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

Fresh off a highly-anticipated opening in Aug. 2018, Morgan Street Food Hall has been voted one of the top 10 best new food halls in the country ! The downtown Raleigh, N.C. , foodie attraction and brainchild of passionate mind Niall Hanley came in at No. 3 in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice

Dining & Drinks

Winters in North Carolina can range from warm to bitter cold. For those chilly winter nights, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best soups, stews and noodle bowls in the Raleigh area to keep you warm....

Dining & Drinks

Big news for the City of Oaks! A local-favorite dining and drinking spot in Raleigh, N.C., graces the cover of the newest Official North Carolina Travel Guide . Opened in 2016, Whiskey Kitchen...

Dining & Drinks

If barbecue is a tradition in The Tar Heel State (it is), then Clyde Cooper’s BBQ is an institution. Opened on New Year's Day 1938, it’s one of the longest-running barbecue...

Dining & Drinks

Bookending the south end of downtown Raleigh's Fayetteville St. (and with the Downtown Raleigh Christmas Tree this holiday season!), the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts is packed with...

Dining & Drinks

Note: This article was first published Dec. 11, 2017. Ten years ago, chef Ashley Christensen took a chance on a modest dining space with lots of history in downtown Raleigh. When the doors to Poole's Diner opened on Dec. 13, 2007, she was committed to building...

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