The Best Restaurants in Raleigh: A Guide

The Best Restaurants in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh has changed so much since I was a little girl, and one of my favorite transformations to the city is the restaurant scene. For my local readers, I thought it’d be fun to roundup the best Raleigh restaurants by category.

The Best Restaurants in Raleigh, N.C.

Group Dinners

The best restaurants in Raleigh for groups of 8 or more.

Salt & Lime

Baja Coastal cuisine that’s always a hit with family & friends. Almost 20 types of margaritas to try—get the El Jefe!

The Angus Barn

An iconic Raleigh steakhouse with a barn-like setting. Go around the holidays as the decorations are beautiful! Make reservations—they book out a few weeks.

Taverna Agora

Greek with al fresco rooftop dining. Casual feel and walking distance from downtown.

Dos Taquitos

A girls’ night staple! The ‘Mexican Flag’ is insane: three enchiladas with red, white, and green sauce.


The cutest modern wine and tapas spot in The Dillon downtown. My order: a wine flight, broccolini, and the whole branzino.

Date Night

The best restaurants in Raleigh for date night.


I haven’t eaten a single thing I didn’t like off Tazza’s wood fired oven-centric menu. Top two: sausage & honey pizza and the potato & arugula salad.


Upscale Italian with a modern twist. Across the street from the North Hills theatre, so it’s the perfect place to grab a bite before a movie!

Irregardless Cafe

From the live music to their homegrown vegetables and friendly staff, I love everything about Irregardless. Big menu that includes options for vegans, gluten-free, etc.


Mediterranean in a classy downtown setting. Don’t miss the muhammara or chicken artichoke.

Fresh Levant

This family-friendly Levantine bistro in Layfayette Village focuses on clean food: everything is organic, non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free but in no way sacrifices on flavor.

Glenwood Grill

A Raleigh native favorite. Located in a strip mall, this spot is discrete but the booths, candles, and staff create a cozy environment inside.


Pretty and creative cocktails for two or girls’ night.

Rosewater Kitchen & Bar

If you want to be transported to a vintage European garden party, head to Rosewater. Make reservations as it’s newer (fall 2019).


This speakeasy style cocktail bar is somewhat of a secret. It has no signage and inconspicuous stairs, but the drinks are out of this world. Tell the bartenders your preferences & go with their recommendation.


The best pre-dinner cocktails in Raleigh. Everything on the rotating menu has a Southern slant and they use seasonal ingredients.

Vita Vite Wine Bar

I love to sit on the bed swing (downtown location) or the patio (North Hills location). Pro tip: It’s not on the menu, but they sell Videri chocolate squares. I always get one with my wine.

Healthy Lunch

My everyday staples.


When I’m tight on time, this is my go-to. I create my own salad or pick one of the destination salads that rotate monthly.

The Simple Greek

Choose from a salad, bowl, or pita at this build-your-own-meal spot. I get a salad with chicken and lots of banana peppers for flavor.

Living Kitchen

Creative plant-based dishes that are surprisingly flavor-packed. Try the Fire & Brimstone burger on a collard leaf wrap with the daily greens salad as your side.


What do you think? Does this cover all the best restaurants in Raleigh? If you have a favorite I haven’t listed, I’d love for you to let my readers know by adding it in the comments! xo