Raleigh, N.C., Food Scene

It's a great time to be a foodie in Raleigh, N.C., and visitors and publications from all over have taken notice. Travel and Leisure named Raleigh one of America's favorite cities for barbecue, Zagat called the City of Oaks one of the “Hottest Food Cities of 2016” and OpenTable tallied up more than 10 million restaurant reviews and reported that two of the best 100 restaurants in the country are right here in Raleigh (Bida Manda and Saint Jacques French Cuisine are truly trip-worthy).

Forbes Travel Guide even named Raleigh one of 12 global destinations to travel to in 2017, thanks to our culinary prowess and superstar dining spots, including Crawford and Son (headed by five-time James Beard Award-nominee Scott Crawford), Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Spa (the state’s only Five-Diamond restaurant) and the soon-to-open Morgan Street Food Hall & Market (the brainchild of Ireland native Niall Hanley, who also owns the world record-setting Raleigh Beer Garden).

Passionate mind and James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen has earned her own accolades. Fresh off the release of her first cookbook (which the The New York Times raved about), Christensen was recently named a Breakthrough Rock Star Chef by Rolling Stone, had Food & Wine Magazine declare the chicken and waffles at Beasley's Chicken + Honey one of the best chicken dishes in the country and was named the national Chef of the Year by Eater.

Brewery Bhavana--the brewery, bookstore, flower shop and dim sum restaurant in downtown Raleigh's Moore Square district--was named a top 10 "Best New Restaurant" in America in 2017 by Bon Appétit, and Forbes listed the hot spot among "The 10 Coolest Places to Eat in 2018" in the entire world!

The restaurant scene is constantly evolving, too, redefining and re-imagining both Southern cooking and global flavors. From food trucks to sushi spots, craft breweries and chocolatiers, there is so much waiting to be discovered on your next visit!

Recent Articles

Dining & Drinks

The James Beard Foundation announced its list of chef and restaurant semifinalists for their 28th annual James Beard Foundation Awards (often referred to as the "Oscars of the food world"), and Raleigh is well represented! Ashley Christensen Chef Ashley Christensen, whose downtown Raleigh culinary

Dining & Drinks

Still keeping up with those New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy? Luckily, the Raleigh area is home to many great restaurants that value healthy living and quality ingredients without...

Dining & Drinks

Legendary barbecue spots, old-school soda shops, a hot dog joint that's over 100 years old and more! The Raleigh, N.C., area is rooted in history (the City of Oaks, founded on Dec. 31, 1792, is...

Dining & Drinks

Weekends are meant to be brunched on! Time spent with family and friends over stacks of blueberry pancakes or the perfect Eggs Benedict should be cherished—in the Raleigh area , it is. We get...

Things to Do

Hello, February! The shortest month of the year means there's no time to waste—we've got hockey games, hot chocolate dates and romantic getaways that can no longer wait! 14 fun date...

Dining & Drinks

Raleigh, N.C., five-time James Beard Foundation semifinalist for “Best Chef: Southeast,” Scott Crawford is a notable figure in the community. Deemed 2018’s “Restaurant of the Year” by The News & Observer ’s restaurant critic...

Beasley's chicken and waffles

Ashley Christensen

AC Restaurants

Rockstar Chef. James Beard Award-winner. Empire Builder. Chef of the Year. Chef and proprietor of AC Restaurants, Ashley Christensen is leading a culinary movement in Raleigh, N.C., with a host of dining, drinking and event spaces.

“I find a great deal of joy and inspiration working right here in Raleigh, N.C. There is something about being in a certain place at a certain time.”

Meet More of Raleigh's Passionate Minds