Love is in the air in Raleigh, and the city boasts a wealth of restaurants that offer unforgettable dining experiences for those looking to celebrate a first date or lifelong romance. Ranging from romantic to eccentric, these restaurants offer outstanding cuisine, fine wines, romantic lighting, and intimate ambiances – perfect for creating lasting memories.
© Irregardless Café
Irregardless Café & Catering is a long-running café and catering business that provides local, fresh-from-the-farm cuisine in a warm and welcoming environment. Established in 1975 as a pioneer on the sustainable food scene, the café opened as the community’s first vegetarian restaurant and grew into the popular eatery and catering company it is today. Founded and operated by owner/chef Arthur Gordon, the Café serves a market-driven menu of fresh locally sourced fare that now caters to vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores with an array of delicious, healthy and hearty dishes. Irregardless Café & Catering is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday and hosts live jazz throughout the week.
901 W Morgan St, Raleigh, NC 27603, Phone: 919-833-8898
Located on the corner of Oberlin and Fairview in the Hayes Barton neighborhood, Mandolin is a contemporary restaurant that serves elevated modern American cuisine with a Southern slant and fine wines in a stylish bistro-inspired space. Focusing on using on the freshest, locally sourced ingredients available and regional produce from surrounding farms, Mandolin offers a menu of market-driven, farm-to-table fare such as grass-fed beef and lamb, organic chicken, fresh seafood, handmade pasta, and crisp salads. The food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Mandolin is open for dinner every night and weekend brunch and lunch.
2519 Fairview Rd, Raleigh, NC 27608, Phone: 919-322-0365
3.The Angus Barn
© The Angus Barn
The Angus Barn Steakhouse is a landmark restaurant and Raleigh icon that serves classic American-style cuisine such as in-house dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, locally sourced and regional produce and homemade desserts. Helmed by Iron Chef America winner, Walter J. Royal, and his expert culinary team, the Barn has a beautifully appointed dining room, the famous Wild Turkey Lounge where guests can enjoy a wide range of libations, including rare vintages from an award-winning wine cellar, and a Meat Locker smoking lounge. The restaurant also has private dining tables, banquet rooms, and two private event venues for special occasions. The Angus Barn Steakhouse is open for dinner seven nights a week.
9401 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC 27617, Phone: 919-781-2444
© Azitra Restaurant
Located in Brier Creek Commons, Azitra of Raleigh is a gourmet Indian restaurant that takes diners on a culinary journey through the tastes and flavors of India. A beautifully appointed dining room celebrates India’s rich cultural heritage with comfortable furnishings in bright hues of yellow and blue, an intimate private lounge and casual outdoor seating. The menu features Indian favorites and specialties such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Coconut Seared Scallops, Chicken Biryani, Seafood Kerala Curry, and Goat Chops Rogan Josh. A casual bar and wine cellar provide a wide variety of libations ranging from craft beers and global wines to handcrafted cocktails and top-shelf spirits. Azitra of Raleigh is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
8411 Brier Creek Pkwy, Raleigh, NC 27617, Phone: 919-484-3939
5.Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar
© Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar
Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar is a trendy, urban restaurant in downtown Raleigh that specializes in Laotian and Southeast Asian fare. Named for the Sanskrit ceremonial term for father and mother, Bida Manda boasts a natural, woodsy setting with sturdy tables made of salvaged church doors, bright purple floral arrangements, and vintage paintings and tapestries of saffron-clad monks. The restaurant serves a menu of inventive Laotian dishes, using exotic ingredients like bamboo shoots, coconut milk, lemongrass, cilantro, fresh ginger, and kaffir lime leaves to create signature dishes like crispy pork belly stew, green papaya salad, and North Carolina catfish steamed in banana leaf. The food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.
222 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601, Phone: 919-829-9999
© Bloomsbury Bistro
Located in the heart of Raleigh at Five Points, Bloomsbury Bistro is a comfortable neighborhood eatery that has been serving nationally renowned cuisine in a casual and relaxed setting for over two decades. The cozy, unassuming hub specializes in globally-inspired, seasonally changing, French-influenced cuisine and fine wines from France and around the world by the bottle and the glass. Classically trained Chef John Toler incorporates vibrant ethnic flavors into traditional French cuisine with dishes like roasted duck over butternut squash, mushroom risotto cakes, and delectable banana creme brûleé. The food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Bloomsbury Bistro is open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday.
509 W Whitaker Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27608, Phone: 919-834-9011
7.Bruno Seafood and Steak Restaurant
© Bruno Seafood and Steak Restaurant
Bruno Seafood and Steak Restaurant is an elegant Italian-inspired steak and seafood neighborhood eatery that serves authentic and innovative dishes from Italy along with casual wines and craft cocktails. The casual restaurant offers starters of grilled octopus, steamed mussels, fried calamari, and oysters Rockefeller followed by entrées of seared scallops, trout amandine, grilled Atlantic salmon, grilled pork chops, lamb chops, and filet mignon. The food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Bruno Seafood and Steak Restaurant is open for dinner every night.
11211 Galleria Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27614, Phone: 919-435-6640
© Caffe Luna
Situated in a beautiful historic building in downtown Raleigh, Caffé Luna is a Tuscan-inspired eatery that serves authentic Italian cuisine in an airy, art-filled space with floor-to-ceiling windows. Established over two decades ago, the family-friendly eatery has been serving delicious Italian fare ever since with a menu of housemade pasta and pizza, prime beef and veal dishes, fresh seafood, and locally sourced salads, vegetables, and herbs. The restaurant has beautiful interiors decorated in warm hues and has three private dining rooms for special occasions. Caffé Luna is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Friday and dinner only on Saturdays.
136 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601, Phone: 919-832-6090
Gravy celebrates the beloved tradition of Italian-American cooking with a menu of comfortable red-sauce Italian-American fare served in a cozy space with a charming courtyard. The family-owned and operated restaurant serves a menu of Italian favorites and modern takes such as Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna, Eggplant Pie, Lamb Shank, and Spaghetti & Meatballs. The food is prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and produce from surrounding farms, and accompanied by casual wines, craft beers, and other drinks. Gravy is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
135 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601, Phone: 919-896-8513
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© Margaux's Restaurant
Located in Brennan Station, Margaux’s Restaurant is renowned for its exceptional, ever-changing menu of farm-to-table cuisine, excellent wines, impeccable service, and inviting and energetic ambiance. Seamlessly blending the high-energy of a bustling metropolis and the soulful hospitality that the South is famous for, Margaux’s Restaurant promises an unforgettable fine-dining experience for those celebrating a special occasion. The globally-inspired menu features dishes like Crispy Fried Oysters with sesame hoisin and scallions, Pamlico Sound Crab Cakes and Crispy Shrimp, Braised Beef Short Rib Tacos with Napa cabbage slaw, and Thai Crab Noodle Salad with toasted sesame and miso broth. Guests can dine in the comfortable dining room next to the crackling fireplace or out on the patio in the summer. Margaux’s Restaurant is open for dinner Monday through Saturday and lunch on Thursdays and Fridays.
8111 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613, Phone: 919-846-9846
11.Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar
© Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar
Located in the old Melrose Knitting Mill, Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar is a warm and welcoming restaurant rustic brick walls, distressed wood beams, and a patio with a geometric reflecting pool that offers an exceptional dining experience. The restaurant serves an Italian-inspired menu of scratch-made pasta, hand-tossed wood-fired pizzas, entrées of prime beef, veal and lamb, fresh seafood and organic chicken, and locally sourced fruits, vegetables, salads, and herbs. The food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar is open for dinner only Tuesday through Sunday.
1313, 309 N Dawson St, Raleigh, NC 27603, Phone: 919-838-8595
12.ORO Restaurant & Lounge
© ORO Restaurant & Lounge
Located in the PNC Building at the corner of Martin and Wilmington Streets in the heart of Downtown Raleigh, ORO Restaurant & Lounge is a fun, chic, and casual restaurant that serves sharing plates of creative cuisine and craft cocktails. The inviting restaurant features a luxurious dining space with a mezzanine level and a cozy fireplace and serves a menu that caters to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free needs. Signature sharing plates Shrimp Tempura, Chilean Seabass, Wok Fried Brussels, ‘Pan con Tomate,’ Smoky Ribs, Wagyu Steak Tartare, and Bacon Wrapped Dates, and the food is paired with craft cocktails, fine wines from around the world, craft beers and microbrews, and high-end spirits. ORO Restaurant & Lounge is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday and dinner only on Mondays and Saturdays.
18 E Martin St, Raleigh, NC 27601, Phone: 919-239-4010
© Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
Rey's Restaurant is renowned as one of the top restaurants for fine dining in the Triangle section of Raleigh. Exuding a romantic French Quarter flare with original French Quarter gaslights, white tablecloths, richly upholstered chairs, the upscale steakhouse serves an inventive menu inspired by New Orleans with French Quarter accents with favorites such as turtle soup, Bourbon Street pork chops and bananas foster. The comfortable dining room has a cozy, inviting ambiance and a charming new courtyard is perfect for al fresco dining. The food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Rey's Restaurant is open for dinner Monday through Saturday.
1130 Buck Jones Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606, Phone: 919-380-0122
Located in City Market, Royale is a small and intimate French eatery reminiscent of a traditional French bistro with cozy tables, soft lighting, and a romantic ambiance. The charming eatery boasts a stylishly distressed dining room and serves a seasonally changing menu of classic French food with contemporary twists with dishes like Summer Market Mussels, Succotash Risotto, Roasted Half Chicken, Petite Porchetta, Royale Burger, and New York Strip with frites. The bistro serves a plat du jour every day with specials like Fried Quail & Pancakes, Duck À L’Orange, and Beef Wellington, and food is accompanied global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Royale is open for dinner Monday through Saturday.
200 E Martin St, Raleigh, NC 27601, Phone: 919-977-3043
15.Saint Jacques French Cuisine
© Saint Jacques French Cuisine
Saint Jacques French Cuisine is a traditional French restaurant located in an unassuming strip mall in North Raleigh that serves elevated, classic French fare in an elegant and romantic setting. Helmed by Chef French Native Serge Falcoz-Vigne, the restaurant serves a creative menu of traditional French food such as Fromage de chêvre Chaud gratiné et canard fûmé , Escargots de Bourgogne au beurre d'ail, Vol-au-vent Saint Jacques , Carré d'agneau rôti en croute, and Magret de canard sauté, sauce au pomegranate, fève et piperade au jambon cru. The food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Saint Jacques French Cuisine is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
6112 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609, Phone: 919-862-2770
16.Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern
© Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern
Located in the historic and beautifully restored Dodd-Hinsdale House in downtown Raleigh, Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern is a AAA four-diamond, award-winning restaurant that provides an unforgettable dining experience. Boasting several elegant dining rooms with roaring fireplaces, the highly acclaimed restaurant is renowned for its gourmet cuisine, an exceptional wine list with vintages from around the world, and impeccable hospitality and service. Dinner and can be combined with a theater show, and the restaurant provides a shuttle that will drop guests off at the Performing Arts Center and bring them back to the restaurant. Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603-1726, Phone: 919-829-3663
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Sitti brings the rich tastes and flavors of Lebanon and the Middle East to the heart of Raleigh. The family-owned and operated restaurant serves modern versions of Lebanese dishes that pay tribute to ancient culinary techniques ranging from house-baked flatbreads and sharing plates of mezze to entrées of Baklava Crusted Salmon, Curried Lamb stew, Samkeh Harra, and Pistachio-Crusted Beef Medallions. The distinctive restaurant has a warm and welcoming communal dining room and an antique Art Deco bar that serves traditional Lebanese liquors, casual wines from around the world, and craft beers by the bottle. Sitti is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.
137 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601, Phone: 919-239-4070
Located in Raleigh’s Cameron Village shopping center, So•ca (short for ‘South of the tropic of Cancer’ and the Peruvian word for sugarcane) is a new Caribbean and Central and South American restaurant that takes diners on a treasure-filled journey through Central America with an extensive menu of Latin American cuisine. Inspired dishes take customers to unfamiliar lands around the globe such as Cuban Tostones, Puerto Rican Mofongo, Pork Cheeks, and Brazilian Feijoada, which can be enjoyed in the comfortable dining room or the sizeable Cabana-style patio. The cuisine is accompanied by crafted rum and tequila cocktails, ice-cold Red Stripe, and fine wines. So•ca is open for dinner Monday through Sunday and lunch on the weekends.
2130 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC 27605, Phone: 919-322-0440
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19.Sono Japanese Restaurant
© Sono Japanese Restaurant
Located in the Hudson condo building on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, Sono Japanese Restaurant is a refined Japanese eatery with a minimalist, vibrant interior that serves fresh, made-from-scratch sushi and sashimi, hibachi, tempura, and special chef's menus accompanied wine pairings. Helmed by manager Mitsuyo Nishio, the long-standing restaurant prides itself on its traditional yet progressive menu which features only the freshest seafood, classic rolls, sashimi, nigiri, and specialty rolls, as well as several ramen bowls, poké bowls at lunch and Korean fried chicken. The bar serves a range of libations from Japanese beer to hot and cold sake, and handcrafted cocktails made with sake. Sono Japanese Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
319 Fayetteville St #101, Raleigh, NC 27601, Phone: 919-521-5328
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© Sullivan's Steakhouse
Sullivan’s Steakhouse is a classic steakhouse chain that is renowned for serving hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, fresh salads and signature cocktails in elegant surrounds against a backdrop of live music. Located in the Creamery Building in the Glenwood South District of downtown, Sullivan’s Steakhouse is perfect for a romantic dinner for two or celebrating a special occasion with a menu of traditional steakhouse fare featuring prime meats and fresh seafood off the grill and an extensive wine list of fine wines from around the world. Sullivan’s Steakhouse also offers private dining options for up to 100 guests and is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday.
410 Glenwood Ave Ste 100, Raleigh, NC 27603, Phone: 919-833-2888
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© Taverna Agora
Inspired by the tastes, sounds, and sights of a small Greek village, Taverna Agora transports diners to sun-kissed landscapes of the Mediterranean with a creative menu of Greek and other Mediterranean eats served in a warm and welcoming setting. Using ancient recipes and time-tested cooking techniques to produce flavorful dishes, Taverna Agora serves a menu of Greek favorites such as Greek Salad, Saganaki, Meatball Keftedes, Braised Lamb Shank, Moussaka, and Pastitsio. The casual village-style restaurant has a rooftop bar where guests can enjoy a range of drinks, including Greek beers, easy-drinking wines, and imported spirits like Ouzo. Taverna Agora is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday.
326 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603, Phone: 919-881-8333
22.Vinnie's Steak House and Tavern
© Vinnie's Steak House & Tavern
Located in the Peachtree Market, Vinnie’s Steakhouse and Tavern is an elegant and refined steakhouse that serves an innovative menu of upscale cuisine and fine wines from around the world in a warm and welcoming setting. One of the city’s premier destinations for fine dining and romantic liaisons, Vinnie’s Steakhouse and Tavern specializes in prime cut dry-aged USDA steaks and lamb, fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish, fresh locally sourced salads and vegetables, and homemade desserts. The steakhouse has a cozy dining room with vintage leather chairs, white tablecloths, and crystal chandeliers, and a heated patio for year-round outdoor dining and a display wine cellar houses an extensive selection of wines from around the world. A full-service bar offers an ever-changing selection of wines by the glass, domestic and imported specialty beers, premium bourbons and single malt scotches, and a unique cocktail menu. Vinnie’s Steakhouse and Tavern is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
7440 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615, Phone: 919-847-7319
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Located in North Hills, Vivace is a contemporary Italian restaurant with a warm dining room, a hip indoor and outdoor bar, and a charming patio that serves traditional Italian fare and fine wines in a relaxed and rustic setting. Boasting an open kitchen that provides warmth and a vibrant bustling atmosphere where diners can watch the chefs at play, the restaurant offers a menu of Italian favorites like housemade pasta and from-scratch sauces, hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas with gourmet toppings, prime beef and veal dishes, organic chicken, fresh salads and vegetables, and homemade desserts. An extensive wine list comprised of the most delicious Italian selections, and other drinks like homemade limoncello accompanied the cuisine, and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday.
4209, 115, Lassiter Mill Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609, Phone: 919-787-7747
© Winston's Grille
Located in Sutton Square, Winston's Grille is a refined fine-dining restaurant and Raleigh landmark for romantic wining and dining. Renowned for serving highly-acclaimed award-winning cuisine, exceptional wines from around the world, impeccable hospitality and service and warm, intimate ambiance, Winston’s Grille is the perfect place for couples looking for a particular spot for a celebration of romance. The menu highlights the bounty of America with fresh locally sourced ingredients and regional produce such as prime cut dry-aged USDA steaks and lamb, fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish, and organic chickens. Desserts include homemade ice cream and other sweet treats, and the food is accompanied by a wide range of libations from the full-service bar, including global wines, craft beers and microbrews on tap, top-shelf spirits, and signature cocktails. Winston's Grille is open for lunch and dinner, Monday Sunday dinner only on Saturdays.
6401 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615, Phone: 919-790-0700
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24 Best Restaurants in Raleigh, NC
- Irregardless Cafe, Photo: Irregardless Café
- Mandolin, Photo: Mandolin
- The Angus Barn, Photo: The Angus Barn
- Azitra Restaurant, Photo: Azitra Restaurant
- Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar, Photo: Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant and Bar
- Bloomsbury Bistro, Photo: Bloomsbury Bistro
- Bruno Seafood and Steak Restaurant, Photo: Bruno Seafood and Steak Restaurant
- Caffe Luna, Photo: Caffe Luna
- Gravy, Photo: Gravy
- Margaux's Restaurant, Photo: Margaux's Restaurant
- Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar, Photo: Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar
- ORO Restaurant & Lounge, Photo: ORO Restaurant & Lounge
- Rey's Restaurant, Photo: Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Royale, Photo: Royale
- Saint Jacques French Cuisine, Photo: Saint Jacques French Cuisine
- Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern, Photo: Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern
- Sitti, Photo: Sitti
- Soca , Photo: Soca
- Sono Japanese Restaurant, Photo: Sono Japanese Restaurant
- Sullivan's Steakhouse, Photo: Sullivan's Steakhouse
- Taverna Agora, Photo: Taverna Agora
- Vinnie's Steak House and Tavern, Photo: Vinnie's Steak House & Tavern
- Vivace, Photo: Vivace
- Winston's Grille, Photo: Winston's Grille
- Cover Photo: Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com