Dine Listings

In Dine Listings, July/August 2021 by Raleigh Magazine

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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 gina@raleighmag.com. 

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


Angus Barn
A Raleigh staple since 1960, this award-winning family-owned steakhouse provides an upscale dining experience, where chef Walter Royal turns out phenomenal steaks, seafood and more. Be sure to grab a tipple in The Wild Turkey Lounge, and, on your way out, help yourself to a polished apple. 9401 Glenwood Ave., 919.781.2444, angusbarn.com $$$

Azitra Indian
Enjoy Indian classics and a few fusion surprises at this contemporary “Indian culinary nirvana.” Dine indoors for a white-tablecloth experience with modern lighting and pops of color, or venture outside to the spacious patio and bar seating for an alfresco affair. 8411 Brier Creek Parkway, 919.484.3939, azitra.us $$

Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse
So meaty! At the Triangle’s only authentic Brazilian steakhouse, the country’s tradition of rodizio service—where passadores (meat servers) visit you tableside with a variety of meats—is authentically duplicated with a fresh-off-the-grill taste of traveling charcuterie. All meals are served buffet-style and include an appetizer and salad bar with shrimp, salmon, grilled and steamed vegetables, salads, and more. 8551 Brier Creek Parkway, 919.544.3344, brasasteakhouse.com $$$

Brier Creek Beer Garden
A standout in a shopping center filled with chain restaurants, this locally owned beer garden and restaurant offers 52 craft beers on draft and 100-plus bottles—not to mention wine and spirits—to complement unique dishes like the date in a blanket sandwich: a fresh toasted pretzel roll filled with peanut butter, dates, tart berries and celery. And don’t miss the Barks Menu for your fur child—happy tails to you indeed. 8521 Brier Creek Parkway, 919.748.3900, briercreekbeergarden.com $

Jose and Sons
At Jose and Sons, the Ibarra family and chef Oscar Diaz celebrate their forefathers’ Mexican roots in the form of traditional Mexican comfort food fused with Southern influences. Think classic burritos, tacos and other dishes made with local ingredients. Within Jose and Sons’ bright, colorful and festive atmosphere, every day feels like a fiesta. 4112 Pleasant Valley Road, 919.571.1188, joseandsons.com $$

Kanki Japanese House of Steak and Sushi
Known for its fresh sushi and hibachi, Kanki is a go-to gathering place for those seeking more than just a standard dinner. Watch as the talented chefs expertly chop, dice and cook your meal before your eyes with the flip of a knife and the beat of a spatula on large teppanyaki grills—performing fun tricks such as making volcanoes out of onions. 4325 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 1070, 919.782.9708, kanki.com $$$

Sushi Mon
After permanently closing its former Hillsborough Street location, it’s rice to re-meet this Raleigh “roll model” as it returns as one of the first vendors in Grubb Ventures’ new ITB 40-acre mixed-use Glenwood Place. 3700 Glenwood Ave., 919.803.1000, sushimonraleigh.com $$

Trali Irish Pub
Belly up for an authentic Irish experience at this traditional Irish gastropub serving up a “true slice of Ireland” in Raleigh as Ireland native chef and owner Eamonn Kelly churns out such traditional dishes as boxty, fish and chips, bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and more. Wash it all down with Irish pints (or local craft beer) to the soundtrack of live local tunes. Brierdale Shopping Center, 10370 Moncreiffe Road, 919.544.4141, traliirishpub.com $$

Waraji Japanese Restaurant
Home to an extensive selection of scrumptious sushi and sashimi—as well as the largest sake selection in the state—this Northwest Raleigh sushi spot is in a league of its own. From Waraji’s authentic kitchen, chef Masatoshi Tsujimura curates a selection of fresh specialty house rolls and much more. 5910 Duraleigh Road, 919.783.1883, warajijapaneserestaurant.com $$

Zayka Indian Cuisine
One of the only Punjabi Northern Indian restaurants in the Triangle, Zakya dishes a variety of savory meals with authentic spices and elevated flavors that emphasize an array of fresh veggies and sauces. Must-tries include the tandoori chicken (marinated in yogurt, fresh garlic, ginger and spices) and the lamb seekh kebab. 10410 Moncreiffe Road, Ste. 104, 919.361.5370, zaykaraleigh.com $$


From its perch in the elegant Renaissance Hotel, 41Hundred offers a wide range of selections that will sate any hankering—from the simplest to the most savory. 4100 Main at North Hills Street, 919.278.1478, 41hundredrestaurant.com $$

Capital Grille
Located in the Bank of America Tower at North Hills, this fine-dining restaurant and steakhouse specializes in dry-aged steaks, artfully prepared seafood and delicious sides to share (our pick: the lobster mac ’n’ cheese!). If you only have time for a boozy cocktail, we recommend sipping it on the beautiful patio. 4242 Six Forks Road, 919.787.3901, thecapitalgrille.com $$$

At CO, chef Masanori Shiraishi fuses traditional Southeast Asian cuisine with his own creative and modern designs. With 25 years of culinary experience under his cap, Shiraishi offers a plethora of unique dumplings, poke bowls and hot noodle dishes. 101 Park at North Hills Street, 919.258.2070, eatatco.com $

Coquette Brasserie
Executive chef Ian Sullivan serves up classic French cuisine infused with ingredients from local farms and vendors in a sophisticated Parisian-esque setting, with tables open to the sidewalks of Midtown. 4351 The Circle at North Hills, 919.789.0606, coquetteraleigh.com $$

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
Fresh meat and seafood collide (aka Burgushi)—hence the name Cowfish—in this vibrant space adorned with bright red walls and a famed ultramod cylindrical fish tank centerpiece, serving up a wide-ranging menu sating carnivores, seafood lovers and sushi fans alike. 4208 Six Forks Road, 919.784.0400, thecowfish.com $$

J. Alexander’s
This contemporary restaurant offers twinkling views from its perch above Crabtree Valley Mall with a menu of traditional American classics, plus a variety of sushi rolls made up of fresh fish, tuna and salmon. 4600 Crabtree Valley Ave., 984.200.4493, jalexanders.com $$$

Midtown Grille
Midtown Grille offers sophisticated yet approachable contemporary American cuisine in a modern setting. Flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers and a delectable mac ’n’ cheese are just a few of Midtown Grille’s lunch and dinner offerings. And don’t forget dessert—it’s a must for any occasion. 4421 Six Forks Road, 919.782.9463, themidtowngrille.com $$

Rosewater Kitchen & Bar
Rosewater delivers a beautiful light-filled “garden party” atmosphere, ideal for sipping eclectic wines and inventive craft cocktails while dining on small plates and comfort food dishes inspired by the flavors of small Mediterranean villages. This Giorgios Group concept highlights partnerships with local gardeners, farmers, fishermen and foragers in a curated intimate space. 110 Park at North Hills Street, 919.424.7886, rosewaterraleigh.com $$

Seasons 52
This cozy spot inside the Crabtree Valley Mall offers healthier, lower-calorie versions of some rich and delicious dishes. Each item listed on the menu includes the calorie count. Sweet tooth? Don’t fret, there are some mini indulgences to enjoy for dessert as well. 4325 Glenwood Ave., 919.787.3052, seasons52.com $$$

STIR delivers an upscale seaside-restaurant vibe with a premier location ideal for office lunches, date nights and family brunches alike. The mussels are fresh and local; the scratch-made entrees are to-die-for; and the cocktails are elevated and refreshing. Our fave dish? The scallop and shrimp white cheddar mac and cheese. 4242 Six Forks Road, 984.200.8614, stirraleigh.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 classic Italian pastas and pizzas, as well as creative seasonal menu items from executive chef Ian Sullivan—think pasta, lamb, chicken, beef, salmon, swordfish and more. 4209 Lassiter Mill Road, 919.787.7747, vivaceraleigh.com $$


Bloomsbury Bistro
Don’t miss this renowned resto, every six weeks, chef John Toler curates a seasonal menu blending vibrant ethnic flavors with traditional French cooking. You might find a hazelnut-crusted Heritage Farms pork tenderloin or a corned Angus beef brisket “Reuben.” 509 W. Whitaker Mill Road, 919.834.9011, bloomsburybistro.com $$$

Glenwood Grill
Putting a modern spin on Southern and low country favorites from the mountains to the coast, chef John Wright sources ingredients from all over the nation to create authentic dishes like Parmesan fried oysters, a marinated and grilled rack of lamb and much more—depending on availability. 2603-151 Glenwood Ave., 919.782.3102, glenwoodgrill.com $$

Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertery
Famed for huge slices of delicious homemade cakes—not to mention fab fare and spirits—Frank and Margaret Ballard capture the romance of the 1940s in this Raleigh staple with black-and-white checkerboard flooring and historic-photo-adorned walls. Pair a cocktail, glass of vino or craft brew with old-fashioned meatloaf, seafood or a burger… but remember to always save room for cake. 2000 Fairview Road, 919.856.8551, hayesbartoncafeanddessertery.com $

Pop in to nosh on all three meals of the day—paired with coffee, tea or innovative craft cocktails—as NOLA transplant chef Coleen Speaks dishes up eclectic fare served either inside the bright and colorful dining room or out on the patio overlooking Dock 1053. 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road, Ste. 111, 919.301.8900, hummingbirdraleigh.com $$

Lilly’s Pizza
In 1993, four musicians started this carryout and delivery pizza place in a former biker bar, and, today, Lilly’s is still going strong. Favorites include the CowTipper pizza with beef, olives, Parmesan and feta; and South of the Border with salsa, chicken, cheese, jalapenos and cilantro. Lilly’s also offers gluten-free 10-inch pies. 1813 Glenwood Ave., 919.833.0226, lillyspizza.com $

Lola’s Beach Bar
Catch beach vibes all year long at this tropical-inspired cantina offering street tacos, burritos, nachos, bowls and more. Don’t miss the specialty housemade margaritas and cocktails with 100% agave tequilas and fresh squeezed juices (even in the housemade sweet-and-sour mix). 1803 Glenwood Ave., 984.222.3647, lolasbeach.bar $ 

Lonerider at Five Points
Lonerider’s third location and first full-service restaurant features pizza, wings, salads and more from head chef Ron West, along with the brewery’s award-winning brews and spirits and a strong wine program. The casual hot spot also boasts a ton of outdoor seating, complete with a full outdoor bar that’s perfect for enjoying a pizza and beer outside on a warm evening. 1626 Glenwood Ave., 919.322.2434, loneriderbeer.com $$

Sean Fowler, who opened Mandolin in the old Johnson’s Pharmacy space off Fairview Road, has come full circle from eating grilled cheese at the pharmacy counter as a kid to serving up iconic locally sourced Southern dishes as a homegrown chef. A citywide favorite of Fowler’s are his chicken and waffles. 2519 Fairview Road, 919.322.0365, mandolinraleigh.com $$$

Neuse River Brewing & Brasserie
Old meets new in this taproom in the form of traditional and experimental contemporary craft brews paired with a simple menu in a relaxed setting. Eastern European-inspired dishes perfectly complement a range of brews. On warm days, enjoy your meal outside on the exquisite open-air patio. 518 Pershing Road, 984.232.8479, neuseriverbrewing.com $$

NOFO @ the Pig
Located in a renovated Piggly Wiggly, NOFO takes its initials from its first location on North Fourth Street in downtown Wilmington (now closed). The two-story dining and shopping venue offers a creative selection of starters, salads and sandwiches. Upstairs, a gift shop sells local foods and other wares. 2014 Fairview Road, 919.821.1240, nofo.com $

Red Dragon 
This Five Points staple with a cozy ambiance serves up authentic Chinese classics like Kung Pao beef and Kung Pao chicken, as well as an extensive a la carte menu. Don’t miss its delish hot and sour soup. 2513 Fairview Road, 919.782.1102, raleighreddragon.com $

Taste tempts with a rotating seasonal menu of fresh and whole foods served in morsels (portions sized between appetizers and entrees), including a great deal of classic Thai dishes. Pair your meal with a drink from the owner’s private wine reserve, or choose from a variety of select craft beers. 1912 Bernard St., 919.322.0568, thetastebernard.com $$

Wilson’s Eatery
Located within Dock 1053, Wilson’s Eatery offers locally sourced scratch-made sandwiches, flatbreads and salads with a Southern flair in an open indoor-outdoor warehouse space, complete with a beer garden shared by sister company Lynnwood Brewing Concern. LBC beers are on offer, natch, along with housemade sodas and craft cocktails. 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road, 919.977.5442, wilsonseatery.com $


Café Tiramisu
Originating from old Raleigh favorite Piccolo Mondo, this quaint eatery with a rich rustic decor sees chef Paolo DeMartino (of the DeMartino family—perfecting dishes for more than 40 years) prep fab Northern Italian, with inventive daily specials to boot. 6196 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.981.0305, cafetiramisu.net $$

Chow Pizza and Wings
Executive chef Aaron Mooty prepares grilled smoked wings, ground in-house burgers, handtossed pizza and fresh salads—all available with a wide selection of local and international craft beers. Grab a seat at the large circular bar—equipped with multiple TVs—for ideal sports watching. 8311 Creedmoor Road, 919.841.4995, chowraleigh.com $

Driftwood Cantina
Formerly named Driftwood Kitchen and Bar, Nunzio Scordo’s fresh concept delivers authentic Latin-American dishes and cocktails in a fun, beachy atmosphere. The signature tortillas are handmade daily using a nixtamalization process—yielding fresh-tasting, aromatic tortillas that make the best base for fillings like chipotle adobo marinated shrimp, braised lamb barbacoa and pork carnitas. 8460 Honeycutt Road, Ste. 112, 919.977.8360, driftwoodcantina.com $$

Wood-fired pizzas and classic old-school dishes are easy finds at this casual neighborhood American-Italian restaurant featuring fresh and imported pastas. Don’t miss an antipasti paired with a fab signature cocktail to kick off the meal. 8450 Honeycutt Road, Ste. 100, 919.714.7477, farinaraleigh.com $$

Gonza Tacos y Tequila
Go for the hippie-chic vibe—complete with neon colors fashioned into modern Day of the Dead decor—and stay for the fresh Colombian-inspired cuisine. Fave eats include a new spin on traditional enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas and fajitas. 7713 Lead Mine Road, 919.846.5478, gonzatacosytequila.com

Heyday Brewing
From the teams behind Louisiana-based Tin Roof Beer and Carrboro’s Acme comes a restaurant and brewery with equal parts Louisiana and North Carolina flair. Bring on the beer, wings, pizza, ice cream and more! 5301 Tin Roof Way, 919.351.6668, heydaybrewing.com $

Hibernian Irish Pub
The perfect place for traditional fish ’n’ chips or bangers and mash, Hibernian is a cozy Irish pub with fab food and an extensive beer list. On warm days, the rooftop patio overlooking Glenwood Avenue is the place to be. 8021 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.803.0290, hibernianpub.com $

Chef de cuisine Andrew Pettifer trained all over the world before coming to Margaux’s in 1996, bringing flavors and techniques from Bali, London, Brazil and Sydney to round out a creative menu with select cuts of meat and fish, and a three-course prix fixe menu. The open-kitchen format encourages guests to interact with Pettifer and his chefs. 8111 Creedmoor Road, 919.846.9846, margauxsrestaurant.com $$$

Milton’s Pizza
A Raleigh staple since 1983, Milton’s offers a lunch buffet with pizza, pasta, lasagna and a large salad bar, including smoothies for the kids, as well as traditional Italian dishes, burgers and beer, making this neighborhood eatery a great spot to take the whole fam. 8853 Six Forks Road, 919.847.0604; 14520 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.570.9099; miltonspizza.com $

North Ridge Pub
North Ridge Pub is an upscale restaurant dishing up elevated versions of classic pub fare, including burgers, wings and nachos. Wine and beer—craft, import and domestic—options also abound. 6010 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.790.9125, northridgepub.com $$

Sushi One
A swank stone and granite interior adorn this modern and elegant sushi spot serving up such staples as the California roll—plus more adventurous rolls, with sashimi and nigiri to boot. BOGO sushi rolls are available often (dine-in only), and the restaurant also offers tempura, teriyaki, yakisoba and hibachi selections. 8470 Honeycutt Road, 919.615.3209, sushionenc.com $$

The Piper’s Tavern
A comforting local pub with a friendly atmosphere, The Piper’s Tavern merges a traditional Irish pub, sports bar and family restaurant atmosphere, making it a popular spot for families and friends alike to gather for bar food and Piper’s own specialty dishes. 8304 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.676.7413, thepiperstavern.com $$

Poppyseed Market Cafe & Wine Bar
Stop in Poppyseed’s gourmet deli and cafe for lunch for hot and cold sandwiches made to order with quality Boar’s Head meats and fresh toppings. Come evening, choose from loaded salads; elevated comfort dishes like mac and cheese, burgers and pasta; or handtossed pizzas—all best enjoyed with a glass of vino or a local brew. 8801 Lead Mine Road, Ste. 107, 919.870.4997,
poppyseedmkt.com $

Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar
A craft kitchen and bourbon bar specializing in comfort foods with a “new Southern” twist, Relish offers mac and cheese skillets, burgers, wraps, hearty grilled cheese sandwiches and farm-fresh sides. The seasonal menu changes frequently to showcase local fruits and vegetables. 5625 Creedmoor Road, 919.787.1855, relishraleigh.com $

Saint Jacques
Don’t let the unassuming strip-mall location deceive you. Saint Jacques is a Raleigh treasure that has been delivering an authentic French experience with exceptional food and wine for almost 15 years—and was voted one of the top 100 restaurants in the nation by Open Table in 2016. 6112 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.862.2770, saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com $$$

Salt & Lime Cabo Grill
Inspired by the Baja peninsula, Salt & Lime dishes up bold fare in a tropical cantina-esque setting. Traditional Mexican dishes are served alongside Baja favorites. But no meal from Salt & Lime is complete without a signature margarita—sweet, spicy, classic and totally unique flavors are on offer. Cheers! 6006 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.872.2230, saltandlimecabo.com $$

Sassool Mediterranean Cafe
Sassool began as a family bakery in 1977 and has since been rebranded as a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean dishes crafted from high-quality ingredients and authentic recipes. The menu includes deli platters, pizza-shaped pita pies, deli-fresh salads and pita sandwiches, plus daily specials such as Lebanese spaghetti, basmati rice with chicken, and spanakopita. 9650 Strickland Road, 919.847.2700, sassool.com

Sawmill Tap Room
There’s no need to choose between good brews and good food. Home of the original Breuben, Sawmill Tap Room delivers on both with plenty of taps and a wide variety of artisan burgers and salads that can be enjoyed alfresco on the deck or inside while you catch a game in the energetic atmosphere. 7701 Lead Mine Road, 919.845.7889, sawmilltaproom.com $

Village Grill
At this bangin’ burger spot, you’re gonna wanna try the Memphis Smokehouse Burger—an 8-ounce patty topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and crispy fried onion rings. Village Grill’s menu also includes shareable plates, sandwiches, lightened-up options and a variety of house specialties. 8470 Honeycutt Road, 919.890.5340, villagegrillraleigh.com $

Vinos Finos Kitchen and Wine Bar
This local tapas and wine bar offers one of the area’s largest selections of South American wines, paired perfectly with Vinos Finos’ renowned Argentine beef empanadas. South American tapas, cured meats and cheeses, and larger entrees featuring chicken, steak and seafood round out the menu. 8450 Honeycutt Road, Ste. 110, 919.747.9233, vinosfinosypicadas.com $

Winston’s Grille
A Raleigh staple since 1986, Winston’s traditional steakhouse is a hit with locals for noshing on prime rib, pastas and fresh salads—and for its expansive outdoor terrace. Sutton Square, 6401 Falls of Neuse Road, 919.790.0700, winstonsgrille.com $$

Zest Cafe
Contemporary American fare stands out against a backdrop of eclectic art and home furnishings. Enjoy a tasty lunch before perusing the store for something unique to take home. 8831 Six Forks Road, 919.848.4792, zestcafehomeart.com $


Cantina 18
With a rooftop bar, sizable patio and all-glass garage-door-style front that gives the inside an alfresco feel, Cantina 18 serves up dank dishes and more at this decidedly upscale and urban local fave. Sip on a range of margs, cocktails or spirits over to-die-for queso while you debate which of chef-owner Jason Smith’s trademark Mexican fusion dishes to savor. 433 Daniels St., 919.835.9911, 18restaurantgroup.com $

Cape Fear Seafood Company
Something smells fishy… and it’s the fresh seafood dishes coming out of this award-winning restaurant by Evans Trawick. Regional favorites include the shrimp and grits, cioppino, Figure 8 stuffed flounder, and grand seafood platters that are sure to oh-fish-ially fill you up. 2018 Clark Ave., 984.200.5455, capefearseafoodcompany.com

Piccola Italia 
Since 1982, Sicily native Frank Amato has been preparing classic Italian meals at this relaxed lunch and dinner spot, where you can enjoy handmade pizzas, homemade soups and salads, and traditional Italian pasta dishes—plus a glass of vino—for lunch or dinner. 423 Woodburn Road, 919.833.6888, piccolaitalianc.com $

Tazza Kitchen
High ceilings lend a simple urban ambiance that aligns with the wood-fired menu selects sourced from dozens of local farmers. Our pick? The to-die-for spicy sausage and black pepper honey pizza with aged provolone and fresh mozzarella—paired perfectly with one of Tazza’s “serious libations.” 432 Woodburn Ave., 919.835.9463, tazzakitchen.com $$

Tupelo Honey Cafe
Farms in the Carolinas rep the supply chain at this Raleigh locale of the storied Asheville original. Find fresh, made-from-scratch eats in an authentic Southern atmosphere of log-stump-finished tables and honeycombed ceilings, with an expansive patio to boot. Don’t miss the Moonrise Brunch, serving late-night breakfast small plates. 425 Oberlin Road, 919.723.9353,  tupelohoneycafe.com $$

Village Draft House 
With 100-plus ever-evolving brews on tap (40 from NC!), the relaxed neighborhood feel is the perfect backdrop for nibbling on everything from apps to burgers and salads to grilled chicken and hearty entrees in a relaxed indoor-outdoor dining atmosphere ideal for catching up with friends or catching the game via large flat-screen TVs. 428 Daniels St., 919.833.1373, villagedrafthouse.com $


Capital Club 16
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. The menu is largely influenced by European cuisine and chef-owner Jake Wolf’s family recipes. The brat bite sampler is a must. 16 W. Martin St., 919.747.9345, capitalclub16.com $$

Centro Mexican
Bright colors, wood floors and exposed brick are the backdrop for authentic Mexican and Latin American cuisine. When it comes to snacking, the guacamole, salsa and queso are no-brainers—with a margaritas or glass of sangria of course. 106 S. Wilmington St., 919.835.3593, centroraleigh.com $

Here, colorful art adorns black walls and trees climb to the ceiling at this artsy Indian-Asian restaurant with a distinct Southern flair. While there are plenty of can’t-miss options from which to choose, the cauliflower 65—fried cauliflower sauteed with curry leaves, turmeric yogurt, chilis, cilantro and lime—is a must-try. 14 W. Martin St., 919.833.6886, garlandraleigh.com $$

Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar
Never give up… Named for famed head coach of NC State’s national championship-winning basketball team, Jim Valvano, Jimmy V’s offers upscale Italian alongside more casual fare like pizzas, salads, antipasti and the famous Whitten-Burger, named after Derek Whittenburg, one of the players from the 1983 championship team who frequents the restaurant. 420 Fayetteville St., 919.256.1451, jimmyvsraleigh.com $$

This contemporary patisserie is a great place to start your day (croissants and coffee make the perfect breakfast), take a lunchtime escape (the box lunch comes with your choice of sandwich, a salad or soup, and a treat) or reward yourself after a long day’s work (the macarons are to die for). 235 S. Salisbury St., 919.307.4950,  lucettegrace.com $

Located in the PNC Building, ORO is an on-trend tapas-style restaurant featuring craft cocktails, a full wine bar (including a 17-foot wine conveyer system) and small plates meant for sharing. Executive chef Chris Hylton’s seasonal dishes take you on a tour of the globe from the comfort of this chic, sophisticated two-story all-white sup spot. 18 E. Martin St., 919.832.6622, ororaleigh.com $$

Poole’s Diner
Open seven days a week from 5pm till 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 that change both daily and weekly, determined by fresh available ingredients. 426 S. McDowell St., 919.832.4477, ac-restaurants.com $$

Poole’side Pies
Ashley Christensen’s latest venture highlights something new from the chef—pizza. Here, Neapolitan-style pies are prepared in a 900-degree Marra Forni Italian brick oven. The retro swim-club themed eatery also offers starters and salads with a complementary cocktail menu. 428 S. McDowell St., ac-restaurants.com $$

The Raleigh Times
Located in the home of the 100-year-old building that housed the former The Raleigh Times newspaper, this downtown staple now encompasses almost an entire city block with multiple entrances, a rooftop patio and second-floor seating, plus a generous selection of craft beers and a wide variety of fare. Insider tip: The Times Nachos are legendary. 14 E. Hargett St., 919.833.0999, raleightimesbar.com

Sono Raleigh
Chef Hyun-woo Kim is a South Korean 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, crab, octopus and red snapper. 319 Fayetteville St., 919.521.5328, sonoraleigh.com $

Virgil’s Cocktails and Cocina
Local Icon Hospitality’s hip Mexican joint is all about great cocktails and authentic cuisine balanced with eclectic music and superior hospitality. The food menu places a large focus on innovative tacos, while the drink menu includes margaritas and plenty of tropical-inspired cocktails that—paired with the laid-back atmosphere—make you feel like you’re on vacation. 126 S Salisbury St., 919.833.3866, virgilstacos.com $


42nd Street Oyster Bar
Opened originally as a grocery store in 1931, post-Prohibition this eatery became the first place in Raleigh to serve draft beers in frosted mugs. 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, mussels and more. 508 W. Jones St., 919.831.2811, 42ndstoysterbar.com $$

Clouds Brewing
In 1925, Carolina Power & Light Company built a one-story art deco building to house streetcars and buses—now, it’s home to Clouds Brewing, where you can (and should) experience Downpour, a self-serve wall of beer taps. To boot, the restaurant-bar boasts 80-plus beers, ciders and meads, and palatable brunch, lunch and dinner menus. 126 N. West St., 919.307.8335, cloudsbrewing.com $

The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail
Occupying the Glenwood South location formerly held by the beloved Cafe Helios, The Cortez brings a subtly tropical setting with a modern feel. Go for the wide range of Mexican-American handcrafted cocktails and the ever-popular dollar oyster special (Tue.–Sun., 5–6:30pm), and stay for chef Oscar Diaz’s eclectic seafood menu. 413 Glenwood Ave., 919.342.8227, cortezraleigh.com $$

Five Star
A Raleigh legend made famous in its OG Warehouse District establishment with its unparalleled vibe, authentic Asian cuisine and weekly local DJs recently upgraded to brand-new digs in the Glenwood South district, complete with an outdoor courtyard area and new must-sip drinks to complement its authentic menu. If you haven’t had a house cocktail over dumplings and Heat Seeker Shrimp, you just haven’t lived. 301 N. West St., Ste. 101, 919.833.3311, fivestarraleigh.com $$

Hibernian Irish Pub
Sláinte! Irish eyes are smiling indeed at this longtime two-story Glenwood South staple, famed for its Irish social club feel, beer and liquor selection, mini upstairs library, wraparound rooftop patio (with bar) and many o’ events and block parties—and, of course, delish Irish dishes. Wash down some bangers and mash or fish ’n’ chips with a classic Guinness. 311 Glenwood Ave., 919.833.2285, hibernianpub.com $

La Santa
It doesn’t get more authentic Mexican than a family-owned resto serving up fare using the owner’s mother’s recipes from Guadalajara—think handmade tortillas, bolillo (Mexican bread) with carnitas, chicken enchiladas, mole poblano and more. But not to be outshined are the mezcal cocktails and made-to-order margs from freshly squeezed fruits and high-end tequilas. 222 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 107, 919.720.4096, lasantanc.com $

MoJoe’s Burger Joint
With more than 10 different options on offer, MoJoe’s is a burger haven featuring handpressed burger patties (beef, chicken, turkey, veggie or black bean) smothered in everything from crispy jalapeno bacon and salsa verde to grilled peppers and onion rings. Add a side of fries with famous MoJoe’s sauce and a brew—or a signature milkshake—you won’t regret it. 620 Glenwood Ave., 919.832.6799, mojoesburgerjoint.com $

My Way Tavern Eatery & Spirits
You have to expect everyone to yell your name (Norm!) when you cross the threshold of this dark wood neighborhood tavern with Cheers-esque vibe. With TVs on every wall, it’s a great spot to catch the game over cocktails and brews while snacking on signature dishes like the Baja tacos or the baby back ribs. 522 St. Mary’s St., 919.900.8273, mywaytavern.com $

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen
Nestled on a cozy neighborhood strip with a spacious patio, this vibey rustic neighborhood kitchen dishes an ever-evolving menu of reimagined Southern favorites by head chef David Mitchell—each paired perfectly with a select vino suggestion on the menu. Don’t miss the bangin’ brunch—and while you’re at it, the signature bloody mary. 301 Glenwood Ave., 919.828.0018, plateskitchen.com $

The Rockford
Opened in 1994 as the only bar or restaurant in the now bustling Glenwood South district, The Rockford is known for its timeless interior decor and classy yet approachable menu of elevated comfort dishes. Its inconspicuous location above Parliament bar is popular among artists, musicians, business professionals and industry workers alike. 320 1/2 Glenwood Ave., 919.821.9020, therockfordrestaurant.com $$

Southern Charred
Head to this rustic bar and restaurant adorned with wood-paneled walls and charming North Carolina decor for the likes of saucy barbecue meat platters on vintage tin trays, complete with comforting Southern sides like biscuits, okra, hush puppies and famous SC mac and cheese. 510 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 101, 919.758.8851, southerncharred.com $ 

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
Located in the Creamery Building with classic interiors, luxurious seating and lively jazz, this fine-dining “prime flavor, local flair” experience is popular for its martinis and signature house-cut steaks enhanced with everything from crab and lobster to signature butters. 410 Glenwood Ave., 919.833.2888, sullivanssteakhouse.com $$

Sushi Blues
An affordable spot to get a wide selection of fresh sushi and sashimi in a casual, sleek environment, Sushi Blues is known for its BOGO rolls (dine-in only—try the Wolfpack) and half-price wine bottles on Sundays and Wednesdays. 301 Glenwood Ave., 919.664.8061, sushibluescafe.com $

Thaiphoon Bistro
The first Thai restaurant in DTR (circa 2008), Thaiphoon Bistro has become famed for handcrafted authentic fare repping every region of Thailand. Don’t miss the papaya salad, the green curry or any of the house noodle dishes—and for plant lovers or vegetarians, a full menu of meat-free apps, soups, dishes and rice dishes. 301 Glenwood Ave., Ste. 190, 919.720.4034, thaiphoonbistroraleigh.com $

Tobacco Road Sports Cafe & Brewery
Located in the historic Powerhouse building in downtown Raleigh, Tobacco Road is self-proclaimed “not a sports bar.” Born of owners Amra brothers vision for a space that combined good food and sports-watching, TR is now the quintessential spot for catching the game over world-class beers, cocktails and fresh locally sourced fare crafted in-house by a professional chef. 505 W. Jones St., 919.301.8793, tobaccoroadsportscafe.com $

At Vidrio, an enormous backdrop of blown-glass plates anchors the space, with European furnishings and stylish details reminiscent of a Mediterranean fishing village. The menu showcases different cuisines and includes a range of small plates that highlight seasonal produce, plus craft cocktails and vinos from the 50-plus wines on tap. 500 Glenwood Ave., 919.803.6033, vidrioraleigh.com $$$


Coco Bongo
Hit up Hillsborough Street’s cool and casual Mexican restaurant for daily lunch and drink specials in its colorful dining room or for a frozen marg under a bright green umbrella outside. Favorite selections include such staples as fajitas, burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas, as well as signature seafood, chicken, pork and steak dishes. 2400 Hillsborough St., 984.242.0898, facebook.com/cocobongo1942 $$

David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar
Anchoring the corner of Hillsborough and Oberlin streets situated between NC State and Cameron Village since 2010, David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar is a must-go for authentic Pan-Asian dishes with touches of Chinese, Vietnamese and Malaysian flair. Chef David Mao’s craftsmanship shines through a delicious menu littered with must-try small plates, noodles, traditional quick-stir dishes and chef specialties. 1900 Hillsborough St., 919.239.4536, ddandnb.com $$

Gonza Tacos y Tequila
Go for the hippie-chic vibe, complete with neon colors fashioned into modern Day of the Dead decor, and stay for the fresh Colombian-inspired cuisine. Fave eats include a new spin on traditional enchiladas, tacos (we love steak!), quesadillas, fajitas and more. 2100 Hillsborough St., 919.268.8965, gonzatacosytequila.com $

Second Empire
Otherwise known as the Dodd-Hinsdale house, this stately and elegant “Second Empire” home from 1879 is a local favorite for special occasions, featuring original staircases, porches and woodwork alongside a white tablecloth dining experience. We would recommend anything from chef Daniel Schurr. 330 Hillsborough St., 919.829.3663, second-empire.com $$$

State of Beer
Beer is a state of mind at this DTR bottle and sandwich shop that plays home to “good, rad and funky” craft beer and chef-crafted sandwiches, natch—with delish salads to boot. Our fave is the ghost pepper salami sammy with chipotle mayo, spicy habanero slaw, pickled jalapenos and pepper jack cheese. 401 Hillsborough St., 919.546.9116, stateof.beer $

Taverna Agora
Specialty house cocktails and authentic Greek wines complement traditional Greek dishes served up by a friendly staff. Enjoy them in the rustic old-world ambience inside, or dine alfresco on the open-air rooftop patio overlooking DTR. 326 Hillsborough St., 919.881.8333, tavernaagora.com $$


Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
An ode to fried chicken and classic Southern sides, chef Ashley Christensen delivers with a casual dining spot serving up too-good-to-believe classic comfort food from chicken and waffles to mac and cheese to banana pudding. 237 S. Wilmington St., 919.322.0127, ac-restaurants.com $$

Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant & Bar
In this popular modern hideaway, you’ll find generous portions of authentic, flavorful Laotian dishes inspired by family recipes using fresh local ingredients. Reservations are recommended—as is the crispy pork belly soup, the crispy lettuce wraps and the pad thai. 222 S. Blount St., 919.829.9999, bidamanda.com $$

Big Ed’s City Market
Having called City Market home since 1989, Big Ed’s continues to serve up some of the best in Southern cooking in town seven days a week for breakfast, brunch and lunch. We rec the omelets, pancakes, biscuits and grits all day, or, if you’re craving “lunch,” go for such daily specials as the chicken & dumplings or pork chop plate. 220 Wolfe St., 919.836.9909, bigedsnc.com $

Brewery Bhavana
As much a work of art as a restaurant, Brewery Bhavana’s ambiance sets the perfect backdrop for its handcrafted beer selection and dim sum cuisine. From original brews to bao and dumplings, crab Rangoon and rice congee, everything is made with care and attention to detail. 218 S. Blount St., 919.829.9998, brewerybhavana.com $

Caffe Luna
This sun-filled main dining room overlooking the streets of downtown Raleigh is well known for its Italian cuisine with a Tuscan flair. Choose from exclusive lunch and dinner specials, as well as regular menu items like ravioli Fiorentina, lasagna and salmone alla Griglia. 136 E. Hargett St., 919.832.6090, cafeluna.com $$

Ask any Italian-American what ‘gravy’ is, and they’ll tell you it’s the pasta sauce their mothers and grandmothers cooked fresh every night. So, naturally, at Gravy, chef Brent Hopkins makes his own pasta and cures his own meats—meaning, you can’t go wrong. 135 S. Wilmington St., 919.896.8513, gravyraleigh.com $$

London Bridge Pub
For “bloody good” British food, international friendship and football (OK, soccer) visit London Bridge. Across-the-pond classics include rocket salad, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie, not to mention a full English breakfast with bangers, black pudding, eggs, baked beans, roasted tomatoes, and Bubble and Squeak (a patty of fried cabbage, meat and potatoes). 110 E. Hargett St., 919.838.6633, thelondonbridgepub.com $$

Mofu Shoppe
Initially a food truck, Mofu Shoppe’s brick-and-mortar—opened by founders Sunny Lin and Sophia Woo with the $50,000 in prize money they received from winning The Great Food Truck Race—continues to serve up its famed Asian-American-influenced dishes on its indoor patio, intimate mezzanine and second-floor seating—perfect for date night or dinner with the fam. 321 S. Blount St., 919.301.8465, mofushoppe.com $$

Oak City Meatball Shoppe
From its home in the Red Hat Tower, Oak City Meatball Shoppe’s menu focuses on—what else—the great meatball. Create your own dish from a variety of meats, choice of sauce and a side, or try the always-fun-to-say Balls on a Bun. 180 E. Davie St., 919.714.9014, oakcitymeatball.com $$

Sitti upholds the Lebanese tradition of excellent hospitality by welcoming guests with delicious Lebanese- and Mediterranean-inspired food and superb service. Sitti’s chef has created a fresh, authentic menu featuring extensive offerings of mezze, including hummus, baba ghanouj, labneh and mouhamra, as well as entrees such as beef, lamb and chicken shawarma served with house-baked pita and flatbreads. 137 S. Wilmington St., 919.239.4070, sitti-raleigh.com $$

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar
Embracing the spirit of the namesake New Orleans’ neighborhood from which chef Sunny Gerhart’s family hails, St. Roch dishes standout roasted oysters (BBQ’d, Tasso’d, or Nori’d) by the half-dozen, but there are lots of other delicious seafood choices too—plus some great vegetarian dishes. 223 S. Wilmington St., 919.322.0359, strochraleigh.com $$

Tonbo Ramen
A ramen bar with intimate dining tables and an upstairs izakaya, Tonbo offers Japanese favorites and small plates. The ramen is prepared with a 20-hour broth base, handcrafted noodles and add-ons, including a soy-marinated egg or roasted Kurobuta pork. 211 S. Wilmington St., 919.977.3625, tonboramen.com $$

Transfer Co. Food Hall
At Transfer Co., located in the historic Carolina Coach Garage and Shop, you’ll find bagels, local seafood, ice cream cookie sandwiches, burritos, empanadas, housemade meats and pastas, burgers, Asian fare and more, as well as a full bar and award-winning brews from Burial Beer Co. out of Asheville. 500 E. Davie St., 984.232.8122, transfercofoodhall.com $$

Vic’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
Owner Mario Longo has been serving authentic old-world Italian and NY-style pizza for more than 30 years overlooking City Market via traditional pasta dishes (all of which are served with fresh garlic knots) and specialty pizzas. Insider tip: Take advantage of the patio seating. 331 Blake St., 919.829.7090; 4035 Lake Boone Trail, 984.200.9292,  vicsitalianrestaurant.com $


Crawford & Son
Drawing on his family’s working-class roots, chef Scott Crawford elevates home-cooked classics by infusing his own signature style and incorporating different proteins, as well as seasonal ingredients, both savory and sweet. 618 N. Person St., 919.307.4647, crawfordandsonrestaurant.com $$$

Gringo A Go Go
With its playful vibe, plant-filled patio and housemade margaritas, Gringo A Go Go has been sating local Mexican food lovers since 2014. Order tacos, burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas with various fillings, including vegan options. A decadent condiment tray rounds out the experience. 100 N. Person St., 919.977.1438, gringoraleigh.com $

Named for chef Scott Crawford’s daughter, Jolie pairs modern European elegance and classic French dishes in an intimate atmosphere with white linen tabletops, a marble bar, and blue and gold accents. Opt for a table on the rooftop patio to enjoy petit plates and other fine fare in full French fashion. Oh la la. 620 N. Person St., 919.803.7221, restaurantjolie.com $$

Oakwood Pizza Box
Owner Anthony Guerra hails from a long line of Italian chefs (his father, Rick, owned Cary’s now-closed Bella Mia). The younger Guerra channels the pizza he grew up eating on Long Island in this intimate family atmosphere—meaning, no matter the base (red or white sauce), the Neapolitan-style pizza (made with whole milk cheeses and low-moisture mozzarella) is creative and delicious. 610 N. Person St., 919.594.1605, oakwoodpizzabox.com $

Side Street Restaurant
Housed in a quaint white cottage, Side Street serves up a side of nostalgia with its clapboard walls and wide windows. Grab the quiche of the day with side salad or homemade soup, or spring for an array of next-level sandwiches, and wash it down with a wide selection of wine and beer. 225 N. Bloodworth St., 919 828.4927, sidestreetrestaurantraleigh.com $

SmokeStacks Cafe
Located in the former Brewerks space, SmokeStacks offers brunch and dinner using locally sourced ingredients. An indoor fireplace sets the mood for an intimate dinner, while the patio is perfect for enjoying brunch during the warmer months. And oenophiles will love the wine list, curated by level 2 sommelier-certified co-owner Holly Schultz. 701 E. Lane St., 919.736.6408, coffeeraleigh.com $

The Station at Person Street
Nestled in a renovated Amoco gas station, this chill neighborhood hangout offers spacious indoor and outdoor seating (with fire pits in colder weather) that’s perfect for enjoying creative spins on bar food classics and cold domestic and craft brews with your crew. 701 N. Person St., 919.977.1567, stationraleigh.com $


Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar
It may be located in the historic Melrose Knitting Mill—one of Raleigh’s most iconic buildings—but Mulino’s ambiance transports you to a Roman piazza. Fresh pasta dishes and pizzas from the outdoor wood-fired oven are best enjoyed on the patio, which features a pristine blue pool surrounded by countless flora and fauna. 309 N. Dawson St., 919.838.8595, mulinoraleigh.com $$

Open for dinner five days a week, this “playful and uncomplicated” delish eatery dishes fare inspired by available fresh seasonal ingredients in its commitment to local agriculture. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine while feasting on whatever the kitchen is preparing that day—as, no matter, it’s sure to be delicious. 938 N. Blount St., 919.977.4321, stanburyraleigh.com $$


J. Betski’s
Owner John F. Korzekwinski honors his German and Polish heritage with traditional dishes from Central and Eastern Europe with an emphasis on quality ingredients sourced from local farms. The relaxed atmosphere is great for a sit-down meal with the family or for grabbing small plates and drinks at the bar—where German beers reign supreme. 10 W. Franklin St., Ste. 120, 919.833.7999, jbetskis.com $$

Seaboard Café
With wall-to-wall windows, natural light and pops of color from hanging plants and vegetation, this bright lunch-only eatery offers new specials Mon.–Sat., with everything from homemade muffins to fresh salads and soups to sandwiches on artisan breads—not to mention such fave sides as pickled carrots, potato salad and several pasta salads. 707 Semart Drive, 919.821.7553, seaboardcafe.com $


Barcelona Wine Bar
It’s tapas time. Local seasonal ingredients and important specialities evoke some serious Spanish vibes in this intimate spot on the ground floor of the Dillon—serving as the perfect backdrop for date night or girls’ night out to enjoy wine and small plates. Tip: Build-your-own charcuterie boards are great for groups. 430 W. Martin St., 919.808.5400,  barcelonawinebar.com $$

Humble Pie
With black-and-white checkerboard floors, cozy booths and a large patio, Humble Pie consistently gets five-star reviews for its food, fab service and outdoor seating. The eatery specializes in shared plates for dinner—come Sunday Funday brunch, classic comforting breakfast dishes reign supreme. 317 S. Harrington St., 919.829.9222, humblepierestaurant.com $

Irregardless Café
Treasured by carnivores and omnivores alike, this cozy classic Raleigh venue is known for its global cuisine, as well as its flavorful and inventive vegan and vegetarian dishes. A favorite dining spot for university professors and locals, the cafe also offers live music and cooking classes. 901 W. Morgan St., 919.833.8898, irregardless.com $$

Morgan Street Food Hall
An oasis for some of Raleigh’s best food and drink ops, this new-age food hall serves up most anything you could have a hankering for, from wood-fired pizza, tacos and burgers to lobster rolls, to ice cream and more—not to mention the indoor and outdoor bars, perfect for a pre- or post-meal libations. 411 W. Morgan St., 919.307.4481, morganfoodhall.com $

O-Ku Sushi
O-Ku integrates local and unique ingredients to deliver authentic Asian cuisine with a Southern influence. The menu ranges from petite plates to sushi specialties to contemporary robata-style dishes—plus a multicourse omakase tasting. Inside tip: Treat yourself to half-off sushi during happy hour (5 to 7pm, Mon., Wed. and Fri.). 411 W. Hargett St., 919.792.3777, okuraleigh.com $$

Oak Steakhouse

A modern take on the American original, this innovative approach to steakhouse dining showcases a menu highlighting the restaurant’s relationship with local farmers and purveyors via a variety of certified Angus beef selections, complemented by an expansive wine list with the likes of California cabernets and old-world reds. Oak also offers local brews, domestic and international beers, and seasonal cocktails. 417 W. Hargett St., 984.255.1818,  oaksteakhouserestaurant.com $$$

“Parked” at the entrance to the Warehouse District, Parkside is situated in a building that’s offered Southern hospitality for over 100 years. Come for the chef-inspired small plates, salads, flatbreads and sandwiches—or just enjoy sitting at the reclaimed barnwood bar and sipping one of the 40-plus beers on tap. 301 W. Martin St., 984.232.8969, parksideraleigh.com $

The Pit
Continuing NC’s barbecue legacy, The Pit doles authentic whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue. Warm lighting accentuates the rich hues of the wood inside, while the patio offers the hustle and bustle of downtown. Favorites here include the chopped barbecue pork plate, beef brisket and the chopped barbecue turkey plate. 328 W. Davie St., 919.890.4500, thepit-raleigh.com $$

A Place at the Table
Having quickly gained local love and national acclaim, Raleigh’s first pay-what-you can cafe lets you pay what you’re able, pay what you would for a similar meal, pay for someone else’s meal or pay by volunteering. The community-oriented restaurant offers breakfast ops like quiche and waffles, and such lunch classics as salads, sandwiches and paninis. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan offerings are also available. 300 W. Hargett St., 919.307.8914, tableraleigh.org $

Sam Jones BBQ
Prominent NC pitmaster Sam Jones brings his family’s signature Eastern North Carolina chopped whole-hog barbecue to Raleigh at Sam Jones BBQ, where a tray of ’cue or a barbecue sandwich is best served with the Skylight Inn-style cornbread. Go hog wild! 502 W. Lenoir St., 984.206.2555, samjonesbbq.com $

Trophy Brewing & Pizza Co.
A great place to grab a local craft beer and a gourmet pizza slice, Trophy is a three-barrel nano brewery in Downtown Raleigh featuring a full bar and growlers to go. Specialty pies rotate throughout the year depending on what produce is in season. 827 W. Morgan St., 919.803.4849, trophybrewing.com $$

Tuscan Blu
Ciao, bella. At this authentic Italian resto, choose from classic Tuscany-inspired pasta and meat dishes or daily specials from chef Maurizio Privilegi—either to dine in or enjoy alfresco on the patio. Parking is complimentary for guests. 327 W. Davie St., 919.834.5707, tuscanblu.com $$

Whiskey Kitchen
With over 140 whiskeys behind the bar, this hot spot delivers on its name. Enjoy a beverage or two paired with snacks on the spacious patio or inside in the light-filled atmosphere—made even brighter when the large garage doors are open on a warm evening. The menu includes good Southern dishes with a slight twist. 201 W. Martin St., 919.803.3181, whiskey.kitchen $$

Wye Hill Kitchen + Brewing
Owners Sara Abernethy and Chris Borreson completely revamped the old Boylan Bridge Brewpub into a restaurant and brewery, complete with chef-driven lunch, dinner and brunch menus, rotating beers brewed on-site, wine and unique cocktails (including spirit-free). 201 S. Boylan Ave., 984.200.1189, wyehill.com $$


Founded in 1963 by former Wolfpacker 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 TV with the special of the day and a Wolfpack-themed cocktail. 3905 Western Blvd., 919.851.0473, amedeosrestaurant.com $

Bella Monica
Owners Corbett and Julie Monica do their best to make this hidden gem like Corbett’s Nana’s kitchen—where family gathered every Sunday—at this family-run trattoria featuring Neapolitan recipes handed down for generations. Insider tip: Be sure to make reservations, especially on weekends, as the restaurant fills up quickly. 3121 Edwards Mill Road, 919.881.9778, bellamonica.com $$

A Raleigh market and restaurant staple since 1977 with a wide range of Lebanese and Mediterranean fare and groceries, this cafe offers indoor/outdoor dining options seven days a week. After you take down the shawarma sandwich or a kabob platter, make sure to purchase some fresh-made pita bread and hummus to take home. You’re welcome. 3817 Beryl Road, 919.828.1628, neomonde.com $

The Oak
Part of the JMR Kitchens Restaurant Group, The Oak’s friendly staff serves made-from-scratch simple seasonal fare that pairs well with over 90 different bourbons, including The Oak’s own in-house blend. Bourbon dinners, bourbon tastings and an adopt-a-barrel program assist in trying them all. 4035 Lake Boone Trail, 919.787.9100, theoakraleigh.com $$

State Farmers Market Restaurant
This iconic eatery offers Southern country breakfasts and lunches in a bright space with indoor-outdoor seating. Grab a bite (think homemade biscuits, farm-stand vegetables, local country ham and the like) before browsing the market for flowers, fruit, spices, veggies and beyond. 1240 Farmers Market Drive, 919.755.1550, realbiscuits.com $

Sushi Nine
After burning down in 2015, Sushi Nine has officially reopened, boasting a bigger patio and brand-new equipment while maintaining the atmosphere for which it’s known. The menu also remains steady for fans, offering apps, sushi rolls, poke bowls, noodles, stir-fries and hibachi. 3812 Western Blvd., 919.615.3100, sushinine.com $

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(updated 7/1/21)

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