Downtown Raleigh is a vibrant place filled with friendly and enthusiastic people. Many downtown restaurants reflect that energy!

Here are some of the liveliest spots to grab a bite to eat…

The Raleigh Times

The Raleigh Times has been a local favorite since it opened in 2006 in a beautifully restored 100-year-old building. It’s not hard to find – just look for the crowds of people enjoying burgers, beer and lively conversation on Hargett Street! It’s so popular that it’s expanded twice over the years. There is now upstairs seating AND an awesome rooftop patio with an amazing view!

Level Up

In addition to offering a delicious selection of beer, drink, burgers, sandwiches and DEEP FRIED OREOS, Level Up features arcade games and pinball machines. Grab your friends see who can get the highest score on Ms. Pac Man or Donkey Kong! Here’s a tip: Sunday is Free Play Day so you can play all the arcade cabinet games for free while also enjoying $1 off drafts. Sunday Funday, indeed!

Whiskey Kitchen

Typically, when you think of whiskey bars, you think of quiet, dark basement bars where you can keep your whiskey drinking habit a secret, but that’s is not the case with Whiskey Kitchen. This large, open space features long tables inside and outside, so there’s plenty of room for all of your friends! Chat about your favorite whiskeys while sharing a pickle plate or some fried green tomatoes!

The Big Easy

When you think of New Orleans, chances are you think of that giant party known as Mardi Gras, right? You can get a taste of that party at The Big Easy! Chow down on Jumbalaya while enjoying some lively jazz music!


The first thing you notice when you walk into Calavera is the vibrant decor that’s reminiscent of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Calavera specializes in tequila and empanadas. It’s a great spot for drinks and a light snack! There’s always a party atmosphere, and the Three Amigos plays on a loop on the TV upstairs.

Tasty 8’s

Open until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays, Tasty 8’s caters to that hungry, late-night crowd that’s still in the mood to party! Tasty 8’s features gourmet hot dogs with a variety of toppings. You can dine in or take your dog to go. Need something sweet? Order one of their gourmet shakes!

You’ll find that most Downtown Raleigh spots are filled with lively, happy people that want everyone to have fun and a good time.

So what are some of your favorite happening and lively places to grab a bite to eat in Downtown Raleigh? 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 Raleigh Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN