8 Romantic Dinner Date Spots in Raleigh

Have you recently moved to Raleigh, or are you planning to look at homes for sale in Raleigh? Whether you already live in town or you’re planning to relocate, knowing about the best restaurants in Raleigh is important. Not only will this help you choose a prime date-night restaurant, but it could also be the perfect place to celebrate the successful offer made on a home with your significant other. Here are some of the best romantic dinner date spots in the city.

1. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

Located in downtown Raleigh is the historic Dodd Hinsdale House, which was built in 1879. This historic Victorian-style home has been converted into a prestigious restaurant and bar and is often used as a venue for weddings and other events. You can tour this house to learn about its history and how it has evolved into the elegant dining establishment it is today. After the tour, head into the Second Empire restaurant to try a variety of signature dishes, from North Carolina-influenced meals to Latin-inspired dishes. After dinner, visit the attached bar and choose from a selection of local beers, elegant wines, and unique cocktails.

2. Mandolin

Photo courtesy of Mandolin

Close to both Five Points and the historic Hayes Barton neighborhood is Mandolin. At Mandolin, you can find a variety of southern-inspired dishes with some worldly influences. From the classic Skillet Cornbread or Chicken and Waffles to Shrimp Toast and Flounder Crudo, every meal is prepared using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. If you are interested in trying southern cuisine with a new twist in a warm and family-oriented environment, then consider Mandolin, where delightful American music is played to set a perfect mood.

3. Death & Taxes

Photo courtesy of Death & Taxes

Opened in 2015 by chef Ashley Christensen, Death & Taxes draws upon its historic roots from its unusual name and the food it serves. The building it occupies was once a funeral home and a bank. Death & Taxes is now one of the best fine dining spots in Raleigh. The restaurant boasts an open kitchen where most of the meals are grilled over a wood fire. Patrons can dine in extraordinary comfort and luxury under a brilliantly lit chandelier. Dine next to an open window or at the bar, and enjoy your scrumptious dish in warm and cozy surroundings. Pair your meal with a flavorful wine from the wine cellar, which was once a bank vault. Death & Taxes is one restaurant you have to visit with your significant other for the ultimate romantic dining experience.

4. The Capital Grille

Photo courtesy of The Capital Grille

Known nationwide as a top-tier steakhouse chain, The Capital Grille specializes in dry-aged steaks and world-class wines. The dining, service, food, and atmosphere are all on point at the restaurant’s Raleigh location. Start with oysters, crab cakes, or prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella off the Grille’s appetizers menu. Their steaks come with the best garnishing: Cipollini onions, wild mushrooms, and fig essence come with the sliced filet mignon. The wine menu offers non-vintage whites and reds from some of the best wineries worldwide. Reservations are available until 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and until 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

5. Oak Steakhouse

Photo courtesy of Oak Steakhouse

If you’re looking for a date night in an elegantly rustic spot, consider Oak Steakhouse. Located at The Dillon, it offers a warm and romantic space to enjoy a private meal with your significant other. Whether you are craving boneless ribeye, New York strip, or filet mignon, you will get an excellent steak here. Oak Steakhouse also offers salads, soups, and vegetarian entrees, and there’s a wide array of desserts to choose from, making it one of the best restaurants in Raleigh. Celebrate with your special someone and enjoy the finest cuts of meat at this one-of-a-kind restaurant in the Warehouse District (and remember to make a reservation).

6. Stanbury

Photo courtesy of Stanbury

In Mordecai, just north of Downtown Raleigh, you can find the cozy and inviting Stanbury. The restaurant serves New American fare from its rotating seasonal menu. Self-described as “caring, playful, and uncomplicated,” Stanbury is also a great place to dine if you or your date is in-the-know about local agriculture. Its small plates are excellent for sharing (ideal for dates), and its craft cocktails usually have the bar abuzz. You can make reservations online; Stanbury stays open until 11 p.m. on weekends. It is a quirky favorite with an atmosphere conducive to good conversation — one of Raleigh’s best examples of fine dining.

7. O-Ku

Photo courtesy of O-Ku

One of the best restaurants in Raleigh, O-Ku is another one of the city’s Warehouse District gems. Its industrial interior is set on the first floor of The Dillon (in the same building as Oak Steakhouse). The restaurant specializes in authentic Asian cuisine with a focus on sushi. Like many southern eateries, O-Ku serves unique ingredients with excellent presentation. Its fish comes from markets in Norway, Scotland, Hawaii, and New Zealand, so if your date loves seafood, they will be in heaven. You can make reservations online via OpenTable (O-Ku opens at 5 p.m. for dinner).

8. Rosewater Kitchen & Bar

Anyone interested in an informal get-together should make it a priority to visit Rosewater Kitchen & Bar. This fantastic restaurant is located in the dining district of North Hills, the best of a group that also includes STIR and The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. Chef Brian Jenzer expertly prepares flavorful menus for brunch and dinner. The pumpkin creme brulee highlights the vegetables section of the dinner menu, and the seafood plates are delightful. Make reservations online or pop in for Sunday brunch.

Interested in buying or selling a home in the Raleigh area? Schedule a consultation with the real estate team at Spotlight Realty. They can provide expert guidance on everything from first-time home-buying tips to selling a home in this competitive real estate market.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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