When dusk falls, nightlife starts to heat up in Raleigh.
Savor craft cocktails made with local ingredients, followed by a boogyin’ time listening to live music. Or catch up with some friends and sip on a cold beer at a neighborhood dive bar.
Southern Hospitality is a common theme in Raleigh’s unique blend of nightlife options which offer something for everyone.
Here is a sampling of some of the top nightlife areas:
Downtown Raleigh / Fayetteville Street Night Life
Fayetteville Street received a face lift in 2006 that transformed the area from a business focused pedestrian-only mall into a thriving downtown district that is now home to many of the city’s greatest restaurants and nightlife spots. In fact, this rejuvenation helped bring life back to the city of Raleigh and spurred many new tech firms to relocate and call downtown “home”.
Fayetteville Street and the surrounding area, referred to by many as just “Downtown”, comes alive at night. Fayetteville Street has the most options for bars all in one area, making it a hot spot for everyone from college students and young tech professionals to more mature crowds.
Everyone has their own personal favorites, but highlighting only a few bars would not being doing the area justice, so below is a comprehensive list in order of perceived popularity!
- The Raleigh Times
- The Oxford
- The Big Easy
- Capital City Tavern
- The Architect Bar & Social Club
- The London Bridge Pub
- The Royal James
Liquor Lounges/Dive Bars
- Fox’s Liquor Lounge
- Green Light Bar
- Landmark Tavern
- Common 414
Glenwood South Nightlife
Glenwood South has blossomed in past decade. A palpable energy has developed as local restaurants, hip bars, and small cafes have opened up along this 8-block stretch of Glenwood Avenue.
This downtown entertainment district – whose nightlife scene was once only known for its clubs – has transitioned into a trendy spot now also home to many liquor lounges and upscale dive bars. There is a fun mix of architecture too from rooftop bars to small houses converted to neighborhood bars.
Whether you are in the mood for live jazz music and swanky prohibition era drinks at the popular C.Grace or to “experience the downpour” by sampling the 10 self-pour craft beers from Cloud Brewing’s beer wall, Glenwood Avenue is another great nightlife destination with multiple great options!
- Raleigh’s Beer Garden
- Napper Tandy’s
- Clouds Brewing
- Brooklyn Heights
- North Street Beer Station
Liquor Lounges/Wine Bars
- Empress Room
- Mossaic Wine Lounge
Glenwood also features some delicious late-night food stops including Mojo’s burgers and Armadillo Grill!
Warehouse District Nightlife
Most popular for its art scene, the Warehouse district was included in USA Today’s 10 Best: City Art Districts around the USA. However, mixed among the trendy local art galleries, startups, and funky boutiques are some distinctive nightlife destinations.
Boxcar Bar & Arcade is a fun mix between a bar and an arcade and Boylan Bridge Pub dominates in outdoor seating – the patio area has arguably the best views of downtown Raleigh.
Walking distance from both Glenwood South and Fayetteville Street, the Warehouse district is a hot spot to hang out all night long or get your evening started before hopping around town! Other great spots to check out: Crank Arm Brewing, Five Star, and Legends (don’t miss the drag show!).
Five Points Nightlife
The Five Points pocket of eclectic local businesses boosts a social scene with a unique character located in a historic setting. The slightly more laid-back neighborhood dive bars and liquor lounge in Five Points are frequented by many “Old Raleigh” residents and young professionals. Check out live music at the Pointe, imbibe quintessential cocktails by the fire pits of Proof or hang out with the locals at the laid-back neighborhood bar Churchhill’s.
Most popular for its upscale shopping, movie theater, and gourmet restaurant options, North Hills also has an emerging night life scene. Start your night-off bowling in style at King’s, a chic retro-inspired bowling alley serving specialty cocktails, beers and nostalgic treats from their fountain shoppe. End the evening by sampling one of World of Beer’s 500+ global beers or by catching the big game at Fox & the Hound Sports Tavern, both of which are open until 2AM.