The 10 Best Restaurants in Raleigh

Raleigh, known as the “City of Oaks,” is famous not just for its beautiful trees and vibrant culture but also for its exciting food scene. This city’s restaurants blend tradition with new flavors, offering everything from juicy steaks and fresh oysters to international dishes and classic Southern comfort food.

Whether you’re new to Raleigh or a food lover always on the lookout for great finds, these top 10 must-visit restaurants are set to give you a memorable taste of what this North Carolina city has to offer.

Angus Barn

Angus Barn, located just outside Raleigh, is more than just a restaurant; it’s a landmark of culinary tradition. With its charming, rustic exterior and warm, welcoming interior, it offers a blend of grandeur and intimacy that makes each visit memorable. This esteemed steakhouse is celebrated for its exquisite aged steaks, turning every dinner into a special occasion amidst an ambiance filled with old-world charm.

The Wild Turkey Lounge within Angus Barn offers a unique escape, reminiscent of a cozy hunter’s hideaway, where the warmth of the fireplace and the gentle clinking of glasses add to the atmosphere of comfort and camaraderie. Angus Barn epitomizes Southern hospitality, leaving every diner with a feeling of connection and a desire to come back.

Brewery Bhavana

Brewery Bhavana in Raleigh is a magical blend of craft beer and dim sum, set in a space that feels like a dreamy oasis of flowers and books. It’s a place where each drink and dish takes you on a flavorful journey, celebrating the skill of the brewers and chefs. The excitement of discovery is everywhere, offering a chance to enjoy something truly unique while surrounded by beauty.

This brewery stands out as a symbol of creativity and community in Raleigh, blending the lines between different worlds to create a singular experience of happiness and exploration. The varied menu connects different cultures, showcasing the creativity behind each brew and bite. The welcoming vibe encourages guests to meet, talk, and share, turning each visit into an unforgettable experience that captures the spirit of Raleigh’s lively and diverse culture.

Crawford and Son

Crawford and Son, led by the renowned Chef Scott Crawford, is a standout restaurant in Raleigh that serves as a showcase for Crawford’s culinary genius. Each dish here is carefully crafted, combining flavors in a way that highlights the quality and essence of the ingredients. The restaurant’s cozy and elegant atmosphere sets the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable dining experience.

Crawford and Son invite diners to explore an exceptional menu that celebrates the richness of local produce. From the perfectly executed vegetable dishes to the famed Manchego-herb biscuits, every element on the menu is a testament to Crawford’s skill and creativity. Dining here is a joyful occasion that celebrates the art of food and the joy of coming together over a beautifully prepared dish.

Death & Taxes

Death & Taxes in Raleigh brings the magic of wood-fired cooking to the forefront, offering a unique dining experience under the guidance of renowned chef Ashley Christensen. This restaurant, part of Christensen’s acclaimed culinary collection, expertly combines the simplicity of ingredients with the complex flavors achieved through open-flame cooking. Guests are treated to a journey of taste that celebrates the basic yet profound act of cooking with fire.

The thoughtful wine list complements the smoky, rich flavors of the food, making each meal a discovery of new tastes and experiences. Death & Taxes stands as a beloved gathering place in Raleigh’s food scene, where the act of sharing a meal elevates to a communal celebration. It’s about enjoying the warmth of company and the pleasure of exquisite, well-crafted food.

Garland

At Garland, the essence of Indian and Asian cuisines merges with Raleigh’s innovative food scene under the guidance of Chef Cheetie Kumar. Diners are treated to an array of flavors that challenge the ordinary, making each dish a discovery of spices and traditions presented with a modern flair. The restaurant itself buzzes with the excitement of exploration, encouraging guests to dive deep into a culinary adventure that crosses borders.

Situated in downtown Raleigh, Garland shines as a hub of culinary innovation. Here, Chef Kumar transforms familiar dishes into extraordinary experiences, from the crispy delight of heirloom field pea chaat to the savory depth of lemongrass brisket. Garland invites its guests to journey through a world of flavors, celebrating the diversity and richness of global cuisine right in the heart of the city.

Jose & Sons

Jose & Sons is a unique spot in Raleigh where Mexican vibrancy meets Southern comfort in a fusion that’s as exciting as it is familiar. The Ibarra family brings to life a menu that blends Mexico’s bold tastes with the South’s warm, comforting flavors. Here, dishes like braised collard green tamales and North Carolina sweet potato tacos stand as tributes to a blend of cultures.

In the heart of Raleigh, Jose & Sons offers a welcoming space that captures the city’s spirit of hospitality and culinary creativity. With an atmosphere filled with laughter and lively chatter, the restaurant serves up dishes that weave together stories of tradition and new ideas. Jose & Sons invites everyone to explore Raleigh’s rich culinary scene, making it a must-visit for those looking to taste the city’s diverse flavors.

Poole’s Diner

Poole’s Diner, located in Raleigh’s vibrant heart, is celebrated for its innovative take on Southern cuisine, masterfully led by chef Ashley Christensen. Its stylish, retro-inspired setting perfectly complements a menu that redefines traditional dishes, with highlights like the famously creamy macaroni au gratin. This dish alone showcases Poole’s dedication to transforming classic comfort food into culinary masterpieces.

On Sundays, Poole’s elevates the dining experience with its Royale burger, turning a simple meal into an extravagant treat that pairs well with their selection of craft cocktails and fine wines. Amidst Raleigh’s lively vibe, Poole’s Diner promises a culinary adventure that pays homage to Southern flavors while embracing creativity and sophistication.

The Fiction Kitchen

The Fiction Kitchen in downtown Raleigh offers a menu that’s as creative as it is diverse. From the unique flavors of lion’s mane mushroom dip to the delightful crunch of crispy fried mock chicken and waffles, each dish showcases a deep passion for vegan and vegetarian food. The restaurant’s lively and colorful ambiance perfectly complements the innovative menu, creating a welcoming environment for all guests.

This restaurant is a celebration of plant-based culinary art that reflects the evolving and inclusive dining culture of Raleigh. The Fiction Kitchen invites everyone to discover the rich flavors and textures that this cuisine offers. With dishes that are as visually appealing as they are tasty, it’s a pivotal spot in Raleigh’s food scene, demonstrating that sustainability and great taste can indeed go hand in hand.

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar

St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar in Raleigh offers a journey to New Orleans with its bold Creole flavors and charming ambiance. Chef Sunny Gerhart crafts a menu highlighting simple yet elegant oysters and dishes filled with Cajun and Creole traditions. The cozy atmosphere, reminiscent of a New Orleans bistro, makes dining here an enchanting experience that stands out in Raleigh’s vibrant food scene.

The menu at St. Roch is a homage to New Orleans, featuring delights like ‘gator bolognese and hurricane cocktails that capture the bayou’s spirit. Each dish and drink celebrates the rich heritage and creativity of Southern cooking, inviting guests to enjoy the warmth of Southern hospitality. This restaurant embodies Raleigh’s adventurous approach to dining, leaving diners with lasting memories of New Orleans’ soulful culinary rhythms.

The Roast Grill

Visiting The Roast Grill is like traveling back to simpler times in Raleigh, where enjoying a good hot dog was a cherished moment. This legendary spot draws in those who love hot dogs and history, serving up smoky, perfectly grilled hot dogs that fill the place with inviting aromas. It’s an experience that connects diners to Raleigh’s rich history and traditions, making it feel like an integral part of the city.

The charm of The Roast Grill lies in its focus on keeping things simple yet exceptional. The hot dogs here bring back fond memories and foster a sense of belonging among guests. Amid the fast pace of today’s world, it offers a slice of happiness wrapped in a bun, where every bite is a reminder of Raleigh’s enduring spirit.

These restaurants capture the essence of Raleigh, serving up a variety of dishes that showcase the city’s vibrant food scene. Whether it’s classic favorites or creative new tastes, Raleigh’s dining spots welcome both locals and visitors to discover and enjoy the unique flavors that make it a standout destination for food lovers.