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Diners' Choice: Innovative restaurants in Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are fit for foodies in Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favourite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of M Tempura restaurant
4.9
4.9 (540)
$50 and over
Japanese
Durham
About the restaurant
M Tempura is Durham's traditional Japanese tempura restaurant offering Tempura as well as Kaiseki Omakase offerings.

For the multi-course menu items, all members of your party must choose the same option please.

We currently cannot accommodate shellfish, vegetarian (egg in batter), gluten, and seafood allergies. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Top review
JamesH
Dined 4 days ago
the meal was exquisite and the service was amazing. We at no point felt rushed, the pace of the courses was perfect.
A photo of Elements restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2361)
$31 to $50
Fusion / Eclectic
Chapel Hill
About the restaurant
Elements is OPEN for DINE IN & TAKEOUT!

From the moment you walk in to the last delicious morsel you will taste, we promise to deliver a unique and exquisite dining experience. Our cuisine combines classical as well as modern Asian and European cooking techniques to enhance the flavors of local and sustainable ingredients. Our menu changes often to capitalize on the freshest and most seasonal fare. We believe George Barnard Shaw said it best when he said. There is no love sincerer than the love of food." We couldn't agree more. From fork to mouth, we wish you good eats.

Elements Team
Top review
Gigi
Dined 1 day ago
Four of us had a special Father's Day celebration with a delicious 3-course meal. Every dish was superb. I especially enjoyed the strawberry/beet salad and walnut prawns. Additionally, Stephen provided excellent service. He was attentive and responsive coupled with a delightful sense of humor. We appreciated the comraderie with him. Overall, the evening even exceeded our high expectations.
A photo of Bida Manda Restaurant and Bar restaurant
4.8
4.8 (3719)
$30 and under
Laotian
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Bida Manda is a thoughtful gathering place celebrating the diverse food traditions and culture of Laos. The Sanskrit ceremonial term for father and mother, Bida Manda was created out of the deep love and appreciation of food and its power to bring people together.

Please be advised that we only seat complete parties. Reservations are highly recommended, however our bar seats are available at a first come first serve basis. Due to high volume, we have a 15 minute grace period, if you are running later than 15 minutes from your reservation time kindly give us a call and we will try our best to accomodate you.

Thank you so much for your continued support and we can’t wait to host you soon!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Excellent food and service.We have been there multiple times and never been disappointed!
A photo of M Pocha restaurant
4.8
4.8 (393)
$30 and under
Asian
Durham
About the restaurant
Pocha is short for Pojanmacha in Korea. The exact definition of Pojanmacha is "Tented Cart on Wheels" that serves street food with drinks. Over the years, pojanmacha has developed more into a brick and mortar style and has similar feel that of Japanese style Izakaya. It is an intimate but causal spot to share good food and drinks with friends. We focus on Asian fusion with a concentration on Korean food.
Top review
SethL
Dined on May 23, 2024
There were new faces on the floor, but the service was flawless. The food was excellent and everything that I have come to expect. I'm looking forward to future visits.
A photo of Northside Bistro & Cocktails restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1060)
$31 to $50
Bistro
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Welcome to Northside
An upscale neighborhood bistro, with a refined New American style. Whether you're a first-timer or one of our regulars, you'll love the unmatched ambiance and our innovative cocktails that fuels a bustling dining and bar scene.
Top review
JenniferK
Dined 1 day ago
This was our first time at Northside Bistro and we HIGHLY recommend it! The atmosphere, food and service was all amazing. The prices were what you would expect these days for a really nice dinner. And well worth it! We will be back again and again.
A photo of Little Bull restaurant
4.8
4.8 (391)
$50 and over
Fusion / Eclectic
Durham
About the restaurant
Little Bull is sincere, nostalgic comfort food, inspired by the palates of first-generation immigrant kids.

Pocho cuisine is not a gimmick. Like Oscar, it’s a little bull-headed, but with no bullshit. It means more than loaded terms like “New American” or “modern Mexican.” And it’s authentic to Chef’s personal experience.

“American food is undefined. But it’s been designated to certain ideas and people. It’s actually evolving, as much as our landscape is a melting pot. As much as my own identity as a first-generation American and chef.”

Pocho started as a term used by people in Mexico to poke fun at the “American” kids who speak Spanglish. At Little Bull, pocho cuisine showcases the evolution of being a chef in America, inspired by every immigrant and their growing influence on our food.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 10, 2024
Excellent atmosphere, cocktails and food. We sat at the bar and the bartender was wonderful and the vibe was perfect. Loved every minute, bite and sip! It's a definite must!!!
A photo of Jujube restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1406)
$31 to $50
Asian
Chapel Hill
About the restaurant
Jujube offers a unique culinary experience to the Triangle that brings Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Indian and Indonesian cuisine infused with the finest Western influenced flavors. We feature an extensive collection of craft beer, a wide variety of wines that elegantly complement our menu, as well as a refreshing assortment of signature cocktails. Escape the ordinary. Come enjoy our social and harmonious environment where Asian themed decor and soft lantern lighting awaits you. In the warmer months, enjoy dining al fresco on our screened patio. At Jujube we aim to bring you an eclectic myriad of tastes in an ambiance that brings together both the beauty of Asian tradition paired with a whimsical modern twist. Curbside Pickup and Dine in daily. Reservations or call ahead strongly encouraged.
Top review
JuliaHvip
Dined on Jun 10, 2024
Always appreciate the warm welcome and hospitality. We stuck with our old favorites this time as we have been missing the Asian flavors of Jujube in our new home town. Susie has curated not only a unique and delightfully delicious menu but also a culture of genuine community that shows in the atmosphere and service. Caring and smiling staff seem to enjoy the experience as much as the patrons. Refreshing to see!
A photo of M Test Kitchen restaurant
4.7
4.7 (220)
$50 and over
Asian
Cary
About the restaurant
M Test Kitchen is the newest concept from Michael Lee and his "M" brand. Come in and enjoy classic Asian cuisine with a contemporary twist. We take the best dishes such as fried rice and dumplings and elevate them to a new flavor profile that is above the norm. Enjoy these dishes in an industrial style feel that is inviting for you to relax with friends, enjoy great cocktails, and share amazing food that you won't get anywhere else.
Top review
MaryL
Dined 1 day ago
As always, amazing menu, presentation, and service.
A photo of Tamasha Modern Indian restaurant
4.7
4.7 (171)
$50 and over
Indian
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Experience the epitome of sophisticated Indian cuisine at Tamasha Modern Indian, nestled in Raleigh's dynamic North Hills. This culinary gem, owned by the discerning Mike Kathrani and the visionary Tina Vora, offers an extraordinary dining experience in an ambiance crafted with elegance by Tina herself. Tamasha's opulent design has earned it a place among the “50 Most Beautiful Restaurants in America” by OpenTable and People Magazine, a prestigious accolade that marks it as North Carolina's sole honoree. Executive Chef Bhavin Chhatwani’s pedigree from India’s most prestigious properties to Michelin-starred restaurants stateside – is unmistakable. Tamasha showcases the depth and artistry of Indian cuisine – from show-stopping cocktails and a well-curated wine list, to Chhatwani’s refined menu of artful shared and composed dishes. Guests will discover exceptional hospitality on this inspired Indian culinary journey whether dining in the main dining room, private room or at the chic bar.
Top review
Sarah
Dined today
Beautiful restaurant with delicious food and wonderful service.
A photo of Element Gastropub restaurant
4.4
4.4 (382)
$30 and under
Unspecified
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Element: the simplest principal of a subject. Here at Element, we believe that sharing quality food and drink is the simplest and best way to create memories and cultivate friendships. Nestled in the great City of Oaks, Element is here to showcase that a plant-based meal can be delicious to both omnivores and vegan foodies alike.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 3, 2024
Excellent vegan food experience in downtown Raleigh. The shrimp starter was a highlight! The cannabis cocktail was also quite pleasant. Highly recommend.
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