Raleigh has no deficit of fantastic dining options. From the James Beard Award winning restaurateur Ashley Christensen and her assortment of establishments to The Angus Barn, a true Raleigh institution, The City of Oaks is the perfect place for business dining options.
I’ve been doing business in the Raleigh area for nearly a decade. While the office is always my default spot for a business meeting, it’s sometimes great to get outside and hit the outdoor patios, especially during the spring months… after the pollen has washed away. Here’s my go-to list of favorites.
Raleigh’s Best Spots for a Business Lunch
The Capital City Club – Perched atop the Wells Fargo building on the 28th floor is The Capital City Club. It’s off limits to the general public and requires a membership to enjoy the facility and its amenities. However, I’ve often found the Capital City Club as a wonderfully accommodating spot with it’s bird’s eye view of our bustling city. It’s got a decent assortment of private dining areas and meeting rooms if the main dining room doesn’t fit your fancy.
The State Club – Located in NC State’s Centennial Campus is the Park Alumni Center. And within it is The State Club, another private dining option that allows access to the general public during lunch hours. It’s a great spot for a quiet business meeting if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of noon time parking at The Capital City Club.
18 Seaboard – Neatly tucked in the heart of Seaboard Station is one of the best dining options in all of Raleigh. 18 Seaboard has a steady flow of business and political types with a spacious main dining room where you don’t have to fight crowd noise to have a conversation.
Mia Franchesca – My North Hills option is a bit of a hidden gem. Located on the ground floor of the Renaissance Hotel is Mia Franchesca. Aside from its more than suitable Italian menu, the dining area is a quiet option juxtaposed with the rest of the bustling North Hills area.
Raleigh’s Best Spots for a Business Dinner
Sullivan’s Steakhouse – Sullivan’s, right in the middle of Glenwood South, is my favorite restaurant in Raleigh. Yes, I know it’s a part of the Del Frisco’s chain. Nonetheless, it’s my go-to spot for a business dinner with its upscale menu and elegant dining area.
The Angus Barn – The only spot on my list that is outside of Downtown / North Hills is The Angus Barn – a truly unique spot. Aside from being a wine connoisseur’s dream, The Angus Barn delivers Old Raleigh charm in a setting that can’t be replicated anywhere else.
The Pit – Probably my most maligned pick is the oft-maligned purveyor of barbecue. My intent is not to start an Internet war on the properties of good barbecue. I grew up in Eastern North Carolina – I know what good barbecue is and I’m certainly not alleging that The Pit stacks up with Parker’s, B’s, or Wilbur’s down east. But The Pit gives a business setting for enjoying North Carolina’s favorite meat. I entertain out of town visitors almost always at The Pit, even if the dining room can grow a bit loud.
The Capital Grille – Coming soon to The Park District of North Hills is one of my favorite steakhouses – The Capital Grille. Perhaps it’s a bit premature to put a restaurant that has yet to open on this list – but The Washington, DC version of The Capital Grille is my go-to business spot in the nation’s capital. I expect nothing less from the Raleigh version… well perhaps except the picturesque background comprising of The Capitol Dome.
Raleigh’s Best Spots for a Business Beverage
For good measure, I’m adding a few establishments to the list if you’re looking for a quick drink and light fare while conducting business.
Fox Liquor Bar – An underground spot by Ashley Christensen, one of Raleigh’s most notable chefs, Fox Liquor Bar is around the corner from two of her other establishments: Chuck’s and Beasley’s Chicken and Honey. Although its price point per cocktail is some of the highest in Raleigh, its neat location and plush sofas provide a great spot for an early evening chat. Don’t stay too late – the cocktails are dangerous.
Vita Vite – Part art gallery and part bar is Vita Vite, a concept that you won’t find anywhere else in Raleigh. Its early afternoon hours make it a perfect spot for a business meeting in a setting that is more than cozy.