The 6 Best Bars in Raleigh As Ranked By Travel Magazine

wine glasses at bar

Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, is known for its technology and scholarly institutions, history and architecture, and incredible restaurants and bars. The City of Oaks has everything you would look for when heading out for a night on the town. From cocktail lounges to arcade bars, there’s something for everyone. Here are the six best places to grab a drink in Raleigh, as ranked by Travel Magazine.

Boxcar Bar + Arcade

Raleigh’s ultimate drinking and gaming experience, Boxcar Bar + Arcade, houses over 100 arcade games, weekly tournaments, live music, a fully stocked bar and a craft beer selection. They specialize in games, great drinks, and good fun. With daily specials and happy hour tokens, you won’t want to miss out on this hotspot.

The Raleigh Times

The Raleigh Times is located in a century-old building, yet the drinks are inventive and the menu is creative. The rooftop patio boasts views of downtown Raleigh, the staff is trained extensively in the beer making process, and the bar itself continuously ranks in the best of the city. There are recurring events that include markets, dinners, celebrations, and more.


At cocktail bar C.Grace, entertainment and drinks go hand in hand. Music in playing five times a week and the drink menu is constantly evolving. The “Old Pal” is made with rye, dry vermouth, and Campari. “Odd Perfection” features dark rum, vanilla, coffee, and egg yolk.

Player’s Retreat

Since 1951, Player’s Retreat, also known as PR, has been serving the community of Raleigh ice cold beer, top-notch wine, and delicious cocktails. Winner of the Wine Spectator Award five years in a row, the integrity of this beloved bar has never changed. It’s as warm and welcoming as it was over 60 years ago.

The Architect Bar & Social House

Located downtown in a building that was originally built in 1922, The Architect Bar & Social House is filled with character and prides themselves on their craft beer menu and specialty cocktails. Comfortable yet stylish, The Architect is a great date spot or a fun place to hang out with friends.

Fox Liquor Bar

Fox Liquor Bar calls themselves a subterranean drinking den featuring classic and contemporary cocktails. “Throwing Shade” is made with Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Leblon Cachaça, lemon, simple syrup, and matcha. “Dapper Dan” has Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, St. Germain, yellow chartreuse, honey, heavy cream, and Peychaud’s bitters.

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