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 gina@raleighmag.com. 

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


41 Hundred
Located in the elegant Renaissance Hotel, 41 Hundred stands out in the North Hills shopping center already filled with hot restaurants. Offering a wide range of options from the Korean BBQ wings to the chicken confit, 41 Hundred hits your simplest desires as well as the more savory parts of your palate. 4100 Main at North Hills Street; (919) 278-1478; 41hundredrestaurant.com $$

Capital Grille
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 the beautiful patio. 4242 Six Forks Road; (919) 787-3901; thecapitalgrille.com $$$

Chef Masanori Shiraishi fuses traditional Southeast Asian cuisine with his own creative and modern designs at CO. Due to his 25 years of culinary experience, Shiraishi has several unique dishes including Malaysian chili wings, tasty caramel pork banh mi and trendy poke bowls. CO also promotes happy hour, highlighted by the jalapeño guava margarita. 101 Park at N. Hills Street; (919) 258-2070; eatatco.com/location/raleigh $

Coquette Brasserie
Executive chef Ian Sullivan 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-esque setting, with tables open to the sidewalks of Midtown. 4351 The Circle at North Hills; (919) 789-0606; coquetteraleigh.com $$

Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
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 portobello mushrooms tossed in truffle oil finished off with onions and spicy mayo, served with a ginger sauce. 4208 Six Forks Road; (919) 784-0400; thecowfish.com $$

Mia Francesca Trattoria
Rustic wood beams and high ceilings are the backdrop to Northern Italian dishes like Pollo Parmigiana and Spaghetti alla Bolognese, as well as a variety of pizzas, salads and antipasti. With an ever-changing menu that highlights seasonal NC ingredients, you get to experience truly authentic, made-from-scratch Italian food that uses some of the best local, farm-to-table products available. 4100 Main at North Hills Street; (919) 278-1525; miafrancescaraleigh.com $$

Midtown Grille
Executive chef Marshall Smith offers sophisticated yet approachable contemporary American cuisine including shrimp and grits, Espresso Rubbed NY strip and fried oysters. Dessert is a must here so save room for the Chocolate Torte or the Creme Bruleé. 4421 Six Forks Road; (919) 782-9463; themidtowngrille.com $$

Pharaoh’s American Grill
Pharaoh’s is North Hills’ oldest restaurant, known especially for having the best chicken salad in town. The locally owned deli-style shop also offers a famous Philly cheese steak, 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 pound. 4421 Six Forks Road; (919) 420-0840; pharoahsgrillnorthhills.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 creative seasonal menu items by Executive Chef Ian Sullivan featuring pasta, lamb, chicken, beef, salmon and swordfish. 4209 Lassiter Mill Road; (919) 787-7747; vivaceraleigh.com $$


Bloomsbury Bistro
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 hazelnut crusted Heritage Farms pork tenderloin over stone ground cheese grits with wilted country greens, smoked bacon, pickled Vidalia onion “chow-chow” and sorgum-Dijon jus, or opt for corned Angus beef brisket “Reuben” served over mild Savoy cabbage kraut with rye bread-ricotta dumplings, baby carrots and aged Gruyere. 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 such as Parmesan fried oysters and a marinated and grilled rack of lamb. 2603-151 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 782-3102; glenwoodgrill.com $$

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

At Hummingbird you can enjoy all three meals of the day, paired with coffee and tea in the morning and innovative craft cocktails in the evening. The lovely restaurant and lounge easily transitions its vibe and menu from morning to night, with dishes like tomato pie, cornmeal fried shrimp po’boy, charred cauliflower, shrimp dip and ginger molasses cookies that tend to run out before dinner time. 1053 E Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 111; (919) 301-8900; hummingbirdraleigh.com $$

Lilly’s Pizza
A little over 25 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, jalapeños and cilantro. Lilly’s offers gluten-free versions in a 10-inch pie. 1813 Glenwood Avenue; (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 alongside speciality housemade margaritas and cocktails. They use 100 percent agave tequilas and fresh squeezed juices, even in their sweet and sour mix. 1803 Glenwood Avenue; (984) 222-3647; lolasbeach.bar $

Raleigh native Sean Fowler opened Mandolin in the old Johnson’s Pharmacy space off Fairview Road and it feels like he’s come full circle. He used to eat grilled cheese and drink limeade at the pharmacy counter as a kid. Now, he finds himself in the kitchen preparing iconic Southern dishes such as Chicken and Waffles, Pan-seared Grouper and Grilled Lady Edison Pork Chop. Sourcing locally is important to Fowler and menus can change daily. 2519 Fairview Road; (919) 322-0365; mandolinraleigh.com $$$

NOFO @ the Pig
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 BLT and Eastern BBQ Pork Sliders, while upstairs is a gift shop filled with eclectic furniture, books, kids items and local wines, chocolates and other wares. 2014 Fairview Road; (919) 821-1240; nofo.com $

The Point at Glenwood Restaurant and Bar
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 neighborhood setting. The Point serves both lunch and dinner as well as a Sunday brunch buffet. The dinner menu features a variety of dishes for all taste buds, including Fried Olives, Duck Wings, Calabash Shrimp, Penne Ala Vodka and a selection of wood-fired pizzas. 1626 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 755-1007; thepointatglenwood.com $$

Red Dragon
A Five Points staple with a cozy ambiance serving authentic Chinese classics like Kung Pao Beef and Kung Pao Chicken, as well as an extensive à la carte menu. 2513 Fairview Road; (919) 782-1102; reddragonraleigh.com Menu prices not given

Taste offers fresh and whole foods in morsels—portions between appetizers and entreés—from a cheese plate to Angus beef sliders or seared pistachio-crusted ahi tuna. Pair your meal from a rotating seasonal menu with a drink from the owner’s private wine reserve or choose from a variety of select craft beers. 1912 Bernard Street; (919) 948-7815; thetastebar.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 offered, along with house-made sodas and craft cocktails. 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road; (919) 977-5442; wilsonseatery.com $


Café Tiramisu
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 over 40 years. 6196 Falls of Neuse Road; (919) 981-0305; cafetiramisu.net $$

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

Gonza Tacos y Tequila
Fresh Columbian-inspired Mexican cuisine with a hippie-chic vibe, complete with neon colors fashioned into modern Day of the Dead decor.  Favorites include a modern spin on traditional enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas and fajitas. 7713 Lead Mine Road; (919) 846-5478; gonzatacosytequila.com Menu prices not given

Hibernian Irish Pub
The perfect place for traditional Boxty or Bangers and Mash, the Hibernian is a cozy Irish pub with good food and an extensive beer list. 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 thoughtful and creative menu. The open kitchen format encourages guests to interact with Pettifer and his staff of chefs. Margaux’s offers select cuts of meat and fish, as well as a three-course Price Fixe menu. 8111 Creedmoor Road; (919) 846-9846; margauxsrestaurant.com $$$

Milton’s Pizza
A staple since 1983, Milton’s offers a lunch buffet with pizza, pasta, lasagna and a 40-item salad bar, 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. 8853 Six Forks Road; (919-847-0604) and 14520 New Falls of Neuse Road; (919-570-9099); miltonspizza.com $

Nantucket Grill & Bar
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. 1145 Falls River Avenue, (919) 870-1955; nantucketgrill.com $$

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

Peri Brothers Pizza
A friendly neighborhood gem in Celebration Shopping Center, Peri Brothers has been churning out New York-style pizzas for three years now. Create your own or choose from a unique selection of specialty pies inspired by New York neighborhoods like Hells Kitchen, the Bronx and the Flat Iron District. Homemade pastas, hot subs, fresh salads and buffalo wings round out the menu for a tasty lunch or dinner. 7321 Six Forks Road; (919) 844-6692; peribrotherspizza.com $

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

Poppyseed Market Cafe & Wine Bar
At Poppyseed Market you can find a little bit of everything. Stop in the gourmet deli and café for lunch for a unique selection of both hot and cold sandwiches, made-to-order with quality Boar’s Head meats and fresh toppings. In the evening, choose from loaded salads, elevated comfort dishes like mac and cheese, meatloaf and lasagna, or notorious hand tossed pizzas, best enjoyed with a glass of wine or local brew at this comforting establishment that almost makes it feel like you’re dining at home. 8801 Lead Mine Road, #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 & 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. Relish also offers a retail market that contains a curated selection of goods from their favorite local vendors—including gourmet foods, greeting cards, accessories, candles, and more. 5625 Creedmoor Road; (919) 787-1855; relishraleigh.com $

Saint Jacques
Don’t be deceived by the unassuming strip-mall location–Saint Jacques is a Raleigh treasure. Chef-restaurateur Serge Falcoz-Vigne has been creating an authentic French experience with exceptional food and wine for almost 15 years. Saint Jacques 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 $$$

Sassool Mediterranean Cafe
Sassool began as a family bakery in 1977 and has since re-branded 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 and daily specials like Lebanese Spaghetti, Basmati Rice with Chicken and Spanakopita. 9650 Strickland Rd.; (919) 847-2700; sassool.com $

Sawmill Tap Room
Home of the original Breuben, no need to choose between good beer and good food. Plenty of taps and a wide variety of artisan burgers and salads to enjoy outside on the deck or indoors to catch the game in the energetic atmosphere. 7701 Lead Mine Road; (919) 845-7889; sawmilltaproom.com $

Sola Coffee Café
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 Lead Mine. The morning kitchen menu is full of egg sandwiches, mini-omelets and bagels but if you try nothing else, try their hot mini doughnuts. 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. 7705 Lead Mine Road; (919) 803-8983; solacoffee.com $

Winston’s Grille
Open since 1986, Winston’s is a local favorite for its Prime Rib, pastas and fresh salads. Its traditional steakhouse ambiance and expansive outdoor terrace for dining is popular with the locals. 6401 Falls of Neuse Road; (919) 790-0700; winstonsgrille.com $$

Zest Café
This café combines contemporary American fare with eclectic art and home furnishings in ceramic, metal, linen and glass. Favorite meals include a NC catfish sandwich, cashew encrusted chicken breast and veggie lasagna. 8831 Six Forks Road; (919) 848-4792; zestcafehomeart.com $


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

Cantina 18
With a rooftop bar and an all-glass front, Chef Jason Smith is serving his trademark Mexican fusion dishes with more than a little swank. Cantina 18 is a decidedly upscale and urban addition to Cameron Village, open 7 days a week. 433 Daniels Street; (919) 835-9911; 18restaurantgroup.com/cantina-18-raleigh $

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

so•ca derives it’s name from several sources: a Peruvian word for sugarcane, a popular style of Caribbean music and inspiration from a well known geographical divider, the Tropic of Cancer. Many of the items on the menu transport you to unfamiliar lands, and more than 20 countries are represented. Dishes on the menu, such as the Brazilian Feijoada, Peruvian Tiradito de Pescado or Puerto Rican Mofongo, are right at home on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Fajardo. 2130 Clark Avenue; (919) 322-0440; socaraleigh.com $$

Tazza Kitchen
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 a simple urban ambiance that aligns with the menu; dishes include spicy sausage and black pepper honey pizza with aged provolone and fresh mozzarella. 432 Woodburn Avenue; (919) 835-9463; tazzakitchen.com $$

Tupelo Honey Café
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. 425 Oberlin Road; (919) 723-9353; tupelohoneycafe.com $$

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


Driftwood Southern Kitchen
Polished concrete floors combine with rough-hewn wood tables and stone accents to present rustic farmhouse cooking using locally sourced ingredients. Favorites include Smoked and Grilled Meatloaf and Goat Cheese Ravioli. Chef’s table seating features an open kitchen, and semi-private rooms can be reserved. Sunday brunch offers a variety of Southern classics. 8460 Honeycutt Road; (919) 977-8360; driftwoodraleigh.com $$

Wood-fired pizzas and classic old school dishes are easy finds at this casual neighborhood American-Italian restaurant. The menu features fresh and imported pastas. Don’t overlook the Night Kitchen Bakery Italian bread with olive oil or the Grilled Bruschetta. 8450 Honeycutt Road; (919) 714-7477; farinaraleigh.com $

Fresh Levant
Raleigh’s only 100 percent non-GMO, gluten-free restaurant offers pastries, wine, coffee and a variety of sandwiches and salads inspired by the Levant Mediterranean region. Favorites are the Bistro Eggs, lentil soup, grilled halloumi and fattoush. For dessert, the cinnamon rolls drizzled with an apple cider glaze are sinful. 8450 Honeycutt Road, Suite 106; (984) 200-3999; freshlevant.com $$

Simply Crepes
Started by the Heroux family, Simply Crepes puts French-Canadian family recipes 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. 8470 Honeycutt Rd, Suite 100; (919) 322-2327; simplycrepes.com $

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

Village Grill
A great burger spot. Try the Memphis Smokehouse Burger, an 8-ounce burger patty topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and crispy fried onion rings. The Grill’s menu goes beyond burgers—shareable plates, flatbreads, sandwiches, coleslaw, mac and cheese and Sweet Potato Crusted Grouper are just a few options. Artwork from local artists April Stein and Tom Orsini decorates the space. Outdoor seating overlooks a green preserve. 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, pairing wonderfully with Vinos Finos’ renowned Argentine beef empanadas. Other small plate offerings include bacon-wrapped Medjool dates or crab meat-stuffed artichokes. Entrees include steak, lamb stew and salmon. 8450 Honeycutt Road, Suite 110; (919) 747-9233; vinosfinosypicadas.com $ 


Azitra Indian
Enjoy Indian classics as well as a few fusion surprises from Lamb 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. 8411 Brier Creek Parkway; (919) 484-3939; azitra.us $$

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

Brier Creek Beer Garden
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—all served with lunch and dinner. The menu features unique dishes like the Date in a Blanket Sandwich, a fresh toasted pretzel roll filled with peanut butter, dates, tart berries and celery. 8521 Brier Creek Parkway; (919) 748-3900; briercreekbeergarden.com $

Zayka Indian Cuisine
One of the only Punjabi 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. 10410 Moncreiffe Road, Suite 104; (919) 361-5370; zaykaraleigh.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. Try the Portobello Grilled Cheese Sandwich or the Vesper Board, the latter featuring Local and German sliced meats, Hickory Grove, camembert, Jarlsberg, pickles, radishes, boiled egg, horseradish mustard and a local bread basket. 16 W Martin Street; (919) 747-9345; capitalclub16.com $$

Centro Mexican
Bright colors, wood floors and exposed brick are the backdrop to authentic Mexican and Latin American cuisine, including Mole Poblano and Chilaquiles Verdes with sautéed white corn tortilla chips tossed in tomatillo sauce, cilantro, heavy cream and cheese topped with rajas and two poached eggs. Other favorites are the guacamole, salsa, queso, margaritas and sangria. 106 S Wilmington Street; (919) 835-3593; centroraleigh.com $

Death and Taxes
An Ashley Christensen restaurant, 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 Grilled Duck Breast with black rice, embered carrots and vadouvan or the Steak Tartare with carrot, turmeric, cilantro and grilled ciabatta. 105 W. Hargett Street; (984) 242-0218; ac-restaurants.com $$

This artsy Indian-Asian restaurant with a distinct Southern flare is located near the very center of downtown. Colorful art decorates black walls; trees climb to the ceiling. The Lamb Shank Osso-Bucco and Tandoor chicken  kabobs are two popular picks. 14 W Martin Street; (919) 833-6886; garlandraleigh.com $$

Happy & Hale
This all-day counter-service cafe offers a health-focused menu of salads, protein bowls, smoothies and juice, with a mission to offer fresh, fast, healthy fuel for the body. You can order online for pickup and delivery is available. 443 Fayetteville Street; (919) 307-4148; happyandhale.com $

Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar
Named for the head coach of NC State’s national championship winning basketball team, Jim Valvano, Jimmy V’s offers upscale Italian as well as more casual fare, including pizza, 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 Street; (919)256-1451; jimmyvsraleigh.com $$

This contemporary patisserie in the heart of downtown Raleigh 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. 235 S. Salisbury Street; (919) 307-4950; lucettegrace.com $

Located in the PNC Building, ORO is a trendy, tapas-style restaurant featuring craft cocktails, a full wine bar and small plates meant for sharing. Enjoy global cuisine, including seared scallops, wagyu steak tartare and wok fried Brussels sprouts, in a sophisticated atmosphere with two stories and an all-white color palette. 319 Fayetteville Street; (919) 832-6622; ororaleigh.com $$

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

Poole’side Pies
Ashley Christensen’s latest venture highlights something that hasn’t yet been seen at any of her other five restaurants—pizza. Specifically, she’s serving up Neapolitan-style pies prepared in a 900-degree Marra Forni Italian brick oven. The retro, swim-club themed eatery adjacent to Poole’s Diner—Christensen’s first restaurant—also offers a small selection of starters and salads, with a complementary cocktail menu to wash everything down. 428 S McDowell Street; ac-restaurants.com/pooleside $$

Raleigh Times Bar
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 craft beers—particularly the Belgian variety—the menu features wide variety as well, including NC Catfish, Pork Belly Sisig Lettuce Wraps and Kale Caesar Salad. 14 E. Hargett Street; (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. À la carte items are available as well, including tuna, eel, salmon, octopus and Red Snapper. 319 Fayetteville Street; (919) 521-5328; sonoraleigh.com $

Tama Tea
This North Carolina-native, health loving, bohemian-style cafe nestled in downtown Raleigh brings new versions of tea, coffee and sandwiches to the table. Matcha tea, bubble tea, green smoothies and vegan sandwiches are all included on its menu. The small, but contemporary feel of the cafe allows customers to get their tea cravings out of the way and try a new snack, too. 401 Fayetteville St; (919) 561-6271; tamatea.com $$


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

Anise Pho
Formerly in Cary, this authentic Vietnamese restaurant now occupies a comfortable space on Glenwood South. They offer a daily lunch special combo consisting of pho, banh mi sub, rice platter or salad noodle bowl. A variety of entrees are also offered for dinner, as well as a house special ice cream for dessert, which comes in five flavors: Hawaiian coconut, avocado, ube purple yam, mango and green tea. 222 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 113; (919) 803-4539; facebook.com/AnisePho $

Clouds Brewing
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 favorite. 126 N West Street; (919) 307-8335; cloudsbrewing.com $

The Cortez Seafood & Cocktail
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 Tuesdays-Sundays from 5–6 p.m., Chef Oscar Diaz offers not only an eclectic seafood menu but also a wide range of Mexican-American handcrafted cocktails. 413 Glenwood Ave. (919) 342-8227; cortezraleigh.com $

Dogwood Bar + Eatery
Retro mid-century designs inspire the furniture for this venue, including two bars, both indoor and outdoor, as well as a grand wrap-around heated porch. Focusing on their unique handcrafted cocktails like the Raspberry Rickey and Blind Basil Smash, this menu consists of flavor-packed cocktails that have different ingredient combinations. Try an Old Fashioned with Chai Tea simple syrup, or one of their Moscow Mules and Rosés that are on tap combined with a small shareable food dish for an unforgettable experience. 610 Glenwood Ave; (919) 977-3714; dogwoodraleigh.com $

Dos Taquitos XOCO
Although this eclectic taqueria is rumored to be haunted, that doesn’t deter customers one bit. Many admire the thoughtful décor, including cloth-covered booths, painted glass and artwork from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Favorites include The Original Steak Tacos and Carne Asada in addition to a large drink menu. 410 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 895-9010; dostaquitosnc.com $

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

My Way Tavern Eatery & Spirits
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. The signature dishes will impress, especially the Baja tacos and the baby back ribs. 522 St. Mary’s Street; (919) 900-8273; mywaytavern.com  $

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen
Nestled in a cozy neighborhood shopping center and decorated with tiny white lights, Plates’ head chef Jake Wood serves reimagined Southern favorites using local ingredients. Consider the crispy cast iron fried pork chop or the blue crab and scallop fritters with Siano family straciatella and crystal cane syrup. 301 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 828-0018; plateskitchen.com $

Snoopy’s Hot Dogs
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. Multiple Raleigh locations; snoopys.com $

Southern Charred
For classic southern favorites we all know and love, head to Southern Charred, a rustic bar and restaurant with wood-paneled walls and charming North Carolina decor. Southern Charred features saucy BBQ meat platters on vintage tin trays, complete with comforting side options such as biscuits, okra, hush puppies and famous SC Mac & Cheese made with beer cheese, Brie and roasted red peppers. 510 Glenwood Ave. Suite 101; (919) 758-8851; southerncharred.com $

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
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. Most notable on the menu is the signature house-cut steaks enhanced with your choice of signature butters, which include Cajun, gorgonzola garlic and cabernet goat cheese. 410 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 833-2888; sullivanssteakhouse.com $$

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

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

Tobacco Road Sports Cafe & Brewery
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. The menu features creative dishes crafted in-house by the 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. 505 W Jones Street; (919) 301-8793; tobaccoroadsportscafe.com $

Vidrio, the latest dining concept 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, steak tartare and homemade pasta. Enjoy craft cocktails or wine from the 50-plus vintages on tap. 500 Glenwood Avenue; 919-803-6033; vidrioraleigh.com $$$


Coco Bongo
Hillsborough Street’s cool and causal Mexican restaurant features daily lunch and drink specials in its 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 an outdoor table decorated with bright green umbrellas. 2400 Hillsborough Street; (984) 242-0898; facebook.com/cocobongo2400/ $$

David’s Dumpling & Noodle Bar
David’s Dumpling and Noodle Bar is a unique restaurant owned and operated by Raleigh chef David Mao since 1976. Mao has cultivated a pan-Asian menu with influences from Chinese, Vietnamese and Malaysian cuisines. Lunch and dinner menus include an extensive list of small plates, noodles, quick-stir dishes and chef specialties such as Shrimp & Scallops, Filet Mignon and Pork with Chinese Pickled Turnip and Ginger Noodle Soup. David’s also possesses a pleasantly surprising sake list to pair with your meal, featuring sake cocktails, flights and warm and cold sake by the glass or bottle. 1900 Hillsborough Street; (919) 239-4536; ddandnb.com $$

Gonza Tacos y Tequila
Fresh Columbian-inspired Mexican cuisine with a hippie-chic vibe, complete with neon colors fashioned into modern Day of the Dead decor.  Favorites include a modern spin on traditional enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas and fajitas. 2100 Hillsborough Street; (919) 268-8965; gonzatacosytequila.com $

Pho Vietnam
Pho, a popular street food in Vietnam, is revamped and modernized at Pho Vietnam through the 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. 2811 Hillsborough St.; (919) 615-0741; phovietnamone.com $

The Player’s Retreat
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 friendly staff and surrounding community. 105 Oberlin Rd.; (919) 755-9589; playersretreat.net $

State of 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 jalapeño mustard slaw, fresh jalapeños and pepper jack cheese served with a side of chickpea salad. 401a Hillsborough Street; (919) 546-9116; stateof.beer $

Taverna Agora
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  an open-air  rooftop patio, perfect for sipping on specialty house cocktails and authentic Greek wines. 326 Hillsborough Street; (919) 881-8333; tavernaagora.com $$ 


Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
An ode to fried chicken and classic Southern sides, chef Ashley Christensen, who also owns Poole’s, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, Bridge Club and Death and Taxes has created a great casual dining spot serving classic comfort food—from Chicken and Waffles to Mac and Cheese to Cinnamon Biscuit Bread Pudding. 237 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 322-0127; ac-restaurants.com $$

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

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

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

Caffe Luna
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 alla Griglia. 136 E. Hargett Street; (919) 832-6090; cafeluna.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. 237 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 322-0126; ac-restaurants.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 the kids menu while adults may want to try the Risotto Balls or the Tagliatelle Bolognese. 135 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 896-8513; gravyraleigh.com $$ 

London Bridge Pub
For “bloody good” British food in Downtown Raleigh, visit The London Bridge Pub, an enjoyable spot to get together with friends and eat, drink and watch a soccer game. The bar-restaurant offers classics from across the pond, including Rocket Salad, Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, build-your-own British Butty sandwiches and a Full English Breakfast with bangers, black pudding, eggs, beans, roasted tomatoes, toast, and bubble and squeak – a patty of fried cabbage, potatoes and meat. 110 E. Hargett Street; 919-838-6633; thelondonbridgepub.com $$

Manhattan Café
This spot lives up to its slogan, “Southern Hospitality with a Big City Variety,” with an extensive menu of sandwiches, paninis, subs, burgers, wraps and pitas. More options include a salad and pasta bar. Plus, breakfast wraps, omelets and pancakes are tasty breakfast options. 320 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 833-6105; manhattancafenc.com $

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

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

The Pizza Times
Joining downtown Raleigh classics The Raleigh Times and The Morning Times is The Pizza Times just around the corner. The second addition to The Times family is takeout only and offers pizza by the pie or by the slice if you’re on the go. There are 15 toppings available along with side salads. 210 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 832-4411; raleightimespizza.com $

The Remedy Diner
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. 927 W. Morgan Street; (919) 835-3553; theremedydiner.com $$

A French-American 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 its bistro menu, offering champagne by the glass and some of the world’s most celebrated vintages by the bottle, all priced well. 200 East Martin Street; (919) 977-3043; royaleraleigh.com $$

Square Burger
When hunger strikes at Moore Square, Square Burger has you covered. The casual eatery—brought to you by Empire Eats—serves a variety of burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, shakes and more. Sit at one of Square Burger’s movable tables or opt for a picnic on the lawn accompanied by a glass of beer or wine that you can enjoy anywhere in the park. 225 E. Martin Street; (919) 896-6600; squareburger-raleigh.com $

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar
This spot embraces the spirit of its namesake New Orleans’ neighborhood where Chef Sunny Gerhart’s family is from. The menu’s 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 and Duck & Garlic Sausage Gumbo, to name a few. 223 S Wilmington Street; (919) 322-0359; strochraleigh.com $$

Tonbo Ramen
Located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, Tonbo Ramen is a modern dining scene including a Ramen bar, intimate dining tables and an upstairs Izakaya bar. This restaurant has many authentic Japanese dishes to offer with craft cocktails and small plates. The ramen is prepared with a 20-hour broth base, hand-crafted noodles and add-ons including soy-marinated egg or roasted Kurobuta pork. Open for lunch and dinner, this warm environment has been developed by a team of local restaurateurs for the Triangle to enjoy. 211 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 977-3625; tonboramen.com $$

Trophy Tap and Table
Trophy Tap and Table’s diverse menu focuses on elevated Southern-inspired dishes ranging from small shareables to salads to large plates. Favorites include the mac and cheese, nachos, house burger and bone-in pork chop served with beer braised black eyed peas, broccoli rabe, bacon and apple cider glaze. Enjoy your meal with a Trophy brew or signature craft cocktail on their rooftop patio overlooking downtown. 225 S. Wilmington Street; (919) 424-7817; trophybrewing.com/tap-table $

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


Oakwood Café
Sample Argentinian and Cuban food, including hand-cut steaks, homemade empanadas with chimichurri sauce, fried plantains, desserts, wines and specialty Cuban coffees in the heart of one of Raleigh’s oldest and most-established neighborhoods. 300 E. Edenton Street; (919) 828-5994; oakwoodcaferaleigh.com $

The Station at Person Street
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 in colder weather. Hearty fare includes Smoked Salmon 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. 701 N. Person Street; (919) 977-1567; stationraleigh.com $

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


18 Seaboard
Chef and Proprietor Jason Smith combines Southern hospitality with seasonal ingredients served in an airy space, including Cornmeal-Crusted Carolina Classics Catfish 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. 18 Seaboard Avenue; (919) 861-4318; 18restaurantgroup.com $$

Crawford & Son
Chef Scott Crawford’s neighborhood eatery caters to those seeking seasonal, delicious dishes in an intimate setting. Drawing on his family’s working class roots, Crawford elevates home-cooked classics like pot pie or meatloaf, incorporating his own signature style and using different proteins. 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. 618 N. Person Street; 919-307-4647; crawfordandsonrestaurant.com $$$

The Daily Planet Café
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 eight beers on tap and delicious wines. 121 W. Jones Street; (919) 707-8060; thedailyplanetcafe.com $

J. Betski’s
Owner John F. Korzekwinski honors his German and Polish heritage with traditional dishes including mushroom and cabbage pierogies, pork schnitzel, spaetzle and smoked beef and pork kielbasa with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. The relaxed atmosphere is great for a sit-down meal with the family or grabbing a few small plates and drinks at the bar, where German beers reign supreme. 10 W Franklin Street, Suite 120; (919) 833-7999; jbetskis.com $$

Chef Scott Crawford pairs modern European elegance and classic French dishes at his new bistro, located directly beside his original establishment Crawford & Son. The restaurant, named after Crawford’s daughter, features an intimate atmosphere composed of white linen tabletops, a marble bar and blue and gold accents. Opt for a table on the rooftop patio to enjoy gougères, steak tartare, escargot and other fine fare in full French fashion. 620 N. Person Street; (919) 803-7221; restaurantjolie.com $$

Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar
Mulino is located 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. It also offers different pizzas daily from the outdoor wood-fired pizza oven. 309 North Dawson St; (919) 838-8595; mulinoraleigh.com $$

Oakwood Pizza Box
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. Guerra and his wife want to bring back the nostalgia of the pizza they grew up eating and the atmosphere  that comes along with it. 610 N. Person Street; (919) 594-1605; oakwoodpizzabox.com $

Papa Shogun
This eclectic new eatery in Seaboard Station combines the flavors and techniques of both Italian and Japanese cuisines using local ingredients. Because of seasonal availability, the menu often changes, but features dishes like fresh pulled mozzarella served with kombu garlic bread, Carbonara Ramen and Kombu Gnocchi with mushroom dashi, charred oyster mushrooms and ricotta salata. 111 Seaboard Avenue #118; (919) 977-1247; papashogun.com $$

Seaboard Café
Spacious with wall-to-wall windows, natural light and pops of color from hanging plants and vegetation, this lunch-only eatery offers new specials Monday to Saturday, including homemade muffins, soups, fresh salads, sandwiches on artisan breads and sides of pickled carrots, potato salad and several pasta salads. 707 Semart Drive; (919) 821-7553; seaboardcafe.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 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 and a full bar. 330 Hillsborough Street; (919) 829-3663; second-empire.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. 938 N. Blount Street; (919) 977-4321; stanburyraleigh.com $$ 


A Place at the Table
A Place at the Table is Raleigh’s first pay-what-you can cafe, giving you the option 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-oriented  restaurant offers breakfast plates featuring quiche, waffles, salads, sandwiches and paninis for lunch. Additionally, many menu items can be made gluten-free, vegetarian and/or vegan. 300 W. Hargett Street; (919) 307-8914; tableraleigh.org $

Barcelona Wine Bar
The Warehouse District’s newest swanky establishment evokes serious Spanish vibes, with a divine tapas menu built from both seasonal ingredients from local markets and specialties from Spain and the Mediterranean. The rustic restaurant boasts ambient lighting and intimate seating in a gorgeous space at The Dillon, where small plates like boquerones, crispy calamari, spiced beef empanadas and their beloved charcuteries boards can be enjoyed alongside a selection of over 40 excellent wines and specialty hand-crafted cocktails.430 W Martin Street; (919) 808-5400; barcelonawinebar.com $$

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

Heirloom Brewshop
This beautifully decorated coffee, tea and sake bar is a serene escape for inventive drinks and bites in the Warehouse District. Their morning menu consists of traditional coffee drinks, as well as unique items like vacuum pot coffee. In the evening, enjoy sake cocktails alongside a small plates menu inspired by the Loatian and Taiwanese founders. 219 S. West Street; heirloombrewshop.com $

Humble Pie
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 Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower Mac-n-Cheese, Tuna Tartare and Buttermilk Fried Chicken. 317 S. Harrington Street; (919) 829-9222; humblepierestaurant.com $

Jose & Sons Bar & Kitchen
The restaurant is named after the owner’s father who, over 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. 327 W. Davie St. #102; (919) 755-0556; joseandsons.com $$

Irregardless Café
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 vegan Zoodle Bolognese. A favorite dining spot for university professors and locals, the café also offers live music and cooking classes. 901 W. Morgan Street; (919) 833-8898; irregardless.com $$

Morgan Street Food Hall
An oasis for some of Raleigh’s best food and drink options, Morgan Street Food Hall offers almost anything you might have a craving for. Tenants include Bella’s Wood Fired Pizza, Cousins Maine Lobster, Iyla’s Southern Kitchen, Curry in a Hurry, MKG Kitchen and more. A small coffee stand and joint indoor and outdoor bar are also included in the vast space. 411 W. Morgan Street; (919) 307-4481; morganfoodhall.com $

O-Ku Sushi
O-Ku combines an appreciation for authentic Asian cuisine with southern influences, integrating both local and unique ingredients into their dishes. The menu ranges from petite plates to sushi specialties to contemporary robata-style dishes, including Short Rib Bulgogi, Uni Udon and Chicken Teriyaki with seasonal vegetables. Enjoy half-off sushi for Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, rolled with fresh fish from world markets in Norway, Hawaii, New Zealand and more. 411 W. Hargett Street; (919) 792-3777; okuraleigh.com $$

Oak Steakhouse
Oak Steakhouse is a modern take on the American steakhouse offering an innovative approach to steakhouse dining, serving farm-fresh dishes alongside steakhouse classics. Oak’s menu highlights the restaurant’s relationship with local farmers and purveyors and features a variety of Certified Angus Beef selections. An expansive wine list features California Cabernet and Old World reds including Italian and Spanish wines and artisan domestic wines; Oak also showcases local brews alongside domestic and international beers plus classic, creative seasonal cocktails. 417 W Hargett Street; (984) 255-1818; oaksteakhouserestaurant.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. 301 W. Martin Street; (984) 232-8969; parksideraleigh.com $

The Pit
Continuing North Carolina’s barbecue 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. 328 W. Davie Street; (919) 890-4500; thepit-raleigh.com $$

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

Tuscan Blu
Order from classics like Veal Marsala or Grilled Blank Angus Beef (also known as the Pizzaiola); also look for daily lunch specials for $11 as well as a variety of dinner specials. Parking is complimentary for guests dining at Tuscan Blu. 327 W. Davie Street; (919) 834-5707; tuscanblu.com $$

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. The “seat yourself” policy creates a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, so if you see an empty table, grab it. The menu includes good southern dishes with a slight twist but no matter what, don’t miss the Cracklin’ Biscuits and the NC Boil. 201 W. Martin Street; (919) 803-3181; whiskey.kitchen $

Wye Hill Kitchen + Brewing
Owners Sarah Abernethy and Chris Borreson completely revamped the old Boylan Bridge Brewpub into a sophisticated restaurant and brewery complete with exceptional chef-driven lunch, dinner and brunch menus, rotating beers brewed onsite and unique cocktails — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Popular dishes include steamed mussels, Bo Ssam rice bowl and the Wye Hill Burger, loaded with pub cheese, fried pickled okra and bacon. 201 S Boylan Avenue; (984) 200-1189; wyehill.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. 3905 Western Boulevard; (919) 851-0473; amedeosrestaurant.com $

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

Cloos’ Coney Island
Cloos’ is a hot dog institution here in Raleigh. The old school, diner-esque joint is famous for loaded dogs which come in various styles, including the signature Coney dog with chili, mustard and onions, and the Chicago dog with tomatoes, pickles, mustard, relish and peppers. Salads, sandwiches, gyros and burgers are also available. 2233-102 Avent Ferry Road; (919) 834-3354; facebook.com/cloosconeyisland $

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

J. Alexander’s
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 Hawaii for entrees and sushi. 4600 Crabtree Valley Avenue; (984) 200-4493; jalexanders.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 hotcakes before an early morning golf lesson or dine on soup of the day or fried chicken. Check the schedule for family night buffets. 4200 Hillsborough Street; (919) 828-0308; ncsuclub.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. 3817 Beryl Road; (919) 828-1628; neomonde.com $

The Oak, kitchen & bourbon bar
Seasonal dishes, all made from scratch. Part of the JMR Kitchens Restaurant Group with a friendly staff and simple fare, including loaded tater tots, BBQ-spiced fried Brussels sprouts and local deviled eggs. 4035 Lake Boone Trail; (919) 787-9100; jmrkitchens.com Prices not given

Seasons 52
While Seasons 52 is located at Crabtree Valley Mall, once inside you’ll feel far removed from mall life. This warm and cozy spot offers healthier, lower-calorie versions of some rich and delicious dishes. 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 Filet Mignon. 4325 Glenwood Avenue; (919) 787-3052; seasons52.com $$$

Sushi Nine
Sushi Nine has officially reopened after burning down in 2015, 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 fries and hibachi. 3812 Western Boulevard; (919) 615-3100; sushinine.com $

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

Waraji Japanese Restaurant
Waraji is home to an extensive selection of sushi and sashimi, as well as the largest Sake selection in North Carolina. Chef Masatoshi Tsujimura curates a selection of fresh specialty 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. 5910 Duraleigh Road; (919) 783-1883; warajijapaneserestaurant.com $$


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

Farmer’s Market Restaurant
This eatery offers Southern country breakfasts and lunches in a bright space with indoor and outdoor seating right next to the State Farmer’s Market. From homemade biscuits, farm-stand vegetables and local country ham, this spot is a local favorite. Grab a bite and then browse the market for flowers, fruit, spices, veggies and more. 1240 Farmers Market Drive;(919) 755-1550; realbiscuits.com $