There are a number of excellent downtown Raleigh restaurant options, and it isn't difficult to find some favorites. There are a certain handful of restaurants that I enjoy thoroughly, and sometimes it's difficult to branch out and try new ones because I'm so happy with the places I already know. That said, downtown Raleigh restaurant options are varied, and it would be a disservice to oneself to neglect visiting the different places. You've got anything from Irish, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Italian and American food to satisfy your hunger! I should mention that I have no affiliation with any of the restaurants mentioned in this article whatsoever, beyond the fact that I love their food and highly recommend it!
Depending on what exactly you're looking for, there are various places that you may want to check out. Some folks just want to eat at someplace for lunch that's near work, and others are searching diligently for the best of the best in Raleigh. Personally, I don't mind good location and amazing food at one place! If you like Irish food, check out the Hibernian Pub. They've got a nice bar and delicious food, so check them out for a drink--you won't be disappointed! They've got outdoor seating, and the restaurant is huge on the inside.
Everyone has different takes on what constitutes awesome food, but some restaurants totally knock it out of the park and leave everyone in amazement. There's nothing better than going to a new place and being blown away at how delicious their food is, and if the service and environment are also top-notch, they've won my heart and I'll be going back time and again. For some Japanese food that'll knock your socks off, give Sushi Blues a shot. They also have outdoor seating as well as a great bar with a good drink selection. Their sushi is second to none and the environment is very nice. Sushi Blues is a popular spot to hit before going out for some of Raleigh's nightlife.
Here's the deal: when you're thinking about downtown Raleigh restaurant options, you've got to weigh the factors that mean the most to you personally. When you know what you're really going for, it becomes a lot easier to achieve that end. As such, I recommend choosing a few criteria that you feel are important, and then rating them 1-10. For example, if you want good food, good service and nice environment, and you expect 10/10 for food and service, but you'll accept 7/10 for environment, then you'll have a good way to measure possible restaurants.
With all the reviews and word of mouth these days, it isn't going to be hard to find just what you're looking for. There are downtown Raleigh restaurant options that will definitely meet your particular needs--hands down. By and large, the food downtown is great, so if you're feeling spontaneous, just stumble in someplace and see if they don't rock your world. I've been amazed a number of times at how great the food was at an unassuming restaurant that is not well-known. One such place serves Thai food, and they're called Thaiphoon Bistro. They've got delicious food, drinks and environment--you've just got to give them a try. The Thaiphoon experience is wonderful, so if you haven't made it out there yet, do yourself a favor and make a reservation.
If you're searching for nice places to eat around town, there are a few awesome downtown Raleigh restaurants that stand above the crowd. Personally, I like an upscale environment with a good selection of authentic cuisine. Some folks enjoy little mom-and-pop places, and we've got you covered whichever way you want to go. We've got everything in between, so if you can decide what type of place would be perfect, there's definitely a restaurant that will satisfy your personal preference. 518 West is a great Italian restaurant that you're sure to enjoy. They have valet parking, and it's generally a great place to dine out. Their lasagna is out of this world, so give them a try. They've got a great bar, too, so if you want a drink and/or some yummy Italian food, you can't go wrong with 518 West.
Because the downtown Raleigh restaurants are so varied, you could try a new place every night for an entire month. However, once you find a few of the best places, you'll probably want to go back there. You may not know what you're missing with some of the other fine restaurants, so I always encourage people to explore a little bit regardless of their loyalty to their favorite place. You really never know what kind of jewel you might find if you keep looking around. If you're checking out the Glenwood South restaurants and you don't want ethnic cuisine, maybe you'll settle for some good American food. My personal favorite in that category is Tobacco Road Sports Cafe--they get busy for sports, so if that's your thing check them out. All the basketball and football games are featured there, and you can imagine the excitement when things get going. On top of that, their food is awesome!
When you're looking for the right downtown Raleigh restaurant to serve you with the best food, ask around and some folks will be anxious to tell you their favorite spot. It really depends on what kind of food you love to eat, so start with the style of food in mind. A lot of restaurants have Facebook pages these days, so when you're doing your research, it won't hurt to swing by their page and see what their customers are saying. This is often one of the best indicators for how well a business is doing because it's very transparent by nature. Some restaurants do special deals that you can take advantage of in order to give them a try. It's incredible how good of a bargain you can get sometimes when you're checking out the local deals.
Many of the downtown Raleigh restaurants are eager to have you as a regular customer, and because this is the case, they want to treat you like royalty. This city is filled with wonderful places to enjoy incredible food, but if you want to discover them you've got to poke around a little bit. They say variety is the spice of life, so expand your horizons and check out the wonderful restaurants we've got in Raleigh.