North Carolina’s capital city of Raleigh is full of history, education, and research. Raleigh and its neighboring suburbs of Durham and Chapel Hill have so many universities and technical research institutions that North Carolinians call the Research Triangle. As with most college towns, Raleigh has a diverse restaurant and nightlife scene with plenty of options for group dining and private parties for graduation celebrations, weddings, lunch meetings, and more.
Whether you’re looking to host a giant wedding or an intimate graduation celebration with friends and family, Raleigh has an eclectic list of restaurants with private dining rooms and group dining options. I have compiled a list of the best restaurants with private dining in Raleigh to help you find the optimal atmosphere and cuisine for your special event.
9401 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617
Named for the pond on which it lies, Angus Barn is Raleigh’s premier fine dining restaurant run by Iron Chef America winner Walter J. Royal. Chef Royal’s expertise shines through with stellar steak and seafood dishes using locally grown vegetables and beef that he personally ages on site.
The Angus Barn has multiple private dining options, including banquet halls, lounges, private tables, and event venues offsite for larger celebrations. As an unconventional appetizer, I recommend the barbecued ribs with Angus Barn barbecue sauce for a true taste of Carolina-style barbecue.
The bacon-wrapped and pan-seared filet mignon is utter decadence and perfection in every bite.
Second Empire Restaurant & Tavern
330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603
Combining history, architecture, and world-class cuisine, Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern offers the most picturesque setting to enjoy fine dining.
Located inside a perfectly restored Victorian home in the Glenwood South neighborhood, Second Empire’s elegant décor matches its award-winning food and a wine list that has won the AAA Four Diamond Award and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
The house has multiple dining rooms and a basement Tavern and lounge that are all available for renting out to host any size party. The New American menu at Second Empire features a diverse selection of creative dishes with flavors from around the globe.
I loved the Canadian veal chop with hickory-smoked oyster mushroom and saffron risotto, bacon, bok choy, and roasted baby carrot salad.
500 Glenwood Ave #100, Raleigh, NC 27603
Located in a vibrant, contemporary space in downtown Raleigh’s Glenwood South neighborhood, Vidrio is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant and cocktail bar owned and operated by Greek restauranteur Lou Moshakos.
Vidrio’s mission is to create nourishing and delicious dishes using wood-fired techniques while providing guests with a communal, family-style dining experience akin to Mediterranean tradition. Vidrio uses Greek olive oil from Moshakos’ hometown in Greece along with the freshest produce, meat, and fish to create dishes as stunning to eat as they are to look at.
I recommend the charred octopus with braised lima beans, arugula, and chorizo vinaigrette and the Moroccan beef skewers with harissa yogurt.
137 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Meaning “grandmother” in Lebanese, Sitti is an upscale Lebanese bistro born from the collaboration of Raleigh restaurateur Greg Hatem and the Saleh family that wish to honor their Lebanese heritage and culinary tradition.
The beautiful downtown Raleigh dining space features an art Deco-style old cocktail bar and a large communal dining table to share a family-style Lebanese meal of mezze, flatbreads, and shareable entrees.
You can rent out the indoor and outdoor venue behind the restaurant building for large 140-guest events, and there are also private tables and a downstairs private group dining room for parties up to 50 guests. I loved their perfectly creamy Labneh, hummus, and babaganoush with freshly baked pita.
4351 The Cir At N Hills St, Raleigh, NC 27609
Coquette is a charming French brasserie in an elegant old-world café atmosphere replete with black and white tiled floors, marble tables, and wood chairs with red leather cushions.
Teetering between Five Points and Six Forks, Coquette offers classic French cuisine in an authentically European-style dining space that you can rent out for parties up to 160 people. There’s a smaller private dining room, too.
Brunch, lunch, and dinner menus at Coquette provide a wide array of rich meat and seafood, as well as classic French salads, like Tuna Nicoise and Lyonnaise. I highly recommend their warm brie biscuits with spiced apple compote and warm local honey. The duck liver mouse with port reduction is also delicious.
136 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Montague Building, Caffe Luna is a beloved Raleigh institution for authentic Italian food served in elegant, old-school dining rooms.
Founded in 1996 by Raleigh-native Parker Kennedy, who sold Italian wines in New York for decades before returning to Raleigh to manifest a longstanding dream to open his own Trattoria, Caffe Luna has recently transferred into the ownership of Kennedy’s faithful Executive Chef, Events Coordinator, and General Manager.
The new team of owners upholds the Caffe Luna tradition of excellent meals and warm service. The dining space has multiple private dining options and is a favorite venue for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and other large celebrations.
My favorite dish at Caffe Luna is the Linguine Fra Diavolo with sauteed shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce.
4209 Lassiter Mill Rd Suite 115, Raleigh, NC 27609
Located in the Six Forks neighborhood, Vivace is a family-friendly and refined Italian restaurant with a contemporary interior and a large outdoor patio with a lovely multi-tiered fountain as its centerpiece. They have a small private dining room as well as the option to rent the entire restaurant.
Vivace offers lunch, dinner, and intermezzo “happy hour” for wine and small plates. I loved their calamari with spicy tomato aioli. Pasta is house-made, and their small yet scrumptious selection of Neapolitan pizzas are the perfect prelude to hearty main courses.
8111 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613
Margaux’s Restaurant is a fusion of French, Southern comfort, and Asian cuisines served in a funky, artsy, and hip dining space in the Stonehenge neighborhood. Opened in 1992 by owners and brothers-in-law Richard Hege and Steve Horowitz, Margaux’s has been a neighborhood favorite for stylish, fun dining and creative eats.
The menu is rich with diverse flavors and influences. I recommend starting with the crispy fried oysters with red cabbage, cucumbers, and sweet soy and sriracha aioli. If you’re looking for a central Asian dish, try the curried bison kebabs with tomato salad, tamarind dipping sauce, and papaya lassi.
410 Glenwood Ave Ste 100, Raleigh, NC 27603
Sullivan’s Steakhouse is a traditional steakhouse and cocktail lounge in the Glenwood South district of downtown Raleigh. Sullivan’s has a fancy, fine-dining atmosphere with glamourous old-fashioned décor and live jazz music every Friday and Saturday.
They use the finest cuts of prime steaks and the freshest seafood selection to bring you a classic steakhouse menu. The appetizers at Sullivan’s include an eclectic mix of world flavors from Shanghai Calamari to Beef Wellington bites.
For the ultimate surf and turf experience, I recommend the wagyu strip steak with crab-stuffed jumbo shrimp in lemon beurre blanc.
1130 Buck Jones Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606
Owned and operated by Rey Arias, Rey’s Restaurant is a fine dining lounge and restaurant specializing in New Orleans-style Creole and Cajun cuisine.
Located in Raleigh’s western suburb of Cary, Rey’s Restaurant features a New Orleans style jazz lounge called the “Voodoo Lounge,” where patrons can enjoy a cocktail by an old-fashioned fireplace while serenaded by live music before retiring to the classy dining room for a luscious southern meal.
The menu at Rey’s has something for everyone, with plenty of red meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. I recommend the Grouper Lafayette, a pan-fried grouper filet topped with sauteed crabmeat and dressed in New Orleans-style butter with a side of au gratin potatoes.
The Capital Grille
4242 Six Forks Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
The Capital Grille is one of the nation’s leading fine dining steakhouses, serving the highest quality dry-aged beef from onsite aging cellars along with the freshest seafood in a luxurious and traditional atmosphere.
The Capital Grille’s Raleigh location is in the North Hills neighborhood, and their private dining program comes with a personal event coordinator, complimentary valet parking, and a customized menu.
The traditional steak and seafood menu at The Capital Grille features beautifully plated classics like seafood towers, giant lobster and crab cakes, and lavish side dishes like lobster mac and cheese and parmesan truffle fries. My favorite steak was the porcini rubbed bone-in ribeye with aged balsamic.