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Cortez Seafood + Cocktail, Raleigh, NC

Cortez Seafood + Cocktail

4.8
4.8
348 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

May 2022
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7:00 PM


Booked 24 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Mexican, Tapas / Small Plates

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–9:30 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Tue–Sun 5:00 pm–6:00 pm Weekend Dinner Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (919) 342-8227

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Chef Oscar Diaz

  • Neighborhood

    Raleigh

  • Parking details

    Turn into the alleyway marked by the Cat Mural and you will find a private lot in our rear side of the building. Additional parking can be found at the parking deck behind the Carolina Ale House and street parking all around Glenwood South. We are handicap accessible!

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

Menu

Our menu is printed daily and is subject to change

Oysters*

$1 OFF Oyster Happy Hour 5-6 P.M.

  • Traps Bay, New River, NC

    Medium-High Salinity, Small Size, Meaty & Sweet

    • ea$2.75
  • Carolina Daydreams, Stump Sound, NC

    Medium Salinity, Small Size, Sweet Flavor & Garlicky Finish

    • ea$2.75
  • Core Sounder, Jarrett Bay, NC

    medium Salinity, Medium Size, Creamy & Sweet

    • ea$2.75
  • Dress 'em All Up

    Bell Pepper, Shallots, Serrano, Cucumber, Salsa Macha, Lime, Salt + Pepper (Add $0.50 Per)

    • Chargrilled Oysters

      • The Oyster Shooter*$7.00

        Vodka or Tequila, Tomato, Serrano, Pineapple, Cucumber, Cilantro, Tamari, Lemon, Local Oyster

        Sharing Plates

        • Charred Brussels

          Brussel sprouts, black bean salsa, crema queso cotija, onions, cilantro, lime

          • Smoked & Loaded NC Papas$9.00

            Smoked & fried fresh dug potatoes, guajillo buffalo, blue cheese, pickled peppers, prosciutto, chives

            Sea

            Sharing Plates

            • N.C. Snapper Ceviche*$16.00

              Red Onion, Serranos, Cucumbers, Pepper Mix, Tortilla Chips

              • Hamachi + Tuna Crudo$15.00

                Peppers, Cucumber, watercress, leche de tigre, guacatillo salsa

                • Gambas al Ajillo$15.00

                  Shell-On Shrimp, Garlic-Butter-Lemon Sauce, Toasted Baguette

                  • Coctel Mixto

                    Poached octopus, shrimp, oyster, cocktail sauce, dressed up mix, fried saltines

                    • Charred Octopus$18.00

                      Buttered Beans, Tomato, Parmesan Butter, Charred Octopus, Chives, Chili Oil

                      Larger Plates

                      • Grilled Hanger Steak

                        Pinto beans, kale, mushrooms, molcajete salsa, pickled onion, cilantro

                        • Al Pastor Local Catch Tacos

                          Al Pastor Marinated Tuna, Local corn tortilla, Farmers market Salas, Street corn, Salsa Diablo & Guacatillo

                          • Grilled Whole NC Fish

                            Satueed Kale + Mushroom, Salsa Criolla

                            • Triple Deluxe Burger

                              Brioche, triple beef patties, american cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles, burger sauce, handcut salt + pepper fries

                              Bread

                              • Bread + Weed Butter

                                Baguette, Herb-Nori-Anchovy Butter

                                Last updated: February 1, 2022

                                What 348 people are saying

                                Overall ratings and reviews

                                Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

                                4.8
                                4.8 based on recent ratings
                                • 4.8Food
                                • 4.7Service
                                • 4.7Ambience
                                • 4.5Value

                                NoiseModerate

                                Loved For

                                • Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

                                  Fit for Foodies

                                • Raleigh

                                  Best Overall

                                • Raleigh

                                  Fit for Foodies

                                Sort by

                                Filters

                                1. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Raleigh

                                  4 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  4 reviews

                                  Dined 1 day ago

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  It’s too good to keep a secret! It’s very simple if you like great food you need to eat here

                                2. F

                                  Foodie

                                  Raleigh

                                  8 reviews

                                  vip
                                  4.0

                                  8 reviews

                                  Dined 5 days ago

                                  overall4food4service5ambience4

                                  We’re never disappointed with the food at Cortez. It’s always very good! We eat out a lot and Cortez’s prices are above market with comparable restaurants. We would go more often but the prices hold us back and instead we frequent Ashley Christian restaurants, Garland and others where the overall value is better.

                                3. d

                                  dazylyn

                                  Raleigh

                                  2 reviews

                                  3.0

                                  2 reviews

                                  Dined 5 days ago

                                  overall3food4service2ambience5

                                  We had the small plates for our first visit here. The snapper ceviche was excellent. The potatoes were too smoky for our taste. The chargrilled oysters and calabash were ok but we normally LOVE oysters. The outdoor space was cozy. Service was disappointing. Our server didn’t come by often, so our short water glasses sat empty 3 times. She never asked if we wanted to order additional plates, never thanked us for coming, just not the usual service experience. We waited a long time after our first 2 plates without any communication, so we were pretty much ready to go half way through our meal.

                                4. 2

                                  2eatmore

                                  Raleigh

                                  10 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  10 reviews

                                  Dined 6 days ago

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Everything about this establishment satisfied all of my senses. The service stellar the food exquisite. I felt as though I stepped into an oasis. Coming back!!!!!!!

                                5. MP

                                  MichaelP

                                  Wilmington

                                  3 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  3 reviews

                                  Dined 6 days ago

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  The ambience was great with the music at the right level where you could have a conversation and also not hear everyone else talking. The food was delicious and fresh. Expect to wait for your entree a bit longer but it is worth it. Drinks were a bit pricey but the food was reasonably priced.

                                6. JB

                                  JeannieB

                                  Raleigh

                                  2 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  2 reviews

                                  Dined 7 days ago

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Dined here Thursday night with two of my sisters who were visiting from out of town. We thought the food was just incredibly good, as was the service and the cocktails. What an awesome place they've managed to create. We had oysters on the half shell, the snapper ceviche, the shrimp and garlic, the grilled octopus, the mussels with clams, the hanger steak, and every single dish was spectacular!!!! I am feeling lucky that I live within a 30 minute drive, and will be able to dine at Cortez again soon.

                                7. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Denver

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on May 8, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Mother’s Day excellent

                                8. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  New York Area

                                  2 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  2 reviews

                                  Dined on May 8, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                  This was a perfect place to get drinks with your girlfriends. Fun cocktails, great food to share, phenomenal staff. Will return!

                                9. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on May 7, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Absolutely lovely. Enjoyed all the food and drinks!

                                10. DB

                                  DanielleB

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on May 6, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Outstanding ! We moved from Florida and so far best meal in Raleigh. We will be back for sure .

                                11. m

                                  milting

                                  Los Angeles

                                  2 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  2 reviews

                                  Dined on May 6, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                  Cortez was amazing. The food was incredible. The service was knowledgable, kind, friendly and attentive from the moment we sat down, regardless of how busy the entire restaurant was. From the cocktails to the ceviche and fish, every combination and menu item was extremely fresh and perfectly balanced for taste. This place's food rivaled and surpassed five star restaurants we've eaten on either coast.

                                12. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Washington DC

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on May 5, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Would die for Cortez

                                13. IL

                                  IvyL

                                  Atlanta

                                  3 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  3 reviews

                                  Dined on May 3, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Everything was so delicious. Cocktails, bread and weed butter 😍 oysters, I had the seared tuna it was incredible! We sat inside, small good vibe …. Just go you would be disappointed!

                                14. R

                                  Rose

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on May 3, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  A consistently high-quality experience and a very kind, down-to-earth staff.

                                15. A

                                  Adebayo

                                  Raleigh

                                  4 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  4 reviews

                                  Dined on April 30, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  What a great first experience! I can’t tell you something that I didn’t enjoy!

                                16. JO

                                  JeffreyO

                                  Raleigh

                                  3 reviews

                                  vip
                                  4.0

                                  3 reviews

                                  Dined on April 29, 2022

                                  overall4food5service3ambience5

                                  The food was fantastic but our waitress wasn’t paying much attention. We got the wrong cocktails and the wrong oysters. We will dine here again.

                                17. JM

                                  JosephM

                                  Montreal

                                  2 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  2 reviews

                                  Dined on April 26, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Great experience. Elevated food and cocktail selection

                                18. HO

                                  HannahO

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 26, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Great drinks and amazing food in a really cool space. Will definitely be back!

                                19. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Raleigh

                                  1 review

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 24, 2022

                                  overall5food5service4ambience4

                                  Different and delicious

                                20. H

                                  Hibzy

                                  Edmonton

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 23, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  One of our favourite restaurants in Raleigh, the food and service is always outstanding! Highly recommend this place for a fun/romantic dinner.

                                21. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Raleigh

                                  1 review

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 22, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                  The food was excellent, as was the service. Only wish I had selected to eat outside, since the noise level was high and it was a beautiful night.

                                22. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Raleigh

                                  1 review

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 22, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Delicious as always. This place always delivers with great flavor.

                                23. R

                                  Robert

                                  Raleigh

                                  13 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  13 reviews

                                  Dined on April 22, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  A great location for small plates and seafood. Especially good for those eating low carb.

                                24. p

                                  pinkygizzard

                                  Raleigh

                                  8 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  8 reviews

                                  Dined on April 22, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Another fabulous meal! This is my new favorite restaurant in Raleigh. Highly recommend!

                                25. J

                                  Jake

                                  Raleigh

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 21, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience4

                                  Food was delicious as it always is. I just wish Cortez was a little larger

                                26. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Charleston

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 16, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Food was excellent, the grilled oister are definitely my favorite

                                27. AG

                                  AmyG

                                  Raleigh

                                  15 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  15 reviews

                                  Dined on April 16, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  The food was so flavorful. Delicious. Presentation was pretty. Love the robust flavors. Can’t wait to go back. Thank you for a great meal.

                                28. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Raleigh

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 16, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  It was a nice dinner. The food was good as always. The oysters were amazing as was the Octopus. I could eat that everyday and the beans that accompany it are awesome. Wait staff was good.

                                29. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  San Francisco

                                  1 review

                                  4.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 16, 2022

                                  overall4food5service4ambience5

                                  One of our favorite places to dine. Been loyal for going on 2 years now

                                30. AD

                                  AlexDC

                                  Washington DC

                                  6 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  6 reviews

                                  Dined on April 14, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Great food. Great service. Just go! Amazing time.

                                31. C

                                  rayC

                                  Raleigh

                                  9 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  9 reviews

                                  Dined on April 13, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  The food is exceptional in every positive manner.

                                32. JM

                                  JillM

                                  Raleigh

                                  4 reviews

                                  5.0

                                  4 reviews

                                  Dined on April 13, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Delicious flavors and excellent service! Will definitely return!

                                33. l

                                  leelee

                                  Raleigh

                                  37 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  37 reviews

                                  Dined on April 13, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience3

                                  Yet another visit to Cortez and once again very happy with the experience and food. Lots of flavors all working together to create great dishes. Very knowledgeable wait staff to answer all questions.

                                34. KC

                                  KevinC

                                  Raleigh

                                  22 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  22 reviews

                                  Dined on April 12, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Dependably excellent. What a great experience!!

                                35. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  Philadelphia

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 10, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Visiting from Philly. Four of us reconnecting at dinner. Atmosphere was great, food: oysters, ceviche, palmas, burgers terrific! Cocktails fabulous! Staff were friendly and attentive. All in all a really fun and delicious time.

                                36. OT

                                  OpenTable Diner

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 9, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Service was amazing! Food was also amazing!

                                37. C

                                  Cece

                                  Raleigh

                                  13 reviews

                                  vip
                                  3.0

                                  13 reviews

                                  Dined on April 7, 2022

                                  overall3food2service4ambience3

                                  My visit was for a milestone birthday. I was very excited about this place because I’ve heard nothing but accolades. I finally was able to visit for dinner. I was celebrating my husbands 50th birthday. I like their selection of Mezcal and enjoy the cocktail that I ordered. However, I was quite underwhelmed by the cuisine. We ordered about four appetizers and two main dishes. I was disappointed that they only had four main dishes to choose from on their menu. We are observing a seafood diet due to Lent, as such a seafood heavy menu is a must. Unfortunately, two of the main dishes were beef dishes and the other two were seafood. I thought the food was just OK. That said, we do a lot of traveling to Miami, New York and other larger cities inside and outside of the US, so we may be used to a different caliber of cuisine. I ordered the spring snapper. While the snapper was cooked nicely, the sauces were overwhelmingly salty… and I love salt. I tend to always have to add salt to my food at other restaurants.

                                38. EG

                                  ElisabethG

                                  Raleigh

                                  9 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  9 reviews

                                  Dined on April 7, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Excellent food - Octopus, Shrimp, Potatoes are a must have. Great service. High energy. Exquisite decor (wall of plants).

                                39. SS

                                  ShelbyS

                                  Raleigh

                                  15 reviews

                                  vip
                                  5.0

                                  15 reviews

                                  Dined on April 6, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience5

                                  Best oysters I’ve had in a long time! Chef Oscar never disappoints.

                                40. DB

                                  DeborahB

                                  Raleigh

                                  1 review

                                  5.0

                                  1 review

                                  Dined on April 5, 2022

                                  overall5food5service5ambience2

                                  A little loud for us, making it hard to talk. Look forward to going back and sitting outside.

                                Safety precautions

                                • Cleaning & sanitizing

                                  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
                                  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
                                  • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
                                  • 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

                                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 348 OpenTable diners.

                                Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

                                Make a reservation

                                2 people

                                May 2022
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                                7:00 PM


                                Booked 24 times today
                                Google Map for Cortez Seafood + Cocktail

                                413 Glenwood Ave Raleigh, NC 27603-2198

                                Additional information

                                • Neighborhood

                                  Raleigh

                                • Hours of operation

                                  Dinner Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–9:30 pm Sun 5:00 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Tue–Sun 5:00 pm–6:00 pm Weekend Dinner Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

                                • Cuisines

                                  Seafood, Mexican, Tapas / Small Plates

                                • Dining style

                                  Casual Dining

                                • Dress code

                                  Business Casual

                                • Parking details

                                  Turn into the alleyway marked by the Cat Mural and you will find a private lot in our rear side of the building. Additional parking can be found at the parking deck behind the Carolina Ale House and street parking all around Glenwood South. We are handicap accessible!

                                • Payment options

                                  AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

                                • Executive chef

                                  Chef Oscar Diaz

                                • Additional

                                  Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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