Raleigh is known for many things, but one of the most apparent is the Raleigh nightlife scene. With an abundance of restaurants, bars and live music venues to choose from the decision can become overwhelming.
To take the stress away, we’ve put together a list of reputable bars and restaurants that are considered Raleigh staples. These Raleigh nightlife attractions are located in the Fayetteville Street district, a 10-minute drive ($10-$20 Uber) from The StateView Hotel. Here are our top 10 picks for Raleigh nightlife in 2021:
Please note that some bars and restaurants may be temporarily closed or have different hours of operation due to state regulations. Be sure to check the website before making plans.
- Fox Liquor Bar
- The Big Easy
- FOUNDATION Raleigh
- Slim’s Raleigh
- The Raleigh Times
- Watts & Ward
- The Green Light
- The Haymaker
- Brewery Bhavana
Fox Liquor Bar
237 South Wilmington St. (Entrance on E Martin St.)
The Fox Liquor Bar refers to itself as a subterranean drinking den that features classic & contemporary cocktails. Attendees can expect signature cocktails, a variety of wines and craft beers plus light fare including sliders, dips and sweet treats, all in an upscale environment. Fox Liquor Bar is open 5:00 p.m. – midnight Monday through Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday and closed on Sunday.
The Big Easy
222 Fayetteville St.
Looking for a fun date night in downtown Raleigh? The Big Easy won’t disappoint with its delicious menu and lively atmosphere. This restaurant and bar combines Cajun culture and cuisine with Raleigh’s southern hospitality. They have an extensive lunch and dinner menu with Louisiana favorites, and their drink menu features specialty cocktails, local brews and vintage wines. The Big Easy also hosts live music and karaoke weekly. Enjoy these cool vibes daily from 11:00 – 2:00 a.m.
213 Fayetteville St.
Celebrating its 12th birthday in 2021, this low-key underground bar offers inventive cocktails, local craft beer and industrial decor. Their handcrafted libations pair perfectly with the bar cuisine served by Fine Folk, the on-site restaurant. A great stop along the Fayetteville Street bar crawl, FOUNDATION is currently offering outdoor seating and cocktails to-go. They are open from 4:00 – 11:00 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 2:00 -11:00 p.m. on Saturday, 2:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Sunday and closed on Monday and Tuesday.
16 E Martin St.
While some may consider Bittersweet to be one of the best coffee shops in Raleigh, they’re also pouring out some of the most creative cocktails and specialty drinks in town. Their menu features seasonal and coffee cocktails, creative shots, bottles of beer, bubbly and wine. Bittersweet also serves delicious desserts and sweet treats. Enjoy a drink on the go or sip a while on their outdoor patio. Bittersweet is open Sunday through Thursday from 2:00 to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 2:00 to 11:00 p.m. and closed on Mondays.
227 S Wilmington St.
Looking for a local bar with great live music? Slim’s has been hosting a stage for local and upcoming bands since 1999. It’s safe to say that you can enjoy live music almost any night of the week. Alongside music, there’s local craft beer and cocktails served in an intimate setting. Slim’s also has an outdoor patio and an upstairs lounge with a pool table. Slim’s Raleigh is open from 4:30 p.m.- 2:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and 1:00 p.m.- 2:00 a.m. Saturday through Sunday.
The Raleigh Times
14 E Hargett St.
The Raleigh Times is a themed bar set in a refurbished newspaper building. It features old newspaper clippings from Ralegh capturing the rich history of the Capital City. Of course, visitors can expect a vast drink selection including vintage beers and specialty cocktails. Handcrafted bar food by Empire Eats is served daily. The Raleigh Times Bar is open from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Watts & Ward
200 S Blount St.
Walking through the doors of Watts & Ward is like leaving Raleigh’s modern cityscape and stepping back in time to the era of prohibition. This unique venue embodies the underground speakeasies that once operated below the streets of Raleigh. Today, it’s home to unique craft beer, cocktails and wine varietals. Watts & Ward is open daily from 4:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.
The Green Light
108 ½ E Hargett St.
This traditional Raleigh speakeasy is only accessible through a secret bookcase door. A local Raleigh nightlife favorite, The Green Light bar was formerly the office of an architect. Today, this intimate bar has vintage vibes and serves signature cocktails and brews. You can visit this Raleigh hidden gem from 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. daily.
555 Fayetteville St., Suite 115
The Haymaker is an intimate cocktail bar in the Fayetteville St. district featuring American 90s-culture-inspired decor and drinks. With furnishings like vintage boxing gloves hanging on the walls and exciting cocktails like ‘Bad Guys Wear Black’ and ‘Sing Like a Bee’, you won’t want to skip this venue. The Haymaker is currently offering pet-friendly outdoor seating and is open Thursday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to midnight.
218 S Blount St
Enjoy one of Raleigh’s most luxe nightlife venues – Brewery Bhavana! All 40 of Brewery Bhavana’s taps are filled by their private production brews. Alongside its wide selection of beers, Brewery Bhavana serves Asian-inspired cuisine and features an adjacent book and flower shop for guests to peruse. No wonder locals call Brewery Bhavana one of the best breweries in Raleigh. Experience Bhavana Tuesday – Thursday from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m.