Sometimes you just need a “next level” experience when dining out. Maybe you just got a bonus or a promotion, and you want to splurge just because you can, right? Whether you are looking to celebrate, impress a date or a business client, there are many restaurants in Durham and Chapel Hill that do fine dining like no other place.

Check out this list of the top seven most trendy, sophisticated fine dining restaurants in the entire Durham and Chapel Hill area that you will definitely want to have on your short-list of local spots for special occasions:

Bin 54 Steak & Cellar

Bin 54 Steak & Cellar is the fine dining go-to for Chapel Hill locals looking to celebrate! The menu features the finest in steak and seafood, along with an exquisite wine list.

Nana Steak

Nana Steak is conveniently located next to the Durham Performing Arts Center, which makes planning a date night easy. Enjoy a delicious steak dinner before or after a show.

La Residence

La Residence has been a fine dining staple in Chapel Hill since 1976. It features French cuisine with an American twist and offers a lunch service featuring crepes of all kinds! If you are looking for a unique fine dining experience, La Residence is sure to deliver.

Fairview Dining Room

Located inside the famous Washington Duke Inn, the Fairview Dining Room features neo-American specialties Fennel-Dusted Steelhead Salmon. This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star rated restaurant is sure to impress anyone and is a great place to entertain visitors.

Il Palio

Il Palio is located inside Chapel Hill’s Siena Hotel. It features fine Italian cuisine in a cozy atmosphere that’s reminiscent of a Tuscan Villa. This critically acclaimed restaurant is the perfect spot for a romantic date night!

Counting House

For those who love fine dining and fine art, Counting House is a dream come true! It’s located inside Durham’s 21c Museum Hotel and features a seasonal menu that’s created using locally-sourced ingredients.

Yamazushi Japanese Cuisine

Yamazushi Japanese Cuisine offers the absolute best in fine Japanese dining. This restaurant features Kaiseki, which is a traditional multi-course dinner featuring small, artful dishes that are served in ceremonial fashion. It’s honestly a dining experience like no other!

Other fine dining restaurants worth mentioning on here that offer Asian-inspired cuisine are Jujube and Elements. Looking for another upscale steakhouse option? Check out the Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill.

With several universities and businesses located in Durham and Chapel Hill, there is a lot to celebrate pretty much year-round, graduations, promotions, new jobs, etc. Luckily, there are plenty of fabulous restaurants to choose from that are sure to please without having to drive far.

So what are some of your favorite fine dining restaurants in the Chapel Hill and Durham area? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Downtown Durham Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN