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Second Empire Restaurant

Certificate of Excellence
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330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603-1726 (Harrington St.)
(919) 829-3663
Tue - Sat 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
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352 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 348: English reviews
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
61 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We to go to Second Empire a couple of times a year for a special night out with friends. We usually eat downstairs in the Tavern because it's a little less formal and because you can order from the Upstairs menu or the Tavern menu. Our waiter was "spot on" and our food was fantastic. Great wine list that's reasonably... More 

Thank Virgil S
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

It was my extreme pleasure to entertain a group of 5 business guests from Southern California. It was their first time in North Carolina and in Raleigh. After a short tour of downtown, we went for drinks and dinner at Second Empire. We were fortunate to get a reservation for our group and elected to eat in the Tavern downstairs.... More 

Thank Hooman42
Level Contributor
74 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We had a very nice experience dining in the main dining room. We had 3 servers tending to our every need, so service was great. It was a bit odd when we were asked if we would prefer "silent service," I guess some want their servers to be seen but not heard. We started off with the tuna tartar which... More 

Thank NoName007
Trumbull, Connecticut
Level Contributor
58 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We have only eaten in the Tavern downstairs, and really prefer because it is more a casual feel. But last night at upstairs and was very nice. Elegant and refined. A place for a special occasion. You can order off the Tavern menu or the upstairs menu. There were three of us. Appetizers were beet salad (good), potato leek soup... More 

Thank cdeal12
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Had a great dinner at Second Empire. Not sure what the name means, but the food and ambiance was very good. I would suggest making reservations as this is a very popular local restaurant. We had trouble getting a table in the main dining room on a Tuesday at 6pm. The food is fantastic and there is a good selection... More 

Thank jeffreyhunt
Buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
64 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Party of three and every morsel of food was fabulishous!! Eat in the Tavern in the section with the floor to ceiling windows....really nice. Service was stellar. If there is a birthday, call ahead as they personalize your menu and bring a birthday dessert. Simply excellent in beautiful surroundings.

Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

The best starter hands down is the Foie Gras. We enjoyed dining in the tavern near the window. Always fantastic service, great eats selection and ambiance.

Thank Beloskur
Cary, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 weeks ago

First of all this is a beautiful spot for an elegant dinner. I had a friend in town and have always wanted to go to this restaurant. We ate in the Tavern area and were offered both menus to order from. We were escorted to the downstairs tavern by the upstairs hostess which was very nice. From my point of... More 

1 Thank Terry K
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2016

10 Stars for the private event team! Hats off to one of the best event experiences my company has had! Marilynn and team were a pleasure to work with and made the process super simple. The venue and food were top notch and more importantly, they took care of all the small details that make an event special. Many thanks!... More 

Thank Kasserman
Johnson City, Tennessee
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2016

My daughter and I were promptly seated without a reservation on a Weds. night. The service was attentive and our server was very knowledgeable of the menu and the specials. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal which was high quality and delicious with a pleasant atmosphere. I am hard to please because I often can cook as well as the Chef... More 

Thank missy682

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
$31 - $80
Lunch, Dinner
Restaurant features
Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Dining Style
Fine Dining
Good for
Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Open Hours
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
4:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603-1726
    (Harrington St.)
  • Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Raleigh
  • Phone Number: (919) 829-3663
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.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Second Empire Restaurant and other visitors
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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?