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Tavern at Second Empire

330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 829-3663
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Ranked #7 of 1,213 restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
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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162 reviews from our community

85% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

This is the place in Raleigh. The staff are awesome and the food is great. This is a 5 star restaurant at its best. We always eat here.

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

We went there Thursday for our 15th anniversary dinner. They had a signed menu waiting for us when we got there. Seated promptly and received superb service. Food was top notch and as always the desert to die for. Wife had the Soufflé which was well worth the wait. Lived in Raleigh for 41 years and that was first time.... More

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Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
269 reviews 269 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014 via mobile

I ate here with a group of colleagues, everything was perfect. Service was efficient and friendly, excellent wine list and prices pretty reasonable. We are downstairs, but were given both menus, so you could pick between the two menus on offer. I had calamari, beautifully tender and with a tasty dipping sauce. Then I had the rib eye. The waiter... More

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Raleigh, North Carolina
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

What a great dinner!! The chief had a personal greeting on my menu upon arrival, It was just the perfect evening. the Baked Alaskan was the perfect ending to the perfect dinner!!!

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Raleigh, NC
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

Cozy, romantic place to eat early before a show in downtown Raleigh. The entire menu is fantastic, all are favorites. Beer and wine selection is great and the atmosphere is casual and laid back. Remember this is under the upscale restaurant upstairs (Second Empire). If there is a show downtown, better call ahead to ensure a seat.

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Apex, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

This is a nice little get away in the middle of the city. The ambiance is really very quaint, without being stuffy and overdone. My wife and I had dinner and started with a drink at the bar. The bar is very comfortable and many people were already eating there from the Tavern menu. We ate upstairs where you get... More

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Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

My son received his MBA from Duke University and we all went down for commencement. He made dinner reservations at this restaurant, based on reviews that he had read. Our experience far exceeded our expectations. The setting is in a mansion built in the 1800's for a mayor of Raleigh. Gorgeous inside, and the basement is amazing with the bar... More

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2014

My husband and I love to sneak away to Second Empire whenever we want a a treat away from the kids. Second Empire always fits the bill. The moment you walk in you are treated like someone special. The service is impeccable and the food is outstanding. I love the fresh fruit and cheese appetizers and the steaks are always... More

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Scottsdale, Arizona
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Dinner for three upstairs was excellent, Food quality and variety was excellent. service was excellent. ambience in the old restored mansion was excellent. very pleased! will return and recommend to others

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Oxford, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

We went there last night, with a reservation for 4. They seated us in the original inside area, near a large, loud birthday party. Our waitress engaged us, and we ordered various wines - one of which the waitress said they didn't have (even though it was on the menu) - when we asked about that, she acknowledged the mistake,... More

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