Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina, is also sometimes called the City of Oaks due to the sheer number of stunning oak trees that line its roads. It’s also famous for the Research Triangle Park, sometimes called the Triangle – a place that recently has been attracting young entrepreneurs due to its proximity to the three major universities in the state. Overall, it’s quite an affordable city to live in which makes it all the easier to spend a little extra money on a few things. Sometimes a pizza or ice cream isn’t enough to celebrate a big event like an anniversary or a promotion, we’ve all been there! If you’re in the mood to feast like royalty and to have attentive staff looking out for your every need, here is a list of the best fine dining restaurants in Raleigh, that you ought to check out.
1. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Built in 1997 with an aura of classical elegance, Second Empire takes you back to the Victorian Era. It’s set in a carefully restored house – the Dodd Hinsdale House. Prior to eating, you can choose to take a tour of the place to see what it was like in the prime of its time. Private dining areas are available, and it is good for events, whether it’s a wedding, a reception, or a birthday celebration. The menu has been carefully planned by Daniel Schurr, which changes every few months to ensure that returning guests are never bored. He has also curated a wine list that has won awards.
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Address: 330 Hillsborough St Raleigh, NC 27603 United States
Website: Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 5pm - 10pm (closed on Mon & Sun)
2. Saint Jacques
Started in 2004, Saint Jacques Restaurant is one of those few that focus on using fresh, locally grown ingredients. Its been listed as one of the top 100 restaurants in the country, and rightly so! It creates personal touches to all its dishes and ensures that there’s a great atmosphere that allows guests to focus on the company as well as the food. There is a full vegetarian and vegan menu, mouth-watering dessert choices and a great wine selection. Private dining for up to 30 guests is possible with a personalized menu. Cooking classes, wine dinners or meals themselves can be redeemed by using gift cards.
Address: 6112 Falls Of Neuse Rd Raleigh, NC 27609
Website: Saint Jacques
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11:30am - 9:30pm; Sat - Sun: 11:30am - 10pm (closed on Sun)
3. Margaux's Restaurant
Established in 1992, this restaurant is a fusion of French, southern and Asian cultures. Margaux’s ensures an energetic ambiance, as their goal is to provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city by good old pleasant southern hospitality. They have an exceptional service staff, who are trained to make sure guests feel at home.
Address: 8111 Creedmoor Rd Ste 111 Brennan Station Raleigh, NC 27613
Website: Margaux’s Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 5:30pm - 9pm; Thu: 11:30am - 1:30pm, 5:30pm - 9pm; Fri: 11:30am - 1:30pm, 5:30pm - 10pm; Sat: 5:30pm - 10pm (closed on Sun)
This restaurant is only one out of the 64 Forbes five-star restaurants around the world. It has an artisan vibe with a private art collection and full-length floor-to-ceiling windows. The private dining room can seat nine to twelve guests and it has a four- and five-course chef tasting menu which has proved to be quite popular. A semi-private dining room can seat six to eight guests. They have vegetarian and gluten-free options available as well as complimentary valet. They are praised for their consistency and impeccable dishes.
Address: The Umstead Hotel 100 Woodland Pond Dr Cary, NC 27513
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 6:30am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 7am - 10pm; Sun: 7am - 1pm
5. Bloomsbury Bistro
Bloomsbury Bistro has been located in the heart of the city for over 22 years. Despite their long-running time, their menu changes every month and a half to ensure that the meals are fresh and vibrant. Reservations, though not necessary, are recommended, and frequent patrons of this restaurant advise to get on the email list, as special offers are frequently shared.
Address: 509 W Whitaker Mill Rd Ste 101 Raleigh, NC 27608
Website: Bloomsbury Bistro
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 5:30pm - 10pm (closed on Sun)
6. The Capital Grille
Eat your dinner under stunning Art deco chandeliers and surrounded by aged African mahogany panels. The chefs at the Capital Grille in Raleigh are skilled in artful preparation. Their most famous dish is the dry-aged steaks, which are dried on-premise for more than 18 days and then hand-carved to perfection. There are multiple outlets around the country, but each of them has its own unique architectural feature. Private dining is available, made almost effortless with the help of their own event coordinator who will assist with curating a personalized menu and advise on wine pairing.
The Capital Grille
Address: 4242 Six Forks Rd Raleigh, NC 27609
Website: The Capital Grille
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11:30am - 10pm; Sat: 5pm - 11pm; Sun: 5pm - 9pm
Birthed by Greece born Lou Moshakos, Vidrio’s motto is that “love is the most important ingredient.” To him, food is a religion. Ingredients are meant to be respected, food on the tongue is meant to be relished, not as a grab and go. Moshakos brings Mediterranean cuisine to Raleigh by choosing the finest olive oils, fruits and vegetables, fish, slow-roasted meat and simple, but effective cooking methods. He encourages the sharing of meals. Vidrio means glass in Spanish, which is the focal point of décor. More than 350 glass bowls decorate the walls.
Address: 500 Glenwood Ave Ste 10 Raleigh, NC 27603
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 4:30pm - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 4:30pm - 12am; Sun: 5pm - 10pm
8. Death and Taxes
This restaurant gets its unique name from the Benjamin franklin quote that used to be on its walls – “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. In fact, if you consider the previous owners of these four walls, you would understand where the name came from – a funeral home and a bank. Ashley Christensen, the founder of multiple popular restaurants around town came up with this concept in 2015. Death and Taxes prepare all of its meals with a custom-built wood-burning grill. Their dry steaks are quite popular and fish in any form is well received. It’s considered by many to be impossible to make a bad choice while selecting a meal here.
Death and Taxes
Address: 105 W Hargett St Raleigh, NC 27601 United States
Website: Death and Taxes
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 5pm - 10pm; Thu - Sat: 5pm - 11pm
9. Rey's Restaurant
Started in 2004, Rey’s restaurant is a restaurant whose theme is New Orleans – inspired by the French quarter. They aim for guests to relax and enjoy the food and to truly immerse themselves in the experience. Their focus is on the quality of food preparation as well as the service. They have a Voodoo lounge, where guests can sit on plush leather seats or at more private booths, enjoy live music and a fireplace. Private dining and catering are also possible.
Address: 1130 Buck Jones Rd Raleigh, NC 27606
Website: Rey’s Restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 5pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 11pm
Vivace is a contemporary Italian restaurant. They have an array of seating options – from the patio (first come first serve basis), indoor and outdoor bar, and an open kitchen. Their bartenders are quite popular as they make the most unique of drinks, many of which are based on the homemade limoncello. Perhaps one of their most popular dishes is the Brussel sprouts appetizer, which has people asking for the recipes. Private parties are possible with prior notice.
Address: 4209 Lassiter Mill Rd Ste 115 Raleigh, NC 27609
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 11am - 9pm
Enjoy fine dining in Raleigh
Whether you’re here for the sites or for the food, you’re sure to have your fill of fun. So, when you’re in Raleigh, be sure to try out one or more of the fine-dining restaurants above. When you check out these restaurants, do let us know what you thought!
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