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.
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.
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.
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.
Solas is a luxurious dance club and lounge bar on three levels. Visitors can enjoy classic cocktails and small plates on a first-floor open-air patio or the rooftop deck, which has a motorized awning and offers fine views of Glenwood South downtown district. The lounges and bar rooms are secondary to the second floor’s glass-bottom dance floor, however, which is usually crowded with revelers on weekends. Solas has private rooms and first-rate VIP service, and caters to corporate events, weddings and private parties.
Sandwiched between the bustling Fayetteville and Salisbury streets, Ruby Deluxe is an intimate underground space featuring a well-curated program. The 2800-square-foot (260.12-square-meter) venue may not have all the charms and thrills of a regular downtown joint, but it does impress with some stellar acts across genres. Done come expecting an extensive list of draft beers or specialty cocktails, but Ruby does have some delicious coolers and cans to quench those thirst pangs. Pool tables, arresting works of art adorning the bar and cozy seating areas add to a very convivial ambiance at this downtown space.
Aficionados of experimental mixology should not miss out on Fox Liquor Bar's innovative creations. On offer at this lounge is an expansive list of cocktails, in addition to fresh brews and fine-aged wines. Here, you have the luxury of choosing from classics like Mai Tai, Manhattan and Old Fashioned or go for unique concoctions like the Corpse Reviver or the Grapefruit Collins. Exposed bricks and metallic accents create an urban-rustic ambiance that creates the perfect contrast to sublime bartending. Guests can also savor an impressive selection of charcuterie and cheese platters to enhance their overall experience.
With its vibrant menu of beers, Brewery Bhavana is a perfect spot for any kind of celebration. Other than being a beer bar and Chinese Dim-Sum restaurant, Brewery Bhuvana also houses a flower and book store. Even though not very ornate, the interior characterized by a bookshelf, plants, a flower shop and lanterns gives this place a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. There is a courtyard right between the bar and book shop which doubles as a seating area. It is in this part that one can come across natural light thanks to the window on the ceiling. However, the highlight of Brewery Bhavana lies in its bar that consists of forty taps. Apart from the beer this place also delivers upon its promise of delivering authentic Chinese recipes to the patrons. Some of the highlights include Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumpling, Cabbage Rolls, Sweet Soy Chicken, Pork Ma-Po Tofu, Peking Duck and Sichuan Fish. Sit in the courtyard area, enjoy the sunlight and the views of the sky while drinking a glass of craft beer.
Authentic Cajun dishes await you at The Big Easy. This restaurant serves an extensive lunch and dinner menu and a light, late-night menu featuring classic Cajun and New Orleans style dishes. The Balcony Mezzanine room and the Orange Room can be rented for private gatherings. Each room provides a different atmosphere to enhance your gathering - the Balcony Mezzanine features large mahogany tables and plush couches while the Orange Room is a main dining area with work from local artists on the walls. Live music enhances the experience Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Inspired by chef-owner, Sunny Gerhart's New Orleans roots, St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar is a haven for those who love the crust bivalve. From raw to roasted, they are served with superb accompaniments that take them a notch higher than any other oyster bar in the area. They also have clams and regional seafood in their menu. Louisiana influenced dishes such as the gumbo and hushpuppies served with Louisiana crawfish tails are some of the other features in the menu. Happy hours add to the popularity of this place. If you don't have a reservation, then make a beeline before the peak hours to a taste of their food.