Restaurant City Location Cuisine Rank Price Comments Outdoor seating Would I go back?
Magnolia Grill Durham Ninth Street American 5 $$$$ Amazing bread, sauces, entrees, desserts (esp. pies); the best in the triangle No Yes
Allen & Son Hillsborough Hwy 86 Barbecue 4.5 $$ Tender, spicy, flavorful BBQ (the best I've had), outstanding hushpuppies,cramped, not super-cheap No Yes
Jujube Chapel Hill Glen Lennox Oriental 4.5 $$$ Asian-inspired dishes, expertly prepared; hip, bustling ambience, great balance of fancy/comfortable Yes Yes
Lantern Chapel Hill Franklin St Oriental 4.5 $$$$ Excellent wide-ranging asian food, local ingredients, tiny place with close tables, slow service No Yes
Poole's Raleigh Downtown American 4.5 $$$ Fancy, perfect "diner" food, amazing bread and mac&cheese, strong entrees, loud bustling ambience No Yes
Rue Cler Durham Downtown French 4.5 $$$ Fabulous brunch, good beignets, friendly service, cute + charming ambience, bakery, price fixe dinner No Yes
Saxapahaw Gen. Store Saxapahaw Way out there American 4.5 $$ Literally in a gas station mart, fabulous food using local organic ingredients, breakfast, pastries, etc. Yes Yes
Tonali Chapel Hill 15-501 Mexican 4.5 $$$ upscale mexican, great tacos, homemade chips, ambience doesn't match, would absolutely go back No Yes
Vin Rouge Durham Ninth Street French 4.5 $$$ Outstanding; ambience great; amazing pork dish, fabulous brunch, beautiful patio Yes Yes
Watts Grocery Durham Ninth Street American 4.5 $$$ Fancy southern food, all local, outstanding food, modern ambience, ok service, brunch No Yes
Taqueria La Vaquita (I) Durham 15-501 Mexican 4.5 $ Incredible enchiladas (try the rancheras or mole) and hot chocolate, cheap, only a few picnic tables Yes Yes
Piedmont Durham Downtown Italian 4 $$$ formerly great but fallen off with new owners, nice space, good ingredients/mediocre preparation, amazing chocolate souffle No Yes
Bella Mia Cary Harrison Ave Pizza 4 $$ best pizza in the Triangle, coal-fired, great crust, amazing "Canal St" calzone, nice space No Yes
Bali Hai Raleigh Wake Forest Rd Mongolian 4 $ Mongolian Grill, always delicious, choose your spiciness (1-10), pretty cheap too, dingy ambience No Yes
Bulkogi Durham Ninth Street Korean 4 $ Food truck with awesome $2 Korean tacos, try the beef and spicy pork (get several), slow if busy Yes Yes
Dos Perros Durham Downtown Mexican 4 $$$ Nice space, expertly prepared food, borderline pretentious but quite good, Tonali is better though Yes Yes
Dos Taquitos Centro Raleigh Downtown Mexican 4 $$ Small and charming; upscale, fresh Mexican food, a bit pricey but worth it, a few outdoor tables Yes Yes
Federal Durham Brightleaf Square American 4 $ Exactly what a café should be; excellent sandwiches, ambience not great but some outdoor seats Yes Yes
Fonda Y Birreria Jalisco Raleigh Wake Forest Rd Mexican 4 $-$$ Fantastic al pastor tacos (4 for $6 !!), good mole con pollo, made to order, good salsa, a gem No Yes
Hereghty's Raleigh Glenwood French 4 $ Patisserie - excellent pastries and desserts, especially chocolate.  Also sandwiches and croissants. No Yes
Lilly's Raleigh Five Points Pizza 4 $$ Great Pizza (esp. the Buddha), loud ambience, a few outdoor tables, natural/organic ingredients Yes Yes
Neo Monde Raleigh Hillsborough Mediterranean 4 $ Great Mediterranean food and grocery items, hummus, awesome chicken salad, outdoor seating Yes Yes
Pop's Durham Downtown Italian 4 $$$ Fancy inside, cheap outside, great entrée & bread, mediocre dessert - overall quite good local food Yes Yes
Second Empire Raleigh Hillsborough American 4 $$$$ Elegant, formal, very good and expensive, excellent service, but I'd rather spend my money elsewhere No No
Toast Durham Downtown Italian 4 $ Excellent panini, crostini, soups, perfect casual café feel, friendly service, inexpensive, love it Yes Yes
Weathervane Chapel Hill 15-501 American 4 $$$ Café at Southern Season, nice patio, good well-prepared food Yes Yes
Zely & Ritz Raleigh Glenwood South Tapas 4 $$$ organic/natural tapas; small, very good, ambience could be a little better, heavy on the herbs No Yes
Foster's Market Durham 15-501 American 3.5 $ Excellent soups and sandwiches, pastries, charming atmosphere, odd location Yes Yes
Carrburritos Chapel Hill Franklin St Mexican 3.5 $ Freshest burritos and salsas possible - double excellent!!  Tiny, cramped space, hipster scene Yes Yes
Abyssinia Raleigh Mission Valley African 3.5 $$$ Ethiopian, limited menu choices, spongy bread, pretty good, I would go back No Yes
Angus Barn Raleigh Glenwood American 3.5 $$$$ Great steaks but average other food, chocolate chess pie, very expensive, crowded, loud, not elegant No No
Another Thyme Durham Brightleaf Square American 3.5 $$$ Good vegetarian fare, interesting menu, haven't been there in many years No Yes
Buku Raleigh Downtown Eclectic/Asian 3.5 $$$ World food "tapas", good beef tataki, ok others, well-prepared but very cold, corporate ambience Yes Yes
Crook's Corner Chapel Hill Franklin St American 3.5 $$ Not amazing or elegant, just solid, like a really good diner; shrimp & grits is good, I would go back Yes Yes
David's Noodle Bar Raleigh Hillsborough St Chinese 3.5 $$ Beautiful well-appointed space, great pad thai ($9), ok dumplings and chicken satay No Yes
Duck and Dumpling Raleigh Downtown Chinese 3.5 $$ As good or better than Five Star but more elegant ; neat space - cool ambience No Yes
Fiesta Grill Carrboro Way out there Mexican 3.5 $$ Just a few tables, 0 ambience, friendly, not great chips/salsa, fabulous chili verde burrito, ok mole No Yes
Five Star Raleigh Downtown Chinese 3.5 $$ Good Chinese, thai peanut chicken, hip ambience, dancefloor at night, chopsticks only! No Yes
Fortune Palace Raleigh Capital Blvd Chinese 3.5 $$ Good, flavorful, American and non menus, huge huge portions, bleak/sparse ambience No Yes
Guglhupf Durham 15-501 German 3.5 $ Café and bakery, nice ambience, brunch, lots of outdoor seating, lunch ok, awesome pastries Yes Yes
Gulf Rim Café Hillsborough Downtown American 3.5 $$ Southeastern-mexican-seafood fare, fresh and flavorful, big portions, small but not cozy, very loud Yes Yes
Henry's Gelato Cary High House Dessert 3.5 $ Fancy shop in ultra-fancy shopping center, great gelato, awesome cheap dessert Yes Yes
La Superior Durham Roxboro Rd Mexican 3.5 $ Taqueria, Panaderia, Tortilleria, good desserts (tres leches), huge grocery store, fresh tortillas No Yes
LocoPops Durham Downtown Dessert 3.5 $ Novelty mexican popsicles in bold, interesting flavor combinations, very cheap, a curiosity No Yes
Margaret's Cantina Chapel Hill Erwin Rd ? Mexican 3.5 $$ Tex-mex and southwestern, cozy atmosphere, fresh and good No Yes
Market Raleigh Downtown American 3.5 $$ "California inspired", fresh, local food, like healthy home cooking, great fish tacos, cozy space Yes Yes
Salvio's Cary Lake Pine Pizza 3.5 $ By the slice, huge pieces, zero ambience, nice crust, overall pretty good and dirt cheap No Yes
Stephenson's Benson Hwy 50 Barbecue 3.5 $ a good example of Eastern NC style BBQ, supposedly cooked over wood No Yes
Super Wok Cary Chatham Square Chinese 3.5 $$ American and Chinese menus, good orange beef and sichuan stuff, large portions, delivery! No Yes
Sushi Blues Raleigh Glenwood South Oriental 3.5 $$ Good veggie sushi (big count basie roll) and tempura, cozy and trendy ambience No Yes
Tacos Mexico Apex Hwy 55 Mexican 3.5 $ good salsa, definitely above average mexican food, hispanic crowd, one time the chips were funky No Yes
18 Seaboard Raleigh Downtown American 3 $$$ Mediocre but trying hard to be fancy, undercooked baked beans, did not box our leftovers Yes No
Bella Monica Raleigh Edwards Mill Italian 3 $$ Pizza was inexpensive but average; cozy space; nothing notable, gets crowded, weird focaccia Yes Yes
Big Ed's Raleigh Downtown American 3 $ local's favorite breakfast place, cash only, good hot cakes (huge) & biscuits, crowded, no frills No Yes
Brixx Pizza Chapel Hill Meadowmont Pizza 3 $$ wood-fired pizzas with decent crusts and ok toppings, I'd go to Bella Mia every time Yes Yes
Caffe Luna Raleigh Downtown Italian 3 $$ OK Alternative to chains; Irish Cream cheesecake is good, better than 518 West Yes Yes
CharGrill Raleigh Downtown American 3 $ Burgers ok but tiny (get two), dirt cheap, good fries, a Raleigh insitution Yes Yes
Cosmic Cantina Durham Ninth Street Mexican 3 $ Better than Moe's burritos, cramped ambience, run-down, student lounge vibe Yes Yes
El Rodeo Raleigh Downtown Mexican 3 $ Multiple locations, solid standard Mexican, cheap, get the fajita quesadilla and split it - it's huge Yes Yes
Hayes Barton Raleigh Five Points American 3 $$ Desserts are out of this world - huge cakes and selection !!  Cozy ambience, busy, odd hours No Yes
Hot Point Cary Buck Jones Rd. American 3 $$ Pizzas, sandwiches, burritos, lots of choice, surprisingly flavorful and tasty, very slow service Yes Yes
Humble Pie Raleigh Downtown Tapas 3 $$ Open ambience, more upscale than the Rockford but no better, berry streusel was bad, flies outside Yes No
La Farm Café Cary High House French 3 $ Mediocre café attached to charming bakery, good bread, sandwiches just ok but the prices are great Yes Yes
Loop, The Cary Kildaire Farm American 3 $ Good lunch spot, nice menu of salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, Chapel Hill location as well No Yes
Lucky 32 Cary Tryon Rd American 3 $$ Better than Bogart's; ambience of a big chain restaurant; uninspired but not terrbile, huge desserts Yes Yes
Maximillian's Pizza Kitchen Cary Chapel Hill Rd Pizza 3 $$ Flaky, pastry-ilke crust, ok flavor and toppings, on the expensive side but would try again No Yes
MoJoe's Raleigh Glenwood South American 3 $ Decent burgers, good (albeit frozen) fries, shakes, reliable, patio dining, casual hang-out atmosphere Yes Yes
Moonlight Raleigh Downtown Pizza 3 $$ Pizzas are decent, ambience is lacking, I'd go to Lilly's every time Yes No
Mo's Diner Raleigh Downtown American 3 $$$ Nice place (old house), good but not great, buttery, one or two tables on porch Yes No
Only Burger Durham 15-501 American 3 $ Decent burgers and fries, people love them, occasional specials, food truck that's now a restaurant No Yes
Panzanella Chapel Hill Carrboro Italian 3 $$$ Good ambience, nice patio, great bread and good beet salad, bland pizza with too much cheese + not enough herbs Yes No
Pit, The Raleigh Downtown Barbecue 3 $$ Odd mix of fancy ambience and soul food, good bbq, hushpuppies and biscuits, sub par sides No Yes
Raleigh Times Raleigh Downtown American 3 $$ Nice bustling ambience, good bar food, decent burger, yummy pork bbq nachos, good service Yes Yes
Sara's Empanadas Morrisville RTP Latin 3 $ Flavorful empanadas, yummy salsa, quick service, little ambience (strip mall), weekday lunch only No Yes
Sitti Raleigh Downtown Mediterranean 3 $$ upscale NeoMonde, nice setting, good food, I'd like to try the kebabs, still prefer NeoMonde No Yes
Sunflowers Raleigh Downtown American 3 $ decent sandwiches, some have too much mayonnaise, dinner and breakfasts too, worth a try Yes Yes
Sushi Thai Raleigh Lake Boone Oriental 3 $$ pretty decent; lots of choices No Yes
Tangerine Café Cary High House Oriental 3 $ Strip mall ambience, very friendly service, thai, indian, asian dishes, very flavorful, super cheap lunch No Yes
Taqueria La Poblana Durham Roxboro Rd Mexican 3 $ Great fried quesadillas, good agua frescas (try the pineapple), tiny dingy hole-in-the wall place No Yes
Rockford, The Raleigh Glenwood South American 3 $ ok sandwiches, deteriorating ambience, inexpensive, used to be reliable, hipster scene No Yes
Peak City Grill Apex Downtown American 2.5 $$$ Nice charming space, predictable upscale menu, desserts not house-made, worse than Lucky 32 Yes No
518 West Raleigh Glenwood South Italian 2.5 $$ average, go to Caffé Lunna instead, supposedly house-made pasta but slightly overcooked?? No No
Bogart's Raleigh Glenwood South American 2.5 $$$ not quite Lucky 32, ok food, nothing notable, trying to be slick and hip, would not go back No No
Cancun Grill Apex Beaver Creek Mexican 2.5 $ Huge menu, equivalent to Los Tres, El Rodeo, La Cocina, etc.  New, empty ambience No Yes
Capital City Chop House Morrisville RTP American 2.5 $$$ Your regular semi-fancy steakhouse, not bad but expensive, not recommended No No
Chubby's Tacos Raleigh Lake Boone Mexican 2.5 $ Decent $2 tacos (esp. carnitas), poor rice & beans, ok salsas & chips; small, cozy, friendly ambience No Yes
Cinelli's Durham Ninth Street Italian 2.5 $$ Decent pizza, bad everything else, I would not go back, locations in Cary and Durham as well No No
Elmo's Diner Durham Ninth Street American 2.5 $ Just ok diner food, huge menu, predictable but people love this place, also a location in Chapel Hill No Yes
Gypsy's Diner Cary Buck Jones Rd. American 2.5 $ Diner with a retro theme, perfectly average, not the worst place ever, but I wouldn't go back No No
Irregardless Raleigh Hillsborough American 2.5 $$ average and boring, live music some nights, would not go back No No
Jade Garden Raleigh Hillsborough Chinese 2.5 $ Pretty much your average chinese take-out place, I'd never eat inside, big portions, unremarkable No No
Jibarra Raleigh Downtown Mexican 2.5 $$$ Saltless guacamole, mediocre chips, decent entrees, lame modern plates, terrible music, poor service Yes Yes
Klausie's Pizza Raleigh Various Pizza 2.5 $ Pizza truck, "Detroit" style (deep dish pan), overly sweet sauce, not great but not bad either Yes Yes
La Cocina Cary 64 Mexican 2.5 $ Average Mexican-American, on par with El Rodeo No Yes
Los Comales Durham Roxboro Rd Mexican 2.5 $ Taqueria with lots of filling choices, good al pastor, great horchata, otherwise ok, friendly No Yes
Los Tres Magueyes Cary Kildaire Farm Mexican 2.5 $ Regular Mexican joint - on par with El Rodeo, Cancun Grill, La Cocina No Yes
Old Time BBQ Raleigh Hillsborough St Barbecue 2.5 $ Good flavor but very very dry meat, average slaw & hushpuppies, dingy little shack No Yes
Q Shack, The Raleigh North Hills Barbecue 2.5 $ Did not enjoy the bbq, might have ordered wrong, bluegrass band was nice, location in Durham too No Yes
Sullivan's Raleigh Glenwood South American 2.5 $$$$ This is a chain restaurant.  Overpriced and overrated; Angus Barn is better No No
Yoho Asian Bistro Cary Crossroads Chinese 2.5 $$ Average chinese food, overpriced, also have sushi, Apex location too No No
Local Yogurt Durham Rockwood Dessert 2.5 $ "local" frozen yogurt, very few local toppings, otherwise bland, terrible ambience No No
Tribeca Tavern Morrisville High House American 2 $$ Ersatz local-focus, ok specialty burgers (fresh ground beef), terrible onion rings, huge portions Yes No
Clyde Cooper's Barbecue Raleigh Downtown Barbecue 2 $ Average, mushy finely chopped barbecue, ok hushpuppies, friendly, good bustling diner amibience  No No
Danny's Cary Tryon Rd Barbecue 2 $ mediocre barbecue joint, Florida (?) style, just ok side dishes, dry meat but good sauces No No
Fiesta Mexicana Cary Tryon Rd Mexican 2 $ Below average typical Mexican-American, big portions, locations in Raleigh and Clayton also, avoid No No
Finch's Raleigh Downtown American 2 $ greasy greasy breakfast, old & dirty ambience, oddly charming somehow No Yes
Guacamole Grill Cary High House Mexican 2 $ Average burritos, nothing special, would not go back Yes No
Mellow Mushroom Raleigh Glenwood South Pizza 2 $ Pesto Pizza is marginally good, sandwiches, nice outdoor patio, college kid vibe, crowded Yes No
Southern Rail Chapel Hill Carrboro American 2 $$ In some old rail cars, which is neat but not cozy, food is very very average, I would not go back Yes No
Anvil's Cheesesteaks Cary Tryon Rd American 1.5 $ Bland cheesesteaks, not enough cheese, peppers, or onions, zero ambience, not good Yes No
Armadillo Grill Raleigh Glenwood South Mexican 1.5 $ Not as good as Moe's, overpriced too, there's no reason at all to go here Yes No
Mama Dip's Chapel Hill Franklin St American 1.5 $$ Very disappointing, average Southern fried food, nothing special, cafeteria-like Yes No
Pittsboro General Store Pittsboro Downtown American 1.5 $-$$ Charming store/café, very mediocre food, huge bland sandwiches, generic salads + baked goods Yes No
Red Dragon Raleigh Five Points Chinese 1.5 $$ Very average Americanized Chinese, heavy on the sauce, overpriced, cozy dining room No No
Rio Churrascaria Cary MacGregor Village Brazilian 1.5 $$$ Brazilian steakhouse, overpriced, bad salad bar and sides, bad ambience, price fixe, meat overload No No
Tony's Oyster Bar Cary MacGregor Village American 1.5 $$ Your average suburban grill, a few notches above, say, TGI Fridays, southern-cajun menu, don't go No No
Barry's Café Raleigh Tryon Rd American 1 $ very mediocre Burgers, fries, no milkshakes!, breakfast, kid/family place (firehouse theme) No No
NOFO Raleigh Five Points American 1 $$ Café within a shop, Underwhelming, no reason to go here Yes No
Piccolo Italia Raleigh Cameron Village Italian 1 $$ Awful salad, poor service, bad bread, rumored to have good pizza though Yes No
Ruckus Pizza Cary Crossroads Pizza 1 $$ Feel of a sports bar, pizza ranges from bland to bad, not real prosciutto, to be avoided Yes No
Cantina 18 Raleigh Cameron Village Eclectic 1 $$ Saltless salsa, nasty guacamole, bad lemon zest fries, terrible sandwiches and awful flavor profiles Yes No
Checker's Pizza Raleigh Tryon Rd Pizza 0.5 $ Maybe the worst pizza I've ever had, menu also has Italian standards and subs, delivery offered No No
Side Street Café Raleigh Oakwood American 0.5 $ cute neighborhood café, terrible sandwiches, one of the worst places I've been No No
Flying Biscuit Café Raleigh Cameron Village American 0 $-$$ Hideous interior, flies, bad biscuits, terrible sandwiches, awful potatoes, breakfast served all day Yes No
Xios Café Apex Hwy 55 Mediterranean   $$ Decent greek and middle eastern entrees, mildly fancy atmosphere, worth a shot Yes Yes
DiBella Ristorante Raleigh Downtown Italian   $$ Overpriced and bland, uninspired, outdoor seating in City Market Yes No
EVOO Raleigh Five Points Italian   $$$ Pricier and better than 518, Caffe Luna,  Young + rich crowd, not so cozy Yes Yes
Cody's Chinese Bistro Raleigh Glenwood South Chinese   $$ Fresh Chinese food; above average, not crowded, karaoke No Yes
Enoteca Vin Raleigh Glenwood South Italian   $$$ nice small patio, great brunch, excellent ingredients and nice execution, 2nd or 3rd best in the triangle Yes Yes
Frazier's Raleigh Hillsborough American   $$$ Surprisingly good & interesting entrees, modern American/Southern,  small but not terribly cozy No Yes
Hard Times Café Raleigh Glenwood South American   $ Ok burgers, go only if you like Cincinnati chili Yes No
London Fish & Chips Cary Cary Pkwy Seafood   $ Good fish & chips (esp. the fish), huge portions (get a 1/2 order), crowded but cozy, very very slow No Yes
Nana's Chophouse Raleigh Downtown American   $$$$ Overpriced, overdone, average, like Sullivan's, bad ambience, older crowd, trying way too hard No No
Rockwood Filling Station Durham Rockwood Pizza   $$ Very disappointing, soggy crust, bland toppings, casual ambience, friendly staff, not worth it Yes No
South End Brewery Raleigh Glenwood South American   $$ too average - expensive burgers, syrup(?) in the beer, lack of focus No No