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

Simply put, food is essential for life. It nourishes and sustains. But it's more than that—food is a common bond, a uniting force. We encourage you to seek out these special places, to thank them for caring and to join them however you can to advance our common goals in Raleigh, N.C., and beyond.

Dining & Drinks

Summer is upon us, and with summer comes the heat! Quench your thirst by sipping on one of these 10 boozy summer cocktails at unique bars in the City of Oaks. Cheerwine #3 at Bittersweet Cheerwine is...

Dining & Drinks

North Carolina’s capital is a hot-spot destination for foodies and culture seekers alike, with restaurants founded by nationally-acclaimed chefs, an abundance of arts offerings, happening music...

Dining & Drinks

Raleigh, N.C.’s agricultural background and vibrant artistic culture are together helping local chefs create unique spins on everyone's favorite summertime treat. With fresh and local...

Dining & Drinks

The Southeast is no stranger to rodeos—you can find barrel racing, team roping and bull riding with ease—but if you'd rather exchange your hat and boots for a knife and fork, then...

Dining & Drinks

When hunger strikes after beer, don't fear! The Raleigh area has awesome brewery restaurants ( check out our list, here! ) and fun weekly food truck nights are held at most breweries. But the brewery/food options don't stop there—lots of breweries are...

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