnishings and stylish details reminiscent of a European fishing village. The menu showcases different Mediterranean cuisines including a North African-inspired harissa dip, scallops crudo, and homemade pasta. Enjoy craft cocktails or wine from the 50 plus vintages on tap.


Bocci Trattoria and Pizzeria
2412 Hillsborough St.; (984) 200-1099
bocciitalian.com. $$

Bocci brings old world charm and new world style to Hillsborough Street with authentic Italian dishes including Penne alla Vodka, Pappardelle Fiorentina, Crab Ravioli, and Baked Lasagna. They also serve four types of pizza: New York-style, brick oven thin crust, Chicago deep dish and “Nonna’s,” a square pan, thin crust pizza. Pair your food with one of Bocci’s Italian wines for a truly bona fide Italian meal.

Coco Bongo
2400 Hillsborough St.; (984) 242-0898
facebook.com/cocobongo2400/. $$

Hillsborough Street’s newest Mexican restaurant features daily lunch and drink specials in it’s vibrant, colorful dining room. The dinner menu includes Mexican favorites like fajitas, burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas, as well as signature seafood, chicken and steak dishes. Enjoy a frozen margarita with your meal in the summertime at one of their outdoor tables decorated with bright green umbrellas.

David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar
1900 Hillsborough St.; (919) 239-4536
ddandnb.com. $$

David’s Dumpling and Noodle Bar is a unique restaurant owned and operated by Raleigh Chef David Mao since 1976, who’s cultivated a Pan-Asian menu with influences from Chinese, Vietnamese and Malaysian cuisines. Their lunch and dinner menus include an extensive list of small plates, noodles, quick-stir dishes and chef specialities like Shrimp & Scallops, Filet Mignon and Pork with Chinese Pickled Turnip and Ginger. David’s also possesses a pleasantly surprising sake list to pair with your meal, featuring sake cocktails, flights, and both warm and cold sake by the glass or bottle.

La Stella Wood Fired
2420 Hillsborough St.; (919) 504-1002
lastellawoodfired.com. $$

La Stella is Hillsborough Street’s newest restaurant, taking the place of H-Street Kitchen in the former Varsity Theater. The revamped space includes high industrial ceilings, a partially covered rooftop patio overlooking Hillsborough Street, and of course a 1,000-degree wood fired oven, done up in a bright and bold N.C. State red. La Stella is a neapolitan gastropub specializing in hand-crafted pizzas made with San Marzano tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella. Visitors have also raved about their mac-n-cheese skillets, which include the Truffle White Cheddar Mac, Hot Piggy, and crowd favorite, Big Pimpin’ Pimento.

Mama Jee Thai, Sushi & Bar
105 Friendly Dr. #101; (919) 307-8403.
mamajeeraleigh.com. $$

Mama Jee brings a taste of Thailand to Hillsborough Street with a variety of traditional dishes that utilize both imported Thai herbs and locally sourced ingredients. The sushi bar includes an extensive selection of raw, cooked and fried rolls, which are all buy one get one free, along with a full lunch and dinner menu including favorites like drunken noodles, hibachi, dumplings and thai sweet chili wings.

Pho Vietnam
2811 Hillsborough St.; (919) 615-0741.
. $.

Pho, a popular street food in Vietnam, is revamped and modernized at Pho Vietnam through their beef noodle soup, which comes with either eye round steak, brisket, chuck roast or meat balls. The restaurant also serves both egg rolls and spring rolls, vermicelli noodle dishes, rice plates and vietnamese sandwiches.

The Player’s Retreat
105 Oberlin Rd.; (919) 755-9589
playersretreat.net. $

The Player’s Retreat remains one of Raleigh’s favorite sports bars since 1951, serving up classic bar food like mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings, burgers and chicken strips in a comfortable neighborhood setting complete with sports fans, families and students alike. Enjoy your meal either inside or outdoors on the patio, both with optimal TV views for sports watching, among their friendly staff and surrounding community.

State of Beer
401a Hillsborough St.
(919) 546-9116;  stateof.beer  $

Downtown Raleigh’s bottle shop serves great craft beer, chef crafted sandwiches and gourmet salads. Our favorite is the Ghost Pepper salami with chipotle mayo sandwich, picked jalapeno mustard slaw, fresh jalapenos and pepper jack cheese served with a side of chickpea salad.

Taverna Agora
326 Hillsborough St.; (919) 881-8333
tavernaagora.com. $$

Taverna Agora brings traditional Greek dishes like Spanakopita, Souvlaki and Tzatziki to its quaint location on Hillsborough Street, where guests will feel right at home around a friendly staff and rustic, old world decorations. The restaurant also offers one of Raleigh’s only rooftop patios, perfect for sipping on their speciality house cocktails and authentic Greek wines.


 A Place At the Table
300 W. Hargett St.; (919) 307-8914
tableraleigh.org. $

A Place At the Table is Raleigh’s first pay-what-you can cafe, giving you the options to pay what you’re able to, pay what you would normally pay for a similar meal, pay for someone else’s meal or pay by volunteering. The open, community-valued  restaurant offers breakfast plates featuring quiche and waffles, and salads, sandwiches and paninis for lunch. Additionally, many of their menu items can be made gluten-free, vegetarian and/or vegan.

Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
237 S. Wilmington Street;
(919) 322-0127.
ac-restaurants.com. $$.

An ode to fried chicken and classic Southern sides, chef Ashley Christensen, who also owns Poole’s, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, Bridge Club, Death and Taxes and Joule, has created a great casual dining spot serving classic Southern comfort food—from Chicken & Waffles to Mac & Cheese to Double Chocolate Church Cake.

Bida Manda Laotian
222 S. Blount Street;
(919) 829-9999.
bidamanda.com. $$.

Presenting traditional Laotian cuisine in a modern setting, this popular hideaway serves up authentic, flavorful Lao dishes in generous portions.  The owners use family recipes and fresh local ingredients as inspirations for Bida Manda’s menu. Reservations are recommended, as is the Crispy Pork Belly Soup, the Crispy Lettuce Wraps and the Pad Thai.

Big Ed’s City Market
220 Wolfe Street;
(919) 836-9909.
bigedscitymarket.com. $.

Since 1989, Big Ed’s has been proud to call City Market home—and now a second location in Quail Corners Shopping Center—where it continues the tradition of serving some of the best in Southern cooking.  Big Ed developed his recipes by helping his mother in the kitchen preparing meals for the farm workers. Open seven days a week for breakfast, brunch and lunch, Big Ed’s serves up omelets, pancakes, and biscuits and grits all day. For lunch, check the daily specials such as the Chicken & Dumplings or the Pork Chop plate.

Brewery Bhavana
218 S Blount St. (919) 829-9998
brewerybhavana.com $.

Bhavana is not so much a restaurant as it is a work of art. From the furniture and book and flower shop to the handcrafted beer and Dim Sum cuisine –– try the Shrimp and Corn Dumpling –– everything co-founders Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha and Patrick Woodson offer is done with care and attention to detail. Longing for a brewery and bar experience with grace, nuance, and generous hospitality, the owners decided to create one themselves.

110 E. Davie Street;
(919) 834-6963.
bukuraleigh.com. $$.

Inspired by push carts, street vendors and cities across the globe, Buku travels the world through its menu.  Thai Papaya Salad, Empanadas and Tandoori-style Chicken are a few street-corner finds. Small plates allow for sampling, and large plates offer generous portions that don’t disappoint. 

Caffe Luna
136 E. Hargett Street;
(919) 832-6090.
cafeluna.com. $$.

Caffe Luna is well known for serving Italian cuisine with a Tuscan flair in a sun-filled main dining room overlooking the streets of Raleigh. Local artwork is on display. Choose from exclusive lunch and dinner specials as well as regular menu items like Ravioli Fiorentina, Lasagna and Salmone alle Griglia.

237 S. Wilmington Street;
(919) 322-0126.
ac-restaurants.com. $.

This chic-casual restaurant offers quality burgers at a respectable price. Local menu favorites include the Fried Pickles, the Big House Burger and the Hand Cut French Fries, which come with a choice of dipping sauces.  If you still have room afterward, The Salty Peanut Butter with Roasted Banana milkshake is a customer favorite.

135 S. Wilmington Street;
(919) 896-8513.
gravyraleigh.com. $$. 

This Italian-American Kitchen is located in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Ask any Italian-American what ‘gravy’ is, and they’ll tell you it’s the pasta sauce that their mothers and grandmothers cooked fresh every night.  Chef Brent makes his own pasta, cures his own meats and buys produce from local farmers.  The kids will enjoy the Pizza Bread off of the kids menu while adults may want to try the Risotto Balls or the Tagliatelle Ala Bolognese.

Manhattan Café
320 S. Wilmington St.
(919) 833-6105; manhattancafenc.com $

This spot lives up to its slogan, “Southern Hospitality with a Big City Variety,” with an extensive menu of sandwiches, panini’s, subs, burgers, wraps and pitas. Our favorite is the basil pesto chicken salad with provolone.  More options include a salad and pasta bar. Plus, breakfast wraps, omelets and pancakes are tasty breakfast options.

Mofu Shoppe
321 S. Blount St. (919) 301-8465
mofushoppe.com $$.

With its indoor patio, intimate mezzanine, and second floor seating, Mofu Shoppe covers all desirable seating options, whether you’re out on a date or enjoying a dinner with the family. Founders Sunny and Sophia opened their brick-and-mortar restaurant with the $50,000 prize money they received after winning Season 6 of The Great Food Truck Race in order to serve dishes that represent their Asian-American culture.

Oak City Meatball Shoppe
180 E. Davie Street;
(919) 714-9014.
oakcitymeatball.com. $$.

Now open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, Oak City Meatball Shoppe is located in the Red Hat Tower with a menu focused on the great meatball.  Create your own meatball dish from a variety of meats, your choice of sauce and a side, or you can try the always-fun-to-say Balls on a Bun.

The Remedy Diner
137 E. Hargett Street;
(919) 835-3553.
theremedydiner.com. $$.

This independently owned restaurant and bar serves vegetarian and vegan friendly comfort food, plus local craft beers. Be sure to check the daily specials as the majority of the menu is made from scratch daily. A few staples include the Quiche of the Day, Buffalo Non-Chicken Wings and Black Bean Burgers.

200 East Martin Street; (919) 977-3043.
RoyaleRaleigh.com. $$

A French bistro in the heart of Raleigh’s historic City Market. Royale offers classic French fare—Steak Frites, Duck a l’Orange and Tarte Flambée, along with American and European dishes like Pan Seared Mountain Trout, Crispy Potato Salad and Roasted Fox Farm Mushrooms. Royale’s champagne options are as varied as their bistro menu, offering champagne by the glass and some of the world’s most celebrated vintages by the bottle, all priced well.

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar
223 S Wilmington Street; (919) 322-0359
strochraleigh.com  $$

This spot embraces the spirit of its namesake New Orleans’ neighborhood where Chef Sunny Gerhart’s family is from. The menus top  feature is the roasted oysters served by the half dozen—BBQ’d, Tasso’d, or Nori’d—but there are lots of other choices too including Braised Clams, BBQ Shrimp, Duck & Garlic Sausage Gumbo to name just a few of our favorites.

Trophy Tap and Table
225 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 424-7817
trophybrewing.com/tap-table $

Trophy Tap and Table’s menu focuses on rotisserie chicken with quarter, half and whole options with  three house made sauces – Alabama White, Beer Mustard, Sambai.  A great starter is the rotisserie Nashville hot wings and sides include salads, red beans and rice, apple slaw.

Vic’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
331 Blake Street;
(919) 829-7090.
vicsitalianrestaurant.com. $-$$.

Owner Mario Longo has been serving authentic Old World Italian and NY Style pizza for more than 30 years. Overlooking City Market, Vic’s serves traditional dishes like Linguini with Clams and Pollo Piccata; take advantage of the patio seating. 


 Oakwood Café
300 E. Edenton Street;
(919) 828-5994.
Oakwoodcaferaleigh.com. $.

Sample Argentinian and Cuban food, including hand-cut steaks, homemade empanadas with chimi churri sauce, fried plantains, desserts, wines and specialty Cuban coffees in the heart of one of Raleigh’s oldest and most established neighborhoods.

Side Street
225 N. Bloodworth Street;
919 828-4927.
Sidestreetrestaurant.com. $.

Housed in a quaint white cottage in the heart of Oakwood, experience a bit of nostalgia with clapboard walls and wide windows. Grab a simple homemade sandwich of Egg Salad, Pastrami or Pimento cheese, a Meatball Pocket or a triple decker grilled cheese (Cheese Delight). Enjoy a wide selection of wine and beer. 


 18 Seaboard
18 Seaboard Avenue;
(919) 861-4318.
18restaurantgroup.com. $$.

Chef and Proprietor Jason Smith combines Southern hospitality with seasonal ingredients served in an airy space, including Pamlico Sound Shrimp and Cracklin’ Pork Shank. Steak, pork, brisket and fish are also available from the Hardwood Fire Grill; enjoy rooftop open-air dining in good weather.

Crawford & Son
618 N. Person St.; 919-307-4647
crawfordandsonrestaurant.com, $$$

Chef Scott Crawford’s neighborhood eatery caters to those seeking seasonal, delicious dishes in an intimate setting. Drawing on his family’s work class roots, Crawford elevates home cooked classics like pot pie or meatloaf incorporating his own signature style, and using different proteins such as rabbit and venison. The menu also  takes a seasonal item and incorporates the ingredient across several different dishes both savory and sweet, while the monochromatic decor epitomizes the chef’s style, a subdued palette that allows the food to take center stage.

The Daily Planet Café
121 W. Jones Street,
(919) 707-8060.
Thedailyplanetcafe.com. $.

Located in the Natural Research Center of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, you’ll find plenty of local ingredients from North Carolina farmers in the breakfast entrees, pastries, coffee bar (Larry’s Beans!), sandwiches, salads and small entrees as well as a few wines and beers on tap.

Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar
309 North Dawson St; (919) 838-8595
mulinoraleigh.com $$

Mulino is located in in the Melrose Knitting Mill, one of Raleigh’s most iconic buildings, but it offers the feeling of being on a Roman piazza. Some of the menu extraordinaries include Salmon Marinator, a Burrata cheese and grilled vegetable salad, Lasagna Bianca made with wild boar, and the Risotto Umbro with black truffle Parmesan.

Oak & Dagger Public House
18 Seaboard Ave. 919-945-9382
oakanddagger.beer $$

You can watch the working brewery in action through glass enclosures, or simply enjoy a pint on the outdoor patio. The menu features traditional pub fare and one of the best burgers in the city.

Oakwood Pizza Box
610 N. Person Street;
oakwoodpizzabox.com. $                

Oakwood Pizza Box offers an intimate Italian pizza experience like no other in Raleigh. Owner Anthony Guerra comes from a long line of Italian chefs. The pizza is creative and delicious you can try the daily special or create your own either way you are sure to love it. He and his wife want to bring back the nostalgia of the pizza they grew up eatingand the atmosphere.

Seaboard Café
707 Semart Drive;
(919) 821-7553.
Seaboardcafe.com. $.

Spacious with wall-to-wall windows, natural light and pops of color from hanging plants and vegetation, this lunch-only eatery offers new specials every day, including homemade muffins, soups, fresh salads, sandwiches on artisan breads and sides of pickled carrots, potato salad and several pasta salads.

Second Empire
330 Hillsborough Street;
(919) 829-3663.
Second-empire.com. $$$.

Otherwise known as the Dodd-Hinsdale house, this stately and elegant “Second Empire” home from 1879 is a local favorite for special occasions and receptions, featuring original staircases, porches and woodwork to admire during a white tablecloth dining experience. Try the Citrus & Herb Grilled Swordfish or the Rosemary Grilled Australian Lamb Rack from Chef Daniel Schurr. The tavern offers more casual fare.

938 N. Blount Street; (919) 977-4321.
stanburyraleigh.com. $$. 

Open for dinner six days a week, this quaint eatery with natural light and fresh flowers offers dinner options that change daily depending on seasonal ingredients.  Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while feasting on Fried NC Bass or Grilled Quail.

Standard Foods
205 E. Franklin Street; (919) 307-4652
standard-foods.com $

This contemporary restaurant and grocery is dedicated to working with farmers and local artisans to craft from-scratch dishes that exemplify the farm-to-table movement. Menus change daily in order to incorporate the freshests seasonal ingredients. The connected grocery store features organic items, fresh produce and a butcher.

The Station at Person Street
701 N. Person Street;
(919) 977-1567.
Stationraleigh.com. $.

Nestled in a corner of Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood neighborhood in a renovated Amoco gas station, this neighborhood hangout offers spacious indoor and outdoor seating, including fire pits for colder weather. Hearty fare includes Smoked Salmon and BLT, Cuban Sandwich and French Bread Chicken Pizza as well as a variety of burgers and fries ($5 specials on Mondays) and domestic and craft beers. 


 Five Star
511 W. Hargett Street;
(919) 833-3311.
Fivestarraleigh.com. $$.

With a dinner menu available until midnight seven days a week, this eatery offers a large beverage menu—everything from cold beer to hot sake—as well as traditional Asian soups and sophisticated entrees, including Thai Peanut Noodles and Crispy Sesame Beef.

Humble Pie
317 S. Harrington Street;
(919) 829-9222.
Humblepierestaurant.com. $.

With black and white checkerboard floors, cozy booths and a large outdoor seating area, Humble Pie consistently gets five-star reviews for its food, service and outdoor seating. The eatery specializes in shared plates, including Caprese Salad, Ricotta Gnocchi, Pork Belly Sliders, Lemongrass Pork Sausage Wraps and Seared Hamachi.

Jose & Sons Bar & Kitchen
327 W. Davie St.  #102
(919) 755-0556; joseandsons.com

The restaurant is named after the owner’s father who, twenty years ago, made the journey from California to North Carolina in order to pursue his dream of opening a Mexican restaurant.  The menu offers all your favorite traditional Mexican fare with Southern touches in a modern, rustic space.  The restaurant features a festive bar and dining room fitted with a tequila and bourbon tower right in the middle of the action.

Irregardless Café
901 W. Morgan Street;
(919) 833-8898.
Irregardless.com. $$.

This cozy and classic Raleigh venue is known for its global cuisine as well as vegan and vegetarian favorites. Try the Pesto Penne Chicken, Duck A L’Orange, Smoked Brisket or the Black Bean Quinoa Burger. A favorite dining spot for university professors and locals, the café also offers live music and cooking classes.

Moonlight Pizza Company
615 W. Morgan Street;
(919) 755-9133.
Moonlightpizza.com. $. 

A family-friendly eatery serving Italian fare and handmade pizzas using fresh North Carolina ingredients. Build your own or try a signature pizza like the Venus & Mars with basil pesto, smoke sausage and pine nuts. Outdoor seating with a variety of local craft beers.


301 W. Martin Street
(984) 232-8969; parksideraleigh.com

Located at the entrance to the Warehouse District, Parkside is located in a building that’s offered southern hospitality for over 100 years. The chef inspired menu offers small plates, salads, flatbreads and sandwiches. Or, just enjoy sitting at the reclaimed barn wood bar, sampling one of the 40 plus beers on tap.

The Pit
328 W. Davie Street;
(919) 890-4500.
thepit-raleigh.com. $$.

Continuing North Carolina’s barbeque legacy and making the rounds in magazines and newspapers nationwide, not to mention the Food Network, The Pit serves authentic whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue. Warm lighting accentuates the rich hues of the wood inside, and the patio offers the hustle and bustle of downtown. Favorites here include the Chopped Barbecue Pork plate, the Beef Brisket and the Chopped Barbecue Turkey plate.

Trophy Brewing Co.
827 W. Morgan Street;
(919) 803-4849.
trophybrewing.com. $$.

A great place to grab a local craft beer and a gourmet pizza, Trophy is a three-barrel nano brewery in downtown Raleigh featuring a full bar and growlers to go.  Try the Daredevil specialty pizza or build your own.

Whiskey Kitchen Nash Square
201 W. Martin St.
(919) 803-3181; whiskey.kitchen $

This spot delivers on its name with over 140 whiskeys behind the bar, so you’re bound to find something new to try. Their “seat yourself” policy creates a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, so if you see an empty table feel free to grab it.   The menu includes good southern dishes with a slight twist but no matter what don’t miss the Cracklin Biscuts and the NC Boil. 


3905 Western Blvd.;
(919) 851-0473.
amedeosrestaurant.com. $.

Founded in 1963 by former Wolfpack player Amedeo “Dick” DeAngelis, this homestyle Italian restaurant near the campus of NC State is popular with locals and students alike for its pizzas, Amedeo’s Famous Lasagna, buffalo wings and steak sandwiches. Enjoy the game on a wide-screen with the special of the day and a Wolfpack-themed cocktail.

Bella Monica
3121 Edwards Mill Road;
(919) 881-9778.
bellamonica.com. $$.

Bella Monica is a family-run trattoria featuring Neapolitan recipes such as Crab Cake Flatbread and Stuffed Spinach Shells that have been handed down for generations. Owners Corbett and Julie Monica do their best to make it like his Nana’s kitchen where family gathered every Sunday. A hidden gem, be sure to make reservations, especially on weekends, as the restaurant fills quickly.

2110 Blue Ridge Road;
(919) 664-6838.
ncartmuseum.org/visit/dining. $$.

A full-service restaurant located inside the NC Museum of Art (itself worth visiting with its expansive windows and contemporary architecture), Iris features modern American cuisine from BBQ Sandwiches to Seared Scallops. Design your own omelets during weekend brunch or opt for a light lunch of Chicken Salad with Sweet Potato Fries. Afterward, take a tour of more than 40 galleries or stroll through the unique gift shop.

J. Alexander’s
4600 Crabtree Valley Ave.
(984) 200-4493; jalexanders.com. $$$

A new contemporary  restaurant offers twinkling views from above Crabtree Valley Mall. While the menu offers all the traditional American classics it prides itself on fresh fish – tuna and salmon are flown in daily from Scotland and Hawai’i for entrees and sushi.

4200 Hillsborough Street;
(919) 828-0308.
ncsuclub.com. $$.

Located on the NCSU golf course and overlooking the spacious pastures of the NC State Vet School, the NCSU Club is a member-only facility that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options for members.  Enjoy hot cakes before an early morning golf lesson or dine on soup of the day or fried chicken.  Check the schedule for family night buffets.

3817 Beryl Road;
(919) 828-1628.
neomonde.com. $.

A Raleigh market and restaurant staple since 1977 with a wide offering of Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine and groceries, this café offers indoor/outdoor dining options seven days a week.  After you dine on a Shawarma Sandwich or a Kabob Platter, make sure to purchase some fresh-made pita bread and hummus to take home.

The Oak, kitchen & bourbon bar
4035 Lake Boone Trail; (919) 787-9100
jmrkitchens.com. Prices not given.

Seasonal dishes, all made from scratch. Part of the JMR Kitchens Restaurant Group with a friendly staff and simple fare. Serves Sunday brunch.

Seasons 52
4325 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 787-3052
seasons52.com; $$$

While Seasons 52 is located at Crabtree Valley Mall once inside you will feel far removed from mall life. This warm and cozy spot offers healthier, lower-calorie versions of some rich and delicious dishes. In fact, each item listed on the menu includes the calorie count. Some of our favorites include the Cedar Plank-Roasted Salmon, the Caramelized Grilled Sea Scallops and Wood-Grilled Fillet Mignon.

3048 Medlin Drive;
(919) 322-0568.
thetastebar.com. $$.

Taste offers fresh and whole foods in morsels—portions between appetizers and entrees—from a Melon Medley to Chicken & Waffles or Petite Filet. Pair your meal with a drink from the owner’s private wine reserve or choose from a variety of select craft beers.

Sushi Nine
3812 Western Blvd; (919) 615-3100.
sushinine.com; $.

Sushi Nine has officially reopened after burning down in 2015 from a tragic fire, delivering a bigger patio area and brand new equipment while maintaining the same atmosphere as the old establishment. The menu has also remained pretty much the same, offering a plethora of sushi rolls, as well as poke bowls, sushi burgers, noodles, stir frys and hibachi.

Vic’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
4035 Lake Boone Trail; (984) 200-9292.
vicsitalianrestaurant.com. $$.

Vic’s second location on Lake Boone Trail features authentic, old world Italian cuisine made from family recipes and fresh, local ingredients. Guests will feel right at home in the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and friendly staff while enjoying classic dishes like Linguini alla Romana, Gnocchi alla Benigni, Pollo Piccata and Vitello alla Parmigiana.

Waraji Japanese Restaurant
5910 Duraleigh Rd; (919) 783-1883.
warajijapaneserestaurant.com. $$.

Waraji is home to an extensive slection of sushi and sashimi, as well as the largest Sake selection in North Carolina. Chef Masatoshi Tsujimura curates a selection of fresh speciality house rolls within Waraji’s authentic kitchen, including the Sweet Dragon, Spider Roll, Banzai Roll, and Hurricane Roll, which incorporates eel, scallions and cream cheese rolled reverse with salmon.



 Angus Barn
9401 Glenwood Avenue;
(919) 781-2444.
angusbarn.com. $$$.

Located near the RDU Airport, the family-owned Angus Barn has provided an upscale dining experience since 1960. This award-winning steakhouse serves house-aged beef and fresh seafood. Chef Walter Royal turns out Prime Rib, Filet, Porterhouse, North Atlantic Salmon and barbecued pork ribs. The Wild Turkey Lounge is ranked one of the Best Business Bars in America. Help yourself to a polished apple from an overflowing apple barrel on your way out.

Farmer’s Market Restaurant
1240 Farmers Market Drive;
(919) 755-1550.
realbiscuits.com. $.

The Market offers Southern country breakfasts and lunches in a bright space with indoor and outdoor seating right next to the NC Farmer’s Market.  From homemade biscuits, farm-stand vegetables and local country ham, this spot is a local fave. Grab a bite and then browse the market for flowers, fruit, spices, veggies and more.