There are many outstanding independent and chain restaurants in the Triangle region. Here are a few updated recommendations, selected for our travelers based on their quality, location and service. We do not receive compensation for any listings.
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
237 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Chicken and waffles, Southern specialties and some of the best “mac-n-cheese” anywhere. Popular brunch, too, but note the restaurant does not take reservations.
410 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27603
Upscale steakhouse in downtown Raleigh serving traditional American beef and seafood dishes for lunch and dinner.
328 W. Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Smoked free-range whole-hog pork, Texas-style brisket, barbecue ribs and other barbecue staples served in a casual, downtown setting.
La Farm Bakery
4248 NW Cary Parkway, Cary, NC 27513
Modern-day French boulangerie and cafe draws people from far away for lunch, dinner and its dazzling selection of artisan bread, pastries and tarts.
Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen
7307 Tryon Road, Cary, NC 27518
Southern, seasonal menu with sandwiches, locally sourced ingredients and a good selection of wine and craft beers, all presented in an elevated, but casual atmosphere.
1130 Buck Jones Road Raleigh, NC 27606
Traditional steakhouse menu with seafood and salads, billed as “fine dining with a French Quarter flare” and located just off the intersection of I-40 with US 64/1 and I-440.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro
Acme Food and Beverage
110 E. Main Street, Carrboro, NC 27510
Southern American cuisine created with fresh, local ingredients with a menu of signature cocktails and craft beers.
1201 Fordham Boulevard, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Seafood and oyster bar has received accolades since 1986 as one of the Triangle’s top seafood restaurants for its fried and wood-grilled specialties.
Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery
100 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Locally-inspired entrees, burgers and house-crafted beers served in a casual atmosphere, next to the university in the heart of Chapel Hill.
1647 Cole Mill Road, Durham, NC 27705
North Carolina whole-hog barbecue from locally sourced pork, with notable fried chicken, ribs, sides and a good beer menu. Note that the restaurant does not take reservations.
105 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC 27701
Artisan, wood-fired pizza with a good selection of wines, cocktails and beer in a contemporary location in downtown Durham.
345 Blackwell Street, Durham, NC 27701
Contemporary steakhouse serving Black Angus cuts and a small selection of seafood dishes for dinner and Sunday brunch downtown near the Durham Performing Arts Center.
Research Triangle Park
9401 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27617
Iconic Triangle steakhouse serving in-house-aged steaks, fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables in a sprawling setting near Raleigh-Durham International.
Carmen’s Cuban Café and Lounge
108 Factory Shops Road, Morrisville, NC 27560
Authentic Cuban specialties, along with salads and sides, are served daily at dinner and at lunch on weekdays.
Smokey’s BBQ Shack
10800 Chapel Hill Road, Morrisville, NC 27560
No-frills barbecue joint serving pork, brisket and chicken for lunch on Monday through Saturday and early dinner on Thursday through Saturday.
Carolina Dining Room
80 Carolina Vista Drive, Pinehurst, NC 28374
One of the state’s legendary, fine-dining restaurants features beef and seafood entrees at dinner, an epic breakfast buffet, and a dress code — all at Pinehurst Resort.
#2 Market Square, Pinehurst, NC, 28374
Irish pub combined with a full-service menu, featuring sandwiches, salads and some traditional Irish dishes.
Pinehurst Brewing Company
300 Magnolia Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Eclectic menu combines barbecue smoked over oak and hickory wood, Neapolitan pizzas and a selection of craft beer, served for dinner every night and lunch on weekends.
Jeff and Lisa’s Brickhouse Grill
1401 Colon Road, Sanford, NC 27330
Popular roadside restaurant near Raleigh Exec featuring affordable, creative and homemade dishes — including a menu of tasty burgers and changing daily specials.
Kathy's Java Express
120 S. Moore Street, Sanford, NC 27330
Casual coffee bar and lunch spot with espresso beverages and a daily selection of soup, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
Smoke and Barrel
120 S. Steele Street, Sanford, NC 27330
Neighborhood gastropub specializing in slow-cooked smoked pork, beef brisket and deli-style sandwiches, along with North Carolina craft beers, live music on weekends and a downtown Sanford location.