18 of the Triangle's
FINEST DINING VENUES

The most romantic restaurants in Raleigh beckon throughout the year, but especially on Valentine’s Day.

By Monique M. Rogers

 
 
 photos courtesy of 18 seaboard

photos courtesy of 18 seaboard

18 Seaboard

Shops at Seaboard Station
18 Seaboard Avenue  |  Raleigh

This is the original brand from Chef Jason Smith and his wife, Lauren, who have since put their signature on four additional Triangle restaurants. Each one is just as incredible as the last, but for that most special night on the town you’ll want to reserve a spot in this beautifully appointed renovation of Raleigh’s historic train depot. Think upscale Southern cuisine, and service that sets a new standard.

 

 
Luna_Tortelloni_di_Funghi_Porcini-web.jpg

Caffe Luna

136 East Hargett Street  |  Raleigh

The prime Italian Tuscan destination where first dates just might lead to a future wedding: The romantic setting is often reserved just for gala nuptials and celebration dining.

Photo courtesy of Caffe Luna; banner photo features Caffe Luna.

 
 photo by silver feather studios

photo by silver feather studios

Angus Barn

9401 Glenwood Avenue  |  Raleigh

Elegant dining in a rustic barn? Never an oxymoron when you’re talking about the Triangle’s—arguably the South’s—most legendary steakhouse. It’s a legend that lives up to its own reputation, hardly an easy feat. 

 

Azitra

8411 Brier Creek Parkway  |  Raleigh
535 Zang Street  |  Broomfield, Colorado
Vibrant tastes of contemporary cuisine from India, served in an elegant setting.

Bida Manda

222 South Blount Street  |  Raleigh
A beautiful tribute to the cuisine and culture of their homeland, and to their parents, this lovely Laotian restaurant from brother and sister Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha gives Raleigh diners the opportunity to expand their culinary horizons.

Bloomsbury Bistro

509 West Whitaker Mill Road  |  Raleigh
Intimate fine dining with a contemporary, French-inspired flare and a nod to fresh, seasonal ingredients. 

Crawford and Son

618 N Person Street  |  Raleigh
Located in the heart of historic Oakwood, this is where comfort foods get sexy. Acclaimed chef/owner Scott Crawford spins his magic with weekly specials and seasonally inspired dishes.

Death & Taxes

105 West Hargett Street  |  Raleigh
If you haven’t already made your reservation, you might need to book for Valentine’s 2019—but this eclectic restaurant from award-winning Chef Ashley Christensen is worth the wait. Think fresh fare, cooked perfectly on a wood-fired grill.

 
 photo courtesy of THE UMSTEAD hotel and spa

photo courtesy of THE UMSTEAD hotel and spa

Herons

The Umstead Hotel and Spa
100 Woodland Pond Drive  |  Cary

Celebrated American cuisine—Herons boasts the coveted Five-Star rating from Forbes and AAA’s Five Diamond award—in a luxury setting known for serving the best in local, seasonal fare.

 
 photo courtesy of IRREGARDLESS CAFe

photo courtesy of IRREGARDLESS CAFe

Irregardless Cafe

901 West Morgan Street  |  Raleigh

Healthy gourmet cuisine in an artsy farm-to-table nook offering vegan and protein options by day, jazz club by night. And if you want to take that romantic dining experience into another daypart, this is the place to book your weekend brunch.

 

Margaux’s

8111 Creedmoor Road  |  Raleigh
For 25 years and counting, this artsy North Raleigh restaurant has been the setting of choice for a romantic rendezvous and a dining experience that encompasses everything from craft cocktails to seafood, steaks, and coq au vin.

 
 photo courtesy of MANDOLIN

photo courtesy of MANDOLIN

Mandolin

2519 Fairview Road  |  Raleigh

Chef/owner Sean Fowler debuted his first restaurant within walking distance of where he grew up and keeps showing us all: Yes, you can go home again—and quickly become one of the hottest, must-visit restaurants in the city. Six years in, and folks are still chatting up Mandolin like it just opened.

 
 photo courtesy of REY’S RESTAURANT

photo courtesy of REY’S RESTAURANT

Rey’s Restaurant

1130 Buck Jones Road  |  Cary

Where continental cuisine meets New Orleans heat, served in an elegant ambiance that transports diners to the charm and allure of French Quarter fine dining.

 
 photo BY Stacey Sprenz, courtesy of SAINT JACQUES

photo BY Stacey Sprenz, courtesy of SAINT JACQUES

Saint Jacques

6112 Falls of Neuse Road  |  Raleigh

Since 2004, Chef Serge Falcoz-Vigne has been bringing authentic French cuisine to North Raleigh. The intimate setting books early, so you’d best plan ahead for this one.

 

 
 photoS COURTESY OF SECOND EMPIRE

photoS COURTESY OF SECOND EMPIRE

Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern

330 Hillsborough Street  |  Raleigh

Second to none: But we don’t have to tell you—after all, you’re the readers who voted Second Empire Best Restaurant for Romantic Dining in the Triangle.  

 

 
 photo COURTESY OF VINNIE’S

photo COURTESY OF VINNIE’S

Vinnie’s Steak House & Tavern

Peachtree Market  |  7440 Six Forks Road  |  Raleigh

In October, Vinnie’s celebrated its 30th anniversary as a North Raleigh landmark. The steak and seafood selections will make you wonder if you’re sitting in Chicago or San Francisco, but the charm is all Southern hospitality.

 

 
 photo of winston’s grille by food seen by felicia perry photography

photo of winston’s grille by food seen by felicia perry photography

Winston’s Grille

Sutton Square  |  6401 Falls of Neuse Road  |  Raleigh

If you’re new to Raleigh, this is the one the locals have been raving about since 1986.  Always scratch-made, always the freshest ingredients, always impeccable service.  Winston’s defined polished casual dining before others thought to imagine it.

 
 photo courtesy of north hills

photo courtesy of north hills

Vivace

4209 Lassiter Mill Road  |  Raleigh
1100 Metropolitan Avenue  |  Charlotte

In North Hills, this is the upscale polished choice for contemporary Italian cuisine—and it’s just as popular with singles seeking a night on the town as with couples celebrating romance.