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Tavern at Second Empire

330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 829-3663
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Ranked #9 of 1,221 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Price range: $31 - $80
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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166 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
96 reviews 96 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014 NEW

We wrapped up restaurant week with a visit to Second Empire. For some basics. It has some limited parking behind the restaurant and there is a reasonably priced paid lot across the street from the main entrance. The restaurant has a tavern downstairs as well. The place is large enough to accommodate a number of people yet feels quiet and... More

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Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014 NEW via mobile

Lovely ambience, great service and the flavors were delectable! Our daughter ordered the mussels as her first course. All I can say is it was probably the most divine dish I have ever had the pleasure of tasting! The mixture of flavors on each dish are so creative and interesting. My husband raved about the duck , my son-in-law raved... More

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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

I was working in Raleigh for a week and did a search for top places to eat. Second Empire came out in top 5, so I gave it a shot. The building is beautiful inside and out. The food was some of the best. I had the polenta/pear salad wihich was incredible (see picture). The halibut entree was succulent and... More

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Miami, Florida, USA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

We were directed to this restaurant by friends, who told us this place has some of the best reviews in the city. Were they wrong. We arrived punctually at 8:30 and were seated promptly by a nice hostess. That was the best part of the experience. We were offered both the Tavern menu and the main menu from the upstairs... More

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

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
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 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
272 reviews 272 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
144 helpful votes 144 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
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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
46 reviews 46 reviews
20 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
67 reviews 67 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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