Restaurant News & Reviews

News & Observer Critic Greg Cox’s highest-rated restaurants in 2015

A crispy cheese top forms on the mac and cheese at Poole’s Diner in Raleigh.
A crispy cheese top forms on the mac and cheese at Poole’s Diner in Raleigh. jleonard@newsobserver.com

This is list is effective March 18, 2015 and has been updated in 2019 to reflect closed restaurants.

Here are the most recent lists of Cox’s best restaurants in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and the rest of the Triangle. A new list is revealed every January.

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Find reviews and restaurant news at nando.com/dining.

Here is a limited list of restaurants rated four stars or higher. The critic rates restaurants on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.

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Raleigh (Inside the Beltline)

Bida Manda: 222 S. Blount St., Raleigh. 919-829-9999. bidamanda.com. Cuisine: Laotian. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Bloomsbury Bistro: 509-101 W. Whitaker Mill Road, at Five Points, Raleigh. 919-834-9011. bloomsburybistro.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆1/2. $$$

Centro: 106 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh. 919-835-3593. centroraleigh.com. Cuisine: Mexican. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Chuck’s: 237 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh. 919-322-0126. ac-restaurants.com/chucks. Cuisine: burgers.

The Fiction Kitchen: 428 S. Dawson St., Raleigh. 919-831-4177. thefictionkitchen.com. Cuisine: vegetarian. ☆☆☆ 1/2. $$

Garland: 14 W. Martin St., Raleigh. 919-833-6886. garlandraleigh.com. Cuisine: Indian, Asian, contemporary. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Glenwood Grill: 2603 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 919-782-3102. glenwoodgrill.com. Cuisine: contemporary Southern. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Gravy: 135 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh. 919-896-8513. gravyraleigh.com. Cuisine: Italian. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Jose and Sons: 327-102 W. Davie St., Raleigh. 919-755-0556. joseandsons.com. Cuisine: Mexican-Southern fusion. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$.

J. Betski’s: 10-120 W. Franklin St., Raleigh. 919-833-7999. jbetskis.com. Cuisine: German, Polish. ☆☆☆☆. $$

lucettegrace: 235 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh. 919-307-4950. lucettegrace.com. Cuisine: patisserie.

Mandolin: 2519 Fairview Road, Raleigh. 919-322-0365. mandolinraleigh.com. Cuisine: contemporary Southern. ☆☆☆☆ 1/2. $$$-$$$$

Plates: 301 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 919-828-0018. plateskitchen.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$.

Poole’s Downtown Diner: 426 S. McDowell St., Raleigh. 919-832-4477. poolesdowntowndiner.com. Cuisine: American bistro. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Second Empire: 330 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. 919-829-3663. second-empire.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆. $$$$

Sitti: 137 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh. 919-239-4070. sitti-raleigh.com. Cuisine: Middle Eastern. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Stanbury: 938 N. Blount St., Raleigh. 919-977-4321. stanburyraleigh.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆. $$$-$$$$.

North Raleigh and Wake Forest

Angus Barn: 9401 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. 919-781-2444. angusbarn.com. Cuisine: steakhouse. ☆☆☆☆. $$$$

Bruno: 11211 Galleria Ave., Raleigh. 919-435-6640. brunoraleigh.com. Cuisine. steaks, seafood, Italian. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$.

Coquette: 4351 The Circle at North Hills, Raleigh. 919-789-0606. coquetteraleigh.com. Cuisine: French. ☆☆☆☆1/2. $$

Margaux’s: 8111-111 Creedmoor Road, in Brennan Station, Raleigh. 919-846-9846. margauxsrestaurant.com. Cuisine: contemporary, seafood. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

Saint Jacques: 6112 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. 919-862-2770. saintjacquesfrenchcuisine.com. Cuisine: French. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

Vivace: 4209-115 Lassiter Mill Road, in The Alexan, Raleigh. 919-787-7747. vivaceraleigh.com. Cuisine: Italian. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

Waraji: 5910 Duraleigh Road, Raleigh. 919-783-1883. warajijapaneserestaurant.com. Cuisine: Japanese. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

Cary/Apex/Morrisville

Banana Leaf: 1026 Ryan Road, Cary. 919-468-9958. bananaleafcary.com. Cuisine: pan-Asian (Cantonese specialty). ☆☆☆☆. $$

Doherty’s: Two locations: 1979 High House Road, Cary; 5490 Apex Peakway, Apex. 919-388-9930 (Cary); 919-387-4100 (Apex). dohertysirishpubnc.com. Cuisine: Irish pub. ☆☆☆ 1/2. $$

Herons: 100 Woodland Pond, in the Umstead Hotel & Spa, Cary. 919-447-4000. theumstead.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆☆. $$$$

La Farm Bakery: 4248 NW Cary Parkway Pkwy., Cary. 919-657-0657. lafarmbakery.com. Cuisine: bakery.

Taipei Café: 9825-G Chapel Hill Road, Morrisville. 919-380-8568. taipei-cafe.com. Cuisine: Chinese (Taiwanese). ☆☆☆ 1/2.

Durham

Bleu Olive Bistro: 1821 Hillandale Road, Durham. 919-383-8502. bleuolivebistro.com. Cuisine: contemporary Mediterranean. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

Dashi: 415 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham. 919-251-9335. dashiramen.com. Cuisine: Japanese. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Dos Perros: 200 N. Mangum St., Durham. 919-956-2750. dosperrosrestaurant.com. Cuisine: contemporary Mexican. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Fairview: 3001 Cameron Blvd., in the Washington Duke Inn, Durham. 919-490-0999. washingtondukeinn.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆1/2. $$$$

Gocciolina: 3314 Guess Road, Durham. 919-973-4089. gocciolina.com. Cuisine: Italian. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Guglhupf: 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham. 919-401-2600. guglhupf.com. Cuisine: German. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Harvest 18: 8128-114 Renaissance Parkway, Durham. 919-316-1818. harvest18restaurant.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$.

Juju: 737 Ninth St., Durham. 919-286-3555. jujudurham.com. Cuisine: Asian fusion tapas. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

Mateo: 109 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham. 919-530-8700. mateotapas.com. Cuisine: Spanish (tapas). ☆☆☆☆ 1/2. $$-$$$

Nana’s: 2514 University Drive, Durham. 919-493-8545. nanasdurham.com. Cuisine: contemporary Mediterranean. ☆☆☆☆ 1/2. $$$

Piedmont: 401-B2 Foster St., Durham. 919-683-1213. piedmontrestaurant.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Pizzeria Toro: 105 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham. 919-908-6936. pizzeriatoro.com. Cuisine: pizzeria. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Pompieri Pizza: 102 City Hall Plaza, Durham. 919-973-1589. pompieripizza.com. Cuisine: pizzeria. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Shanghai: 3433 Hillsborough Road, Durham. 919-383-5700. shanghaidurham.com. Cuisine: Chinese. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Vin Rouge: 2010 Hillsborough Road, Durham. 919-416-0466. vinrougerestaurant.com. Cuisine: French. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

Yamazushi: 4711 Hope Valley Road, Durham. 919-493-7748. yamazushirestaurant.com. Cuisine: Japanese. ☆☆☆☆☆. $$$-$$$$.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro

Bin 54: 1201-M Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill. 919-969-1155. bin54restaurant.com. Cuisine: steakhouse. ☆☆☆☆1/2. $$$$

CholaNad: 308 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 800-246-5262. cholanad.com. Cuisine: Indian. ☆☆☆ 1/2. $$-$$$

Crook’s Corner: 610 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-929-7643. crookscorner.com. Cuisine: Southern. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Elaine’s on Franklin: 454 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-960-2770. elainesonfranklin.com, Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆☆. $$$

Glasshalfull: 106 S. Greensboro St., Carrboro. 919-794-4107. glasshalfullcarrboro.com. Cuisine: wine bar. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Gourmet Kingdom: 301 E. Main St., Carrboro. 919-932-7222. thegourmetkingdom.com. Cuisine: Szechuan. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Il Palio: 1505 E. Franklin St., in the Siena Hotel, Chapel Hill. 919-929-4000. sienahotel.com. Cuisine: Italian. ☆☆☆☆1/2. $$$$

Kitchen: 764 Martin Luther King Blvd., Chapel Hill. 919-537-8167. kitchenchapelhill.com. Cuisine: contemporary French. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Kipos: 431 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-425-0760. kiposgreektaverna.com. Cuisine: Greek. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Lantern: 423 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-969-8846. lanternrestaurant.com. Cuisine: pan-Asian. ☆☆☆☆☆. $$$

Neal’s Deli: 100-C E. Main St., Carrboro. 919-967-2185. nealsdeli.com. Cuisine: deli.

Oakleaf: 310 E. Main St., Carrboro. 984-234-0054. oakleafnc.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆ 1/2 in former Hillsborough location. ☆☆☆☆ in Carrboro location in 2019. $$$

Talulla’s: 456 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-933-1177. talullas.com. Cuisine: Turkish. ☆☆☆☆. $$-$$$

Around North Carolina

Chef & The Farmer: 120 W. Gordon St., Kinston. 252-208-2433. chefandthefarmer.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆1/2. $$$

Saxapahaw General Store: 1735 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Road, Graham. 336-376-5332. Saxgenstore.com. Cuisine: contemporary American bistro. ☆☆☆☆. $$

Fearrington House: 2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro. 919-542-2121. fearringtonhouse.com. Cuisine: contemporary. ☆☆☆☆ 1/2. $$$$

Hillsborough BBQ Company: 236 S. Nash St., Hillsborough. 919-732-4647. hillsboroughbbq.com. Cuisine: Barbecue. ☆☆☆ 1/2. $-$$

Panciuto: 110 S. Churton St., Hillsborough. 919-732-6261. panciuto.com. Cuisine: contemporary Italian. ☆☆☆☆. $$$

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