What is the best Raleigh-Durham nightlife?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Mid-sized, live-music venues, restaurants and neighborhood bars make most of the noise at night in Raleigh-Durham. For live music, Cat’s Cradle, Motorco Music Hall and Lincoln Theatre get high marks. Neighborhood bars include Fullsteam Brewery, Raleigh Times and the Crunkleton. And restaurant bars at Lantern and Acme Food & Beverage Co. — among others — put a whimsical local spin on cocktails.

Raleigh-Durham’s dining and entertainment scene has a patchwork quality to it; driving around the area, you’re as likely to glimpse a ramshackle barbecue joint as a fine dining venue. Even as alternative music streams out the doors of hillbilly-hip venues, glittering performance centers in the area host Broadway shows and big-name performers. So, no matter what your druthers, you’ll find something to suit you in Raleigh-Durham.

Jim Beley

Glenwood South, near downtown Raleigh, is alive and happening most nights and includes several nice restaurants and bars. We recommend Solas, Red Room, 42nd Street Oyster Bar, Zely and Ritz, Sushi Blues and Sullivan’s Steak House.

Theresa Chiettini

Since 1975, Irregardless Café has been a Raleigh favorite for innovative, healthy cuisine and nightly music — live jazz Tuesdays through Thursdays, "Torch Songs" Fridays and various dance bands on Saturdays. 
 
Tyler’s Taproom has large windows and wooden beams that accent the interior of this inviting tavern. If it's beer you're after, choose among 60 different brews to satiate your thirst. In the evening, patrons like to hang around to shoot pool or watch sports in the Speakeasy bar. 
 
Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery in Chapel Hill is located on the corner of Columbia and Franklin streets. This bar's primary appeal is its intriguing view of the neighborhood from its spacious top-floor deck. Inside, the glistening circular bar catches your eye, and authentic brewing equipment is showcased behind a full-length glass window.

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