As it starts to gets chilly, bookmark this list of Raleigh eateries with indoor fireplaces, intimate booths, and wood-fired ovens to keep you warm.
by Kara Adams and Addie Ladner
Hello hygge season, when we crave crackling fires, belly-warming beverages, hearty meals, and cozy seating. Whether you’re gathering with good friends or looking for a great fall and winter date-night spot, we’ve rounded up 25 Raleigh-area bars and restaurants that offer just that: a spot to nestle in for a slow meal or an intimate evening, tucked away from the cold.
Head over to this local legend to watch your favorite sports teams play all season long from the comfort of its worn-in leather booth seating. Have a beer and check out the walls filled with archived sports photos as you wait for one of their iconic giant pasta dishes like the lasagna or sharable pizzas.
3905 Western Boulevard | amedeosrestaurant.com
Get into the holiday spirit amongst Angus Barn’s festive decorations, from a 30-foot Christmas tree to the twinkling lights that adorn the rafters year-round. Warm up by one of their crackling indoor fireplaces with a glass from their award-winning wine list before a hearty meal and decadent dessert from their extensive menu. Before or after dinner, their Wild Turkey Lounge feels like something out of the mountains with its log cabin vibes, leather lounge chairs, and checkerboard tables.
9401 Glenwood Avenue | angusbarn.com
Down a dimly lit stairwell underneath Scott Crawford’s Jolie, The Atlantic Lounge offers speakeasy vibes from its subterranean booths. Brick walls, cheeky photos, and vinyl spinning, the bar offers a mix of classic cocktails and newer crafts. You’ll need a key to get in — if you don’t know someone, message them on instagram to apply for one yourself.
620 N Person Street | instagram.com/theatlanticlounge
Dine on authentic Italian cuisine at this “extension of Nana’s table,” an intimate dining space showcasing their extensive wine selection on the walls. This trattoria has a selection of tried-and-true family recipes — many topped with Nana’s homemade gravy — that aim to invoke memories of childhood and a feeling of community.
3121 Edwards Mill Road | bellamonica.com
Check out this bar and dessertery in one, where you can have your pumpkin pie and drink it, too. Try something new from their sweets-inspired cocktail menu, like the maple-syrup filled “4am Pancake”, or enjoy a steaming cup of Irish coffee to brighten up your fall evenings in this classical bar space with iron lamps and leather details.
16 E Martin Street | bittersweetraleigh.com
One of downtown Raleigh’s newer establishments, this Glenwood South spot for drinks and small bites is ideal for a wintery night out with friends. Curl up in their velvet green tufted sofas while sipping their Red Herring, a bourbon drink mixed with a balsamic-cayenne reduction, Blenheim Ginger ale, and basil. Try any number of their hearty small plates like the shrimp and crawfish cornbread empanada or filet sliders.
419 Glenwood Avenue | botanicalraleugh.com
Head over to this longtime upscale Italian bistro for tasty pasta dishes including hearty lasagna and freshly-stuffed ravioli. By day, sun filters into the dining room through floor-to-ceiling windows during the day — by night, dim lamps glow over a date-night or evening celebration as you watch the bustle on the sidewalk outside.
136 E Hargett Street | cafeluna.com
Experience French favorites at this local brasserie decorated with its heavy velvet curtains, classic tiled floors, and bright-red booths. Try traditional foods like crepes, quiches, charcuterie boards, and their fan-favorite frites in a charming spot with unique mirror-covered walls.
4351 The Circle at N Hills Street | coquetteraleigh.com
Death and Taxes
Spend a night at chef Ashley Christiansen’s American eatery, complete with a tile floor and dim chandelier lighting to set the date-night mood. Feast on a wood-fired meal of local North Carolina seafood or one of their mouth-watering steak dishes in this charming atmosphere. Sit at the bar to let the heat from the wood-fire grill warm you up.
105 W Hargett Street | ac-restaurants.com/death-taxes
Grab a board game off the shelves and take a seat in one of the comfortable mismatched vintage couches for a fun evening full of creative cocktails and liquors. The quirky space is overlooked by Sammy the decorative bull moose, colorful art and wallpaper, and old school clocks.
555 Fayetteville Street #115 | thehaymakerraleigh.com
Enjoy a drink and a snack in the Longleaf Hotel’s cozy lounge full of classic red velvet booths lit by intricate woven chandeliers. Choose from small plates including Port Wine cheese balls, deviled eggs, and peanuts to pair with local beers, classical cocktails, and wine by the bottle or the glass. Feeling outdoorsy? Gather around one of the many fires on the patio, and they’ll be happy to provide a blanket if you’re still chilly.
300 N Dawson Street | thelongleafhotel.com/lounge
Come for the bourbon, stay for the sliders. This West Raleigh bourbon bar and restaurant offers scratch-made meals and a huge range of bourbons, with tasting options and a house-aged blend as well. The moody interiors — see scrap-wood walls and its long, black bar — invite an intimate feel, even on the covered, heated patio..
4035 Lake Boone Trail | theoakraleigh.com
Peck & Plume
Tucked into the newly renovated Mayton in downtown Cary (formerly known as the Mayton Inn) is a crackling fire and an old-school library where guests can savor new-American fare any time of day plus cocktails or coffee at the attached restaurant, Peck & Plume. How about the biscuits and gravy for breakfast or the fried brussel sprouts or burger and fries for dinner?
301 South Academy Street, Cary | peckandplume.com
Sit by a roaring fireplace, or an artful rendition of one, at this quirky spot decorated with wrought-iron fences and checkered-tile floor. Dig into a soup or salad starter from their “cauldron & pantry” selection before the main course off an ever-changing menu of comfort foods and innovative dishes alike.
8111 Creedmoor Road | margauxsrestaurant.com
Transport yourself to the Italian countryside with an authentic meal of handmade pasta and wine inside Mulino’s dreamy exposed-brick dining room, where the soft mood lighting and well-worn wood offer wine cave vibes. Finish with a made in-house dessert from their “dolci” list, featuring tiramisu, cannoli, and crème brulée.
309 N Dawson St #1313 | mulinoraleigh.com
Between the leather-backed booths and club-style barstools, twinkling chandeliers, and lovely wall treatments that bounce the warm light, this bar is the romantic counterpoint to the adjoining Bond Bros Beer Company. Classic and seasonal spirit- and wine-cocktails will warm your bellies and keep an ear out for weekend tunes from a local band.
215 E. Chatham Street | sidebarnc.com
Feel right at home amongst the framed embroidery pieces, Legos, and quirky figurines adorning the walls of this friendly restaurant. Tuck into your favorite comfort food or a seasonal pasta dish in this cozy, twinkling locale and make sure to take note of a few recipes from the church cookbook your receipt is delivered inside before you head out.
938 N Blount Street | stanburyraleigh.com
Standard Beer + Food
Inside: a mix of leather-backed booths and skinny bar tables that invite you to scoot a little closer to friends or a date. Outside, seating areas arranged around Solo stoves keep you warm, even once it’s really cold outside. Paired with a beer list featuring North Carolina brewers and menu of tacos and small bites, it makes for a cozy afternoon that slides into evening.
205 E. Franklin Street | standardbeerandfood.com
The Tavern at Second Empire
The restored 19th-century Dodd-Hinsdale house offers fine dining upstairs, but a more casual vibe in the tavern in the romantically-lit basement with its cozy bar and brick-lined walls. Warm up with a decadent French onion soup topped with melted gruyere cheese, or feast on a roasted five-spice Pennsylvania duck breast with a wine from their award-winning list.
330 Hillsborough Street | second-empire.com
The dark, modern atmosphere of this Cameron Village eatery is as enticing as its wood-fired menu, featuring vegetables like brussel sprouts and cauliflower fresh from the brick oven, specialty crispy pizzas, and more. Take your pick as you dine amongst potted plants and string lights galore.
432 Woodburn Road | tazzakitchen.com
Warm up with a bowl of hot soup at Tonbo Ramen. A respite from bustling Wilmington Street, it’s anchored by a generous wood bar, with neon lights highlighting the exposed-brick walls and shelves of bottles. With five base ramen soups and add-ons from shitake mushrooms to porkbelly to a garlic butter bomb, plus a full menu, cocktails, and extensive sake selection, it’s a great antidote to a chilly evening.
211 S. Wilmington Street | tonboramen.com
If you’re hunting for that small-town feel in the Bull City, check out the intimate seating at French Bistro and speakeasy Vin Rouge. Browse the vintage celebrities photos on the walls indoors, or enjoy a crisp fall evening surrounded by greenery on their outdoor patio. Their sampling of authentic French cuisine includes boeuf bourguignon, buttery seafood, and steaming soups to transport you to a quaint European village for the night.
2010 Hillsborough Road, Durham | vinrougerestaurant.com
Vita Vite Downtown
Take a seat at one of the comfy couches or armchairs arranged around the decorative fireplace inside downtown Raleigh’s Vita Vite location, where you can unwind with a glass of red wine and a charcuterie board. This welcoming space doubles as an art gallery, so make sure to take a look around at the pieces for sale while you’re there.
313 W Hargett Street | vitaviteraleigh.com
Watts & Ward
Sip on craft cocktails at this super cozy prohibition-style underground bar, complete with leather couches, bookshelves, and vintage decor lit by candlelight, or head outside to warm up under the glow of twinkling fairy lights, torches, and crackling fire pits on the outdoor patio.
200 S Blount Street | wattsandward.com
William & Company
Between the vintage sofas, eclectic art, and neon lighting, this unique spot is the perfect place to hang out with friends and grab a couple of cocktails in eye-catching colors. From dragonfruit-tinted pinks to bright yellows and greens topped with flowers, WillCo is always featuring something new.
616 N Person Street #1214 | instagram.com/willcobar
This story originally appeared on WalterMagazine.com in November 2021