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

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 frying up something in the South, and no

Dining & Drinks

From food halls to street food, cocktails to coffee, here’s everything you need to know about six of the best new restaurants in the City of Oaks! Ready to try them all? Go, go, go! Morgan...

Dining & Drinks

Have your shake and spike it too! Indulge in these five spiked shakes in the Raleigh area , because what’s a better combination than sugar and booze? Cheers! Alamo Drafthouse and Cinema If...

Dining & Drinks

Create your own food truck rodeo by visiting eight of the best food trucks in the Raleigh area ! With so many delicious options, these food trucks are sure to appease your appetite. The Wandering...

Dining & Drinks

Roll call—who likes it hot? We’ve rounded up 10 of the hottest foods (literally!) in the Raleigh area for all of the heat lovers out there. From face-melting hot chicken wings to an ice...

Dining & Drinks

When it comes baked goods, the Raleigh area truly rises to the occasion. An upper crust of sorts, some of our favorite selections below excel in baking the best loaves of bread, the most delectable desserts and the most positively sinful pastries. Whether you’re...

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