10 Best Restaurants in Raleigh, NC

By Emily Johnson on February 5, 2018

It’s always the most heated topic of discussion: “Where do you want to go for dinner?”. Hopefully, this list of the best restaurants in Raleigh can take some of the pressure off the decision. Based on the cool atmosphere, the affordable prices, and of course, the great food, this is a list (in no particular order) of the restaurants in the NC State area that you have to try.

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1. Gonza’s Tacos y Tequila

If you’re a Raleighite, you probably already know about Gonza’s. It’s a Mexican-style bar and restaurant with some amazing decor and even better food. If the beautiful interior isn’t enough to have you coming back, the guacamole definitely is.

2. Parkside Restaurant

Located in the Warehouse District, Parkside has a cool design that’s a twist of modern and retro vibes. Serving tons of different draft beers and classic American cuisine, Parkside is one of the best restaurants in Raleigh and will become your new go-to spot for a bite to eat.

3. Oak City Meatball Shoppe

A small joint in the middle of downtown, it could be easy to miss this diamond in the rough. Oak City lives up to its name as it has the best meatballs in the city, served sandwich style or in a pasta that you can customize to your heart’s desire. Definitely don’t miss out on this gem!

4. Chuck’s 

Chuck’s is a burger hub with a modern industrial setting. The burgers are obviously fantastic, but that’s not the only thing Chuck’s does right. The sides are all banging, and you’ve gotta finish it off with a milkshake. It gets quite busy (with good reason) but it’s worth the wait.

5. My Way Tavern

One of the most underappreciated on the list, My Way Tavern is a bar and restaurant that serves great twists on some real classics. With an entire mac and cheese menu and endless variety, My Way is one you’ll come back to again and again to try it all.

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6. Brewery Bhavana

Brewery Bhavana is one of the most beautiful spaces on this list. It offers a unique experience with its drinks, books, flowers, and menu of dim sum. This is one you’ve got to try at least once for its incredible atmosphere and delicious food.

7. Mitch’s Tavern

This small tavern is easy to miss, but is a well-known favorite amongst the locals. Situated upstairs on the main street of NC State’s campus, Mitch’s Tavern offers a wide variety of interesting dishes from all backgrounds. Pop into this cozy hole-in-the-wall and get hooked.

8. Remedy Diner

Remedy Diner is an awesome spot with intriguing decor and great, vegan/vegetarian-friendly food. A running theme of ‘curing what ails you’, Remedy has a cool menu full of delicious drinks and amazing food options for vegans and non-vegans alike.

9. Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Probably the most well-known on this list, Cowfish has earned its popularity. With a funky fusion of Asian and American dishes, there are endless possibilities here. Be daring and get a burger-sushi combination dish, or stick to a classic. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

10. Wicked Taco

Wicked Taco is a casual, counter-serve style restaurant, but don’t be fooled by its convenience – Wicked Taco truly makes wicked tacos. Offering tons of combos both traditional and inventive, there’s something for everyone here. Along with a colorful environment, salsa bar and even a drive-thru for easy accessibility, you can’t go wrong with a Wicked Taco.

Emily Johnson attended NC State University for a degree in Anthropology. She now works as an educator for the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina and as a writer for Uloop. She can be reached via e-mail at ebjohns3@ncsu.edu.

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