Looking for the best restaurants and food in Raleigh? We’ve got you covered for the twenty, best restaurants in the rapidly growing City of Oaks! These options are primarily focused Inside the Beltline and near downtown Raleigh. My 20 best Raleigh restaurants run the gamut from simple to fancy and across all price ranges! Because I don’t believe you should have to spend a lot of money to get great food.
Click on the restaurant’s name for a review or their website. Click on the address for a Google map. (Updated on 1/9/2023)
Find more food and restaurant information on Raleigh, NC below!
The 20 Best Restaurants in Raleigh
1. Barcelona Wine Bar
A fun and lively spot for delicious, Spanish small plates and a lush, green covered patio! Don’t miss their croquetas, Spanish tortilla, torrija, or steak offerings. Enjoy the bar scene, side dining room, or patio with a glass of cava the dining space at Barcelona offers a lot of options depending on the size of your party.
2. Beasley’s Chicken and Honey
A great hip and casual eatery for classic Southern with a twist from Ashley Christensen. Enjoy crisp and tender Southern fried chicken, mac n cheese, french fries, collards, and cocktails. A great spot for dinner or brunch in downtown Raleigh in a light and open space, you may sometimes hit a line out front during the weekend so be patient.
3. Brewery Bhavana
Brought to you by the folks from Bida Manda, this modern take on fresh beer and fancy Chinese dim sum (small plates) offers a great experience along with excellent, fresh beer. A bit pricey for what you get but a unique space with a flower shop and library, conveniently located on Moore Square.
4. The Cortez
Enjoy fresh and creatively prepared seafood in a hip dining room with a clean Mediterranean feel. A high-end option for seafood conveniently located in Glenwood South. Order a half-dozen oysters on the half-shell on their secluded patio, great for a date or smaller party. And don’t miss Cuya, a beautiful bar and lounge above Cortez
5. CowBar Burger & Fries
A fun and colorful burger joint with a nice covered patio offering gourmet flavors and ingredients between two buns! Don’t miss their truffle burger or fries Italiano paired with a craft beer. Grab a bunch of napkins for your meal, no diets are allowed at Cowbar!
6. Crawford and Son
A modern take on Southern gourmet fare serving up crudo, rabbit pot pie, and more from Chef Scott Crawford. A small, stylish dining room with a lovely bar and great service. Good for smaller groups and couples, reservations are highly recommended.
7. Cucciolo Terrazza
An upscale spot for elevated Italian in the newer section of North Hills. The large, open, and modern dining room is a beautiful space to dine in. Nom on their seafood agnolotti, butter chicken, and much more in luxe surroundings with super chic decor.
8. Hayes Barton Cafe
The epitome of comfort food and amazing cake, get the stretchy pants ready. The chicken pot pie, crab dip, and meatloaf are legendary, size-wise. And then comes the cake which can feed three people per slice! Diets are NOT allowed at the classic Hayes Barton Cafe, this restaurant has been a Raleigh favorite for 15 years.
9. Humble Pie
Small, Southern plates in a super-hip, urban environment. Great covered patio for brunch or dinner and conveniently located in the Warehouse District. A fun and tasty spot for larger groups and parties, conveniently located in Raleigh’s Warehouse District near Boxcar Bar and Arcade.
A modern French bistro offering all the classics along with a great rooftop patio! Offering classic French dishes like cassoulet, coq au vin, and bouillibaise. This small eatery is very popular and will likely require reservations given Chef Scott Crawford’s reputation and track record.
11. Layered Croissanterie
A bright and hip bakery focused on croissants and pastries layered with butter and deliciousness! Great for sweets and savory tastes for breakfast and lunch, don’t miss out on their Popeye croissant with bechamel and spinach. Order online and grab your pastries to go or dine in their light and bright cafe area.
12. Longleaf Swine