We are all about to go on a journey into drinking at the best bars in Raleigh over the next few minutes. From a tall glass of beer and a shot of vodka to local drink specials and singing karaoke we are going to try and cover it all.
The best wine and cocktail bars near you will get the ball rolling. Once they have been discussed in full breweries and sports bars to watch the big game or maybe play some pool and throw some darts will get a shout out.
Those who want to get the party started right after work or just buy some cheaper drinks will learn about the best drink specials in your area next. After they are out of the way we will move on to bars with trivia, quiz, and/or game nights around town.
Bars for dancing, karaoke, and to listen to live music will wrap this all up. Be sure to check out our Raleigh bar map that has every place we mention throughout the post pinned on it.
To read about all of the top watering holes in the Southeast check out that link.
Cocktail & Wine Bars
Many would agree that the best Raleigh cocktail and wine bars are:
- Bittersweet at 16 E Martin St
- Killjoy at 116 N West St
- The Blind Barbour at 3055 Medlin Dr
- The Green Light at 108 E Hargett St
- Watts & Ward at 200 S Blount St
- Sullivan’s Steakhouse at 410 Glenwood Ave #100
- Killer Queen Wine Bar at 117 E Main St B, Durham
- The Wine Feed at 307 S Roxboro St, Durham
- Local 22 Kitchen & Bar at 2200 W Main St, Durham
- The Roof at The Durham at 315 E Chapel Hill St, Durham
- Sidebar at 215 E Chatham St, Cary
- Catalan Tapas Bar at 4214 NW Cary Pkwy, Cary
- Tavern at 1156 Parkside Main St, Cary
- Sophie’s Grill & Bar at 2734 North Carolina 55, Cary
- PiggyBack at 630 Weaver Dairy Rd #102, Chapel Hill
- The Crunkleton at 320 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill
- Might As Well Bar & Grill at 206 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill
- Hoppy House Taproom & Hangout Place at 10966 Chapel Hill Rd #148, Morrisville
- Firebirds Wood Fired Grill at 3200 Village Market Pl, Morrisville
- Niche Wine Lounge at 109 N Main St, Holly Springs
- Tapline at 1110 Kentworth Dr, Holly Springs
- Belltree Cocktail Club at 100 Brewer Ln A, Carrboro
- Hickory Tavern at 370-110 E Main St, Carrboro
- HighCraft Apex at 112 N Salem St, Apex
- Salem Street Pub at 113 N Salem St, Apex
In addition to cocktails, bourbon, champagne, Irish whiskey, dessert and drink specials, and a beer selection that includes distinctive smaller breweries from North Carolina and other states Bittersweet also offers all-natural, regional, and seasonal cuisine.
Killjoy serves a lengthy list of classic cocktails, draft beer, and wines.
The Blind Barbour has all kinds of vintage spirits in addition to specialty cocktails, bourbon, scotch, American, Canadian, Irish, and Japanese whiskey.
For a retro-styled speakeasy that offers some of the best drink specials in Raleigh as well as specialty cocktails made by creative mixologists head to The Green Light.
Watts & Ward is a new craft cocktail bar in your area located downtown offering great craft cocktails, wine, and artisanal drinks.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse is a lively American steakhouse serving the finest steaks, seafood, hand-shaken martinis, live music, and drink specials Monday through Thursday from 3pm to 6pm.
Killer Queen Wine Bar in Durham has a modest terrace, daily-changing wine lists, and a great sound system for watching sports on giant screens.
The Wine Feed is committed to offering delectable global food and wine pairings with outstanding service.
Local 22 Kitchen & Bar is a laid-back gastropub that serves seasonal comfort food, cocktails, craft beer, and wine as well as daily drink specials.
For a year-round gathering place that serves handcrafted cocktails, an extensive wine and beer list, and a small kitchen menu with good happy hours every Wednesday visit The Roof at The Durham.
If you are trying to find a neighborhood bar in downtown Cary that serves classic and unique house-specialty cocktails, beer, and wine head to SideBar.
Catalan Tapas Bar is a locally owned establishment that offers mouthwatering small plates and Mediterranean food as well as charcuterie boards, specialty cocktails, and glasses of wine from their collection of more than 50 bottles.
Hickory Tavern has locations with daily drink specials in both Cary and Carrboro and they are popular neighborhood hangouts for lunch, dinner, late night, parties, game day, and other special events.
Sophie’s Grill & Bar is an Eastern European-inspired sports bar in Cary with homemade lunch and dinner options, an outdoor patio, pool table, full sports bar, and a large dining area that also has good liquor specials every day.
PiggyBack serves creative cocktails, a carefully chosen list of domestic and foreign beers, some international wines, and bar fare in Chapel Hill.
A cocktail menu that includes traditional classics like the Manhattan and Sazerac can be found at The Crunkleton along with their own original creations crafted with premium spirits, fresh juices, and home-made infusions. They also offers uncommon liquors that you won’t find in any other South Carolina bar.
For a wide variety of flavorful food and happy hour drink specials in Chapel Hill head to Might as Well Bar & Grill.
Hoppy House Taproom & Hangout Place in Morrisville is RTP’s first self-pour taproom serving a selection of local beers, wines, cocktails, and whiskeys as well as hot food for the customers to enjoy with their drinks.
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is an American restaurant and steakhouse known for its scratch kitchen, bold flavors, and signature menu items plus they have great specialty crafted cocktails and select wines along with alcoholic drink specials in Morrisville.
Niche Wine Lounge in Holly Springs has over 190 wines by the glass, private cellar collection by the bottle, and 150+ beers and ciders as well as a variety of spirits. They also offer half price wine every Monday, open mic nights on Tuesdays at 7pm, Wednesday live music with Matt Molesworth at 7pm, and live music every Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 11pm.
A great rotating selection of craft beer and wine is available at Tapline who has liquor specials at 5pm on game day.
The Belltree Cocktail Club is a speakeasy-style bar in Carrboro that opens at 5pm every day and has a very distinctive cocktail menu that includes both traditional and modern concoctions.
HighCraft Apex offers a small but carefully curated selection of wine including local, domestic, and international varietals as well as the best craft beer from regional brands.
Tasty pub grub, a variety of craft beers on tap, wines, and specialty moonshine cocktails is what you can expect to get at Salem Street Pub.
Raleigh Breweries & Sports Bars
You and your buddies will have a great time watching the big game at these local sports bars and breweries:
- Brickhouse Sports Pub at 3801 Hillsborough St
- Sharky’s Place at 5800 Duraleigh Rd
- Rudino’s Sports Corner at 3101 Edwards Mill Rd
- Players’ Retreat at 105 Oberlin Rd
- Full Stream Brewery at 726 Rigsbee Ave, Durham
- Bralie’s Sports Bar 2 at 4707 Hillsborough Rd, Durham
- The Casual Pint Of Chippel Hill at 201 S Elliott Rd #51, Chapel Hill
- Beer Study at 504 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill
- Carolina Brewing Company at 140 Thomas Mill Rd, Holly Springs
- Steel String Brewery at 106 S Greensboro St #A, Carrboro
- Craftboro Brewing Depot at 101 Two Hills Dr #180, Carrboro
- Vicious Fishes Brewery at 2237 Old US 1 Hwy, Apex
The Brickhouse Sports Pub has ten 120″ projection screens, over 40 beers on tap, and over 20 LED lights as well as indoor and outdoor cornhole boards and pool tables for customers to enjoy.
Sharky’s has been one of the most popular neighborhood sports bars in Raleigh for going on three decades offering over 22 large-screen TV’s, outside viewing on an exceptional patio, 6 new Gold Crown pool tables, a fantastic dart room, and a large beer and whisky selection.
Award-winning pizza, delectable grinders, ice cold beer, tons of TV’s for sporting events, and great outside seating is what you get at Rudino’s Pizza & Grinders.
Players Retreat was founded in 1951 and today they have over 100 wines by the glass and 60 distinct single malts as well as their well-known Bernie and Hawaiian burgers made with fresh ground Black Angus beef.
Fullsteam Brewery in Durham was established in 2010 and produces small batches of 100% North Carolina beer and also features a full kitchen that serves bar snacks and homey meals made with regional products.
Some of the greatest bands in town, many TV’s for watching the big game, cornhole tournaments, dart leagues, and karaoke can be found at Bralie’s Sports Bar 2 where you can also enjoy a vast selection of domestic and craft beers and a full bar offering daily happy hours that include food and beverages.
The Casual Pint is a neighborhood and community craft beer bar in Chapel Hill with many TV’s for sports viewing, a huge craft beer selection, and a good food menu with everything from appetizers to entrées.
Beer Study is a simple pub and store that specializes in craft beer on tap and home growlers as well as wines.
For a hometown brewery with over 25 years of experience providing delicious and quality brews head to Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs.
Steel String Brewery in Carrboro is a small production brewery founded in 2011 that adopts modern American brewing styles and techniques into something that is uniquely North Carolinian.
Craftboro Brewing Depot is a locally owned neighborhood brewery serving delicious true-to-style craft beers and home made root beer on draft plus they have live music every Saturday at 5pm and Wednesday night bar trivia near you at 7pm.
Vicious Fishes Brewery was established in 1991 with a focus on fruity well-balanced IPA’s, delectable sours, and crisp German lagers.
Local Drink Specials
There are plenty of good bars with drink specials in your area and you can get great value if you time your visit properly:
Stroch has some of the best daily drink specials in Raleigh from 4pm to 6pm that can be enjoyed with oysters and tasty meals.
Made from scratch dishes, fresh oysters and seafood from the raw bar, craft cocktails, and a rotating selection of rare sought-after spirits can be found at Stir who has happy hours in your area starting at 4pm to let you drink for cheaper.
We have done our best to mention any time a bar in the Triangle has liquor specials all throughout the post so don’t only focus on this section.
Trivia, Quiz & Game Nights
Check out this list of bars with trivia, quiz, and game nights near you:
- Beer Knurd at 328 W Morgan St
- Brick House at 3801 Hillsborough St
- The Boxcar Bar at 330 WDavie St
- Pourworks at 900 E Six Forks Rd #120
- Hwy 54 Public House at 1125 W NC-54, Durham
- Woody’s Sports Tavern & Grill at 8322 Chapel Hill Rd, Cary
- Desy’s Grill & Bar at 10255 Chapel Hill Rd #200, Morrisville
Beer Knurd carries hundreds of craft beers from North Carolina’s best local breweries along with plenty from around the world and they also have a fun bar trivia night in your area every Tuesday at 7pm.
Daily alcoholic drink specials, a trivia night every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm, and karaoke at 9pm can be found at The Brick House where they have 40 beers on tap, ten 120″ large screen TV’s, more than 20 LED’s, indoor and outdoor corn hole boards, and pool tables.
The Boxcar bar features hundreds of arcade-style games including 70+ classic and modern arcade cabinets, over a dozen pinball machines, and 175+ console games as well as a full liquor bar with 24 constantly rotating American craft drafts.
Pourworks is a premium craft beer pub, wine shop, and lounge with a variety of craft beers, liquors, and wine from around the world as well as bar trivia in Raleigh every Sunday at 6:30pm.
HWY 54 Public House is a sports bar and restaurant offering a wide selection of beer, cocktails, and made from scratch food where trivia in Durham takes place on Monday at 8:30pm.
For a fun sports bar in Cary that serves wings, burgers, and a wide selection of pub grub head to Woody’s Sports Tavern & Grill where you will also find many TVs, trivia every Monday at 7pm, music bingo every Tuesday at 7pm, karaoke, and DJ’s.
Desy’s is Morrisville’s go-to bar and restaurant to relax and kick back after a long day at work offering three karaoke nights and a weekly trivia night and they are open from 11am to 2am except on Sunday when they open at 12pm.
More fun bars with trivia or games in your area from different lists include Sharky’s, Brickhouse, Craftboro Brewing Depot, Bralie’s Sports Bar 2, The Night Rider, West 94th Pub, Goodfellows, and Bralie’s Sports Bar 2.
Dance, Karaoke, & Live Music
Dance, listen to live music, or sing karaoke at these fun bars around town:
- C.Grace at 407 Glenwood Ave
- Farotage at 3601 Capital Blvd #103
- The Pour House at 224 S Blount
- The Night Rider at 416 W South St
- West 94th Pub at 4711 Hope Valley Rd #6C, Durham
- Mac’s Tavern at 1014 Ryan Rd, Cary
- Goodfellows at 149 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill
- The Station at 201 E Main St, Carrboro
- Rudy’s Bar & Grill at 780 W Williams St, Apex
C.Grace hosts live jazz music every Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm and 8:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Farotage is a fun Afro-Caribbean nightclub that provides VIP discounts, after-party packages, and new reggae African and American hits as well as drink specials during happy hours and other amenities.
For a live music venue with both local and national touring bands, a sizable vinyl record collection, and 30 changing draft beers head to The Pour House.
The Night Rider is a welcoming neighborhood country dive bar in Raleigh with live music, karaoke, trivia nights, a superb drink menu, and plenty of outdoor seating.
Visit the West 94th St. Pub in Durham for American pub fare, alcoholic beverages, sports on TV, trivia every Wednesday at 8pm, pub karaoke every Friday at 10pm, and live music every Saturday and Sunday at 6pm.
Mac’s Tavern is your local sports bar that is open daily from 11:30am to 2am featuring live music every Friday and Saturday at 9:30pm, trivia every Monday at 7pm, and open mic nights every Tuesday at 8pm.
Tuesday through Sunday from 7pm to 2am you can head over to Goodfellows which features a large selection of beers in addition to trivia every Tuesday at 9pm, karaoke, and DJ’s in Chapel Hill.
The Station in Carrboro often hosts live music events throughout the week including Thursday night karaoke, open mic nights on Mondays, and live music on the weekends while serving a variety of rotating beers including specialty cocktails, fine wines, and mouthwatering non-alcoholic beverages near you.
Rudy’s Pub & Grill is a scratch-kitchen establishment that is open daily from 11am to 12am except on Saturday and Sunday when they open at 8:30pm and they are a good place to find karaoke and live music in Apex.
Other bars for music lovers from other sections include Niche Wine Lounge, Craftboro Brewing Depot, Bralie’s Sports Bar 2, The Brick House, Woody’s Sports Tavern & Grill, Desy’s Grill & Bar, and Sullivan’s Steakhouse.
By the way we have also covered:
Have Fun Drinking At The Best Bars In Raleigh
There are plenty of local wine and cocktail bars, breweries to watch sports at, places with good drink specials to save money, trivia, quiz, and game nights, as well as bars to listen to live music, dance, and sing karaoke near you. Hopefully we were able to fill you in on some valuable info that will make your next night out a little better.
Please use the comments to let us know if any spots have closed down or if any new cool places have opened up in your area so that we can keep our lists fresh. Now go have fun drinking at the best bars in Raleigh.