The Best Bars In Raleigh, North Carolina

Paige Watts

In Raleigh, North Carolina, you’ll find big-city energy and small-town approachability. There are speakeasies and homely neighborhood bottle shops, quiet cocktail bars and jam-packed pubs. Read on to discover some of the best bars in Raleigh.

The Architect Bar

The Architect Bar & Social House

Bar, Pub Grub

The Architect Bar & Social House offers a selection of craft beers, a creative specialty cocktail list, and nightly music. In a hidden room that once was an architect’s office, you’ll find The Green Light; just look for the bookcase door.

The Raleigh Times Bar

Bar, Pub Grub

The Raleigh Times Bar is located in a renovated 100-year-old building that used to house the namesake paper. Old press clippings and images published in the paper of The Raleigh Times decorate the walls and capture the capital city’s unique history. The Raleigh Times’ drinks menu offers innovative cocktails, craft beers, and an extensive Belgian beer selection. The bar features a second floor dining area as well as a rooftop patio with spectacular views of the city.


Bar, Cocktails

Foundation is a snug bar with chic, industrial decor located in a basement speakeasy setting in the heart of downtown Raleigh. This bar features seasonal handcrafted cocktails and offers a selection of regional and domestic draft beers, wines and spirits. The drink selection offered is carefully selected to be the best and includes the most diverse offerings from local and regional sources. Their chic cocktails are prepared individually with fresh ingredients, and they have an extensive selection of whiskeys.

The Anchor Bar

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

The Anchor Bar is a new cocktail bar located in the heart of downtown Raleigh and serves ‘cocktails without the attitude’. The Anchor Bar is an intimate, laid-back space with a nautical and coastal-inspired decor and an outdoor seating area. They have a live DJ on Friday and Saturday nights to keep guests entertained, excellent bartenders serving expertly made craft cocktails and a selection of craft beers and gourmet seasoned popcorn.

Busy Bee Cafe and The Hive

Restaurant, Belgian

The Busy Bee Cafe has a large bar serving wine, cocktails and most importantly, a huge selection of beer. Upstairs is The Hive, which has music, a different selection of beers on draft, and a rooftop patio with string lights and a view of the city.

House of Hops

Bar, American

House of Hops
Courtesy of House of Hops
House of Hops is a full service craft beer bottle shop as well as a full service bar offering 24 draft beer selections that change daily. House of Hops is dog-friendly and has a large outdoor patio space. In the back, guests can find plenty of games, such as a ping pong table, darts, and cornhole. They also have a running club you can join where members get special promotions and the bar hosts events and food trucks.

Drink Drank Drunk

Bar, Pub Grub

Drink Drank Drunk is a small beverage shop with a bar serving ‘Beer, Wine, & Hugs’. It is a cozy neighborhood spot with retro decor made mostly from repurposed and recycled materials. They feature weekly events like Metal Monday with three-dollar draft specials and heavy metal blasting on the stereos, or Willie’s Wine-o Wednesday with wines by the glass for three dollars. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try the gambler – Drink Drank Drunk’s mystery beer that is swapped out regularly.

C. Grace Cocktail Bar

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

C. Grace Cocktail Bar is a cocktail lounge with a Prohibition-era vibe. The bar aims for a classic jazz club feel with dimmed lights, jazz artists playing five nights a week, and strong drinks served by a friendly face. The drink menu includes sophisticated drinks and classic cocktails. Here, guests can take a seat in a cozy velvet-covered alcove for an intimate conversation and enjoy some smooth jazz while they drink one of the highly recommended cocktails, such as one named ‘Odd Perfection.’

State of Beer

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub

State of Beer is a radio show turned beer shop and bar. Their radio show keeps you updated on local beer events, beer styles and interviews with voices from the craft beer world, so it is no surprise that their long bar inside has a selection of some of the best local and international beers. State of Beer also features an outdoor patio space with plenty of seating, and they serve a small menu of sandwiches and salads.
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