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Tavern at Second Empire

#26 of 1,259 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
$$$$
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330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603 (Harrington St.)
(919) 829-3663
Website
Monday
Closed
See all hours
Hours:
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, 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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Good for:
Fine Dining
Romance
Large groups
Doing business
Local cuisine
Outdoor seating
Special occasions
Entertaining clients

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 195 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 121
    Excellent
  • 43
    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
Most recent review
Want to go somewhere special....then this IS the place!

Let's preface it by stating this is one fancy place! The Tavern downstairs where we ate is more low key, but even so it's very special. From the moment you arrive you're treated like a star. The food is simply stunning, the service is 5 (or could it be 6) star and the building is a piece of... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 18, 2015
Richard G
,
Raleigh, North Carolina
Good for:
  • Fine Dining
  • Romance
  • Large groups
  • Doing business
  • Local cuisine
  • Outdoor seating
  • Special occasions
  • Entertaining clients
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
Add Photo Write a Review

195 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

Let's preface it by stating this is one fancy place! The Tavern downstairs where we ate is more low key, but even so it's very special. From the moment you arrive you're treated like a star. The food is simply stunning, the service is 5 (or could it be 6) star and the building is a piece of history. It... More 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Without a doubt, some of the best food in the area. Certainly, the best service. We attended a dinner in celebration of a friend's birthday. We received a warm welcome, immediate seating and service. All of the food was cooked to perfection and presented beautifully, The staff even had about 8 attendants deliver the food so every plate (soup, salad,... More 

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San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
218 reviews 218 reviews
190 restaurant reviews
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2015

Have been coming to this restaurant for 5 yrs when in come into NC. Its still pretty but the food is not as good as it use to be.

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Summerville, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

Called restaurant to make a reservation and was greeted on the phone and assured that the downstairs area would be quiet, nice and romantic. Upon arriving at the front door, the Maitre'd showed us downstairs to a very noisy bar and motioned to go through an archway to the receptionist. My look of disdain must of been prominent because she... More 

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Greenville, North Carolina
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

I absolutely love this restaurant! It's one of my favorites in Raleigh. The food is always amazing no matter what I order and the menu changes constantly. Defintely try their fois gras if you like that, it's on-point no matter how it's prepared! A cute little quirk about the bar is that they keep hard-boiled eggs for the patrons to... More 

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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015

My wife and I went to Second Empire for our anniversary and loved it. Based on favorable reviews we had high expectations and it delivered in a big way. I would definitely put it up there with Fearrington and few others as among the very best the Triangle has to offer. Second Empire is located in an old restored house... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

Great restaurant. We prefer The Tavern, it is more casual and fun. Bar is great. Food is always good. Nice wine selection

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

You always get what you pay for. Second Empire is no exception. Awesome staff, awesome food, awesome atmosphere. A true dining "experience". High end = High expectations and Second Empire delivers!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Cary, North Carolina
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
53 helpful votes 53 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Charlotte, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
18 helpful votes 18 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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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 330 Hillsborough St, 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

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, 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

Questions? Get answers from Tavern at Second Empire 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?