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Best American in Raleigh/Durham

By: Cityseeker
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Angus Barn

Angus Barn is an upscale steakhouse with an opulent menu of wines, steaks, and seafood. Housed inside a building that resembles a giant red barn, Angus has been a local mainstay since 1960. Its staying power is attributed to great service, a fine dining atmosphere, and classic steakhouse fare. Locals come to the barn to celebrate special occasions and meals. The sprawling restaurant is a treat to walk through and behold, and has a wine cellar, whiskey lounge, and cigar bar.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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Capital Club 16

Capital Club 16 pays homage to the old and new. The restaurant serves American food with European influences and is housed inside a registered historic building in downtown Raleigh. Interiors here are a salvage house of reclaimed wood and tile taken from New York restaurants, Neuse River docks, and North Carolina mills. Classic dishes with the foresight of seasonal and locally-grown ingredients fill the menu. Capital Club 16 is a fine choice for a relaxed but refined dinner, and also has a full-service bar and serves lunch and brunch.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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Glenwood Grill

Glenwood Grill offers upscale, contemporary cuisine inspired by the American South and coastal Carolinas. The restaurant prides itself on farm-to-table policies and use of regionally sourced food. Menu highlights include fried green tomatoes, seafood and grits, and she crab soup. Choose wines from California, South America, and Europe, and finish your dinner with chocolate bread pudding. This sleek restaurant is a good choice for a romantic dinner. During the evening, the lights dim and the night becomes visible from floor to ceiling windows

Raleigh, NC, United States
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Lucky 32

Hearty Southern cooking dished out amidst lovely surroundings make Lucky 32, one of Cary's favorite dining destinations. The talented Chef Jay Pierce makes great use of the region's abundant produce to come up with a well-thought out menu of Southern specialties. The local focus on ingredients is evident with the restaurant's alliances with local farms and the menus undergoing seasonal changes as well. The menu exhibits diverse influences from the Southern palate with pretty much every region represented. Specialties like Jambalaya, Black Bean Cakes and Pulled Pork on Johnny Cakes are some that are worth checking out. The salads and sandwich selection prove to be great for lighter appetites. The brunch menu is a popular affair as well. The restaurant's wine list has received accolades from Wine Spectator and is suitably diverse to match the menu. Service is spot-on and the staff is well equipped to handle large groups. Hosting private functions is also a possibility. Check website for more information.

Cary, NC, United States
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Players Retreat

The Players Retreat has been a Raleigh burger and beer touchstone since 1951, and is the antithesis of the high energy lounges that dominate parts of West Raleigh. The interiors stand out with dark wood, black booths, and a vintage university feel. Locals come to the retreat for the burgers and largest malt scotch selection in North Carolina. Although the Retreat’s homespun menu has become time-honored, it now offers a bit of sophistication with a comprehensive wine list.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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Charlie Goodnight's Comedy Club & Restaurant

This comedy club and restaurant has been a great alternative to the dating standby of dinner and a movie since 1983. The club showcases all types of comedians, from newcomers to famous celebrities, while serving guests dinner and drinks specials from an in-house bar and grill. Tables for parties of four or less are offered through general admission on a first-come, first-serve basis, while larger groups are encouraged to make reservations. The club also hosts a comedy academy of stand-up workshops, and a lively schedule of open mic nights. .

Raleigh, NC, United States
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The Rockford

The Rockford has been serving creative sandwiches and American fare from its hip brick building since 1994. There is a rock solid sustainability policy here, as all the ingredients used are locally-sourced. The menu offers salads, sides, and a few featured entrees, but the centerpiece is the beloved collection of sandwiches, which are prepared by combining classic ingredients in unique combinations. Rockford’s enduring power might come from its apple, bacon, and cheddar sandwich. Sunday brunch rounds out the service at this local favorite.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern

This fine-dining restaurant and tavern serves new American cuisine in a restored 19th Century Second Empire Victorian. The restaurant is more than worth a visit for its refined atmosphere and gourmet food. Casual dishes are served in the cellar tavern, while a creative seasonal menu is offered in the formal dining room. Visitors can enjoy a beer in the tavern or a pre-dinner cocktail while seated in the covered front-porch. Second Empire is a first-rate destination for an elegant dinner.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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The Pit

The Pit offers some of the best barbecue in Raleigh. Set in a restored early 20th Century meatpacking warehouse, the restaurant carries on the North Carolina barbecue tradition by serving full-hog, pit-cooked pork, and other barbecue essentials. But The Pit is more than a generic barbecue restaurant: it combines the generous portions of classic meat-loving joints with some surprises. The pork is free-range, and guests can enjoy barbecued tofu, wines, cocktails, and a comprehensive list of bourbons.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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