What does it take for a local restaurant to become famous and highly acclaimed? Often it’s a combination of talent and passion, and there is no shortage of that in the Raleigh food + drink scene. Raleigh is home to many award-winning restaurants that have been featured in publications, shows, and TV.
From fancy upscale restaurants to casual sit down diners, we have some of the best, and we want the world to know it. Check out this list of the most highly celebrated, famous local restaurants in Raleigh:
When it comes to award-winning, Angus Barn has everyone beat! This renowned steakhouse/wine cellar/lounge has won so many prestigious local and national awards over the years, including the 2004 Gold Plate, the food industry’s highest honor.
Its wine list has been recognized by Wine Spectator Magazine several times over the years. In 2006, Executive Chef Walter Royal entered and won the Iron Chef America competition! Angus Barn isn’t just famous for its food and wine, it’s also well-known for its unique event spaces, The Pavilion and Bay 7.
The Angus Barn is world-renowned for its service and has been setting the highest industry standards in hospitality since first opening in 1960. Over 15,000,000 guests have now enjoyed the Angus Barn in Raleigh. All experience what Thad Eure, Jr. and Charles Winston originally envisioned: incomparable hospitality; excellent value; a meal of impeccable quality; and the vibrant rustic Americana ambiance for which the Barn is now known across the globe.
Brewery Bhavana opened in early 2017 with high expectations. The restaurant features unique craft beer, a flower shop, a bookshop, and a dim sum restaurant. Fortunately, Brewery Bhavana lived up to those expectations and was named one of 2017’s best new restaurants by Bon Appetit!
Sanskrit for cultivating, the seed of Brewery Bhavana was born from within the Raleigh community of makers and dreamers with a shared vision to create community through their humble offerings. Rooted in the historic Moore Square Park in downtown Raleigh, Brewery Bhavana today is a gathering place celebrating communal beer experiences that exhibit the hand of the maker. Brewery, dim sum restaurant, flower shop, and bookstore, Bhavana is the restaurant founders’ love letter to a community that has given them so much over the years.
Raleigh loves its BBQ, and the most famous Raleigh BBQ restaurant is most definitely The Pit. The Pit’s delicious BBQ and ribs have been recognized by Zagat, Bon Appetit, Southern Living and was even featured on the Food Network’s Throwdown!
A celebration of all of the great culinary offerings of the Old North State, The Pit has made a name for itself as the destination for the state’s signature cuisine. The pigs used to produce the barbecue are all raised in North Carolina using free-range farming practices, and the freshest of the state’s bountiful produce is featured in the starters, sides, and desserts.
Going far beyond traditional barbecue offerings with some contemporary twists on Southern favorites, The Pit also serves Texas-style brisket, baby back ribs, barbecue turkey, fried chicken, and a can’t-miss barbecue tofu dish. The tradition of Southern hospitality mixes well with The Pit’s contemporary setting in a beautifully restored 1930s meatpacking warehouse.
All of the spirits at The Pit have been handpicked to enhance the smoked and sometimes spicy fare cooked off the pit, as well as with some of the more traditional entrees. Furthermore, they take this to new heights with dinners that pair specific wines and beers with barbecue. And if it’s bourbon you want, they got a selection of fine bourbon whiskey meant to awaken even more smoky flavors from the pit.
Ashley Christensen is arguably Raleigh’s most famous local chef who is the most established, and her most renowned restaurant is the very first one – Poole’s Diner! This restaurant does comfort food like no other. It is a “modern diner” with re-imagined southern cuisine.
Christensen is an award-winner herself, taking home the James Beard Award for “Best Chef” of Southeast in 2014. Poole’s Diner has been featured on numerous “best of” lists, with the most recent being Eater’s list of the country’s ‘essential restaurants’ restaurants in 2017.
Poole’s philosophy of the kitchen and bar is simple to digest: creative, simple offerings carefully executed. The delicious menus are inspired by the season and its many offerings. As the season changes, at some points on a daily basis, so do their chalkboard menus. They work with local growers and artisan producers whenever possible, to showcase their unique craft while practicing their own. Christensen and the team are proud to be a part of a community that recognizes the importance and value of supporting the small family farm.
Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits
Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits isn’t just famous in name only. The franchise opened its first restaurant in North Carolina in the 1970s and has since become one of the most prolific and loved fast casual food restaurants in the south. Its Cajun filet biscuit is second to none! There are well over a dozen Bojangles locations to be found all throughout the Raleigh area. No reservations or wait times are required of course! Just come in, and enjoy some of the best southern comfort foods around ready in only a few minutes.
Raleigh’s Food Scene is Worthy of Acclaim
Though most restaurants become famous for its food, some become famous because of visitors. America’s 44th President, Barack Obama visited Raleigh Times in 2008. Billy Joel visited Bida Manda in 2014 and reportedly loved the pork belly soup! We even have celebrity owned spots here in Raleigh. Lucky B’s Bar, the “classiest dive bar in Raleigh” is owned by former Carolina Hurricanes player Bates Battaglia. He and his brother went on to win The Amazing Race reality show in 2013!
So what are some of your favorite local restaurants in 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 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication on 919Blog.com