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Second Empire Restaurant

#15 of 1,132 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
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330 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603 (Harrington St.)
(919) 829-3663
Website
Today
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House...
Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (circa 1879), Second Empire combines history, atmosphere, exceptional service and gourmet cuisine for an unforgettable dining experience. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern features our award winning Contemporary American Cuisine in two dining atmospheres. Upstairs enjoy the ultimate dining experience in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere of charm and grace. Downstairs in the Tavern and beautiful Atrium room enjoy a lighter fare menu and more casual environment. The Capitol Room, Raleigh Room, Pine Room and Atrium Room are available for private parties seating up to 55 people or various combinations of rooms for parties up to 300 people. Second Empire is very proud to be the recipient of the DiRoNA Award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America), the AAA Four Diamond Award (Raleigh’s only restaurant with this award) and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1998.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 210 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 133
    Excellent
  • 46
    Very good
  • 18
    Average
  • 8
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
excellent

we ate in the tavern below. we like it better than the more formal restaurant above. you can get food off either menu in the tavern. had the scallops over fava beans..some of the best i have ever had. wife had the special fish (grouper i think) over gnocchi and it was delicious as well. salad was... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed June 1, 2015
redwing1
,
raleigh
Good for:
  • Local cuisine
  • Romantic
  • Special occasions
  • Large groups
  • Doing business
  • Entertaining clients
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210 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
raleigh
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2015 NEW

we ate in the tavern below. we like it better than the more formal restaurant above. you can get food off either menu in the tavern. had the scallops over fava beans..some of the best i have ever had. wife had the special fish (grouper i think) over gnocchi and it was delicious as well. salad was also fresh and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2015 NEW

We were given a gift certificate to this restaurant by relatives who don't live in the area, otherwise we might not have even found it. When I made the reservations, they asked me if we were celebrating anything special. Since our 40th anniversary is June 7, I told them we were celebrating a little early. Everyone we came in contact... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015 NEW

Everyone says to eat down in the basement tavern, but even so, I found as a solo traveler that the main dining area was perfectly enjoyable. Better ambiance, I thought. My meal here was excellent, with wait staff that frankly were even more excellent. Service here is clearly not only considered a high art, but it is delivered with a... More 

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015

Absolutely wonderful experience. 2nd Empire has achieved the trifecta: comfortable ambiance, great food, and quality service. Well done indeed! The dining room is well turned out...quiet enough to hold a conversation....tables spaced out enough for a sense of privacy. Knowledgeable and efficient wait staff who doesn't rush. Solid menu with wonderful food. Best meal I've had in 2015. Well worth... More 

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Chester, Virginia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015

We had dinner at Second Empire Friday, May 8. One of our high school alumni who lives in Raleigh suggested the restaurant and I am glad she did. I checked reviews prior to making reservations and 90% of them were excellent. So far, so good. Mary was our primary server and she and her team of servers did a exceptional... More 

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Riverside, Ca
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015

We hosted a wedding rehearsal dinner for 20 at Second Empire. We had a beautifully decorated room set for our party and ordered from the regular menu. The food and service were fantastic, when everyone in the group is served the courses at the same time it is really impressive. At the recommendation of our son my wife and I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
309 reviews 309 reviews
208 restaurant reviews
258 helpful votes 258 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015

I attended a large family event at Second Empire and couldn't have asked for more. The food was well prepared and the service excellent. The restaurant in in an elegant old mansion. Try this for sure.

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

love this place! went here for an anniversary dinner and food is delicious and atmosphere is wonderful! definitely has a ton of southern charm!

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Durham, NC
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

The “Off the Hook” Ocean Catch was fresh local trout and it was perfectly prepared. Alex our server was attentive and gave great recommendations for our Birthday celebration. The home turned restaurant is lovely and drinks before and after the meal on the front porch made you feel like you were visiting a grand estate. The Roasted Five Spice Pennsylvania... More 

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nc
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2015

My son and I celebrated his birthday at this wonderful restaurant. From start to finish it was a great experience. The decor was beautiful and the history of the house was interesting. Food and service were excellent. Highly recommend.

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 330 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603
    (Harrington St.)
  • Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Raleigh
  • Phone Number: (919) 829-3663

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 31 - 80
  • Cuisine: American, Pub

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups, Doing business, Entertaining clients

Description

Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (circa 1879), Second Empire combines history, atmosphere, exceptional service and gourmet cuisine for an unforgettable dining experience. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern features our award winning Contemporary American Cuisine in two dining atmospheres. Upstairs enjoy the ultimate dining experience in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere of charm and grace. Downstairs in the Tavern and beautiful Atrium room enjoy a lighter fare menu and more casual environment. The Capitol Room, Raleigh Room, Pine Room and Atrium Room are available for private parties seating up to 55 people or various combinations of rooms for parties up to 300 people. Second Empire is very proud to be the recipient of the DiRoNA Award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America), the AAA Four Diamond Award (Raleigh’s only restaurant with this award) and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1998.
Open Hours
Tuesday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Thursday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Friday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Saturday
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Second Empire Restaurant and other visitors
1 question
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Questions? Get answers from Second Empire Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?