Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi
  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi
  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi

About Cafe Rule & Wine Bar

Located in the beautiful foothills of Hickory, North Carolina, Cafe Rule & Wine Bar is an upscale restaurant where you can experience the fine dining that our quaint town has to offer 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 private dining room and seating for parties, business meetings and special events (up to 35), as well as an inviting outdoor patio with fountains, sculptures and beautifully manicured gardens.

242 11th Avenue NE
Hickory, NC 28601
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary Southern, Fusion / Eclectic, American

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm; Sunday Brunch: 11 am - 2 pm

Cross Street:
HWY 127

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(828) 324-2005

Website:
http://www.caferule.com/

Entertainment:
please check www.CafeRule.com for details.

Parking Details:
Self park

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Cafe Rule & Wine Bar Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.6

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (29)
Great for Outdoor Dining (24)
Special Occasion (24)
See All
Good for Groups (21)
Good for Birthdays (21)
Neighborhood Gem (21)
Good for Anniversaries (19)
Business Meals (19)
Creative Cuisine (19)
Notable Wine List (19)
Bar Seating (18)
Fit for Foodies (18)
Romantic (17)
Great for Brunch (13)
Local Ingredients (13)
Great for Lunch (13)
Fun (13)
Handcrafted Cocktails (12)
Quiet Conversation (12)
Casual (11)
Cozy (11)
Authentic (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Worth the Drive (10)
Live Music (9)
Tasting Menu (9)
Happy Hour (8)
Healthy (7)
Hot Spot (7)
Comfort Food (7)
People Watching (6)
Seasonal (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Disabled Access (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Great Beer (4)
Organic (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Tapas (4)
Late-night Find (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Spicy (2)
Scenic View (1)
Vegan (1)
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509 reviews
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 (Charlotte)·Dined 13 hours ago

Great service; disappointed that they still have a broken part that keeps them from being able to froth milk for lattes

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Everything was great - the food was awesome. We had calamari appetizer that was one of the best we've ever had; pork chop was cooked just as ordered, excellently seasoned; the shrimp and grits were well beyond the traditional offering in flavor and ingredients. The portions for the entrees were generous. The service was very good and the wine list is excellent (though we opted for a drink and a beer). It would be good if there was a wider selections of beers.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Good for Groups, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

The food was great, and so was my cocktail. The waiter was a little awkward. Hovered too much while we were deciding, and check on us too much during appetizers but not at all during the meal. We waited around for boxes, and again for the check.
Add a visit by a fly, and I was just glad the food was good...

Tags: Cozy, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 1, 2017

ALWAYS AMAZING-- Feels BIG city with southern hospitality!!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Business Meals, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Live Music, Happy Hour, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Sunday Lunch, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on October 14, 2017

We moved our reservation to 730, originally 630, which they were happy to do. Upon arrival our 1st server stated that the kitchen had just received 45 dinner orders for a large party. She encouraged us to put orders in immediately, which we did around 7:45. She then returned to the table to tell us that another server would be taking over because she wanted to get off early to attend a friends bday party. 30 minutes later our bottle of wine arrived and an hour and a half later our food arrived, cold. We made reservations well in advance and drove an hour and half to dine here per a recommendation. Very poor experience.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Always an absolute favorite- even when super busy! We are treated like family!

Tags: Cozy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Gluten Free Options, Live Music, Worth the Drive, Casual, Good for Birthdays, People Watching, Great for Brunch, Great Beer, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Healthy, Tapas, Spicy, Comfort Food, Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 11, 2017

Came for a private surprise birthday celebration and again was NOT disappointed. Dinner and the service was excellent as always.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, People Watching, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on October 8, 2017

My wife and I really enjoyed this place. We went for brunch and the food was delicious. My only real complaint was the music-I loved that there was a live band playing while we were there, but it was very loud. In fact, we had to raise our voices to talk to each other at times. Service was very good-the young lady who waited on us was very friendly and attentive, and the overall experience was pleasant. We will definitely go back and try their other menus.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

We loved the Sunday brunch menu with creative offerings and a waiter that was extremely knowledgeable and friendly ... thank you Graham! Jazz group was an extra feature so our out of town guests were properly dazzled!

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic, Great for Brunch, Late-night Find, Afternoon Coffee
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 7, 2017

Outstanding dining experience as usual. Great food and great service. The staff make Café Rule
one of the best restaurants in N.C.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Business Meals, Live Music, Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Fun, Happy Hour, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 6, 2017

The food we ordered was excellent. The service timely and professional. All-in-all an enjoyable evening with good food, good service and a lovely patio setting.

Tags: Cozy, Casual, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on October 4, 2017

The monkfish special with risotto was fantastic. Service was excellent as well.

Tags: Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on September 29, 2017

Perfect! My husband's birthday! Great no complaints! Will b back.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 28, 2017

Our latest time at Cafe Rule was excellent. We have been several times since moving here and have not been disappointed. Food is exceptional, ambiance is very good. The outdoor dining option is a major plus, especially during the spring and fall. Service was attentive but not disruptive. We will go again without hesitation.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 24, 2017

It was like an icebox inside and luckily we got a table on the patio. We had to ask for knives, butter and salt and pepper. Not good. Had a mimosa that was tiny! The food was OK but not worth another trip. Very few places are open for Sunday brunch after church.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Cafe rule was great as usual. We were seated outside and it was perfect for Sunday Brunch. Only two complaints...my wives waffle was just barely warm and the candied bacon was $6 for 2, yes 2, slices of bacon. Overall though it was an enjoyable dining experience,

Tags: Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on September 20, 2017

Third time at Cafe Rule over a number of years. The kitchen offers delights while the staff is a bit aloof. Wait staff not at the level of the kitchen and environment. Just not professional. Hostess sipping coffee and surfing the web on her phone rather than focusing on customers. Staff on various distracting management missions somewhat distractive to customers. I would give it another try for sure as the food and wine selection is superb. Just seems like the customer facing staff needs the same focus on customers the kitchen does. We all have off nights, but it looks like the staff here has the opportunity to step their game up and make this restaurant the place it deserves to be!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 16, 2017

Exceptional food is the norm for this restaurant ! Never disappointed every time we have visited. Patio is the best in Hickory for a dinner under the stars. Service has never disappointed and always has brought it A game. Have recommended this restaurant to out of town friends and they were impressed.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on September 16, 2017

The food was delicious and our server was awesome!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 9, 2017

This is our second visit to this restaurant and we very good food and service. Our first visit in the Spring was not so good and we wanted to try it again. I would recommend.

Tags: Cozy, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 8, 2017

All good. First time visitors, will be back. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Food was very good and Service was excellent. What could have turned into a poor experience was more than made up by the wait staff and floor manager. The salads are huge and can easily be shared if ordered in addition to an entrée. Noise level is moderate to loud that would be my biggest knock.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Absolutely one of the best restaurants in Hickory. Server remember our drink order from our previous visit 4 weeks earlier. Fish special was amazing. Will now become our go to place in Hickory for dinner/drinks. Definitely a must visit if in the area.

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Live Music
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 25, 2017

We had reservations at 7:30, walked in at 7:06 and they already had the table ready for us and seated us immediately. The service was super. We had at least 4 different staff members wait on us throughout the night. Made us feel special for sure! Food was incredible and atmosphere was great. Good choice for the evening!

Tags: Fun, Bar Seating, Tasting Menu, Organic, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 23, 2017

Such a great place and a lot of neat things on the menu. The steaks are top-notch when they serve them at the correct temperature. I ordered the 9s Prime filet medium rare it was served nearly medium well I refuse to send it back cuz I didn't feel like waiting and it was still edible that's the waist of 50 bucks right there. I ordered a grilled Caesar salad the dressing is terribly weak really needs to be fixed if you've never had a good Caesar don't order here. It would be nice if the waitress came right after my food was served by another waiter so she could check on things like temperature. We went through several bottles of wine expecting the year stated would be the year served so we continue to return them until we found a wine with the correct year on it as listed.

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food3
ambience5
service2

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 22, 2017

Very good... service was a bit slow but overall value was nice.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Great food ..
So So service..
Reserve a week ahead .
Asked to seat in Shade on Patio, was told that table was reserved..
Sat in High Sun for 45 mins before anyone
Used the shaded table????

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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Excellent spot for Sunday brunch! Very cute garden area with live bluegrass music. Great food, fantastic atmospherie!

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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Good food and great service. Loved the outdoor patio !

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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on August 17, 2017

Cameron was a very friendly and helpful waiter. The dirt bike cocktail was the kind of spicy drink that I enjoy. The triggerfish special was superb. The eggplant puree was well done and the many vegetables were roasted to perfection.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 13, 2017

New Age Modern feel. Very nice to go on a "Fancy" date without the uptight feel. Can be yourself and staff is great. Prices are excellent for the quality of food you get. Chicken and Waffles will blow you away!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Business Meals, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 12, 2017

love Café Rule as always but had an issue this time with the volume level of the live band playing in the bar at 7:00 pm. it is difficult to enjoy a dinner conversation with your party when the band thinks they are playing at an outdoor amphitheater.
many others in the dining area had an issue with this.
it may be an appropriate volume level at 9 pm for the bar crowd but not while people are trying to enjoy dinner and conversation 30 feet away.
we did ask for volume to be brought down but to no avail.
disappointed by the lack of sensitivity by the manager.

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 11, 2017

Food options, taste, and outdoor dining is always great. Specials are overly pricey. Place is very good but never perfect. Still, like to eat here often because of the food selection.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on August 11, 2017

Cafe Rule does not disappoint!! There is something for everyone on the menu. They have recently brought back their fried okra with pimento cheese dip. This has always been a favorite, but the dip could use a little tweeking. The fish specials are always wonderful, and incorporate local vegetables. The halibut on Friday evening was fantastic!! As always, the service was superb!!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fun, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Late-night Find, Seasonal, Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, People Watching, Quick Bite, Vegan, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Business Meals, Spicy, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Healthy, Paleo Friendly, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Worth the Drive, Good Vegetarian Options, Bar Seating, Hot Spot, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Gluten Free Options, Local Ingredients, Disabled Access
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 6, 2017

We chose Café Rule to celebrate a special occasion and was disappointed from our time of arrival, until we elected to walk out of the restaurant without being served. We arrived at 7:55 for an 8:00 reservation and were promptly seated. Our server appeared in about 5 minutes and collected our spirit order. At 8:35 our cocktails had not arrived, our server had not reappeared and our starter or entrée orders had not be taken. When the waiter did appear, he informed us that the "ticket" for our cocktails was misplaced. He failed to see that while those situations do occur, failure to revisit our table in over 30 minutes is the root cause of service and restaurant failure. We would not recommend Café Rule to anyone, for any event or purpose. There are other, better options in Hickory including Boca, and Highland Avenue - with excellent food, great ambiance and prompt service. We left Café Rule and arrived at Boca at 9:00 to find Youseff and his top team ready to serve us. Our cocktails were delivered in under 3 minutes, and our entrees in under 15. We will not return to Café Rule.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
·Dined on August 5, 2017

Me and my hubby went for hamburgers and a beer. Food and beer was awesome. Our waiter Graham was awesome!!! Would recommend the place for sure!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Food was excellent and may be the best in the Hickory area. Servers were very attentive thus making the dining experience superb for any occasion. Highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Only complant is they need a better wine buy the glass selection

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Puzzled by the award given to this restaurant by Open Table given the lack of quality in ingredients we experienced in our meals. Great atmosphere and wine selection were the positives. Whomever is buying ingredients needs to find a better vendor for product! There is no excuse today for serving tasteless corn, rubbery calamari, or bottled caesar dressing with such a great menu.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on August 3, 2017

The grouper was fantastic, wait staff was professional and informative loved Flo Rina and Rebecca
Pecan cheesecake is outstanding we will be back

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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