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Diners' Choice: Best Ambiance restaurants in Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best ambiance in Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Blue Jay Bistro restaurant
4.9
4.9 (925)
$31 to $50
American
Halifax
About the restaurant
Blue Jay Bistro, on Main Street in downtown Littleton, North Carolina, is a realization of our vision: To return to Ed’s beloved hometown (where he played football and basketball for the Littleton Blue Jays, his high school alma mater) and create a unique culinary experience unlike any other; for Blue Jay Bistro to serve as a symbol for an exceptional dining experience for local and surrounding communities.

We want residents and visitors alike to experience Contemporary American dining at its best. A combination of traditional and creative dishes using only the freshest and finest ingredients sourced locally and globally. Providing uncompromising quality and professional attentive service.

— Ed & Deb Fitts, Owners
Top review
StephenBvip
Dined 1 day ago
Our second visit to this local restaurant. Thanks for supporting our little town. This visit was much better with our food being really good. We celebrated our anniversary so this was a special outing. Dining is not cheap - so everything needs to be in order to receive optimal value.
A photo of Herons restaurant
4.9
4.9 (2995)
$50 and over
American
Cary
About the restaurant
One of only 64 Forbes Five-Star restaurants in the world, Herons is the signature restaurant of The Umstead Hotel and Spa and annually acclaimed among the best restaurants in and around Raleigh, North Carolina. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the intimate, 98-seat dining room features a full-view kitchen, a meticulously curated private art collection and floor-to-ceiling window views of the surrounding gardens and grounds.
Top review
DawnFvip
Dined 1 day ago
Art Tour was amazing! The food never disappoints and seeing the inspiration is always a pleasure. We will be back for the Summer pairings.
A photo of Fearrington House Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1779)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
Chapel Hill
About the restaurant
The intimate dining rooms within The Fearrington House Restaurant welcome guests with exceptional service and a seasonally changing menu. Executive Chef Paul Gagne commitment to exceptional farm-to-fork cuisine is woven throughout the dining experience.

From partnerships with local farms, including Harland's Creek Farm in Pittsboro and Lil Farm in Timberlake, to herbs harvested from gardens on the property, to dishes that celebrate North Carolina’s seasons, The Fearrington House’s mission to provide Relais & Chateaux level cuisine and service to guests has remained constant since opening in 1980.

Our menu is complemented by a beverage program featuring an extensive wine list, a full cocktail bar, and beers celebrating North Carolina breweries.

Any Allergies and Food Preferences are to be provided in advance. If not provided, not all requests can be accommodated.

Should you not find a desired time available online, please contact the restaurant directly at 919 542 2121.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Outstanding meal and experience. A must do for any special occasion, or for just needing the best dining experience. This is how its supposed to be done.
A photo of Lakeside Kitchen restaurant
4.7
4.7 (32)
$30 and under
American
Raleigh
About the restaurant
A new flavor in a beloved location!
Discover a stunning menu of classic favorites with a southern fusion flare. Chef James Eason's seasonal menu is made completely from scratch and uses a variety of ingredients from local farms, the NC State Farmer’s Market, and the chef’s garden, located on our outdoor patio.
Located in the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center on NCSU Centennial Campus, Lakeside Kitchen is a delicious new entry into the Raleigh restaurant scene.
Top review
MicheleS
Dined on May 12, 2024
5/12/2024: Mother's Day Brunch at Lakeside Kitchen was delicious. I enjoyed a Limoncello spritzer upon arrival. The Bibb Salad and Gazpacho Soup were both delicious. The salmon main course was also delicious. The variety of desserts capped off a wonderful meal. The Key Lime Pie, Flourless Almond Torte, and lime macaroon were delicious. The anise and chocolate chip cookies were also tasty. The weather was perfect for eating in the outdoor patio. The waitress was friendly and professional.
A photo of Amalia's Authentic Italian Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (739)
$50 and over
Italian
Wake Forest
About the restaurant
Amalia Fumelli is the inspiration behind Amalia’s Authentic Italian Restaurant. She was born in Italy in 1932, and grew up on a farm. As she grew up, she took an interest in cooking and learned everything about the Italian kitchen from her mother and grandmother. For countless hours each day, Amalia began making hand-made pasta with her rolling pin on an old, wooden table. After many years, she had mastered her pasta creations through her skilled handiwork, precise cutting skills, and the amount of love she put into her work.

Over time, Amalia has passed all of her secrets and knowledge about food along to her children and grandchildren. One grandchild in particular, Filippo Fanfani, gained a passion for the art of cooking through her guidance. As a child, he spent all his days at his grandmother’s house preparing meals for his family. The two have a strong bond, that began with their conjoining love of creating meals that are enjoyable for everyone.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
We absolutely enjoyed our first experience at Amalia’s. My wife and I went for our fourth anniversary, and from walking in the door to walking out for the evening, we received nothing but excellent service, warm and friendly conversation, and fantastic food. The owners were so gracious in coming by once or twice to ask how the food was, and our server, Steve, walked us through the menu so well. It was his first night working there, but you could tell it was not his first night in the food service business. He knew the menu, had great recommendations for pairings, and he was so respectful of our time and space while also keeping us well served. We’ll definitely be going back and will always recommend to friends and family. Cheers to you, Amalia’s. That was my favorite restaurant dining experience, ever.
A photo of Tamasha Modern Indian restaurant
4.7
4.7 (169)
$50 and over
Indian
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Experience the epitome of sophisticated Indian cuisine at Tamasha Modern Indian, nestled in Raleigh's dynamic North Hills. This culinary gem, owned by the discerning Mike Kathrani and the visionary Tina Vora, offers an extraordinary dining experience in an ambiance crafted with elegance by Tina herself. Tamasha's opulent design has earned it a place among the “50 Most Beautiful Restaurants in America” by OpenTable and People Magazine, a prestigious accolade that marks it as North Carolina's sole honoree. Executive Chef Bhavin Chhatwani’s pedigree from India’s most prestigious properties to Michelin-starred restaurants stateside – is unmistakable. Tamasha showcases the depth and artistry of Indian cuisine – from show-stopping cocktails and a well-curated wine list, to Chhatwani’s refined menu of artful shared and composed dishes. Guests will discover exceptional hospitality on this inspired Indian culinary journey whether dining in the main dining room, private room or at the chic bar.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Restaurant was extremely beautiful! Our reservation got sat on time and the drinks were delicious however a little pricey! we tried many different items from the menu and every single one of them was absolutely delicious and amazing! Very unique menu items and the staff was very attentive. We were celebrating a friends birthday, and the sorbet they brought out was not our favorite, but that would be the only complaint I have about the entire experience. We will definitely be back!
A photo of Oak Steakhouse - Raleigh restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2104)
$30 and under
Steakhouse
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Oak Steakhouse Raleigh continues the legacy of the original Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, SC, with a modern take on the classic steakhouse. Located in the Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh, Oak Steakhouse offers an innovative approach to steakhouse dining, serving farm-fresh dishes alongside steakhouse classics. Under the direction of executive chef Todd Woods, Oak's menu highlights the restaurant's relationship with local farmers and purveyors. To complement the menu, Oak's expansive wine list features California Cabernet and Old World reds, including a selection of Italian and Spanish wines, as well as an array of artisan domestic wines. In celebration of Raleigh's local brewery scene, Oak Steakhouse showcases local brews alongside domestic and international beers. Classic and creative, seasonal cocktails are also on the menu.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
My wife and I went here for our anniversary. All of the staff we encountered were very friendly and polite. We would highly recommend anyone to go here for any of your special occasions.
A photo of O-Ku - Raleigh restaurant
4.9
4.9 (1692)
$30 and under
Japanese
Raleigh
About the restaurant
O-Ku's menu provides a fresh and innovative take on traditional Japanese sushi and cuisine. Located in the Warehouse District of downtown Raleigh, the restaurant offers rare and unique dining options with traditional sashimi and specialty rolls, highlighting seafood from the finest fish markets in Tokyo and Hawaii alongside local and seasonal ingredients. Reminiscent of traditional Japanese culture, O-Ku's menu is comprised of signature starters, contemporary Japanese entrees and seasonal traditional sushi that reflect the uniquely designed space. The beverage program is built around quality ingredients that celebrate Japanese culture.
Top review
AlGrande
Dined 1 day ago
We had a large party that grew 30 minutes before our reservation. Paul did a great job accommodating us and Sarah at the bar and Clint at the table, we had a fantastic experience. All sushi and rolls were fantastic. Would have loved a Modelo, but a 99.9 score here!
A photo of MC Modern Asian Cuisine restaurant
4.9
4.9 (991)
$31 to $50
Asian
Cary
About the restaurant
MC named after Award Winning Chef Michael Chuong is bringing his Upscale Asian Flair to the Historic Jones House in Downtown Cary. MC's menu will offer Signature and Creative Dishes featuring High End Sushi and Local and Sustainable Ingredients paired perfectly with Old World Wines.
Top review
EdiRed
Dined on Jun 4, 2024
Food was vey good especially the sashimi. Cucumber martini was excellent. Overall my husband had a lovely dinner
A photo of Nomad restaurant
4.9
4.9 (298)
$30 and under
Global, International
Hillsborough
About the restaurant
Nomad delivers traditional ethnic dishes and craft cocktails with a unique spin, all in a cozy, rustic interior. It’s a modern neighborhood spot that lets you travel the world without leaving Hillsborough.
You may find yourself nestled at Nomad for the entire night, enjoying the atmosphere, the noteworthy dishes and the multi-layered drinks.
In the hands of the locally based, welcoming owners, Nomad brings a diverse dining experience to the Hillsborough area that has yet to be seen.

*Tables are limited to 1 hour and 30 minutes*
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Great food and wonderful service; a bit pricey, but worth it for special occasion.
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