C. Grace is refined, a little mysterious, and darkly fun. The bar and Jazz venue is driven by live music and commitment to elegant, creative cocktails. These are mixed with just a few, strong ingredients, and have names that recall Jazz lounge Americana, like Kelly’s Grace, Hemingway, and New York Sour. Damask curtains and dim lighting add to the sultry mood here. C. Grace is a one Raleigh’s most rarefied bars, though membership is only a dollar. Performing musicians are mostly local but rotate regularly.
Vinos Finos is a departure from run-of-the-mill drinking and dining experiences. Located inside European-themed Lafayette Village, the wine bar is designed to sample tapas-style dishes and world-class wines. The staff here is more than happy to help with wine selection and pairings. Dark woods, leather furniture, and warm colors make the interiors feel like an old-world wine shop. Vinos Finos encourages patrons to converse, and the intimate, colorful setting is doubly suited for first dates or casual business meetings.
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.
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is a popular house of beer and UFOs in downtown Raleigh, where flying saucers adorn the walls and ceiling. The bar offers hundreds of beers to choose from and a generous menu of classic pub fare. Visitors can aspire to join the ranks of the “Ring of Honor,” a glory given to card-carrying U.F.O Club members once they consume 200 hundred different beers. Watch out for weekend fire sales, the Draught Emporium’s day-long version of happy hour.
Keep claustrophobia at bay as you enter The Cave for a great night of music and drinks. True to its name, this quaint little bar has a dungeon-like feel characterized by low ceiling, smokey settings, dim-lights and exposed brick walls. Probably the city's oldest dive bar, The Cave has a penchant for attracting revelers with its cool and easygoing vibe. Regulars walk in here through the evening, gulp down a few shots or cold PBRs with friends while listening to live rock. Talented artists and bands like Joseph Mulhollen, Alpha Cop and Manamana have performed here in the past. Visit their website to know more about their exciting line-up.
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.
Top of the Hill opens daily as a restaurant that has been voted "Best Place to Impress a Date," "Best Place to See and Be Seen," and "Best Outdoor Deck," among other awards. The locals frequent the Top for great food and brews, and visitors will find it highly recommended as a true taste of Chapel Hill. Patrons indulge in an eclectic selection of Baked Crab Dip, Tenderloin Bruscetta, or French Quarter Jambalya. When the sun goes down, the Top transforms into a chic UNC hangout, featuring Drain the Tank Mondays and live music on Thirsty Thursdays. The restaurant has a full bar, but with microbrews that have netted eighteen World Championship Beer medals, it seems that an ice cold pint is the way to go. - Caitlin Fahey
Opened in 1972, He's Not Here Our is a popular spot in Chapel Hill. The bar's name "He's Not Here" is inspired from several legends and folks. Enjoy an extensive selection of drinks, especially RJ Rockstar Son of a Peach, and few seasonal drinks at the bar. Every evening offers a new experience to its guests by hosting theme nights, karaoke nights, pint night and live music performances. The bar is a favorite among UNC and Dook athletes like Tino Martinez and Chase Rice and also Blue Grass Band Trampled By Turtles and Travelocity Gnome.
Never a disappointing visit at La Residence. A great place for an informal dinner with French food. Mind you the food is pretty pricey here, but well-worth it. The service staff is professional and will make sure you are well looked after. Ask the staff for suggestions on what to order, you will be surprised with some very good choices. The wine list features a good selection.
Nightlight is a friendly night club that welcomes people of all ages, and impresses with its range of ales, beers, wines and lattes. Art shows, block parties, dance jams, trivia nights and regular art walks are also organized. Call for details.