Thanks for stopping by the blog! I'm Whitney, wife to Romain, dog mom to Daphne the dapple dachshund and Howie the polka-dotted pittie, photographer of vows and promises and storyteller of all kinds of love. 

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Thanks for stopping by the blog! I'm Whitney and my husband, Romain, and I are a wedding photography team based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. We are excited to share our recent work and a little peek into our lives! 

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Best Restaurants Raleigh Durham

May 7, 2019

The Best Restaurants in Raleigh & Durham | in our humble opinion

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we are so lucky to have so many great food options in our area! Ashley Christensen just won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef 2019 and that is such a huge deal!! If you haven’t had the chance to go to one of her many amazing restaurants, I would highly recommend it!

I’ve been trying to put together this list for a while now and I think Romain and I finally settled on our favorite spots around the Triangle. Anyone who knows us knows that an awesome dinner out is our favorite thing to do together. We are by no means experts, but we’ve put in a lot of work throughout the years on this topic. ūüėČ

I think there are quite a few things that contribute to an awesome dining experience. The food obviously has to be delicious, but I think atmosphere¬†is important as well. So¬†much of a great restaurant experience has to do with the ambiance and the energy of waitstaff. I love when someone tells me their favorite thing on the menu and gets really excited about it. We also do not think food has to be fancy to be delicious. If you’re looking for good burgers, Five Guys is usually our go to and if you are trying to be healthy, B. Good¬†is delicious.¬†It was hard to actually sit down and try to define our favorites, but here they are!

10. Totopos

We love this little neighborhood gem in Cary! We go here so often that it had to make the list. They have the best house margaritas and I love their nachos!

Best Restaurants Raleigh Durham
Best Restaurants Raleigh Durham

9. Pompieri Pizza

Romain loves pizza more than life, so we eat a lot of it. We love this creative space in Durham with its laid back vibe and the fact that they give you kitchen scissors to cut your pie. We also love ordering a pitcher of beer or wine that’s served in little mason jars. They also have baskets to put away your phone during family dinner so you can focus on what’s important. This one is always a favorite.

Best Restaurants Raleigh Durham

8. NanaTaco (New Name: NuvoTaco)

Seriously good tacos, “dirty meats” and great margaritas! We love the causal atmosphere and it’s a great option for lunch, dinner or pre-dinner snacking. That’s a thing right? ūüôā Parking is hard sometimes, but worth it.

7. Death and Taxes

One of the many amazing AC Restaurants in Raleigh that we are so lucky to have in our area. We shared a huge delicious¬†steak, one of the best I’ve had and love the play on seasonal vegetables. We had an amazing heirloom tomato dish with whipped ricotta that was hard to forget! They also having amazing bread with salted butter. I feel like bread is important.

6. Gravy

This is usually our go to place in downtown Raleigh when we want something delicious and¬†comforting. I love their no frills menu and you really can’t ever go wrong with their¬†Tagliatelle Bolognese.

5. Poole’s

Everything listed on the ever changing Poole’s chalkboard menu is delicious, from my experience. It’s just one of the best restaurants, hands down. Obviously the mac and cheese is a must. The Royale (below) was pretty amazing and the pimiento cheese with fried saltines is such a treat.

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4. Brewery Bhavana 

It’s so beautiful and the food is amazing. It was recently named one of the 15 most beautiful restaurants¬†in the world, which is amazing and has also been featured on Bon Appetit’sbest new restaurant list. What’s better than dumplings and beer? My favorite thing on the menu is the order of scallion pancakes with the bone marrow. I dream about that dish.

Best Restaurants Raleigh Durham

3. Pizzeria Toro

We’ve probably been here the most because their pizza is literally the best. Their dough is amazing and all of their ingredients are top of the line. There is such an attention to detail to a level that you didn’t know was needed for pizza, like flake salt on their crust. The ricotta dumplings are worth getting as well. Top it all off with a Peroni on tap – nothing better!

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2. Vin Rouge

The French really know their way around the kitchen and their way around butter.¬†The¬†pommes pour√©es¬†(aka mashed potatoes) are what dreams are made of. Every time we go to Vin Rouge, I have the hardest time trying new things because my favorites are so good, but I feel like you really can’t go wrong with anything. It has such a cozy atmosphere¬†and it’s always busy – filled with happy people eating delicious food.

1. Crawford and Son

You know a place has to be your favorite if you choose it over trying a new restaurant. The warm malted wheat rolls make me drool just thinking of them. Their menu changes with the seasons, but just close your eyes and point at something on the menu and you won’t be sorry. It’s cleverly curated American comfort food and we’re here for it.

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Best Restaurants Raleigh Durham
Honorable Mention:

Sushi Thai Cary
Saint James Seafood
O-Ku
M Tempura
Gocciolina
Bida Manda 
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
Littler.

bartaco 

Next on our list:

Oak Steakhouse
The Durham Hotel
Vidrio
M Sushi

Tell us what you think! Did we leave off any amazing places? Anything you think we should try next?! We are always looking for new places for our date nights!

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