Best Restaurants in Raleigh

Raleigh has a thriving food scene with a plethora of restaurants for dwellers and visitors to try out. The reason for this city’s food realm blooming is its community that cares about great food and drinks. From Japanese and French restaurants to Italian and Southern American spots, Raleigh has got it all.

With so many amazing restaurants to try out in this city, it might get overwhelming to choose the ones you must visit, especially if you’re there on vacation. To your rescue, we have curated a list of the best restaurants in Raleigh that guarantees you mouth-watering scrumptious dishes.

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42ND Street Oyster Bar

Re-established in 1987, after being just a grocery store, the 42nd Street Oyster Bar has become a hot spot in Raleigh. If you are craving the freshest Southern seafood, this restaurant will be right up your alley. Also, it serves the highest quality food starting from oysters and fried fish, to cioppino and steaks. As the name suggests, the highlight of the restaurant is oysters as you can find a variety of selection in their raw bar. The décor of the restaurant sets in a nostalgic mood with its linoleum tile floors, stainless steel entry doors, and mounted trophy fish. So make sure you visit 42nd Street Oyster Bar at least once if you’re in Raleigh.

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

This is a unique restaurant set inside Dodd-Hindsale House which creates a combination of fine dining and Raleigh’s history. Initially, it was Raleigh Mayor, William H. Dodd’s house which was later sold to John Hindsale. Located in downtown Raleigh, this AAA Four-Diamond restaurant serves a great selection of delicious food and world-class wine. Here, you can devour a variety of cuisines which include the tastiest seafood, grilled lamb rack, steak, roasted duck, and more. The Tavern has got dishes to fit everyone’s appetite. Plus, it’s just a short drive from NC State Area which makes it a very convenient location to check out.

Café Luna

Presenting outstanding décor from floor-to-ceiling windows, Café Luna is perfect for both day and night occasions (especially ideal for date nights). The restaurant serves authentic Italian food with a Tuscan touch. It’s one of the top recommendations for restaurants in Raleigh due to its location, service, attention to detail, and of course excellent food. It serves authentic Italian food that is worth a try if you are a lover of Italian cuisine. Plus, the atmosphere in the restaurant is quite family-like thanks to the welcoming owner who makes sure that all your food needs are attended to.

Fiction Kitchen

Source: Food & Wine

If you’re looking for delicious vegan or vegetarian dishes, Fiction Kitchen has got your back. Chef Caroline Morrison is known for crafting unbelievable vegetarian dishes such as barbecue pulled “pork”, crispy friend mock chicken, mushroom risotto, waffles, and more. Located in the Warehouse District of Downtown Raleigh, this hidden gem is a dream for every vegan. The restaurant ensures high-quality ingredients to create all the dishes. Even the locals rate it as one of the top 5 restaurants in the city due to its service, location, and of course appetizing dishes. Since even the mock items give the real ones a run for its money, you should visit Fiction Kitchen even if you’re not a vegetarian.


Located at the corner of Wilmington and Martin Street, Beasley’s is one of the finest yet casual eateries in Raleigh. One of the many restaurants by Ashley Christensen in downtown Raleigh, Beasley’s has a Southern twist to it. The fried chicken and waffles is an absolutely flavorful item that you must try when you’re at Beasley’s. Packed with flavors the fried chicken is cooked in a Southern-style that is undoubtedly one of the best quality fried chickens you can find in Raleigh. Although that’s what people opt for, there’s a variety of toothsome food you should try there as well such as sandwiches, egg casseroles, biscuit and gravy, and more. So if you are in the area you should definitely check out this hip and casual eatery.

Brewery Bhavana

Brewery Bhavana is more of an experience than a restaurant. Ranked as one of the top 10 coolest restaurants in the world by Forbes, this is a restaurant, brewery, library, and flower garden all in one! The reputation of the restaurant of course comes with a price; you’ll have to make reservations way ahead. Also, the menu can be quite overwhelming so you might have to take help from the servers. There’s an array of contemporary Asian dim sums and a huge selection of craft beers to choose from. Other flavorsome dishes include Nasi Goreng Crab fried rice, Lo Mein, General Tso, and Seafood dumplings. It’s a great family-oriented restaurant and you’ll have great options on the menu for even kids to try. Brewery Bhavana ensures a unique touch on a culinary experience that is worth a visit. 

Crawford and Son

A great place for couples and small groups, Crawford and Son is a modern spin on Southern gourmet food. The owner Scott Crawford has been renowned in the local culinary realm since 2009. Even though Crawford and Son is an upscale restaurant, the environment is more on the casual side with approachable plate presentation and interior. It has got a curated menu with just three to five items in each section therefore it will be easy for you to select items from the best of the best. Few of the must-try dishes include the Yellowtale Crudo, Smoke Detector, Ribeye with mushroom, and Sugar Cream Pie with Huckleberry Sherbet. With that being said, you should book a reservation in advance to experience the tempting Crawford and Son.

Also Read: Restaurants with Outdoor Drinking in NYC


Raleigh is a city of foodies. What’s great about it is that it has got restaurants with every possible cuisine you can think of. Therefore, no matter what you’re craving you’ll find quite a few options available at hand. That being said, the restaurants featured in this article are the best of the best! So, we’d suggest you try out a few of them if not all.

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