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All 1,243 Raleigh Restaurants

Tavern at Second Empire

330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 829-3663
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Ranked #22 of 1,243 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $80
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Harrington St.
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.
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187 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cary, North Carolina
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2015

The Second Empire is a formal and elegant restaurant. The tavern below the restaurant is a little more casual. We had a wonderful dining experience for my Wife's Birthday. The food was amazing and full of flavor. The presentations on the plates were in fact works of art. We made reservations and were able to get a Saturday night seating... More 

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Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2015 credit card Amex Card Member Review

The Tavern at Second Empire is a great way to experience the fantastic food of Second Empire without the stuffiness that comes with the formal dining experience. The service and food is fantastic and you don't need to worry as much about your attire.

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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015 via mobile

We were excited to be taken to this high end Raleigh restaurant. The reviews seemed generally good and some reviewers seem to think this place is the best ever....I am not sure how many other fine dining restaurants they have as a benchmark, but it's great that people like it. The 'Tavern' is a little confusing - there are dining... More 

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Garner, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2015

I am a southern simple man. I like simple meals and am not much on formal dining. However, at times I like to take my family somewhere really nice. On New Year's Eve I reserved a table upstairs at second empire. I had eaten downstairs once before, but chose upstairs as it is a little more formal. I frown on... More 

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Birmingham, AL
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2014

We were delighted by our dining experience in the basement, that is, "Tavern" of Second Empire. The atmosphere down there was perfect: sophisticated and elegant- yet cozy, charming and relaxed as well. As it turned out we were allowed to order from either the Tavern menu or the upstairs menu. Both offered appealing enticements, but the Tavern's a little less... More 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

We had a nice meal at Second Empire, starters were very good, wine was excellent; however, I ordered the filet mignon, prepared medium and out came a well done portion that completely lacked flavor. Once I brought this to the attention of the wait staff, the plate was immediately taken away and a new filet brought out fairly promptly. That... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2014

Staff was very helpful and friendly. Meal was awesome. Will be going back on my next trip. I had the Roasted Springer Farm’s Georgia Chicken Breast, would highly recommend!

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2014

Areas needing improvement in this fine dinning establishment and if improved... it may very well bring Second Empire to the #1 restaurant in Raleigh: [Area #1 - Getting into the door] I tried reserving the chef's table four weeks in advance and every time I called and was transferred to the lady that takes your reservation... (each week I had... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2014

Dined at The Tavern for the first time Saturday night with two friends who go often. Sat at the bar and a very personable Ashley was behind the bar all night. She made our experience very enjoyable, and became the 4th in the group very quickly. We cracked jokes all night and Justin eventually was subjected to our infectious good... More 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

It seems like large cities have really great restaurants and a variety of them. Second Empire is good but quite pricey for what they serve. Anyone that charges nearly 15 dollars for a martini is darn proud of their olives. The food was tasty but not over the top. The waiter was young and inexperienced. I felt like I was... More 

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Additional Information about Tavern at Second Empire

Address: 330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone Number: (919) 829-3663
Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Raleigh
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
Average Prices: USD 31 - 80
Cuisine: American

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  • Do you have gluten-free options?
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  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?