Cafe Rule & Wine Bar

4.5
777 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Southern
Located in the beautiful foothills of Hickory, North Carolina, Cafe Rule & Wine Bar is a beautiful restaurant where you can experience the delicious dining in a relaxed and refreshingly casual setting.
Fresh, sensational flavors and exquisite wine pairings are yours to enjoy as your palette is spoiled by our culinary team. There is simply no comparison to the array of dishes, the extensive wine selection or the fabulous ambiance that Cafe Rule invites you to savor. We offer a variety of private dining options for parties, business meetings and special events (up to 35), as well as an inviting outdoor patio with fountains, sculptures, and beautifully manicured gardens.
What 777 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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EL
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Arrived for an early dinner on Sat. @ 5pm. Employees were just opening the door and we were seated immediately. It was my wife's birthday so I noted that online and they set a specific table for us with little crystal like chips around the table and a happy birthday card amongst the bling on the tabe. Nice touch. Menu is everything from sandwiches to full dinners with a nice variety of options. Our server was great and helped us pick a nice wine that matched our tastes. My wife's rib eye was cooked medium perfectly as was my med rare filet and both cuts were very tender and tasty.
The wood grill adds a different but delightful taste to many appetizers and meals. This is an excellent restaurant for any occasion and though it's a little pricey with most things alacarte it was well worth it. We'll be back soon.

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LB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, great food and great restaurant.
Appreciate them holding our reservation for an extra 10 minutes until we arrived.

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NL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really pleased to find this place in Hickory, NC. Love the motorcycles and the wine list -- worth stopping by just to flip the pages. Straight to the top of my Hickory list.

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CJ
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elise, our waitress, was exceptional. Out of about a dozen times visiting restaurant, best server. Made our brunch outstanding!

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CC
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

our favorite restaurant,.
The best chef in Hickory!

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d
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Excellent food, and ambience

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OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Service great, food fabulous. Screaming children in dining room with zero sound absorption made it feel like being at McDonalds. Maybe consider a no infants policy, successful in many establishments such as this.

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RG
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is outstanding. The wine selection is as good as it gets. The staff treats you extremely well.

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OT
Western NC
36 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been coming to Cafe Rule for many years and through a couple of name changes. We are very pleased to say that they have finally got it right!!! We were extremely happy with the new menu!! The former menu just did not work. The new menu is great with a good offering of appetizers, small plates, pizza, sandwiches, and large plates. Everything we tried was fantastic! Now, let's work on the desserts and the cocktails. The bartender has yet to figure out how to make a whiskey sour, or any other type of mixed drink. Otherwise, I would have given five stars!!!

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j
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I recently moved to NC from Pa, so we know zero about where to go! I always rely on Open Table and we made the reservation for a Sunday Brunch. Cafe Rule far surpassed our expectations, it was much more “elevated” than we expected. Ambiance, service and food is a high level Experience, and we will definitely be back to experience Dinner. Highly recommend!

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MR
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

After a long day of furniture shopping, I was so ready for a good steak dinner. The stacked bacon appetizer was great, and dry-aged ribeye was fabulous.

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CM
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

It was good. I just miss some of the items from the old menu!

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DG
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 5

Service was super slow, after being seated for 15 min waitress showed up we immediately ordered. 30 min later she comes back and tells me she is out of flounder which I had ordered. I had to reorder , food was good, slow service and communication between waitresses and chef was poor

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SP
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Fantastic dining experience. We sat outside and the ambiance there was spectacular. Beautifully landscaped with comfortable outdoor seating. Service was very good. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

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B
Greensboro
2 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time here and it was a delightful experience. Elegant restaurant, exceptional food and fine service.

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AG
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elise was our waitress and she was very sweet and knowledgeable.

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JS
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our food was fantastic, our server was very attentive and amazingly personable, one heckuva date night.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was our 21st Anniversary and they had a card waiting for us. It was very sweet. The waitress Bethany was fabulous, giving us suggestions and checking on us often. Overall a very good experience. We plan to go back

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AC
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We planned my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner and welcome party for 55 people at Cafe Rule on 5/31/19. It was AMAZING. Sallie help us plan the event and nothing was ever a problem. She had great suggestions on food planning, wines and general logistics. We were allowed to add to the house decorations to make it personal. She even had her staff set it up when we ran out of time on the day of the event. We had a sit down dinner with three choices of entrees. We heard nothing but exceptional comments about the food. Layla made sure everything went as planned during the dinner. The garden venue was a perfect start to an memorable weekend. Most important my new daughter-in-law was so happy ! Thanks to all at Cafe Rule for a A+ event.

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OT
Western NC
37 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

We have been going to Cafe Rule for many years. I will have to be honest and say that it has declined over that time. The food is good, but with the current menu, it is really hard for us to find anything that we want to eat. We eat a variety of foods, but at Cafe Rule, we find it hard to choose anything different. We usually wind up eating the same things, pizza, a burger, or the fried chicken. The food is really good, but very boring. The menu really needs a facelift!! The prices are a bit high, and the cocktails are seldom good. We really like this place, but I am afraid it is in need of some attention! The staff seems to change every time we have been lately. This is not good!

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OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Mother’s Day. Nice weather. Great food. Not so great service bc we felt forgotten and had to have two waitresses serve us. We had to remind them several times about ketchup, water, etc.

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J
Charlotte
38 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a pleasure!! Managers, hostesses and waitstaff always make you feel at home!!

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TL
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My daughters and I enjoyed the Mother’s Day brunch. We were seated in a quaint back room so it did not feel crowded. Our waitress, Destinee, was attentive to our needs and recommended a delicious wine! The food was amazing!

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OT
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Too many servers for 1 table.. No one knew who was doing what! Should be 1 per table .. Website never mention
ONLY special Menu for food orders .. Normally always allowed off Breakfast Menu ..
Eggs Benedict not good .. egg was hard boiled!
Chef Ramsey would have thrown in the TRASH

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OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food, excellent service. The wedge salad is awesome, and the pecan cheesecake is out of this world! My wife and I both had the fillet mignon with different sides. Delicious. Service is exceptional. What more can I say?

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MD
Charlotte
16 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was prompt and courteous- we had very little time and the staff was super efficient and we were able to celebrate before our daughter’s function

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JH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Had a great time celebrating our anniversary. Will definitely go back!

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CJ
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

This is mine and my husband’s favorite restaurant. My brother and sister in law were in town and my mother had never been so we went to brunch with our two kids. It was the perfect setting as always, but the service was lacking where most of the time it is spot on. We were sat and didn’t see our waitress for at least 10 minutes to start off- and the restaurant was pretty empty! The good was of course perfect, but the service really took away from the upscale experience it typically is- especially when three people trying for the first time. You want to walk away talking about how great it was, not talking about it was great BUT server lessened the experience.

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J
Charlotte
38 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great date nite! Gorgeous outside !!

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K
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Called ahead for a birthday reservation - there was a card signed by the staff at the table, and there were crystals scattered on the table as well - a lovely surprise! Food was excellent, atmosphere was perfect, and the service was outstanding. We will definitely be back!

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MD
Charlotte
16 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were very last minute celebrating my birthday and our table was decorated with “diamonds” and a card from the staff. Then I was further gifted by a Cafe Rule “Rule Breaker” t-shirt. It was a special night thanks to Cafe Rule!!

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AL
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The host was sweet enough to allow us to sit out back and we had the whole patio to ourselves. The server even dimmed the lights so our dinner was more romantic. My husband and I had a wonderful time and I especially loved the beautiful gardens.

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A
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

We were expecting more from one of the more upscale restaurants in the area. Maybe it's because we moved from Cornelius/Davidson so we are used to higher quality food from some of the best restaurants on the western part of the state. The restaurant is way over priced for the value you receive. Our food was bland, small portions, and service was okay. All together it was nothing to rave about our that we would go back for again.

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OT
Western NC
37 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We always enjoy Cafe Rule. However, we still find the cocktails inconsistent. Out first round of drinks was pretty good. The second round not so much!! They use a concentrated lemon juice that is so sour, you can hardly drink it!! It is a concentrated mix that has to be diluted! The food is good, but we still find the menu a bit limiting, especially the appetizers. Overall, it is a good place to eat, even though a bit pricey.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best restaurant in town .

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H
Charlotte
18 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 4

The food has steadily declined and we debated if we should return. Upon our arrival the staff was amazing as always. Absolutely no complaints. The food however was disappointing. We order the Bacon stack with fried green tomatoes ( only 2 tomatoes)and it wasn’t impressive especially for the price. Then ordered the 14oz prime aged ribeye to share and after we each had a few bites pushed the plates back and said no more. We also ordered the roasted potatoes and they we heavy in a lemon flavor. Something I will not order again. We were asked if we wanted to take the rest home and we decline. The waiter was excellent as he had our meal discounted. This used to be our highest recommended restaurant but in the last 6 months it has become a disappointment.

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C
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Overall it was good. We had a few items that didn’t seem hot or fresh. The calamari had too much sauce to the point of being soggy. The restaurant was very busy as it was prom night also.

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MB
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great environment and excellent food and wine. Can’t wait to go back

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CM
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and fantastic service! Must try the Nashville Hot Chicken and greens! Better than the real thing in Nashville!

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BA
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

We had family come in from Atlanta and wanted to take them out to a nice restaurant. They loved the look and ambiance but were disappointed in the over cooked pork chops and portions. We started out by asking for an appetizer on the menu, okra and pimento cheese. The waiter informed us that they no longer offered this appetizer...well then take it off the menu! My daughters pizza was over done as well. This is the second time in 6 months that we left this restaurant not satisfied with the how much we spent for sub par quality.

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