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Second Empire Restaurant

#12 of 1,139 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
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330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603-1726 (Harrington St.)
+1 919-829-3663
16:30 - 22:00
Closed now
See all hours
Tue - Sat 16:30 - 22:00
More Info
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375 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 370: English reviews
Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Pure pleasure from the staff to the meal everything is excellent plus 1 there is no better dining experience in Raleigh

Thank adman8
Apex, North Carolina
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Went there last Saturday with my husband to celebrate Valentine's Day. The food is very sophisticated with many layers of flavors and ingredients which can be a little overwhelming for folks who are used to more "farm to table" restaurants that highlight simple ingredients and presentation. Highlight of the evening? The filet mignon which melts in your mouth. The Tavern... More 

Thank HappyApexTraveler
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I love this restaurant! The food was amazing and the service top notch. It can be a bit pricey but it's good to treat yourself sometimes.

Thank Sessoms
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
417 reviews
315 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

ate in the Tavern with another couple. you can order from the upstairs (more formal restaurant) menu or the Tavern menu. i had the paella--outstanding. my wife and Friend wife had the fish special--excellent. friend/husband had the short ribs which he said were "interesting." they might not just have been right for him--i did not taste the short ribs. will... More 

Thank timriordan
Level Contributor
130 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The Pros and Cons of a dinner meal in the tavern: 1. Very odd to receive a signed copy of the menu for a birthday, and not, let's say, a complementary birthday cup of coffee or something else. It seems very egotistical on the part of the chef. We can't even imagine doing what the waitress suggested and framing it... More 

Thank LR B
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
302 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We came to Raleigh to visit friends in early December and we celebrated our wedding anniversary with another couple at the Tavern. We had a window seat and the should level was such that conversation was easy. We had cocktails that were nicely done followed by a three course meal. Each of us a a different main ad all of... More 

Thank sentellr
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Love the ambience.-quiet, elegant- with engaging artwork on the walls. New menu is fairly diverse- particularly salad first courses. Wine list is not overly extensive but provides substantial options. However, wait staff is merely adequate; they spent more time describing "specials" than waiting on ongoing dining needs, such as refreshing bread, water, etc. (I don't know why they can't provide... More 

Thank Philip W
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2017

If you want the perfect place to celebrate, be romantic, or to just have one of the very best dining experiences dine here. The service is impeccable, the food is wonderful and the wines and cocktails perfect. Order ANYTHING and it will be perfect!

Thank Katherine S
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2017

We went for my birthday last December. We made reservations but we're told we needed to wait in the downstairs bar area, had two drinks there before finally being squeezed into an area right by kitchen door. Took a long time for everything to arrive, when we finally were brought our main courses the wait staff gave my dish to... More 

Thank mdjusa
Raleigh, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2017

I have eaten at Second Empire Restaurant many times. The food is very good but pricey. I only go for special ocassions. The Bar Menu should add a couple of lower priced items. Overall, very nice place.

Thank ladymarco

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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
US$ 31 - US$ 80
American, Gluten Free Options
Restaurant features
Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Dining Style
Fine Dining
Good for
Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Romantic
Open Hours
16:30 - 22:00
16:30 - 22:00
16:30 - 22:00
16:30 - 22:00
16:30 - 22:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 330 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603-1726
    (Harrington St.)
  • Location: United States  >  North Carolina (NC)  >  Raleigh
  • Phone Number: +1 919-829-3663
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
4 questions
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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?