Cortez Seafood + Cocktail

4.8
215 Reviews
$30 and under
Seafood
*We use Opentable to supplement our main reservation system. If you can't find the date you are looking for here, please call or text the restaurant directly at 919.342.8227 as it may still be available through our central booking.*

The Cortez is a fresh seafood and small plates experience with a freshly kept selection of tropical cocktails that draw on our food memories, travels through the years, and Mexican-American heritage. James Beard Nominated Chef Oscar Diaz's menu is a reflection of his weekly walks through the farmer's market and the bounties brought in by our local fishermen. The beverage menu is rounded out with rotating craft beers and a curated wine list.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 215 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.9
food
4.7
service
4.8
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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T
vipTari
Portland
21 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another amazing diner at Cortez! Everything was delicious — the grilled octopus, smoked potatoes, ceviche, swordfish. Our server was Erin and she was welcoming, knowledgeable, and attentive to our needs. Thank you, Erin! We look forward to our next visit!

LA
LesleyA
Raleigh
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was so fresh and flavorful! Our server had really great energy and showed us an awesome time. Can’t wait to go back again soon.

JN
vipJackN
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food here is amazing. And, although I'm a beer and wine guy, I tried the cocktails and they were fantastic as well. We are recent transplants to Raleigh, so it was only our second visit to Cortez. But we are going to go back for more for sure.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding Spanish flavors. If this place has an open table, book it! I was amazed by the chef’s ability to pace appetizers and entrees. The restaurant’s sense of timing is impeccable. You must order the crudo boat because the texture of the tuna is a delight. The staff was accommodating. The restaurant also carries my favorite rum, Bumbu. This will be my go-to venue in Raleigh especially because they have a live garden wall for beautiful pictures.

DJ
DerbyJ
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great service, quality food, a very different menu than what i am accustomed to. Service was great, server was friendly and helpful with questions about the menu. Great atmosphere with music that fit the mood. We would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Every dish was full of flavors and cooked perfectly! Layers and layers of flavor. Drinks were creative and beautiful! Service was top notch. Excellent meal.

AB
AwesomeBrunchBuffet
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

That shrimp appetizer tho!!! Hm hm hm. I've never had a grilled shrimp that good. The swordfish was good as well, but not as flavorful in my opinion. The " light as a feather" drink was poppin' too. Even found it about a new liquor with the hell of the bartender.

TD
TammyD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! Would recommend to anyone who is looking for a casual fine dining experience.

RR
RickR
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and ambiance were great, although I thought the space was a bit small and the tables were too close together. I would definitely come back but I think the food is over priced.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Austin
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely must try

AR
AshleyR
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, great ambiance and vibe. Our server Cat was awesome!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pepe, the Manager, is the absolute best!

AH
AshleyH
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious as always. We had amazing service, the bartender was very attentive. My experience was definitely 10/10.

G
Gemma
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent! Had small plates, main and dessert and everything was outstanding. The ambiance is also cool and the patio is pretty and heated. Definitely recommended!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and cocktails. Nice location!

SH
SusanH
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The freshest oysters around. The spicy shrimp was so delicious that we ordered a second dish of it!

2
vip2lovelycreatures
Raleigh
13 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food beautifully presented. Innovative preparation. Drinks are fun and unique. Service was exceptional.

BT
BrookeT
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cocktails and food was amazing! Unique drinks and super fresh seafood.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time! Everything was delicious!

SG
SammyG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff is warm, friendly, and knowledgeable. And just lovely

GD
vip1GlamDesigner
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food! Love eating on the patio. We shared their chargrilled oysters to start. Next we shared the Seafood Sailboat sharing platter with a mix of oysters, Snapper ceviche, Tuna crudo, coctel mixto,and grilled octopus. This is a delicious mix of seasonal seafood. The final round included their outstanding Deluxe Burger with rough cut french fries, grilled hanger steak and the charred Brussels Sprouts. Excellent menu prepared to perfection, great service and vibe.

KD
vipKristinaD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great for a date night. Cocktails were creative and delicious. Service was attentive. Food is awesome.

m
malloryd
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was amazing! Shrimp app was the best shrimp I’ve ever had. Oysters yum and swordfish was perfect! Service was great and very cute restaurant.

E
vipEric
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience2

Great food, great experience, over small outdoor chairs. The outdoor seating have arm rests. If you're any bigger than really thin, prepare to have your thighs trapped into a tiny chair.

SD
SarahD
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall3food5service5ambience5

Food is excellent but extremely small portions for the price point. At 70.00 for one person (no alcohol), it's just too expensive to go back.

LM
LeslieM
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

I am surprised that the reviews are so good for this place. The service we had was very slow, not helpful, and unfriendly. The food was mediocre at best and therefore overpriced for what it was. The drinks were just ok. We will not return.

C
vipCharliegirl
Raleigh
87 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food was delicious and great to share small plates. Would have liked more variety. Great outdoor dining. Only problem is music was SO loud we couldn’t hear each other.

N
vipNikole
Raleigh
6 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is such a fun place. The food is delicious and different and the prices are reasonable. We loved the ceviche and whole fish and the whole roasted tomatoes were fantastic. The drinks -- both mixed and wine -- are excellent. Lots of different and fun tequila options. The atmosphere is lively but not overwhelming. It gets a little noisy inside, but you can still easily hear each other talk. The outdoor bar and table seating is great for this time of year in NC. Wait staff is friendly and helpful.

PK
PKRaleigh
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I always recommend Cortez to anyone asking where to dine in Raleigh. In is consistently one of the better restaurants in Raleigh! It’s intimate and energetic. The menu is always fresh and exciting! Do not sleep on this place! It’s amazing

M
Mickey
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first visit and we truly enjoyed our meal. The food was delicious, the service was impeccable, and the drinks, OMG!
We will definitely be back and have told all of our friends about Cortez Seafood and Cocktails.

M
Millsrevs
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Ours was a terrific meal with great ingredients, innovative cooking and a lively ambience! Our fifth time, and amazingly it keeps getting better. We are a mature couple, and for us the ambience is a bit lively. Still, essentially flawless and simply wonderful!!!

MB
vipMarniB
Raleigh
12 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great time highly recommend

NB
NickB
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went to celebrate our anniversary. The octopus is phenomenal, highly recommend this place.

KC
KevinC
Raleigh
18 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Wonderful, creative dishes, great cocktails, good service. Can’t believe I was unaware of this Raleigh gem. We’ll be back!!!

AO
AmandaO
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Foodies and seafood lovers - this is the spot! We couldn’t decide on our favorite dish it was all so good! Service was exceptional as well. Hope to go back again!

A
Amanda
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible ambiance, incredible staff, incredible food. Literally cannot go wrong choosing Cortez. As a vegetarian, I am always so grateful for how accommodating they are with options.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
35 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

There was a mix of reactions depending on the dish. For example, the ceviche was too bland but the Bulgogi broccoli was super tasteful. The drinks were also opposite in flavor and kick! The waitress was excellent but the kitchen was slow (and it was not too crowded on a Sunday night). We loved the outdoor space.

s
vipsuzannebernstein
Charlotte
38 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Brought my friend to Cortez my fav restaurant…..
* louder than normal music w/less customers
* server was pleasant but not knowledgeable
* temperature of courses was not in keeping w/what should be
* Shrimp Gambas….cold and oily
* Whole Fish Delicious
* Overall I was disappointed

K
Kristie
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food, especially the small plates which were good for sharing ! The cocktails were very good as well.

B
vipBubba
Raleigh
16 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent service and food. Sat outside, but was loud with street traffic and band that was playing at bar across the street—took away from the overall experience. Regardless, I would go back and highly recommend to friends/family.

FAQs

Cortez Seafood + Cocktail offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (919) 342-8227.

Cortez Seafood + Cocktail is rated 4.8 stars by 215 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.