Bars & Cafes
This is a popular hangout for fans of well-made beer because it serves a mind-boggling variety and each week has its own special beer. Aspire to join the ranks of the "Ring of Honor" by keeping track of all the beers you consume by being a member. A pint can cost about USD2.50, so expect to try a few. Be entertained by live performances by acoustic acts, folk, bluegrass, reggae or blues.
Located in the city of Raleigh is a small but lively cafe, The Berkeley Cafe. Although small, the ambiance definitely makes up for what the place lacks in space. Check out some of the popular bands, such as Better Off Dead, The Wiyos, Cougar Magnum, The Gougers and many more strumming tunes and entertaining the crowds. The food and drinks available here are pretty good as well, tuck into a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich or a Berkeley Burger while you enjoy the music.
Years ago, it would have been difficult to find a hip, urban hot spot where one can enjoy a nice meal and then dance until the wee hours. Five Star proves that Raleigh can party with the best of them. Fashioned from an old tobacco warehouse, the restaurant is decorated in a hip, minimalist style and all in red. There are two full-service bars and a large dance floor perfect for the large crowds that frequent the restaurant.
For an authentic Irish evening, walk into Napper Tandy’s. Everything from the food to the music will give you a sense of being in Ireland. The bar has a wonderful outdoor seating where dogs are more than welcome! This place is one of the hot favorite around specially for the live music. A must visit bar if you are in the area.
Celebrate traditional tapas style dining at Humble Pie. It consists of shareable bite sized servings of hummus, tostadas, BBQ shrimp, sea scallops and calamari that are spiced in authentic Spanish condiments. The house-made sangria is a pleasant accompaniment to the meal as one converses with friends. Jazz music fills the dining space adding to the fun mood and the helpful staff make the experience all the more special. Chef Andy Cordova has succeeded in creating a place for himself in the dining circles of Raleigh with this gem of a place.
The original Kings bar was opened in 1999 by three local musicians and has since closed, but the creative spirit lives on in the new Kings Barcade on West Martin Street in downtown Raleigh. Large acts come through the bar and stage, but the venue, though it is a bit larger than the original, has not lost its original homespun charm. Also, the separate basement bar called Neptune's is worth a visit itself.
Located below ground, Neptune's Parlour is hip bar that has DJs, pinball and arcade games. It also boasts a menu of local craft beers, seasonal cocktails and a shot of the week.
Natty Greene's is christened after Nathanael Greene, a prominent major general influential in the American War for Independence. Opened in 2010, this establishment breathes new life into what was formerly the city's electric powerhouse, and retains most of its original decor and charm. Accents of brick and metal lend an industrial appeal to the place that boasts a historically-themed dining area and a bar replete with television screens and pool tables. The impressive list of craft beers are represented by in-house specials handcrafted by resident brewer Mike Rollinson. Pair a draught with delicious appetizers and a intriguing history lesson.
The Raleigh Times, christened after the town's local newspaper, calls a century-old establishment its home. Albeit refurbished, the space retains its rustic charm and intricate architecture. Unrefined walls are dotted with newspaper archives that lend an intriguing glimpse into the city's history. Bartending is a sublime art, with an array of homemade potions blended to create classics like the sangria and bloody mary. The Raleigh Times prides itself on the impressive selection of brews from across the globe. Nibble on timeless bar fare like chicken-fried pickles and nachos, and tuck into a delicious BLT or beer-battered fish 'n' chips at downtown's favorite spot.
A mosaic of wine, spirits, hookah and international tunes, Mosaic is a great addition to the downtown Raleigh entertainment scene. This space features several spots including an outdoor terrace and upstairs lounge. However, the happening dance floor is the place to be. With top DJs and musicians taking center stage occasionally, they offer an eclectic schedule ranging from burlesque to belly dancing.
The Busy Bee Cafe has been busy earning quite a following in the local community. Serving breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner, this restaurant offers up a menu selection with delicious choices. The Busy Bee has its biggest following in the beer-drinking community because of the varied draft and bottled beer selection, many of which are brewed locally or in-house.
The Architect Bar & Social House is a fun local bar located in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. Its name is inspired by the architectural history that surrounds the 1922 establishment it calls home. The unique arrow-shaped skylight gives way to natural lighting that enhances the old-world ambiance surrounded by exposed brick walls. Enjoy domestic and international beers and spirits, or select from an array of inventive concoctions like Manhattan, Vanilla Julep or Sazarac. Cocktails are crafted exclusively from seasonal fruits and handmade tinctures. The limited appetizer menu makes for great drinking accompaniments.