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Best Restaurants in Raleigh

Raleigh, the “City of Oakes” located in North Carolina’s vibrant Triangle, is one of the more diverse and urban corners of the region, and this diversity is reflected in the wide range of available restaurants. Some of the region’s newest and best restaurants can be found spread across town, from Glenwood to Northridge. With trendy bistros, elegant steakhouses, and lively jazz bars, Raleigh’s foodie scene has it all.

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The OpenTable Team
16 Restaurants
Updated January 19, 2022
Restaurants:Element Gastropub, PLUS Dueling Piano Bar, Brewery Bhavana
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Unspecified, American, Brewery
Neighborhoods:Raleigh
A photo of Element Gastropub restaurant

Element Gastropub

$$$$
Unspecified
Raleigh
4.2
326 reviews
Raleigh Magazine heralded the much-anticipated opening in early 2021 of this Downtown vegan eatery by co-owners Carey Kidd and chef Lelia Kidd. Immediately nominated the best vegan restaurant in Raleigh by readers of the News & Observer, Element offers abundant space in its outdoor patio as well as accommodating tables and bar seating inside. The minimalist, urban style creates a hip atmosphere where dishes like the loaded totchos (featuring cashew queso and homemade ranch), grilled buffalo soldier salad (with house bleu “cheez”), and bahn chi (kimchi and crispy tofu) are served daily. Insider tip: try the Lyrix Komnucha for a “virgin” beverage.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of PLUS Dueling Piano Bar restaurant

PLUS Dueling Piano Bar

$$$$
American
Raleigh
4.8
287 reviews
Opening in 2018, this urban hotspot in Glenwood is hailed as the largest dueling piano bar in the country by owner Tony Basford, featuring dazzling lights, rotating stages, and what Downtown Raleigh calls “incredible” entertainers. Attendees enjoy live shows in the nightclub atmosphere while munching on favorites like loaded steak fries, chicken tenders, or even a double-layered peperoni pizza at one of the many tables in the main seating area. Pro tip: expect a cover charge on the weekends at this 21+ establishment.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of Brewery Bhavana restaurant

Brewery Bhavana

$$$$
Brewery
Raleigh
4.9
3133 reviews
Listed among the best restaurants in Raleigh, TimeOut calls this location a “modern-day urban bazaar” with a bookstore, flower shop, restaurant, and brewery under one roof in East Central since 2017. The seating area is bathed in natural light with potted trees, round tables, and a marble bar top, earning a place among Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the most beautiful breweries in the world. Co-owners Vanvisa Nolintha and Patrick Woodson present one of the “10 coolest places to eat in the world” (Forbes) with a menu featuring beef with longhorn peppers, steamed whole fish, and roasted banana cake for dessert. Insider tip: try the celebrated dim sum.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
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A photo of cafe tiramisu restaurant

cafe tiramisu

$$$$
Italian
Raleigh
4.9
1140 reviews
Located in Northridge since 1995, this northern Italian restaurant is owned and operated by the family of chef Paolo DeMartino. The dining room exudes an atmosphere of elegance and old-world charm with glittering chandeliers, reflective walls, and tables set with wine glasses and white linens. Featured in an episode of HGTV’s “Love It or Lose It”, the café has become something of a local legend with its menu offering classics like stuffed clams (with seasoned breadcrumbs), Tuscan chicken (with garlic white wine sauce), and parmigiana (veal, eggplant, or chicken). Pro tip: pair your meal with a glass of the house red or white wine from the bar.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cortez Seafood + Cocktail restaurant

Cortez Seafood + Cocktail

$$$$
Seafood
Raleigh
4.8
456 reviews
The Cortez was established in Glenwood in 2017 by co-owners Charlie Ibarra and executive chef Oscar Diaz, offering traditional Mexican fare with a Southern United States flavor featuring local seafood and produce from nearby farmers markets. Featured in Time and named one of the Triangle’s 2018 Restaurants of the Year by the News & Observer, diners may sit in the shaded patio or at a table or padded booth inside. Stools are also available at the bar with its silhouette backdrop. Menu favorites include grilled whole NC fish, hanger steak, or coctel mixto (poached octopus). Insider tip: free parking is available behind the restaurant.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Bida Manda Restaurant and Bar restaurant

Bida Manda Restaurant and Bar

$$$$
Asian
Raleigh
4.7
3305 reviews
Named for the Sanskrit words for father and mother, this location is listed among The Culture Trip’s 10 best restaurants in Raleigh and features relics and artwork from Laos as well as local artists, reclaimed wood furniture, and an overall peaceful atmosphere in the warmly lit dining room and at each elegant table. Owner Vanvisa Nolintha presents a menu drawn directly from her native Laos with crispy pork belly soup, sea bass mok (with house made curry), and pho lao (five-spice beef and rice noodle soup). Insider tip: the ingredients for the cocktails at the bar are made in-house from scratch.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Saint Jacques French Cuisine restaurant

Saint Jacques French Cuisine

$$$$
French
Raleigh
4.6
2613 reviews
Offering locally sourced ingredients in fine French cuisine, this restaurant in Northridge opened in 2004 under co-owners Lori and Lil Lacassagne. Featuring a classy dining area with large windows and white tablecloths, Livability named this location among the four best restaurants in Raleigh in 2015. This “hidden gem” (Tripsavvy) offers classic dishes from chef Serge Falcon-Vigne including duck magret (with orange glaze), bœuf bourguignon (with certified Angus short rib), and crème brûlée for dessert. Pro tip: ask about the three-course prix fixe menu for a truly French dining experience.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of MOFU Shoppe restaurant

MOFU Shoppe

$$$$
Asian
Raleigh
4.7
447 reviews
Opened in the City Market in 2017 by co-owners Sofia Woo and Sunny Lin (winners of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race”), this location offers an industrial, yet casual atmosphere in a space featuring rough-hewn wood tables, large street-facing windows, and a welcoming bar. The menu includes kimchi tots (with sweet soy sauce), the MOFU wings (sweet chili sauce or nuocmam lime glaze), and the Tom Yum “mac & cheese“ (with shiitake and cremini mushrooms). Insider tip: try the pork and chive dumplings, named among the best in Raleigh by Indy Week.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Northside Bistro & Cocktails restaurant

Northside Bistro & Cocktails

$$$$
Bistro
Raleigh
4.8
521 reviews
Established in 2021 by co-owners Carol Scarangella and executive chef John Scarangella in Northside, this location calls itself a “neighborhood bistro with a New American style”. Already popular, diners can enjoy a muted yet fashionable interior with lavish seating featuring modern designs and subtle patterns. The menu offers new takes on typical Southern American dishes like the summer tuna stack (with fresh dried watermelon), warm goat cheese salad, and beef Wellington (with roasted rainbow carrots). Pro tip: try the house made It’s About Thyme cocktail chef John dedicated to his wife.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Rey's restaurant

Rey's

$$$$
Steakhouse
Raleigh
4.7
4070 reviews
When owner Rey Arias opened this location in 2004, he named it after himself out of a sense of “pride and confidence” in what it could bring to west Raleigh. The interior reflects a “French Quarter” flair with elegant tables featuring white linens and wine racks lining the walls. Enjoy steakhouse or seafood dishes like prime NY strip, grilled brie (with fresh fruit), or broiled cold-water lobster tails. Insider tip: retreat to the Voodoo Lounge to enjoy a martini in one of the plush seats beside the fireplace.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Vinnie's Steakhouse and Tavern restaurant

Vinnie's Steakhouse and Tavern

$$$$
Steakhouse
Raleigh
4.7
1389 reviews
Offering Southern style seafood and steaks in north Raleigh, Mashed.com called Vinnie’s the best restaurant in North Carolina in 2021. Open since 1987, this location offers a year-round covered patio with HDTVs and an interior that features wood paneled walls and vintage leather seats at tables surrounding a display wine cellar that serves as the centerpiece to an intimate, unpretentious dining room. Chef Tom Armstrong presents a dinner menu that includes fried jumbo shrimp and Vinnie’s unique bone-in filet mignon along with a tavern menu offering pub fare like meatball subs. Pro tip: host your event in one of Vinnie’s three private dining rooms.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Rockford restaurant

The Rockford

$$$$
Regional American (Contemporary Southern)
Raleigh
4.6
254 reviews
First opened in 1994, this southern style restaurant offers patio views overlooking Glenwood and interior seating in a classy yet relaxed atmosphere, whether at one of the round, wooden tables or at the inviting bar. Co-owner and manager Tony Coulter, along with chef Dylan Wicher, offer up a menu of Southern delights like coconut fried chicken, jambon Iberico (with smoked tomato aioli), or local craft beers. Insider tip: try the ABC sandwich (with apple, bacon, and cheddar), listed as one of the best sandwiches in North Carolina by OnlyInYourState.com

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Tonbo Ramen restaurant

Tonbo Ramen

$$$$
Ramen
Raleigh
4.3
246 reviews
Owner/operator Tom Mukoyama opened this restaurant in 2018, bringing traditional Japanese ramen dishes to Downtown. Here diners can sit at one of the many small tables and watch their meal made from scratch in the open kitchen while enjoying the urban atmosphere and casual vibes. The menu includes the signature Tonkotsu (with house-made pork and shrimp dumplings) and miso (spicy ground pork and sautéed kale), along with a large assortment of Japanese whiskies, sake, and local beers. Pro tip: head upstairs to the Izakaya bar for “adult slushies”.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Plates Kitchen restaurant

Plates Kitchen

$$$$
International
Raleigh
4.8
1614 reviews
Bringing international dishes to Downtown, chef David Mitchell and owner Justin Gallus present this neighborhood eatery celebrated for its Southern flavors and charm. The Culture Trip lists Plates among the best restaurants in Raleigh—no surprise considering menu items like house cured salmon, herb fettuccini, and the lamb patty melt, all presented in a dining area dotted with small tables and shelves on the walls bearing souvenirs from the proprietors’ many travels. Pro tip: the menu provides excellent wine pairing suggestions like New Zealand pinot noir or Spanish Monastrell.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
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A photo of Vidrio restaurant

Vidrio

$$$$
Tapas / Small Plates
Raleigh
4.6
1317 reviews
Boasting two stories offering diners panoramic views of Glenwood as they relax under rope chandeliers in sumptuous European style seats, the bright and colorful atmosphere speaks of the Italian, Greek, and Moroccan cuisine served up by chef Saif Rahman (NCRLA’s 2021 Chef of the Year). Since opening in 2017, praise for this refined yet inviting restaurant has poured in, with Wine Spectator awarding the wine list its 2017 Excellence Award and 2018 Best of Excellence Award. Menu selections include shrimp arancini (with pickled onion), the 32oz Tomahawk steak (with horseradish tallow butter), and seawater potatoes (with garlic aioli). Insider tip: space is available for private events.

Not available on OpenTable
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A photo of soca Raleigh restaurant

soca Raleigh

$$$$
Latin American
Raleigh
4.8
1738 reviews
Local news announced the much-anticipated opening of this “cocina Latina” in 2017 by owner Sean Degnan in the Cameron Village. Featuring high ceilings and large windows that bathe the formal yet casual dining area (including padded booths and finely set tables) in natural light, diners at Soca enjoy an atmosphere of hospitality. Executive chef Eli Rodriguez draws on his Salvadoran heritage to craft menu selections like chicken empanadas (featuring farmer’s cheese and salsa roja), quinoa stuffed avocado, and churrasco (ribeye filet with chimichurri) along with an extensive list of imported wines. Pro tip: Soca offers vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free menus on request.

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