20 Best Bars in Raleigh

Best Bars in Raleigh

Raleigh, the Capital of North Carolina is called “The City of Oaks,” because of the lovely oak trees that line the streets at the heart of the city. It is the second-largest city in the state after Charlotte. The city is also home to many popular universities. We’ve rounded up the best breweries for you beer enthusiasts, and the plentiful cocktail bars for the cocktail lovers. We’ve also got some wine bars and whiskey bars for those who are fond of these libations.

The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

Burger? Or Sushi? It’s Burgushi! Burger and Sushi in one dish? Don’t be weirded out until you try! It’s DELISH! The Cowfish bar serves craft beer, unique cocktails and martinis, wines and premium sakes. Can’t make up your mind? Then go for a bento box- you get a mini-burger along with your choice of sushi roll and 3 sides to go with it!

The ambience is trendy, classy. Some places, the food and drinks are good, but the experience falls flat because of the service. That’s not gonna happen here. The service is outstanding, just like everything else here. It is bright and vibrant inside, but there’s outdoor seating as well. Just go there early, this place fills up fast! They are kiddo and dog-friendly.

4208 Six Forks Rd
Ste 100
Raleigh, NC 27609
(919) 784-0400
thecowfish.com

The Angus Barn

The Angus is an upscale and sophisticated steakhouse in a barn-like setting. The Agnus bar is super popular for its steaks, but also serves some of the most delicious seafood and pasta. You should try the award-winning chess pie for dessert. There’s a kid-friendly menu for your little ones if you choose to take them along. The wine selection is extensive and well-thought-out to match with the food.

The ambience is fantastic, particularly around this time! The Christmas decorations are already done and the place looks so charming and exquisite!

Get into the holiday vibe by visiting The Angus Barn with your dear ones. This place is magical!

9401 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27617
(919) 781-2444
angusbarn.com

Brewery Bhavana

The Brewery Bhavana serves 16 beers on tap, half a dozen cocktails and a small selection of wine. If you like Asian fusion food, you will love this spot.

This place is not just a brewery and restaurant. There is a flower shop and a bookstore as well. All this adds charm and character to the place that is Bhavana.

The ambience is hipster, and trendy. They offer delivery and takeout. In all, this place promises a fantastic dining experience unlike any other. This place works for date nights, and fun time with friends or family.

218 S Blount St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 829-9998
brewerybhavana.com

The Raleigh Times Bar

This watering hole is located in a building that is a century-old! Old newspaper clippings from The Raleigh Times adorn the walls. The whole ambience, decor and interiors give you a glimpse of the rich cultural and political history of this city. Exposed bricks and beams, floor to ceiling windows all add to the old school charm.

The ambience is trendy and casual. If you can, get yourself sweated on the rooftop. It offers a stunning view of the Downtown. The Raleigh serves a wonderful selection of draft beer and bottled/canned beer. The wine selections are impressive too. Apart from that, they have several delicious cocktails on their drink menu.

The food is amazing with a diverse menu, and nice options for kids too. They offer delivery and takeout.

14 E Hargett St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 833-0999
raleightimesbar.com

Boxcar Bar + Arcade

This is one of the only Raleigh bars for exclusive American craft drafts! They have around 24 beers on draft and 26 beers in bottles/cans. They also offer cocktails on a rotational basis, to keep things new and interesting.

Now to the exciting part. The Arcade games! They have 70 games, including classic and modern arcades and pinball favorites, skee ball, air hockey, console game systems and more!

The ambience is casual, and both kids and dogs are welcome here.  They have outdoor seating where you can just chill with a few drinks and watch TV.

Stop in here if you want to feel like a kid all over again and have fun playing all those amazing games from childhood.

330 W Davie St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 803-2796
theboxcarbar.com

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

The flying saucer has a good stock of beers to keep any beer lover content. With around 200 beers, there’s something for even a beer snob! There are good selections of wine too. The wait staff is knowledgeable and will help you with recommendations if you have trouble making a choice. The ambience is casual and laid back.

This is a nice spot to hang out for a drink, but if you are not comfortable dining in, you could make use of their delivery or takeout options. And remember, Tuesdays are Trivia nights, so added fun on Tuesday!

328 W Morgan St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 821-7401
beerknurd.com

The Oak

The Oak is a bourbon bar in Raleigh, probably the best bourbon bar in the city! They have over 90 bourbons from which to choose, good wine and cocktails selections and some craft beers on draft. The food is just equally great.

The ambience is classy, yet casual. They have an outside patio with heaters for when it gets chilly. The patio is pup-friendly, so it’s great if you adore these furry babies. This is a nice spot to take an out-of-towner to.

4035 Lake Boone Trl
Ste 115
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 787-9100
theoakraleigh.com

Whiskey Kitchen

It is a whiskey bar, but the whiskey selections are ENDLESS and will far surpass your expectations. There are over 400 of them! The scratch-made cocktails are delicious and super-refreshing. The food menu is fabulous with a delightful hipster and trendy ambience.

The entire menu is good but the biscuits! Gosh, the Cracklin biscuits are delicious, and they are bound to become your instant favorite.

Looking for a spot to dine and drink out in the warmth of the sun? Their patio is a great option for just that.

201 W Martin St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 803-3181
whiskey.kitchen

Clouds Brewing

At the Clouds, you get craft beers from all over the globe! This place has over 40 taps and a unique 10 tap self-pour beer wall! The best part about the self-pour is that you can try a little of them all! Although the self-pour wall is not operating currently and you know why!

The food options are solid and enough to keep you coming back even if you are not into beers. Good burgers, but the Giant Pretzels are the star! Probably the best you would have anywhere.

The atmosphere is classy, yet casual, and they are welcoming of kids and pups. The live music is rather enjoyable. It is a great place to chill with a beer and watch some sports. If you want some fresh air and sun, you can try their outside patio.

126 N West St
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 307-8335
cloudsbrewing.com

Bittersweet

This is the spot for coffee, cocktails and dessert. I don’t know about you, but this is my idea of heaven!

The cocktail menu is seasonal, but they specialize in gin cocktails. They have over 50 gins on their menu. They have a unique selection of beers sourced from North Carolina and other places. The wine choices are great, with a focus on bubbles.

All the desserts are baked in house, and the ingredients for them are sourced locally, and they’re all organic. Sounds like a sweet deal!

The ambience is hipster and trendy, intimate and cozy. It is a great spot for a date night. The one bittersweet thing about this place is when you are done with dessert, and left with lingering taste, but unable to eat more because you’re stuffed! LOL. Seriously though, I can’t recommend this place enough! Desserts and drinks – what more do you want?

16 E Martin St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 977-3829
bittersweetraleigh.com

Death & Taxes

The Death and Taxes may have a …strong name but don’t let that put you off. It is a beautiful and elegant space with a casual and laid back ambience serving some great food and drinks. The food options are great, and you cannot go wrong with soft-shell crab, grilled fish, shrimp and roasted oysters. There are vegetarian options aplenty for those not so keen on meat.

The wait staff is personable, welcoming and friendly.

If you are looking for a wonderful dining experience, impeccably orchestrated then you have found the perfect place in Death & Taxes.

105 W Hargett St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(984) 242-0218
ac-restaurants.com/death-taxes

Trail Irish Pub & Restaurant

This is an authentic Irish Pub that offers Irish fare and true Irish hospitality. Just go there once, and from your next visit, you are no longer a stranger!

The beer selections are great with around 25 drafts, and the Irish Whiskey options are spectacular. Dry Blackthorn Cider from England provides a taste of what draft cider should be!

There is live music on Fridays and Saturdays. If you want to enjoy the sunshine and pleasant weather, the outdoor patio lets you do just that. With plenty of TVs, this is a nice place to watch sports.

Enjoy a slice of Ireland right here in Raleigh at the Trail!

10370 Moncreiffe Rd
Ste 109
Raleigh, NC 27617
(919) 544-4141
traliirishpub.com

Foundation

This is a super cozy basement bar, decorated with nice local art. The drink menu at the Foundation has beers on tap, plenty of bourbons, and specialty cocktails. The cocktails are as delicious as they are beautifully presented. It is not just a treat for your tongue, but the eyes as well!

The ambience is classy yet casual, without being pretentious. It has speakeasy vibes with being hard to find, dim lighting, being small, intimate and cozy. If you want some nice solo time, you can go to a coffee shop. Or you can check out the Foundation. It works just as good!

Go on Sundays if you want $2 knocked off your cocktails! Apart from cocktails, they have an incredible list of bourbon, whiskey, moonshine and vodka, a couple of wines in bottles and draft beer.

213 Fayetteville St
Ste 010
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 896-6016
foundationnc.com

C Grace

C Grace is a cocktail bar that serves some of the best cocktails in town! Apart from the great cocktail options, they also serve beer and wine. This is a jazz bar as well, and the dark lighting, beautiful decora, live jazz music and charming ambience will take you back to the jazz era.

It’s classy, cozy and intimate. What a great place for a date night!

407 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 899-3675
cgracebar.com

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Raleigh

This is a creative movie theatre with giant VHS tape tables and bright pink neon throughout the large bar. The setup of the theatres is perfect for drinking, dining and enjoying a good movie! You can also play a few old school games like Pacman and Mario Kart. If you want to skip all of that and sit outside, they have outdoor seating options too.

The movies are better at the Almano, so keep your phones away, turn off the chatter and enjoy the ride!

2116-D New Bern Ave
Raleigh, NC 27610
(984) 444-6620
drafthouse.com

Fox Liquor Bar

The Fox is a drinking den featuring a mix of classic and contemporary cocktails. Apart from cocktails, they have a select list of wines and beer as well.

The ambience is trendy and classy, with dim lighting and speakeasy vibes. This is not your loud sports bar or fun Dive bar. Come here to spend some quality time with your small group of intimate friends, family or date.

237 S Wilmington St
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 322-0128
ac-restaurants.com

Drive Shack Raleigh

This is one of the best entertainment spots. Here there is golf, food, beer and a whole lot of games for people of all skill levels and interests like shackjack, monster hunt, darts etc. This is a great spot to celebrate a special event, like birthdays, bachelorette parties or anniversaries. The wait staff is accommodative and professional.

Apart from beer, they have delicious cocktails and plenty of spirits to savor. They have sit-down dining, outdoor seating, delivery and takeout. There’s a kid menu that will keep the kids happy and satisfied.

With good drinks and food, games and clubs with unlimited balls, there is nothing to stop you from having fun here! Have a blast!

6901 Play Golf Way
Raleigh, NC 27607
(984) 329-8229
driveshack.com

Mitch’s Tavern

Mitch is the place to grab good food and drinks. Not only are they good, but they are reasonably priced as well.  The gumbo options and pasta primavera are popular, and you can see why! They are delicious! There are lots of vegetarian options as well on their menu. The beer selection is awesome, with something for even the hardest to please beer lover.

The space is comfortable, and there are plenty of TVs to watch some sports. The ambience is casual and chill, and the interior decor is lovely.

If you are looking for a spot that offers the best bang for your buck, Mitch’s Tavern is your spot. It is your spot to eat, drink and be merry!

2426 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 821-7771
mitchstavern.com

Raleigh Brewing Company

At the Raleigh Brewing Company, there are at least 6 beers on tap every time. There is so much out here to have fun! For one, there are plenty of games.  Wednesday night is Trivia Night, so put your thinking cap on if you’re going out there on Wednesday. There is live music to be enjoyed on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. And something unexpected on Sundays. Yes, Sunday at 10 a.m, they have yoga!

Hell Yes Ma’am is the most popular drink here, but there are other good options too. The inside is nice and comfortable with paintings of local institutions. There is plenty of space outside to chill with a beer and some friends or even your pup. There’s no kitchen, but they have a food truck for when you get hungry and live music to enjoy.

3709 Neil St
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 400-9086
raleighbrewingcompany.com

STIR

At STIR, they do stir some of the best cocktails you can ever find. They also specialize in spirits, offering 350 premium and rare spirits! Apart from these, the drink menu also features wine selections, and craft and domestic beer.

The ambience is upscale and classy. The vibe is energetic and lively, and the food is good. The devilled eggs and chicken Piccata are the BOMB!

4242 Six Forks Rd
Bank of America Bldg, Ste 100
Raleigh, NC 27609
(984) 200-8614
stirraleigh.com

As you can tell, Raleigh has plenty of bars with character, and the cocktail scene is very much alive and thriving here. From sophisticated speakeasies to local neighborhood bars and entertaining sports bars, a beautiful-crafted and exquisitely presented drink, perfect for a pleasant afternoon or late nightcap, is never too far away at Raleigh.