Located just Northeast of Downtown Raleigh at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue, Fairview Road, Whitaker Mill Road, and Glenn Avenue is the Five Points Historic Business District. This pocket of eclectic local businesses boosts a social scene with a unique character. Antique stores, gift shops, an old-movie theater, hole-in-the-wall pizza joints, gourmet French cuisine dining – Five Points has it all.
One of the many reasons to live in the neighborhoods around Five Points is being able to walk to these various restaurants and nightlife spots!
A few spots that you cannot miss:
Hayes Barton Café and Dessertery
Located right in the middle of the intersection in the bright pink building lies Hayes Barton Café, a Five Points staple. Hayes Barton Café and Dessertery is a WWII 1940’s inspired restaurant in the old diner space that shares a door with the Hayes Barton Pharmacy, established in the 1930’s. There are checkerboard floors and the walls are generously covered with era style memorabilia including movie posters, chrome airplanes, and photos of war-veterans. Serving menu items such as grilled pimento cheese sandwiches and chicken salad plates, Hayes Barton is a classic lunch counter during the day.
Visit again at night to find the lights are dimmed and the place has been transformed into an intimate, romantic venue with large portions of traditional American entrees. Important, remember to save room for dessert. This place is famous for its award-winning multi-layered cakes that come in portion sizes large enough to serve multiple people. Coconut cake is highly suggested. You will not be disappointed.
Although Mandolin is not situated at the Five Points intersection (it is located at Fairview and Oberlin Road), this restaurant cannot be left out when discussing restaurants that have budded from this neighborhood. Mandolin is a new American farm-to-table restaurant that boasts itself for using the highest quality local ingredients to create twists on classic southern entrees. The head chef and Raleigh native Sean Fowler used to be a chef at the AAA five diamond Fearington House restaurant in Pittsboro. Both brunch and dinner will “WOW” you.
Often included in lists of the best pizza in Raleigh, Lily’s Pizza is a dine-in/carryout little hole-in-the-wall serving gourmet pizzas made with high-quality fresh ingredients and amazing crust. Their salads don’t disappoint at all either – the roasted pear salad is highly recommended. Awesome local art adorns the walls of this often packed out restaurant. Be sure to stop by on Monday’s for incredible beer specials!
The Point Restaurant and Bar
Another Five Points staple, The Point serves a diversified menu with highly praised wood-fired pizza, an extensive seafood menu, an all you can eat Sunday brunch buffet along with appetizers from all over the world. It is one of the largest restaurants in the Five Points area but is always busy throughout the day. At night the restaurant transforms into a bustling sometimes rowdy bar with live music on Thursdays and the weekends. The nightlife scene typically includes a fun assortment of “Old Raleigh” natives, young professionals, and college kids.
Churchhill’s is a smaller neighborhood bar right beside The Point Restaurant and Bar. The scene is typically a little more mature, the atmosphere is more laid back, and the bartenders know your name. There is a nice back patio out back great for warm weather but it also extremely cozy during winter with its twinkle lights inside. Churchhill’s is a great place to grab a drink with friends, play a game of pool, and watch sports.
Nofo is a kitschy establishment a new American cuisine restaurant, a market, and a gift shop housed in the building of an old Piggly Wiggly which still has many design elements from its days at a grocery store. It is very, very popular for its brunch but also serves lunch and dinner entrees. The market carries gourmet food items, novelty candies and beer/wine while the shop has a little bit of just about everything from locally made gifts to gardening stuffs and furniture.
Crafty Wine & Beer
Crafty Wine & Beer is a mix between a bar and a craft beer shop featuring rotating drafts and a wide-variety of craft brews. The owner is extremely personable and will take the time to help you find a beer to exactly match your tastes. This joint is a popular hangout spot in Five Points with its comfy leather couches, welcoming fireplace, and intellectual crowd.
The Rialto is a charming independent movie theater originally built in 1942. Famous for its midnight showings of “Rocky Horror’s Picture Show” on Friday nights, the Rialto also shows many foreign and independent movies. A showing at the Rialto is classy way to finish an evening out in Five Points, complete with wine and beer available at the concessions stand and the old-school romance of vintage movie theaters.