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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes 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 Carolina Brewery - Pittsboro restaurant
4.8
4.8 (86)
$30 and under
Southern
Chapel Hill
About the restaurant
Carolina Brewery is a brewpub located in Pittsboro, North Carolina that specializes in serving craft beers and American pub fare. The restaurant features a lively atmosphere with a full bar, patio and numerous televisions broadcasting sporting events. Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro serves lunch and dinner daily and offers a variety of menu items made using fresh, in season fruits and vegetables and locally raised beef. The restaurant offers an extensive menu of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, typical pub fare and desserts. Featured entrées at Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro include chicken mac and cheese, down East BBQ plate, crab cakes, shrimp and grits and fish and chips.
Top review
MeagB
Dined 5 days ago
Great food! Loved sitting outside in the shade! Service was great!
A photo of PLUS Dueling Piano Bar restaurant
4.8
4.8 (419)
$30 and under
American
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Get ready for a fun-filled night at America’s largest dueling piano bar! Come prepared to eat, drink, sing, and dance the night away with our professional entertainers and friendly staff!

PLUS offers a delicious food menu from open to close - including an array of delicious appetizers, wings, pizzas, burgers, sides, and more! You’ll also find TWO FULL BARS for extra fast service!

We look forward to having you!

*PLUS is a 21+ establishment
*Friday & Saturday Showtime: 7:30pm
Top review
NancyDvip
Dined on May 25, 2024
This place is a must do for any occasion. We were visiting family and it was an amazing fun night. Tony the owner and one of 5 in the revolving band members was a PERFECT HOST. Before the start of the evening he cam around talked and introduced himself and made it a point to mention people while on stage. The guys played from approx 745-8 all the way to the end of the night!! Every band member is so talented! Excellent place one by far to visit and return!! Thank you for a great eve!!!
A photo of Five Star Restaurant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (10)
$30 and under
Asian
Raleigh
About the restaurant
For Parties of 11 or more, please fill out our large party form here:
https://www.fivestarraleigh.com/private-events-inquiry/
Five Star Restaurant has been honoring our Chinese roots since the year 2000. We aim to serve fresh, modern takes on Chinese and Asian Cuisine. Some of our most popular dishes are the Five Star Generals Chicken, Crispy Sesame Beef, and Heat Seeker Shrimp. Our kitchen can accommodate gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan diets on most of our dishes. We also have a constantly evolving Wine, Beer, and seasonal cocktail list. We proudly feature DJ’s every week, Wednesday- Sunday. Our DJ booth has been fortunate enough to host many world-renowned DJs and entertainers over the years — you never know who you might see spinning at Five Star Restaurant.


Top review
SusanM
Dined on Jun 8, 2024
All the dishes we ordered were outstanding! The cocktails were original and had beautiful garnishes. Ryan was out server and he made us feel very welcome. He was incredibly informative about the menu and helped guide us through our choices all of which were excellent. We will absolutely be back! The vibe is super fun but was a little loud inside so we sat on the patio.
A photo of Gonza Tacos y Tequila - Cary restaurant
4.7
4.7 (563)
$30 and under
Mexican
Cary
About the restaurant
WELCOME TO NORTH CAROLINA'S AWARD-WINNING COLOMBIAN-MEXICAN TACOS Y TEQUILA JOINT! Currently serving Dinner and Drinks.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Apr 5, 2024
Food and waut staff terrific!! With their hours being so very limited i would think their seating and table clearing would be better. They seem to always be out of sorts at the hostess stand when busy. Too many hostesses not enough bus staff
A photo of Carolina Brewery - Chapel Hill restaurant
4.6
4.6 (202)
$30 and under
Southern
Chapel Hill
About the restaurant
Since 1995, we have been proudly serving the locals, students and visitors to Chapel Hill. A lot has changed in both our town and the craft beer industry since we opened our doors as the culmination of a business school plan I wrote my senior year at UNC. Today, we celebrate our North Carolina roots with a made-from-scratch menu focused on Carolina foods in a newly renovated building. I hope you enjoy a true Carolina experience here at Carolina Brewery and will look for our award winning beers on your travels throughout the Carolinas.
Cheers,
Robert Poitras
Owner/Founder
Top review
RobertSvip
Dined on May 27, 2024
Good food. New server (expected this time of year just after graduation) but being trained up and well-supported by the rest of the staff.
A photo of Emmy Squared - Durham restaurant
4.6
4.6 (15)
$30 and under
Pizzeria
Durham
About the restaurant
Founded on an unconditional love of well-made food, we use only the highest quality ingredients for our famous Detroit-style pizzas. As Emmy Squared has grown, we’ve continued to make fans and receive accolades along the way, including winning Nashville’s Battle of the Burger, being recognized as one of "The Best New Burgers in NYC" (Gothamist) and one of the "20 Best Burgers in NYC" (Infatuation). Besides award-winning pizzas and burgers, you’ll find delectable appetizers, sandwiches, and salads on our extensive menu. We look forward to welcoming you to Emmy Squared Durham and sharing our unique take on American “comfort food.”
Top review
SarahW
Dined on Jun 6, 2024
The pizza and burgers were delicious! Stephanie was our waitress and she did a great job!
A photo of P.F. Chang's - Raleigh restaurant
4.3
4.3 (208)
$30 and under
Chinese
Raleigh
About the restaurant
We are an Asian & Chinese restaurant offering dine-in, takeout, to-go, delivery, and catering. Make a reservation online to dine in. Order Asian and Chinese food delivery, takeout, and catering online or through the P.F. Chang's mobile app. Let us cater the perfect feast for you - corporate office catering menus are also available. P.F. Chang's offers a variety of signature Asian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Mongolian, and Chinese food dishes including Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Pad Thai, Signature Lo Mein, Fried Rice, Mongolian Beef, Chang's Spicy Chicken, and Pork and Shrimp Dumplings. Order online for sushi delivery and takeout. Many gluten-free and vegetarian menu items are available. Try our seasonal cocktails and seasonal menu items.
Top review
DavidE
Dined on May 26, 2024
we made reservations for our 62nd anniversary dinner and the entire visit was great, including excellent service by Camille and a very enjoyable dinner. PF Changes never fails to deliver a great experience.
A photo of Botanical Lounge restaurant
4.3
4.3 (26)
$30 and under
Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Raleigh
About the restaurant
A strictly 21 and up establishment, Botanical is an indoor / outdoor lounge concept located on the bustling Glenwood South Entertainment District. We specialize in Craft Cocktails, a Full Champagne Bar, and Tapas style Small Bites. Capability to be indoor/outdoor venue by opening the bifold doors that run the length of the entire venue to the covered outdoor patio. Enjoy our amazing Fried Brussel Sprouts or infamous Filet Sliders on our comfortable velvet couches before your night gets started!

Dont forget to check out our awarding winning rooftop bar, Highgarden venue. This is a completely open-air concept with an amazing view of downtown Raleigh. With plenty of cabana and high-top seating, as well as walking room, you will get the Miami roof top vibe in the center of downtown Raleigh. Find a table by one of our gas fire pits and enjoy a cocktail tree while watching the sunset!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 25, 2024
Very enjoyable atmosphere with a DJ on one end of the rooftop. Nice view of the city and great drinks.
A photo of BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse - Cary restaurant
4.1
4.1 (205)
$30 and under
American
Cary
About the restaurant
Time counts at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse. Since our humble beginnings back in 1978, we've continued to refine our brewhouse experience to make BJ's a place where you can make the most of any meal. We want BJ's to be a place where the moment you leave is the moment you plan on coming back. We pride ourselves in our craft and attention to detail. Our guests come here for our award-winning handcrafted beer. They come here for the Southern California twist we've put on the Chicago-style deep dish pizza. And they come here for our Pizookies®, our world-renowned dessert. But above all we know people come here to make their good times better. So in many ways we haven't just crafted a brand, but a mindset. And our guests are the reason for this. And it's because of them we're continually striving to make sure every moment they choose to spend with us counts. Welcome to BJ's, a restaurant with a Brewhouse soul.
Top review
ReaB
Dined on Jun 8, 2024
It was our first time at BJ's and it was AMAZING! Delicious food, GREAT service, a fantastic experience.
A photo of Peace & Saint - Raleigh restaurant
4.1
4.1 (141)
$31 to $50
Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Our elevated shisha café lounge inspired by Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean flavors is open 6 days a week, with a full service bar that invites you to engage in creative pursuits alongside wine, craft cocktails, and specialized hookah flavors.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur taking an afternoon meeting on our spacious patio, a designer stretching your creative inspiration beyond office walls, or a lifelong sports fan raising a victory glass, we invite you to our place of peace and genuine connections.

Respectfully we are a 21+ establishment.
ID is required upon arrival even with reservations.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 24, 2024
Our staff outing was great. It was not crowded at all for a Thursday night. Service was great. Only thing missing was some small bites.
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