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Best Bars in Raleigh/Durham

By: Cityseeker
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Wild Turkey Lounge

Thad Eure, Jr. and Charles Winston metamorphosed the big barn to create Angus Barn, a landmark dining destination in the city. In 1984, the waiting room of the restaurant was opened to guests and is today come to being as the Wild Turkey Lounge. It is christened so after the 600-odd wild turkey decanters that form part of the quaint-yet-inviting decor from Thad's personal collection back home. That's not the only unique accumulation on floor; in addition, marvel at an array of single action revolvers that don the wall. The menu features Alaskan king crab claws, oysters Rockefeller, barbequed beef ribs and rack of lamb, as well as complementing globe-spanning wines. Smoke a cigar from the cellar-turned-humidor and end your meal with classic crème brülée or sawdust pie.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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The Pinhook

The Pinhook is one of Durham’s favorite bars and concert venues. Known for fostering a sense of community, the bar hosts monthly events like open mic nights, karaoke parties, square dances, drag shows, and arcade game tournaments. Enjoy a beer, listen to an up and coming band, and head to the patio for fresh air. The bar is named after the settlement of Pinhook, famous for a grog shop of the same name and the rowdy, fun-loving crowd it attracted.

Durham, NC, United States
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Alley Twenty Six

Alley Twenty Six is sophisticated cocktail and wine bar serving charcuterie and small plates in stylish surroundings. Locals come to the bar for the relaxing, dimly-lit atmosphere, classic cocktails, and nicely curated wine list. Attention to detail and flavor sets Ally Twenty Six apart from other contemporary cocktail bars. The team here creates one of a kind homemade syrups and tonics: think zesty cinchona bark and lemongrass syrup. The bar, which faces East Chapel Street, has a little outdoor seating on 26 Alley, from which it takes its name.

Durham, NC, United States
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Fullsteam Brewery

Fullsteam brewery serves classic and innovative beers crafted with locally farmed ingredients, including sweet potatoes, basil and grapes used in experimental recipes. The industrial, spacious brewery has plenty of room for groups, the occasional live band, arcade games, darts, and ping pong tables. Although Fullsteam does not serve food of its own, visitors are welcome to bring their own, or take advantage of the rotating cast of food trucks that park just outside the bar on most days.

Durham, NC, United States
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World Of Beer

Scott Zepp and Matt LaFon combined their passion for beer and entrepreneurial spirit to conceive the first World Of Beer in Tampa back in 2007. After much success and popularity, the brand franchised to cater to beer aficionados across the country. The impressive selection of brews features top-labeled lagers, ales and drafts, to please connoisseurs and amateurs of the beverage alike. Music is a dimension well-fabricated into the experience, with the space having staged several emerging alternative bands and live gigs. The friendly service and their insistence on an at-home vibe have won them accolades and patrons aplenty.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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Neptune's Parlour

Located beneath King’s Royal Barcade, Neptune's Parlour is a hip underground bar that offers DJs, pinball, ping pong and arcade games. It also boasts a menu of local craft beers from mostly small North Carolina Brewers, seasonal cocktails and the very popular shot of the week. On weekends the bar is packed with dancers, and on some nights live acts play in front of the brick-walled stage. Neptune’s adds subterranean character to downtown Raleigh’s bar scene, off–or under–the beaten path.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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The Raleigh Times Bar

The Raleigh Times is housed in a restored century-old building, and celebrates local history with news clippings and images clipped to its walls. Stepping into the bar is like stepping into Raleigh’s past, when papers were hawked on street corners and watering holes were only for whiskey. The Times’ menu features creative takes on classic pub fare, and an extensive beer selection with a focus on Belgian ales. The second-floor deck seating has the best views of downtown Raleigh.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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Foundation

Foundation is a subterranean bar reachable from a stairway on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. The bar, which makes good use of its underground location with exposed pipe work, brick walls, and reclaimed wood panels, is known for serving some of the best cocktails in Raleigh. The menu also features local beers and seasonal cocktails made with the best of diverse locally-sourced ingredients. Though Foundation is underground, on sunny days the bar opens street level seating perfect for enjoying a beer in the sunshine.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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The Architect Bar and Social House

The Architect Bar & Social House is a fun local bar located in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. Its name is inspired by the architectural history that surrounds the 1922 establishment it calls home. The unique arrow-shaped skylight gives way to natural lighting that enhances the old-world ambiance surrounded by exposed brick walls. Enjoy domestic and international beers and spirits, or select from an array of inventive concoctions like Manhattan, Vanilla Julep or Sazarac. Cocktails are crafted exclusively from seasonal fruits and handmade tinctures. The limited appetizer menu makes for great drinking accompaniments.

Raleigh, NC, United States
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