About Herons

Noted by Condé Nast Traveler as a "culinary gem," The Umstead Hotel and Spa's signature restaurant Herons features the refined American cooking of Executive Chef Steven D. Greene and Chef de Cuisine Spencer Thomson. With an extensive wine list spanning over 1,500 selections and 10,000 bottles, one is sure to find the perfect complement to their sophisticated dining experience. Guests will enjoy the elegant setting and exquisite art collection indoors as well as dining on the terrace, with panoramic views of the lake. The Umstead’s Bar is also available to local diners and hotel guests for a more casual experience. Herons, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Restaurant, serves breakfast and lunch daily, weekend brunch and dinner Monday - Saturday.

100 Woodland Pond Drive
Cary, NC 27513
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
American

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 10:00am

Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 7:00am - 1:00pm

Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm

Dinner: Monday - Thrursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm

Afternoon Tea: Wednesday - Sunday: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm by reservation only

Cross Street:
Harrison Avenue

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$50 and over

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 447-4200

Website:
http://www.theumstead.com/

Entertainment:
Our sumptuous surroundings are enhanced by live music every day of the week at The Bar and Lounge of The Umstead Hotel and Spa.

Catering:
Please contact Carrie Cassidy of The Umstead Hotel at 919.447.4131 or at carrie.cassidy@theumstead.com for catering in the Hotel Event Space.

Parking Details:
Complimentary valet parking for Herons; self-parking available as well.

Executive Chef:
Steven Devereaux Greene

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Herons Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.7

ambience

4.9

value

4.2

Noise

Quiet

90% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (20)
Quiet Conversation (13)
Romantic (13)
See All
Good for a Date (12)
Creative Cuisine (12)
Fit for Foodies (11)
Good for Anniversaries (11)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Local Ingredients (9)
Notable Wine List (9)
Business Meals (9)
Worth the Drive (9)
Great for Brunch (8)
Great for Lunch (8)
Scenic View (7)
Afternoon Coffee (6)
Cozy (6)
Fun (6)
Healthy (6)
Authentic (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Afternoon Tea (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Disabled Access (4)
Good for Groups (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Organic (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Seasonal (3)
Comfort Food (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
People Watching (2)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Tapas (1)
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1573 reviews
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vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 7, 2018

We love Herons and we have dined before . We were celebrating our anniversary and decided to go to Herons. The food is amazing , the place is stunning and the service very good but a few little things were not Herons standard. I ordered steak and eggs, the steak took longer than usual because the first time it was over cooked so the chef made a new one but the wait was longer. I also ordered wheat toast and never got them. The sugar bowl was stained, it wasn’t impeccable.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We go for all our special occasions

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food5
ambience5
service5
value2

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Reservation was for 9:30...supposedly sold out for brunch. Had requested a later time, with no avail. Not seated until after 10:00. Service good but very slow kitchen, with half the tables empty. Took an unusually long time to get served.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
·Dined on December 29, 2017

Fabulous experience as always. The only small complaint the waitress wasn't able to properly describe the wines.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 28, 2017

During December 2017 I had the pleasure of dining at Herons at the Umstead Hotel 4 times during 4 separate weeks. Each time the floral displays were different--including the live flowers in the holiday trees. Food is always high quality and prepared beautifully and served artfully by the staff. The complimentary bread and chef's treat of the day are consistently gourmet creations. On this most recent visit I enjoyed the crab cakes, and my friend selected the lobster roll--both excellent choices. The Chihuly crystal art sculpture, the special art exhibits and pottery, the floral arrangements, and the addition of live music on some occasions--all make dining at Herons my top choice.

Tags: Business Meals, Afternoon Coffee, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Healthy, Notable Wine List, Great for Brunch, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 26, 2017

We went here for a Christmas lunch, and it was a wonderful experience!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Afternoon Coffee, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Excellent Christmas day brunch, everything was wonderful. May God bless us all. / Mark

Tags: Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on December 22, 2017

This was my second trip to Heron's. My first trip to Herons, about 3 years ago, was amazing. One of the best meals I've ever had. My most recent trip was a bit...disappointing. The chef made plenty of interesting items, but none of them jumped out at me. I ordered the duck. 3 years ago it was the best duck I ever ate. This time? Not so much. Fat was not properly rendered off the duck, the duck was bit too chewy and it arrived luke-warm. The dessert for our latest trip was the biggest disappointment. The "autumnal" dessert is a mish-mash of chocolate, fruits, and other items on the plate. A complete miss. Service during my latest trip was still top-notch. For 3 years I considered Heron's the best restaurant in NC. Now? Not so sure. The food simply isnt as tasty as it use to be. Nothing I ate on my latest trip to Heron's makes me want to quickly return.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 20, 2017

Food very innovative and attractively presented but too much added salt. V good wine selection. Service was disappointing. Each ordered a drink one wine one cocktail, the cocktail was served at least 5 mins after the wine!

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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 17, 2017

The offerings for the weekend brunch are beautifully prepared quality ingredients served artfully. Attention is given to any diet requests diners may need. This Sunday Brunch was the occasion of friends meeting before heading to RDU for travel to holiday destinations. It is so relaxing to begin a journey with fine dining and excellent service at Herons before leaving home.

Tags: Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

Heron’s is classy but not ostentatious, food is delicious, service is pleasant but not hovering, and the lighting and art work add just the right touch.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good Vegetarian Options
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 16, 2017

This is one of our "go to" places in Raleigh for a nice meal. The service has always been impeccable and the staff more than attentive; except on this occasion. Our waiter seemed preoccupied and if it hadn't been for Karla, our backup wait staff person, we would have been left in the lurch. We were hosting two of our favorite people and had built up expectations of what to expect, but the waiter, Gian, blew that out of the water. Luckily, the whole thing came together with the food and Ms. Karla. We will go back, just because we know that this was just a fluke and it's always a pleasure to be pampered the way that they do at Heron's.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service2
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 14, 2017

This is the total experience in beautiful dining! The meals selected at my table were the cooked to order steaks. My daughter selected a beautiful fancy cocktail, and the recommended red wine--both outstanding choices. The complimentary breads are unique recipes and a real treat. Attention is given by chef and wait staff for special diet requests--and a prior call from restaurant before the reservation also makes notes of diet requests. The quality, preparation, and presentation of the meal is art. As it was my birthday, a complimentary small plate of 2 cookies & a chocolate was presented. And, if that were not enough, the flowers are always gorgeous on the dining tables and throughout the restaurant and hotel.

Tags: Scenic View, Great for Brunch, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Fun, Disabled Access, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 11, 2017

When considering a very special meeting Herons is always at the top of my list.
Herons staff, ambience and interesting menue combined make a formidable
statement for special occasions. Obviously Herons staff is extremely Guest
Oriented, works hard to maintain this quality and we appreciate this!
Mr and Mrs Ramon Everts

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch, Afternoon Coffee, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Fun, Healthy, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 9, 2017

The food was outstanding and presented beautifully. T atmosphere was pleasant with no pretense.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 8, 2017

Extraordinary restaurant - by far the best in the Triangle!
Great for very special occasions.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Herons top chef always creates quality food presented as art. Servers and staff are outstanding. The floral arrangements and art in the hotel make this restaurant a joy to visit. Great place to meet people from all over the Triangle and dine before flights from RDU.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 6, 2017

Excellent food and service. They make you feel special as soon as you walk through the door. Their attention to detail is something most restaurants do not do.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Wine pairings too sweet, otherwise wonderful!

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Pinehurst)·Dined on November 22, 2017

This was my first visit to Herons so I didn’t know what to expect. Wow was I surprised! This was the best dining experience I have had in a very long time. Everything was amazing from the service, the wine selection, to the food! It is obvious there is a ton of thought put into every detail! Looking forward to the next visit to try the new menu, that changes every 3 months.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Good Vegetarian Options, Seasonal, Authentic, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 17, 2017

You have to experience this 5 star hotel/ restaurant. It is an amazing experience every time I go there

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 17, 2017

Great dinner service! A nice balance of presentation and quality. Definitely worth the bucks. My wife and I had a 3-course with about 6 complimentary plates of goodness and some bread and butter plus madelines to go. Btw, awesome wait staff too.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Amazing front start to finish, worth the drive for us. The Kaiseki menu was the way to go.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Hands down the best restaurant in the area. It is pretty pricy, but compared to similar restaurants (Fearrington House, perhaps Second Empire) in the area, Herons is by far the best .

Tags: Disabled Access, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Herons is consistently an elegant choice for dining. The ingredients and style of preparation of food is art itself. The flowers and décor are gorgeous. On top of that, the service is lovely.
On my most recent visit this month, I had the crab cakes, and my friend selected the lobster roll with fries--both excellent.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 31, 2017

My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary here. It was on Halloween night, and the restaurant was nearly empty. We each had a fabulous four course meal with wine pairings. It was the best dining experience we have had in our lives! It does come with a cost, but it is worth every penny if you are looking for excellent food, exquisite presentation, and knowledgeable waitstaff.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 29, 2017

We had the most outstanding service and food. Every detail was perfect !

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Afternoon Coffee, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Herons is such a quiet, elegant dining spot. The ambiance is great, the food is good, and the service is excellent. I highly recommend Herons!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Good for Anniversaries, People Watching
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 27, 2017

The quality of the food is outstanding and beautifully presented. Service and accommodation to my special diet requests were appreciated. The beauty of the art collections, and the fall floral designs on this visit were visually stunning. The landscape of the hotel interior and exterior are a pleasure to behold. I had the steak which was perfectly done, and my friend shared with me a taste of her crab cakes which were wonderfully prepared. This is a favorite choice for my dining in the Triangle.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Healthy, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Organic, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Quiet Conversation, Gluten Free Options, Afternoon Tea, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 25, 2017

Very classy place with superb service. If you like elegant food with great presentation this is your place. A little too much show and not enough substance for me. Would rather spend the same money at the Capital grill or Ferrington House.

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 10, 2017

Excellent spot for that special occasion. The food was magnificent!

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

The hostess set the tone and it wasn’t a good one. We should have turned around and gone to the Waffle House! While the wait staff was pleasant and the decor on point, the flatware was dirty, the food was over salted,
and my 62 degree egg wasn’t prepared properly

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 2, 2017

What a great service. The food was excellent. They made the birthday girl feel special. She loved it. Will be sure to eat there again.

3 people found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on September 27, 2017

The restaurant ambiance and service was impeccable (hence the two star rating instead of one). Unfortunately, I wish I could say the same for the food. For the price, everything should have been a winner, but I only enjoyed one dish. Worst of all, I spent the rest of the night in the bathroom. Save yourself the trip and spend your money elsewhere.

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food1
ambience5
service5
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 21, 2017

Took 2 speakers from a seminar I planned to dinner. Everyone loved it, & it also happened to be my b'day.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 14, 2017

Amazing, you have to go each season at least!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 10, 2017

As always, Herons provided an excellent atmosphere to accompany their incredible food.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Service was excellent and friendly! Food and presentation was outstanding!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on September 7, 2017

Amazing service! 🙏🏼

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on September 7, 2017

What an amazing dining experience! Everything was perfection. Started at the bar for pre-dinner cocktails that were expertly crafted, then 3 course dinner with amazing wine. The service was impeccable. We sat outside, such a beautiful evening.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5

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