Where to grab a beer, cocktail, or glass of wine in Raleigh? Here are 10 of my favorite bars in the Oak City, they are chosen as a great spot for drinks, ambiance, and conversation. Purposely, I’m not including clubs or music venues on this list and in many cases, these bars also may offer a bit of food or plates. But in my opinion, a bar is all about good drink and conversation! If you’re looking for great food in Raleigh, check out my 20 Best Restaurants in Raleigh list. (Updated on 1/13/23)
410 Glenwood Ave #350, Raleigh, NC 27603
A colorful and flamboyant place for frozen drinks and cocktails with an island flavor. Great decor and strong service make sure that you’ll have a fun night here!
419 Glenwood Ave Level 1, Raleigh, NC 27603
This new bar and lounge is a wonderful space full of stuffed couches and patio seating. Enjoy a house cocktail or small plate before you figure out what to do next!
330 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601
A fun spot for pinball, arcade games and excellent beer! Boxcar is usually hopping on the weekends with a young crowd but mellows out during week days.
This new bar and lounge is beautifully designed with a mix of textures and colors in its space. Open from 5pm to 2am, Cuya promises a fun, tropical vibe and energy for all.
1 Glenwood Ave Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27603
A more upscale and classic bar at the end of Glenwood Avenue, Dram and Draught offers up a more subdued setting for adults and a stiff drink.
213 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601
This classic Raleigh bar started it all when it comes to cocktails. With its hidden, subterranean location and dark setting, Foundation is the definition of a speak-easy.
555 Fayetteville St #115, Raleigh, NC 27601
A great little bar near the Progress Energy Center and all the action in downtown Raleigh. Great decor in a large and open space, off the beaten path for a more chill, in the know crowd.
311 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27603
You can’t find a more Irish bar that the Hibernian! Another old-school bar full of polished woods, rich leather, and beer by the pint. Enjoy a drink and snack out on their wrap-around patio or inside the clubby space.
911 N West St Suite 103, Raleigh, NC 27603
A fun, no-frills bar offering up inexpensive drinks, professional bartenders, and local memorabilia! Enjoy this honky tonk bar in a quiet section of downtown Raleigh and don’t miss the disco ball bathroom!
313 W Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
A plush and pleasant wine bar located on the edge of the Warehouse District. Enjoy their fireplaces and a glass of bubby, very friend for women.
200 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601
A monstrous, underground speak-easy with 3 rooms full of leather and subterfuge! Watts & Ward does cocktails right in an environment built for drinking. Don’t miss their outdoor patio if you need some air.
616 N Person St #1214, Raleigh, NC 27604
The coolest bar in the Person Street corridor, enjoy their fruity, lively cocktails built with a lot of spice and care. A bit hipster but care-free, a drink on their sidewalk patio is a nice alternative to sitting inside.