Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.25mi
  3. Distance: 0.39mi
  4. Distance: 0.46mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.25mi
  3. Distance: 0.39mi
  4. Distance: 0.46mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.25mi
  3. Distance: 0.39mi
  4. Distance: 0.46mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.25mi
  3. Distance: 0.39mi
  4. Distance: 0.46mi

About Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern

Located in downtown Raleigh’s historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House (circa 1879), Second Empire combines history, atmosphere, exceptional service and gourmet cuisine for an unforgettable dining experience. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern features our award winning Contemporary American Cuisine in two dining atmospheres. Upstairs enjoy the ultimate dining experience in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere of charm and grace. Downstairs in the Tavern and beautiful Atrium room enjoy a more casual environment. The Capitol Room, Raleigh Room, Pine Room and Atrium Room are available for private parties seating up to 50 people or various combinations of rooms for parties up to 300 people. Second Empire is very proud to be the recipient of the DiRoNA Award (Distinguished Restaurants of North America), the AAA Four Diamond Award (Raleigh’s only restaurant with this award) and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence since 1998.

330 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Southern, French

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Please note under special requests if you prefer tavern/ atrium seating instead of the formal main dining room.

Cross Street:
Harrington St./ Edenton St.

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 829-3663

Website:
http://www.second-empire.com/

Parking Details:
Parking is available on the surrounding streets & our private lot in the rear of the Restaurant. Additional parking is also located behind the Restaurant in the Reynolds Building parking lot.
There is a public parking lot across from Second Empire on Hillsborough Street owned by the City of Raleigh & is available for parking, however, there is a $3.00 parking fee that must be paid online. If you do not pay you will be towed.

Executive Chef:
Daniel Schurr

Private Party Facilities:
Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern offers four private dining rooms for day or evening receptions and/or dining. We offer our Pine Room which seats 40 people, the Raleigh Room which seats 25 people, the Capitol Room which seats 25 people and the Atrium which seats 50 people.

Private Party Contact:
Nicolle Roberts: (919) 829-3663

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.8

ambience

4.8

value

4.5

Noise

Quiet

97% would recommend it to a friend

Romantic (74)
Good for Anniversaries (66)
Special Occasion (64)
See All
Good for a Date (61)
Creative Cuisine (52)
Quiet Conversation (46)
Good for Birthdays (44)
Notable Wine List (33)
Cozy (27)
Fit for Foodies (27)
Worth the Drive (22)
Business Meals (19)
Pre/post Theatre (17)
Authentic (17)
Neighborhood Gem (15)
Local Ingredients (13)
Handcrafted Cocktails (12)
Good for Groups (9)
Tasting Menu (9)
Fun (8)
Bar Seating (4)
Healthy (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Seasonal (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Scenic View (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Casual (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
People Watching (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Vegan (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Great Beer (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Live Sports (1)
Organic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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2489 reviews
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vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined 3 days ago

Very nice! Rather expensive though...

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 30, 2017

2nd Empire is the best dining experience I've had in a very long time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 30, 2017

Everything was superb!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 30, 2017

I've been to Second Empire so many times it's almost hard to write a review. It continues to be a special, classy, and delicious experience. I personally prefer the quiet of the upstairs (formal) dining room, the downstairs (pub, or what used to be a pub anyway) level just gets a little too congested and noisy for me. The food this evening was outstanding and if I had to snipe at just one point was that we told our server it was a special night, had no plans other than dinner, and didn't mind if dinner came out slowly. Despite that, the appetizer hit the table just a few minutes after ordering, and the entrees barely a few seconds after we had finished the appetizer. So our special-occasion dinner barely took more than an hour, when we'd have been happy to enjoy the atmosphere there for 2.5. It was a slow night, so it's not like they needed the table. Anyway, it's just a great place for anniversaries, celebrations, or anytime mom & dad are paying!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 29, 2017

As always. Excellent

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Been dining at SE for years now. Always enjoyed the cozy, casual atmosphere in Tavern for Special Occasions. However, it has been a while, and noticed something different this time. The once advantage of having the "Tavern", as well as the "Main Dining" Menus to choose from have been replaced with a more condensed, single menu.. in other words, less selection/options. While it maybe good for the bottom line, I found it a bit disappointing. Service was top notch, as has been the case every single time I've dined at SE, so No lacking there. That said, the entrees were probably the biggest let down. The Filet Special was not very appetizing, mostly due to the odd ingredient combinations (Pineapple?), and the Short Rib was sort of more fat, than beef..it was OK. Don't know if there is a new Chef, or if I just stumbled upon an "Off" night? Luckily, our Server really redeemed the meal though, the Wine choice our server help us choose was delicious!

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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 25, 2017

This is true, fine dining at its best. Our family was in town for thanksgiving and we wanted them to see just how great the food scene is in Raleigh so we took them to second empire. My husband and I started with the quail appetizer and it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I had the duck and it was also delicious. The service is impeccable and they make a great cocktail. The chocolate soufflé cannot be missed. Great place for an anniversary dinner or special occasion.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 24, 2017

Top notch experience. The filet was cooked to perfection. The wait staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Wine menu offered a decent selection and the best part? The ice cream. Holy moly is it delicious. Trust me!

Tags: Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 24, 2017

We live in Wilmington, NC, and always, always go to the Angus Barn when we are in Raleigh. The Angus Barn was booked solid on Friday night after Thanksgiving so we went to Open Table and found Second Empire. The food, service, and ambiance were perfect. It is located in an older, possibly historical, house on Hillsboro St., a far cry from a barn. The server was excellent; I found his speaking voice to be overly loud when speaking with us and when he moved to other tables- the only possible negative.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

I have heard great things about Second Empire over the years, so I reserved a table for my wife and myself for our 17th Anniversary. The experience was great from start to finish. The service was excellent, and the dining was top notch.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

Great first time visit!! The Chef knows how to put great food together to make unique dishes tasty!!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Never disappoints

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

Unique experience that everyone should try.
The restored Victorian residence is the perfect setting for the excellent
food and service.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 16, 2017

This is a wonderful restaurant. Our second time dining here for our anniversary. This is a top notch dining experience. Worth every dime. Will be back next year.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 16, 2017

Great food but this night the service was very slow. Ran of out tea, water and cocktail before ordered again. Took awhile to get bread and water/drinks and seemed folks were spread thin. Waiter was fantastic but seemed he was super busy due to running out of drinks. We love coming here but worst experience we have had.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

 
·Dined on November 15, 2017

Great Food! The Fillet Mignon was as tender as a slice of bread! Looking forward to next time. Worth every penny!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Second Empire made our anniversary dinner feel extra special. I felt as if every member of the staff made sure to wish us a Happy Anniversary. Food was very good - the filet mignon special was spectacular.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 12, 2017

A Raleigh institution that never fails to deliver a special meal. Service can be variable but is usually good.

Tags: Romantic, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Second time visiting Second Empire (anniversary) and it did not disappoint. The staff is personable and knowledgeable and the upstairs setting is perfect for quiet and intimate dining. The food is of excellent quality and reasonably priced. I would highly recommend Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern for an upscale and enjoyable experience.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

My wife and I went to celebrate our birthdays. The service was excellent and we could actually have a conversation without shouting. First course I had the Scotish salmon gravlax and she had the French onion soup. Both were delicious. Entrees I had the barramundi and she had the filet mignon special. Both were cooked perfectly. Every dish was presented like a work of art. Absolutely no complaints with the food or service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Memphis)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Food was amazing as always. Our server (Cheyenne) was incredibly knowledgeable of the entire menu, on and off menu items. Diverse menu. The off menu creations by the Chef were fantastic.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Second Empire is an outstanding upscale restaurant with great service, ambience, and gourmet cuisine. The service is excellent. The cocktails are inventive. Artistically presented entrees are centered around seasonal and local ingredients. Second Empire's quality and service is consistent and the attention to detail is present in all aspects of the dining experience.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 11, 2017

The best of Raleigh, hands down. Superb, inventive food, exemplary service, great atmosphere. A++++++

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Great client meeting place for dinner

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Extraordinary culinary experience!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

The best fillet mignon i ever had. melted i my mouth. I would call the food edible art. It was superb.

Tags: Authentic, Good for Groups, Healthy, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 8, 2017

This is in my opinion the best consistent restaurant for fine dining in Raleigh. Always top notch in everything.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Was really dissapointed in the food. Was our favorite place to go for birthdays and anniversaries. Found a metal pin in the starter dish. Although the manager came by to apologise, we feel that they did not sufficiently make up for this near disastrous experience. Of course they did not charge for the dish in question but no further gestures.

Dishes are unnecessarily complicated. Who puts sweet and sour chow-chow on braised short ribs. The taste is weird.

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food1
ambience3
service4
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 4, 2017

The service and ambience were spectacular but I found my dinner to be extremely salty and could not finish it. Other diners with whom I ate did not find theirs to be quite as salty. Perhaps I am too salt sensitive!

Tags: Afternoon Tea, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Miami)·Dined on November 4, 2017

wonderful dining experience ...
Only comment I would have is parking is a potential issue on a busy weekend..

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 2, 2017

As always, Second Empire delivers amazing food for the pallet. The chef works his magic to combine unique flavors that delight and challenge your taste buds. The wait staff are attentive as well as informative to those less familiar with high-end menu items. The ambiance in the dining area is markedly formal, while the tavern is more relaxed. Either provides a great dining experience albeit a bit dark sometimes. And although the prices may be considered higher than your average fare.... the additional cost is well worth it. I've never once been disappointed by the food or the service at Second Empire.

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 1, 2017

Our dinner at Second Empire was the absolute best way to start our anniversary vacation. Every detail of the atmosphere, food, and service was excellent. Worth every penny.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 31, 2017

Very cozy atmosphere. It reminds of a bed and breakfast. Went here for my first anniversary. Place exceeded my expectations. Service is great, food is great, cocktails were great. They even personalized and had the chef sign a menu for our anniversary. If you're considering a higher end restaurant in Raleigh, pick this one. I loved that I could have a quality conversation and not have talk above a loud drone.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Wedding anniversary

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

My wife and I visited Second Empire to celebrate her birthday. Everything about this place is top class. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening there.

Tags: Authentic, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Everything was perfect. Our party of three had a 9:00 reservation and we showed up a little early. The amazing staff catered to our every need. Our server seemed to be as knowledgeable as any chef about every ingredient in every dish. Amazing experience from the cocktails at the bar to appetizers to the perfectly cooked entrees. 100% will return when in the area again.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Wanted to take my wife out for a special dinner for our 25th wedding anniversary. Second Empire, for the most part, did not disappoint. We both loved almost every thing about our evening out. We had a late reservation which turned out to be perfect and made us feel like the dining room had been reserved for us alone. Excellent service - attentive but not overbearing. The food was delicious and presented extremely well. One thing that I did find bothersome however, was the fact that Second Empire appears to have no dress code or desire to enforce one. Any establishment that wants to consider itself to be of a certain caliber needs to expect its diners to respect the restaurant. their staff, and its other paying customers by at least attempting to present themselves in respectful attire. I saw one couple, (and these were not youngsters by the way), so appallingly under dressed I was embarrassed for them. The man was wearing shorts and hiking boots with a t-shirt up top. His female companion was similarly attired, sporting a knapsack on her back. Are you kidding me? The Appalachian Trail is west of here. Start respecting your business Second Empire. Set some standards, some dress codes, and start enforcing them. That is really my only complaint about the experience.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Fantastic experience. Almost every employee told us Happy Anniversary, chef signed our menu, food was amazing, staff was knowledgeable, and the restaurant is absolutely beautiful. Perfect.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 19, 2017

This was a wonderful dining experience for a special night out. The atmosphere was very elegant, the service from the waitress to the bus boys was spot on.

The meal was very well prepared and beautifully presented. The chef does a wonderful job and it shows.

It is well worth going for that special night or even for an elegant night out.

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 19, 2017

First of all, the setting is in a beautifully restored 1876 home in Raleigh, NC, providing a Southern & historical ambiance beyond compare...

The filet mignon was outstanding with vegetables and risotto. They provided a birthday dessert for our celebration. Very nice..

Our server was very customer focused and efficient.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for a Date, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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