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), La Farm Bakery (the authentic French bakery from Master Baker Lionel Vatinet) and the brand-new Morgan Street Food Hall (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

With the N.C. State Fair only coming around once a year, it’s a tough task to get your fix of fried foods and oversized portions in just 11 short days. Fear not, because some restaurants across the Raleigh area are serving N.C. State Fair-inspired foods year-round! From bizarre ice cream flavors to

Dining & Drinks

It's a great time to be a foodie in Raleigh, N.C.! Travel and Leisure named Raleigh one of America's favorite cities for barbecue, Zagat called the capital city one of the “Hottest...

Dining & Drinks

Update (Oct. 10, 2018, 4pm): The N.C. State Fair opening date has been postponed to Oct. 12 due to Hurricane Michael. More info High-flying rides and deep-fried pies—the N.C. State Fair is back...

Dining & Drinks

It's no surprise that the origins of fried chicken can be traced to the South. In the Raleigh area you'll find some version of it on seemingly every street corner—usually paired with...

Dining & Drinks

Morgan Street Food Hall , the highly-anticipated, multi-vendor food hall located in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District , is now open! The repurposed warehouse, measuring 22,000 square feet,...

Dining & Drinks

Nothing says Southern hospitality quite like Southern comfort food, and the Raleigh area dishes up some of the best around. Here’s the scoop on a few of our favorites—what they are, where to find them and how to eat them! Fried chicken We’re always...

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