Raleigh is known for being an affordable city for the most part, but if you have something to celebrate, there are plenty of fine dining options in Downtown Raleigh where you will have to splurge a little… But boy is it worth it!

Here are 5 of our favorite restaurants that are on the pricey side:

Death & Taxes

You can’t talk about food in Raleigh without mentioning Raleigh’s most famous chef, Ashley Christensen. Death & Taxes features food cooked with wood fire, which you can see in the open kitchen while you dine. All menu items are meant to be shared. Entree items range from $12 – $35 and expect to order 1-2 per person.

Second Empire

Second Empire is a fine dining restaurant located in the historic Dodd-Hinsdale House. Entrees run between $26-$34. Second Empire also hosts wine dinners and is a popular event space for weddings. Want to experience Second Empire, but don’t have the cash? Dine in The Tavern, where the entrees are a little less expensive!


Buku features global street food and has an extensive menu that’s sure to please any palate or diet. There are dishes from all over the world on the menu: Vietnam, Italy, India, Japan…. It’s like going on a world tour! The small and large plates are meant to be shared. Large plates run between $19-$36, and you can expect to order 1-2 per person.


Royale is a French-American Bistro located in City Market. The dinner menu features oysters, seafood dishes and French favorites such as Steak Au Poivre. Entrees range from $14-$30. If you’ve ever wanted to know what a $16 burger tastes like, order the Royale Burger and please report back to us on how it is!

Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar

Located next to the Sheraton, Jimmy V’s is popular with visitors and locals alike. The menu features wood-fired pizzas and rich Italian entrees. Ask about the homemade pasta! Entrees run between $14-$34, but 2.5% of all revenue generated by the restaurant goes to The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Save this list of 5 fine dining options for the next you have an anniversary or a new job to celebrate. Or, if you just feel like splurging too. You don’t really need an excuse to go out and have a fabulous meal for a few extra dollars!

So what are some of your favorite fine dining spots in Downtown Raleigh? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at FB.com/919Blog and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

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