As part of the Research Triangle, Raleigh draws in an educated workforce with innovative ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit. The city is home to lifetime residents, but it is also one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.
It’s this combination of old and new that makes Raleigh a fantastic place for entertaining your clients and business partners. The city is home to world-renown chefs and restaurants that offer modern interpretations of classic favorites in an upscale dining experience, showing true Southern hospitality to your dinner guests.
Raleigh is a foodie town, there’s no doubt about that. You can find everything from upscale Laotian, a plethora of taco trucks, vegan soul food, underground speakeasys, and rooftop bars. When you are bringing clients to dinner, you want to balance familiarity with something unique, but most importantly, the entire experience from start to finish must be excellent. Below is our compilation of restaurants here in Raleigh that have menus catering to both conservative and adventurous eaters with execution that will have your guests wanting to dine with you—and do business with you—again and again.
The Angus Barn
Raleigh, NC 27617
Website: The Angus Barn
The Angus Barn is one of Raleigh’s most prominent food icons. Since its opening in 1960, the restaurant has grown into the Triangle’s most famous steakhouse. You can enjoy house-aged steaks, fresh seafood, locally grown vegetables, and homemade desserts.
And just as impressive as the menu is the wine selection. The Angus Barn is home to one of the most celebrated wine collections in the country, having won over 20 Wine Spectator Magazine Grand Awards. The famous wine cellar boasts thousands of bottles from all over the world.
508 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Website: 42nd St. Oyster Bar
For almost 100 years, 42nd St. Oyster Bar has been serving Raleigh with the freshest seafood in the city. With a menu that changes daily based on the availability of their seafood, you know that you aren’t going to enjoy a fresher, more carefully crafted meal from any seafood restaurant in the Triangle.
As you can gather from their name, 42nd St. Oyster Bar is famous for their fresh oysters sourced from here in North Carolina. The rest of the menu is full of shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, and even steak and chicken, prepared expertly so that you can enjoy and appreciate each of the ingredients.
This Raleigh tradition has a great atmosphere to entertain and enjoy the company of your business clients. With live music in the lounge, you can enjoy a fresh, local meal, then finish the evening with drinks.
6401 Falls of Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615
Website: Winston’s Grille
Wintson’s has been a Raleigh institution since 1986. The restaurant offers a selection of classic American Southern fare, including impressive steaks. The elegantly casual establishment has become a local tradition where business owners bring their clients to enjoy a delicious meal and unmatched hospitality. Winston’s captures the traditional steakhouse ambiance without feeling outdated. It’s comfortable and timeless, and their menu reflects this as well.
Winston’s is the perfect meld of comfort and class, tradition and innovation, and is home to one of the best steaks in the city. It’s a local favorite that has an excellent menu with the atmosphere and service to match.
Death & Taxes
105 W. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Website: Death & Taxes
One of the newer restaurants on this list, Death & Taxes is a contemporary restaurant in the Ashely Christiansen line of fabulous Raleigh eateries. The establishment is located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, making it a perfect meeting place for you and your clients.
The restaurant is dedicated to the technique of cooking with wood fire. Everything on the menu showcases this unique style of preparation of food native to North Carolina. Death & Taxes takes advantage of the state’s rich agricultural offerings to showcase local ingredients, beautifully executing each dish.
Death & Taxes also sports a unique cocktail, wine, and local craft beer selection. Their drinks are the perfect complement to their unique menu.
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
The Historic Dodd-Hinsdale House
330 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Website: Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern provides a unique Raleigh dining experience. You’ll find yourself and your guests enjoying a delicious, artfully prepared meal inside the Historic Dodd-Hinsdale House in the middle of downtown. The graceful dining rooms with expansive windows and fourteen-foot ceilings are the perfect setting for their seasonal menus.
At Second Empire, you can have a taste of southern-inspired dishes. From seafood to poultry to perfectly aged meats, the kitchen displays spectacular execution of each detail of your meal. Second Empire has won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since 1999. The restaurant’s staff can offer fantastic wine pairing suggestions to complete your experience.
If you are skipping dinner and opt to meet your client for drinks instead, the Second Empire Tavern is the perfect place to enjoy a signature cocktail or one of the many North Carolina craft beers on tap.
Fresh Levant Bistro
8450 Honeycutt Rd
Raleigh, NC 27615
Website: Fresh Levant Bistro
Fresh Levant is one of the few Raleigh restaurants where every single thing on the menu is non-GMO, soy free, and gluten free. The cherished Mediterranean bistro marries mouth-watering dishes with a deep care and respect for the health of each of its customers. It’s a fantastic place to bring clients who are conscious eaters or who have dietary restrictions.
Fresh Levant’s menus are clearly marked to show customers which dishes are allergy friendly for their specific needs. But you’ll never feel like you’re missing out with their made-from-scratch flatbreads, pasta bowls, Levantine proteins, and signature small plates. The restaurant is located in Lafayette Village, a boutique-style shopping center in North Raleigh with plenty of parking and a great atmosphere.
100 Woodland Pond Dr.
Cary, NC 27513
The culinary team at Herons truly redefines American fare in their interpretation of classic dishes elevated with impeccable execution and attention to every miniscule detail. One of Raleigh’s superior fine dining establishments, the Heron is the signature restaurant of The Umstead Hotel and Spa.
Utilizing homegrown vegetables and herbs from their own dedicated farm, Herons offers a three or four course prix fixe menu, or you can treat your clients with the Chef’s special tasting menu, the Art Tour Menu, inspired by The Umstead’s art collection. Each dish is not only delicious, but it is truly a masterpiece. Each component is carefully selected to balance against the other ingredients in the dish yet somehow still shines so you can appreciate every ingredient for its superior quality and preparation.
Having received The News and Observer’s five-star review and being honored as one of just forty-one Forbes Five Star Restaurants, Herons will certainly impress and satisfy you and your guests.
417 W. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Website: Oak Steakhouse
Established in 2018, Oak Steakhouse is a modern take on the classic American steakhouse, fitting in perfectly with Raleigh’s “old-meets-new” personality. When you visit Oak Steakhouse, you will enjoy a selection of delicious salads, small plates, and of course, steaks and chops.
The menu is truly upscale North Carolina fare with options like Carolina Heritage pork croquettes, Tasso mac and cheese, foie gras, and oysters. You’ll enjoy Southern cooking prepared with care and respect for the local ingredients. Their bar celebrates Raleigh’s local brewery industry with a variety of craft beers in addition to domestic and international brews and artisan wines.
Soca Cocina Latina
2130 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27605
Website: Soca Cocina Latina
Soca devliers the bright, bold flavors of Latin America and the Caribbean to Raleigh. This casual fine dining restaurant is a great place to bring clients if you want to give them a fun, unique, and delicious experience.
In addition to their tender steaks and elegant chicken dishes, they offer a range of traditional foods from countries and cultures far south of the Triangle. You’ll find pork cheeks, charred octopus, and Jamaican lamb, to name just a few of their perfectly balanced dishes.
One reason Soca is a beloved Raleigh establishment is because of the way it caters specifically to its gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan clientele. Their menu is a treasure trove of delicious dishes that are safe for and fit the lifestyles of their customers with specific dietary needs.
Thanks for reading "The Best Raleigh Restaurants for Business & Client Dinners and Drinks", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.