Raleigh Nightlife • A Complete Guide

Raleigh Nightlife

Welcome to Raleigh’s #1 nightlife guide.

On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Raleigh. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.


Raleigh, North Carolina, buzzes with activity at night. A city like Raleigh, with its diverse, vibrant atmosphere while still having a small-town feel, is the perfect place to savor cocktails while listening to live music or exploring a local bar with a fascinating history. 

A bit about Raleigh’s nightlife

Raleigh’s southern hospitality and diverse crowds combine for an energizing night out. It is no secret that Raleigh has a vibrant nightlife scene, but perhaps one of the most noticeable aspects is its nightlife. It can become challenging to pick one restaurant, bar, or live music venue from the many available. Here are reputable bars and restaurants known as Raleigh staples that are sure to take your stress away. 

What are the best ways to begin a night out? The city’s walkable entertainment districts offer plenty of opportunities for exploring on your own. Spend your time exploring some of the world-class concert venues or strolling to other nearby venues while enjoying the most extensive beer garden in the world.

Raleigh’s Culture

North Carolina’s cultural attractions are centered in Raleigh. Besides the interactive global learning center, Raleigh is also home to our local library. “Exploris,” founded in 2001, the center promotes understanding of cultures from around the world. Guests can learn about how international trade works by engaging in interactive displays and learning more about life worldwide.

Bars and Clubs in Raleigh

The Big Easy

Would you like to go on a date in Raleigh downtown? A menu full of flavor and an atmosphere full of excitement awaits at The Big Easy. Raleigh’s Cajun cuisine and culture are complements to the Southern hospitality of this restaurant. You can enjoy lunch and dinner at this place specializing in Louisiana favorites, while their libations menu includes a range of cocktails and brews as well as vintage wines. Live music and karaoke are also offered weekly at The Big Easy. Every day from 11:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., you can catch these cool vibes.

Address: 222 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-832-6082

Website: https://www.bigeasync.com/ 


It is located on 16 E Martin St., usually operates till 10 p.m. and is closed on Monday. In addition to serving up some of the most creative cocktail and specialty drinks in Raleigh, Bittersweet serves some of the best coffee in town. In addition to signature cocktails and coffee drinks, the bar offers a wide range of shots, domestic and imported beers, champagne, and wine. Sweet treats and desserts are also available at Bittersweet. The restaurant’s outdoor patio is the perfect place to sip a drink.

Address: 16 E Martin St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-977-3829

Website: http://bittersweetraleigh.com/ 

Foundation Raleigh

With its low-key atmosphere, inventive cocktails, and local craft beer, the underground bar will celebrate its 12th birthday in 2021. Fine Folk, the restaurant on-site, pairs their handcrafted libations perfectly with their tasty bar menu. FOUNDATION offers outdoor seating and cocktails for takeout, making it a great bar crawl stop along Fayetteville Street. 

Address: 213 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-896-6016

Website: https://foundationnc.com/ 

The Raleigh Times

An old newspaper building has been refurbished into The Raleigh Times. There are clippings from old newspapers from Raleigh that are a brilliant snapshot of the city’s past. In addition to vintage beers and specialty cocktails, guests can choose from a wide selection of beverages. A variety of artisanal bar foods are available every day at Empire Eats.

Address: 14 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-833-0999

Website: https://www.raleightimesbar.com/ 

Watts and Ward

As you enter Watts & Ward, you transport searching for the era of prohibition and the modern cityscape of Raleigh. As an underground speakeasy, this venue is reminiscent of what Raleigh was once like. There is now a unique variety of craft beer, handcrafted cocktails, and famous wines available here. The staff at Watts & Ward are ready to assist you beginning at 4:00 p.m. every day till 2:00 a.m.

Address: 200 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-896-8016

Website: https://www.wattsandward.com/ 

Slim’s Raleigh

Do you want to find a local bar that offers live music? A large stage has been available at Slim’s since 1999 for locals and aspiring bands. As a result, the worldwide the chances of enjoying live music are good almost daily. They serve good music along with cocktails and local craft beer in a quaint atmosphere. In addition to a patio outside, Slim’s has a pool table in their upstairs lounge.

Address: 227 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Website: http://www.slimsraleigh.com/  

Brewery Bhavana

Visit Brewery Bhavana for a luxurious night out – Raleigh’s most lavish nightlife venue! Brewery Bhavana fills every tap with its brew at all 40 cabinets. Along with its extensive beer selection, Brewery Bhavana also offers Asian-influenced food in addition to a nearby flower and book shop with various items for sale. Brewery Bhavana is known as one of Raleigh’s best breweries by locals.

Address: 218 S Blount St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-829-9998

Website: https://brewerybhavana.com/  

The Architect Bar and Social House

The design vision of this space was to create a space that reflected the business district’s history while also retaining some comforts and style. As a result, their name has been a central theme in the cocktail menus, interior décor, and overall appeal. The address has an enormous skylight in the shape of an arrow, which you can see from the ceiling or satellite imagery. 

To make the bar and social house indeed a bar and friendly place, the creators offered aesthetic assets like craft beer and cocktails, music acoustics, and dimmed lights. A selection of hand-selected spirits and fresh ingredients are used in the Architect Bar and Social Housecraft cocktails. Menus for craft beer and cocktails change seasonally. The most up-to-date information is available on their Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition, the in-house mixologist at the hotel can create customized cocktail menus for special events.

Address: 108 1/2 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-699-5256

Website: https://www.architectbar.com/  

The Ark Royal

Although this bar’s name comes from Sir Walter Raleigh’s old ship commissioned in 1586, the Ark Royal is a modern TiKi lounge in downtown Raleigh. As a result, rather than tributing to Sir Walter Raleigh, it tributes to the adventures and discoveries of exploration and adventure. They offer a variety of ingredients from different cultures and parts of the world in their exotic cocktails. 

In addition to offering a world that brings tradition, history, and flavor,  you can experience a world of spices, liqueurs, sweeteners, and spirits in this pub. These are equally intriguing because of their culture and attract visitors more often. In addition, they offer TiKi-style cocktails that refer as their specialty drinks. We use the term exploration to describe them, whereas Rhum Rhapsodies were called Rhum Rhapsodies by Don the Beachcomber. 

Address: 410 Glenwood Ave #350, Raleigh, NC 27603, United States

Phone: +1 919-322-5148

Website: https://www.thearkroyal.com/  

Few famous attractions in the city:

Whether you’re searching for outstanding museums, great food, craft beer, or top-notch museums for free, the Raleigh-Durham area has it all. Check out these top evening and night attractions in the area.

Raleigh Beer Garden

Guinness World Records representatives who visited the tasting room in 2015 proclaimed it to have the best draft beer selection in the world. Here you can sample several (or one) of the 366 beers available, including 144 from the state of Utah. As a full-service establishment, the Raleigh Beer Garden offers indoor and outdoor dining options and “the bar and dine yourself” rooms on the terrace and in the backyard. The menu features traditional pub fare such as burgers and pizzas. 

Additionally, bourbon and whiskey are available at the bar if beer isn’t your thing. Further, you can take your favorite drafts with you in growlers! Finally, in the events area backstage, you can watch the show, play a game of corn hole with your friends or play ping pong. It remains open till 2 a.m.

William B. Umstead State Park

William B. Umstead State Park offers plenty of outdoor activities within walking distance of Raleigh, Cary and, Durham. In addition, there are many recreational options on the lake, such as walking, cycling, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and boating. A guided tour of the park is also an excellent way to learn more about the park’s history, and a visit to the Exhibit Hall provides a wealth of information about the park.

Some of the best places for dining, games, and entertainment: 

Boxcar Bar + Arcade

There are more than 100 arcade-style games at the Boxcar Bar + Arcade in downtown Raleigh, including traditional games like pinball and air hockey. They offer a full bar and an outdoor patio with a live music stage and a full bar (including 24 craft drafts), as well as a dog-friendly environment. You can eat outside food and get fresh popcorn every day.

Operating Hours: 12:00 PM to 2:00 AM

Address: 330 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-803-2796

Website: http://theboxcarbar.com/raleigh/ 

C. Grace

While several bars had previously occupied the space, Catrina, the owner, wanted the space and atmosphere to be uniquely hers and reflect Raleigh’s city. In addition, it seems only natural for an establishment dedicated to cocktail locations to be in Raleigh, where cocktail culture is re-emerging in many mid-size cities. 

A night at Grace is like a classic jazz club with dim lighting, great jazz, and tasty cocktails. A traditional cocktail menu and a friendly, neighborly atmosphere characterize its beverage program. Drinks on the menu are constantly changing and growing. It features meticulously crafted cocktails, five nights a week of live music, and a welcoming staff.   

Operating Hours: 5:00 PM to midnight

Address: 407 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27606, United States

Phone: +1 919-899-3675

Website: https://www.cgracebar.com/ 

Legends Nightclub Complex

With over 25 years of experience, Legends Nightclub in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the leading LGBT nightclub venue in the region. Staff who have worked at this ever-expanding complex over the year have enjoyed working with hundreds of entertainers and serving thousands of guests. As a result, there is more entertainment and longer hours than ever before. They invite guests to partake in drinks and entertainment that allow lasting impressions.

Operating Hours: 8:30 PM to 11:00 PM

Address: 330 W Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601, United States

Phone: +1 919-831-8888 

Website: https://legends-club.com/ 

Places to stay

Guests can choose from 150+ lodging options in the area. So you can relax knowing you will find the perfect place to stay – whether it be a full-service hotel or a romantic bed-and-breakfast inn. Sheraton Hotel, Hyatt House, Aloft Raleigh, SpringHill Suites, etc., are a few of the great places to stay.

Frequently asked questions 

How does Raleigh get its nickname, the City of Oaks?
You can find the answer to your question by taking a drive through downtown, where you can see the beautiful (and large) oak trees. The city’s new logo, introduced last year, a modernized oak tree, represents Raleigh’s nickname.

For travelers on a budget, where are the best nightlife spots in Raleigh?
The following Raleigh nightlife spots are budget-friendly:

  • Boxcar Bar + Arcade
  • Kings Dining & Entertainment

How is the winter in Raleigh, NC?
In the winters, highs are commonly between 47 and 53°F, with lows close to or just below freezing. On occasion, temperatures may reach 60°F or greater. In some cases, lows can fall as low as 15-20°. The average amount of snow in Raleigh during winter is six inches.


Raleigh is an exciting and surprising town to explore. Plan your next trip to this place, and you will be left surprised by its beauty, exotic bars, clubs, and dining venues. If you are looking for a vacation that gives you the ultimate nightlife experience, then book your tickets to Raleigh now.

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