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10 Best Restaurants In Raleigh NC | Must-Try Raleigh Restaurants

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Visit Raleigh, NC, and eat your way through this diverse city. Whether it’s a special date night or just relaxing, Raleigh has plenty of great restaurants to explore. 

The beautiful city of Raleigh has a lot to offer to food lovers. It is known as one of the best culinary cities in America. There are plenty of restaurants to satisfy every food palate and different moods that you may be in. 

There is no shortage of restaurants to choose from, whether they’re hipster restaurants where you can enjoy art exhibitions or relaxing restaurants where you can enjoy live entertainment and hang out with family and friends.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Raleigh

Prepare your taste buds for some serious tasting!

This list of the best restaurants in Raleigh will help you navigate the city with ease. These choices also include featured dishes that are considered must-try items that locals love.

Visiting other destinations in North Carolina? Check out our other delicious guides:

10 Best Restaurants In Raleigh

Brewery Bhavana

218 S. Blount St., Raleigh, NC 27601 // 919-829-9998

Located in the heart of downtown along Newark Avenue, Brewery Bhavana is a unique experience you’ll want to have. One of the most photogenic restaurants I’ve been to, the decor is themed after a flower house from China, so I’d recommend snapping lots of photos while you’re there. 

Forbes Magazine consistently ranks the restaurant among the top ten coolest restaurants in the world. In addition, it was just awarded a Michelin Star!

It’s a brewery, a flower shop, a flower garden, and a library all in one. Gardens are in full blossom in the spring and summer, while hops are grown in the fall and winter. As a result, there is a constant flux to the menu, based on what’s fresh from the gardens outside, what’s in season locally, and what’s available from local farms.

You’ll enjoy some of the best seafood dumplings you’ll ever have. But, when it comes to dinner, I’m partial to the Lo Mein, General Tso’s, and Nasi Goring Crab Fried Rice.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Dumplings

This vibrant restaurant is not to be missed. Just make sure you get there early enough, so you don’t miss any of the live performances!

Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

4208 Six Forks Road, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27609 // 919-784-0400

The Cowfish restaurant has a unique take on sushi and burgers. Located in North Raleigh, it is a new and exciting restaurant with a menu that simply defies comparison. 

A new type of dining experience is a real thing, pioneered by the culinary wizards at Cowfish, serving up sushi rolls and burgers.

The sushi burger is an absolute must for sushi lovers, which is a half-hamburger, with a choice of sushi roll and three sides.

We recommend The Bento Box, which gives you sample-sized portions of both sushi and burgers to ensure that you taste the best of both worlds!

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: The Bento Box
Photo Credit: Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

The innovative dishes result from a creative collaboration between chefs across various disciplines, including hamburgers, sushi rolls, salads, sandwiches, and desserts.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Burger
Photo Credit: Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

The quality of the food is fantastic, but so are their prices. The service always has an air of friendliness to it, which helps to set this restaurant apart from others.

We invite you to come down and treat your taste buds to a truly exceptional meal!

Caffe Luna

136 East Hargett St. Downtown Raleigh, 27601 // 919 832-6090

Make a point of visiting Caffe Luna if you are searching for an Italian restaurant in Raleigh. I have had some of the most delicious food in Downtown Raleigh at this Italian restaurant owned by a native Italian.

In the dining room, everyone will welcome you with a smile the moment you walk in.

They have a wide selection of authentic Italian dishes. One of my favorites is the Cavatelli Pasta. Cavatelli pasta is made by hand, and they use Southern grown Cavatelli beans for their delicious sauce. 

The menu ranges from pasta to seafood, with appetizers like bruschetta and risotto, and the ingredients are always fresh, resulting in great flavors.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Bruschetta

Caffe Luna has over thirty dishes to choose from, more than just Italian food, including an extensive wine list that will make any wine enthusiast happy!

Grab a seat on their front patio and enjoy a glass of wine while you’re at it!

 Red Pepper Asian

 4121-109 New Bern Ave., Raleigh, NC 27610 // 919-594-1006 / 919-594-1063

If you enjoy Asian cuisine, I recommend Red Pepper Asian. There is a wide selection of Thai dishes, including curries and green curry, at this restaurant, considered one of the best in the area. 

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Some of my favorites are the shrimp curry and Thai noodle soup. Also, try the popular Pad See Ew (whole wheat noodle dish), sesame chicken, fried rice, or beef teriyaki for a truly unique experience. You can order takeout or dine inside.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Thai Noodle Soup

What sets this restaurant apart from the rest is the homemade serving style they employ for all of their dishes. So if you want to be transported straight to Asia without leaving Raleigh, then stop by the Red Pepper Asian restaurant today!

Fiction Kitchen

428 S. Dawson St., Raleigh, NC 27601 // 919 831 4177

The restaurant’s unique name and taste-driven menu make it a top choice for locals and travelers alike, featuring a different take on vegan and vegetarian cuisine.

The ambiance, the design, the menu, and the friendly staff are worth your time. Fiction Kitchen is committed to using local, seasonal ingredients.

Cooking from scratch is the name of this kitchen’s game—no microwaves or freezers here. Each season the restaurant offers a unique menu. 

All dishes are made to order, never containing any additives, preservatives, or fillers. So you’ll always get fresh, homemade food here at Fiction Kitchen.

Fiction Kitchen’s colorful and flavorful menu features popular items like the Mushroom Risotto, seasonal specialties like their Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce, and even American classics like the Red Turtle Sandwich made with fully-loaded baked French Fries.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Mushroom Risotto

Try their Quinoa Bowl or one of their 100% organic juices if you are in the mood for something lighter.

Their commitment to growing food responsibly is part of what makes Fiction Kitchen stand out!

Beasley’s Chicken and Honey

237 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601 // 919 322-0127

Fried chicken can be cooked almost anywhere, but you have to visit Beasley’s Chicken and Honey for the best fried chicken in Raleigh. 

Among the menu items are fried chicken, waffles, biscuits and gravy, egg casseroles, sandwiches, and salads, all prepared with the freshest ingredients.

The restaurant is casual and allows you to enjoy the company of friends and family while putting delicious southern food in your stomach. The restaurant provides a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even brunch on Sundays.

With a combination of southern flavor and some of the highest quality ingredients, Beasley’s Chicken and Honey is a true treat for anyone who stops in to eat.

I highly recommend this restaurant if you like to visit the old town and if fried chicken and waffles are your forte!

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Chicken and Waffles

Sullivan’s Steakhouse

410 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27603 // 919-833-2888

Sullivan’s Steakhouse is the prime location to go for a steak or seafood in Raleigh, North Carolina. Located on the fast-growing Glenwood Ave. in Downtown Raleigh, Sullivan’s Steakhouse offers an extensive menu of favorite items to order, including filet mignon, lobster tail, burgers, soups, and salads. The side dishes are hefty portions of baked potato, macaroni and cheese, king crab, gnocchi, and more!

The bar scene is fun and busy with live music on the weekends. In addition, they have a spacious outdoor patio, perfect for dining on a nice day!

No matter if you’re bringing your partner out for a nice dinner or having some drinks after work, Sullivan’s Steakhouse is a good place for both! 

This restaurant provides some amazing drinks and some great steak and seafood. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water! If you want to get the best shrimp and grits in Raleigh, you’ve got to visit!

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Steak


426 S. McDowell St., Raleigh, NC 27601 // +19198324477

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Raleigh to eat at, look no further. Ashley Christensen opened her first restaurant in 2007 to bring some Italian cooking to the area. 

Poole’s Diner is a great little restaurant with a vintage feel to it. If you love Italian food, you’ll enjoy this restaurant! If you are looking for seafood, you’ll also find something to be happy about. It is nice to try something different once in a while.

Poole’s Diner brings a fresh, no-frills approach to every dish on offer. They are offering a wholesome take on America’s all-time favorite comfort desserts, as well as a full breakfast and lunch menu. Besides the great food, Poole’s, apart from other eateries, has an award-winning customer service with genuine hospitality.

Like me, if you are a fan of macaroni and cheese, Poole’s has an awesome Macaroni Au Gratin that is worth a flight to Raleigh just to try it!

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Macaroni and Cheese

Bida Manda

222 S. Blount St., Raleigh, NC 27601 // (919) 829-9999

Located in the charming Five Points neighborhood, Bida Manda is set in an elegant space with modern details offering an extensive menu of Asian-inspired dishes to devour. 

The restaurant serves as a great venue for friends and family meals to enjoy Laotian specialties like chicken pho, rice lettuce wraps, dumplings, papaya salads, and more.

All of the food is made fresh to ensure maximum appeal and flavor. The menu features recipes from Laos, Thailand, and China. And it also includes a list of distinctive beers and wines that will perfectly complement each dish you choose on the menu.

With a wide gluten-free menu, this special restaurant gives everyone a chance to taste the flavorful Southeast Asian cuisine. 

For those who are into breakfast dishes, try the gluten-free Banh Mi that has tenderly marinated pork or chicken with pickled vegetables and your choice of fresh jalapenos and cilantro and ‘Sai Oua’ sausage. And for dinner, don’t miss out on Hoi Thaw.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Banh Mi

The charming ambiance of this restaurant is what makes this place a favorite among reviewers.

Garland | Indian + Asian Cuisine

14 W. Martin St., Raleigh, NC 27601 // 919 833 6886

With a soothing atmosphere and uncompromising food, this Indian restaurant in Raleigh is worth a try. 

There is a dish here called Tandoor spiced roast young chicken flavored with local ingredients. This dish comes with delicious mashed potatoes. The lamb stuffed with sweet peppers in a tomato sauce, with Kashmiri spices, is another dish I’d recommend.

Best Restaurants In Raleigh: Tandoor

With a wide variety of Northern Indian dishes, this restaurant offers some interesting classics that are surprisingly delicious. To top it all off, there is always a luscious dessert on the menu!

The best thing about the food here is the way they are willing to take innovations in Indian cuisine. The dishes are prepared to perfection, so don’t miss this restaurant if you are looking for a top-rated restaurants in Raleigh!

Summary Of The 10 Best Restaurants In Raleigh

The top restaurants in Raleigh, NC, can be hard to choose from, especially with all the new and trendy places popping up every year.

This list of the ten best restaurants in Raleigh has everything you need to know. 

From their unique style of service and their unique styles of food, these restaurants will not only get you talking but get you coming back for more!

Which of these best restaurants in Raleigh do you want to try first? Let us know in the comments section below!

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