Exploring the Upscale Fine Dining Scene in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, North Carolina is a bustling city known for its vibrant culture, thriving business scene, and delicious food. As a food enthusiast and a resident of Raleigh, I have had the pleasure of exploring the diverse restaurant scene in this city. From casual eateries to upscale fine dining establishments, Raleigh has it all. However, when it comes to upscale fine dining, there are a few restaurants that truly stand out.

The Rise of Fine Dining in Raleigh

In recent years, Raleigh has seen a surge in upscale fine dining restaurants.

This can be attributed to the city's growing economy and the influx of young professionals who are willing to spend on high-quality dining experiences. These restaurants not only offer exquisite food but also provide a sophisticated ambiance and impeccable service. One of the main reasons for the rise of fine dining in Raleigh is the city's focus on supporting local businesses. Many of these upscale restaurants source their ingredients from local farms and suppliers, ensuring that diners get to taste the freshest and most flavorful dishes.

The Best Upscale Fine Dining Restaurants in Raleigh

Now, let's dive into some of the top upscale fine dining restaurants in Raleigh that are worth checking out.


Located inside The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Herons is a five-star restaurant that offers a luxurious dining experience. The restaurant's elegant decor and stunning views of the surrounding lake make it a popular choice for special occasions and romantic dinners. The menu at Herons changes seasonally, featuring dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

Some of their standout dishes include the seared scallops with cauliflower puree and the roasted duck breast with blackberry jus. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, making it the perfect place to indulge in a glass of fine wine.

Fearrington House Restaurant

Located in the charming village of Fearrington, just outside of Raleigh, Fearrington House Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone looking for an upscale dining experience. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful historic farmhouse and offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere. The menu at Fearrington House Restaurant is inspired by French and Southern cuisine, with a focus on using locally sourced ingredients. Diners can choose from a variety of dishes, including the pan-seared sea scallops with sweet potato puree and the braised beef short rib with truffle mashed potatoes.

The restaurant also has an impressive wine list, with over 1,300 bottles to choose from.

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

Located in a beautifully restored Victorian home, Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern is known for its elegant ambiance and exceptional food. The restaurant offers both fine dining in the main dining room and a more casual experience in the tavern. The menu at Second Empire features a mix of classic and contemporary dishes, all made with locally sourced ingredients. Some of their standout dishes include the pan-seared duck breast with cherry port sauce and the grilled filet mignon with truffle butter. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list, with over 1,000 bottles to choose from.


Raleigh may be known for its casual dining scene, but it's clear that the city is also home to some exceptional upscale fine dining restaurants.

These restaurants not only offer delicious food but also provide a sophisticated and memorable dining experience. So, if you're looking to treat yourself or impress someone special, be sure to check out these upscale fine dining establishments in Raleigh.