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

Special Events & Promotions:
Thank you for your interest in planning a special event at Second Empire. The Special Events Package will describe for you the areas of our restaurant that are available for your special dining, business and entertaining occasion.
For further information and to make plans for your special event, please call Nicolle Roberts, our Special Events Coordinator at 829-3663. She will gladly offer recommendations in your planning and design a menu for your event.
The Owners, Chef, Management and Staff have combined their efforts, commitment and talents to develop and present for you a special and unforgettable dining experience.
Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you!

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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

4.4

Noise

Quiet

97% would recommend it to a friend

Good for Anniversaries (73)
Romantic (72)
Special Occasion (65)
See All
Good for a Date (58)
Quiet Conversation (45)
Creative Cuisine (45)
Good for Birthdays (42)
Notable Wine List (40)
Fit for Foodies (34)
Worth the Drive (33)
Business Meals (29)
Pre/post Theatre (25)
Cozy (22)
Authentic (21)
Neighborhood Gem (18)
Local Ingredients (17)
Handcrafted Cocktails (14)
Seasonal (10)
Good for Groups (9)
Hot Spot (8)
Tasting Menu (8)
Fun (7)
Bar Seating (5)
Healthy (5)
Scenic View (5)
Great for Brunch (4)
Great for Lunch (4)
Casual (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Afternoon Tea (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Great Beer (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
People Watching (2)
Vegan (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Tapas (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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2558 reviews
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 (Raleigh)·Dined 3 days ago

The dining was excellent as usual. Our server, Katlin did an outstanding job along with being knowledgeable on the wine selection.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 3 days ago

We found the food, swordfish and rack of lamb. excellent. Not only the dish but the preparation and condiments. The cocktails were tasty and had appropriate amount of alcohol (something not that common). The chocolate soufflé was astounding and service impeccable.

A little formal upstairs and less so downstairs. You can choose. Since we were celebrating Valentine we chose the upstairs but may try the bar or downstairs next time.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

I loved the bacon wrapped trout awesome flavor with the sauces.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 4 days ago

Quite a belated find! 2nd Empire's been in RAL for 20 years and we've been only 50 miles away for 13 years, and this is the first we'd tried - we wasted so many years: won't make that mistake going forward.

The menu was sterling, the dishes we selected - sea scallops and the rack of lamb (though the barramundi really called) - were excellent.

The atmosphere fit our likes dead-on: a converted mansion of a grand age, set up with space between the tables to mitigate easy (but not impossible) eavesdropping.

Saving the best for last: the staff was superb: attentive without hovering. Our waitperson, Steven, gets wholehearted recommendation. He was knowledgeable about every dish we queried him on, with sound recommendations for matching wine. His one miss was on the proletarian portion of the bill of fare (the beer options). But that worked through instantly, and he was not expected or required to fall on his sword. BTW, they DO carry Newcastle Brown Ale (for the knavvies), which is much appreciated.

If the serving staff work in designated teams, 'Steven-in-Training, Skylar was equally proficient in maintaining the refills and the occasional diner sloppiness.

Go, and dine well.

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

 
·Dined 5 days ago

One of our favorite restaurants in Raleigh NC.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 5 days ago

Requested round table and it was ready and set up for us. Service was fantastic !! Did not mind adding, subtracting ingredients so as to get food prepared in way each person liked. Chef was excellent in preparing food to taste for everyone at table. It is a wonderful place to go and enjoy.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 11, 2018

I was there Saturday night to celebrate my upcoming birthday with my brother and sister-in-law, who were visiting from Los Angeles. A great way to start off their introduction to the fine restaurants in the Triangle Area on their first trip to the area. They loved the ambience of the home and our server, Rima, gave us the history of the house and also great service.

I've eaten at Second Empire a few times and never had a bad meal or experience.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 11, 2018

As usual .....great service and awesome food!!! Highly recommend! A bit pricey.

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

 
·Dined on February 10, 2018

The food and service was so good I left a $50 tip the atmosphere was perfect everything about that night was perfect I couldn't have asked for a better anniversary

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Authentic, Great for Brunch, Comfort Food, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Xander and Skylar were both wonderfully attentive during the meal. I miss having both menus in the Tavern!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New England)·Dined on February 10, 2018

We went for our anniversary and loved it! We highly recommend the trout and the rack of lamb. Such an enjoyable ambiance and exceptional food. We cannot wait to return!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Had a fantastic Valentine's day dinner at Second Empire. Chose to sat in the main dining area. Our waitress was fantastic and very knowledgeable about the menu and historical significance of the venue. Food and drinks were absolutely delicious. Only comment is the noise-level in the main dining room was a little much at times; it was easy to hear others' conversations and get distracted by laughter, etc. Could benefit from some light background music, which we seemed to hear at some times and not others. Overall a very pleasant meal and definitely somewhere I will be coming back to in the future.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Every bite was a delight. And how does a restaurant maintain a top notch rating in every category at such reasonable prices?

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Great food, great service! Definitely pricey, but you know that going in. The food is definitely worth it. Do yourself a favor and get the Souffle ;)

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Always a wonderful dining experience. Wonderful service, great ambiance, delicious food, expansive menu.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on February 3, 2018

Food is amazing as usual! Tender meat, explosive flavors, and great portion sizing. Love the atmosphere and service is always top-notch!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Afternoon Tea, Business Meals, Scenic View, Cozy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Impeccable service from start to finish - greeted at the door, friendly hostess, top-notch waiter. Outstanding food. The only down point was a large noisy party of 4 couples seated at their reserved table 15 minutes into our lovely meal. Our waiter was a gem and handled them - and their "Yankee" remarks - with such professional and warm demeanor. He made sure everyone in the room under his care was happy. So if you do want a super special quiet romantic meal, then definitely book this restaurant but make sure you request a cozy quiet corner far from larger parties (the couples in the other room were undisturbed nor could we hear them). Overall a wonderful moment-making dining establishment.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Second Empire Tavern was the choice to celebrate the birthday of a friend. Everything about the dining experience is outstanding. We selected mixed drinks (Rusty Nail) from the bar--very tasty. We both selected the entrée Sea Scallops which were melt in your mouth prepared and presented artistically. Complimentary bread and butter was delicious. Flower on the tables, candlelight, great food and service are standard for this fine restaurant. My friend was presented with a signed menu and complimentary birthday dessert.

Tags: Seasonal, Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 2, 2018

This was outstanding! I took my girlfriend here so we could celebrate our 2 year anniversary, and it was wonderful. We even received a personalized menu form the chef with his signature! The wait staff were more than polite, and they new exactly what they were talking about. I have never been more satisfied then I was when I was at Second Empire.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 26, 2018

The bar service and appetizers were excellent, the mixed drink and beer list had plenty of options. The staff attention to detail and friendliness was pleasant.
The meal, taste wish was disappointing. I had beef short ribs that came in a deep fried cake surrounded by less that delicious toppings. I would not recommend that dish. My wife had the sword fish which she described as ok. We were expecting a ‘wow’ meal and were both disappointed with our meal. The presentation and visual impact of the dish was interesting and made you want to make it delicious:(
It was our 30th wedding anniversary and we both wished we had chosen another restaurant.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Fantastic food and service for incredibly reasonable prices. I even received a menu signed by the chef for my birthday!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 25, 2018

They exceed all our expectations, it was great as usual.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Liked everything very much except the bread. Not tasty and had to ask repeatedly for refills. Should not be the case in an expensive restautant.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 20, 2018

From the min we walked through the door everything was amazing , the best chicken and the best service the waitress was outstanding, she knew her stuff , can’t wait to return soon

Tags: Scenic View, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Delicious food, friendly staff... Second Empire never disappoints

Tags: Great Beer, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Our night out with friends to celebrate a retirement was perfect! Our server left us in awe with her exceptional knowledge of the menu and suggestions that we found very helpful. We ate in the upstairs dining room which has wonderful ambience, and was remarkably quiet, even though there was a table close to us. The food was outstanding! A great place for any special occasion.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Memphis)·Dined on January 12, 2018

Would not change a single thing about this experience. Excellent on all fronts ...

Tags: Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 12, 2018

Wonderful evening with attentive wait staff (just right / professional / non-invasive), superb meals and atmosphere. Celebrating a birthday - just perfect.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 12, 2018

Amazing experience!!!!
It was everything all the reviews said it would be.
We started downstairs and the bar tender made wonder wine recommendations.
We then were seated upstairs where we tried the cheese plate, shrimp and soup before dinner. It was all so good.
Our entrees from the shrimp, veal and lamb couldn’t of been better.
The wine selection was tops.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 11, 2018

A truly great dining experience. The food was fantastic but the service was exceptional! Everything about Second Empire is above and beyond. I will definitely be returning many times.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Authentic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 9, 2018

Great service. Great food.

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

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 6, 2018

We had a grand time celebrating our friend’s birthday. The food and service was exceptional.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Truly the perfect place to celebrate 14 years!!! I look forward to going back soon!

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

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 31, 2017

This place is outstanding and there was not one negative thing about our dinner. Highly recommended this place :)

Tags: Romantic, Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 31, 2017

We ate here for our second wedding anniversary and it was fantastic!

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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 31, 2017

I prefer eating in the tavern downstairs. It’s definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh. Not too pricey but definitely worth it for the food, atmosphere, and service. If you haven’t been, you should go once.

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Went for anniversary dinner. Food and service were both excellent! I would highly recommend them!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Holy Lord. One of the best classic fine dining experiences I've had in North Carolina. An amazing duck breast, an amazing gravlax tostada and a very classy atmosphere added up to a great evening. Service was a little formal and stuffy, a bit of a throwback to an earlier day but the house and overall surroundings are beautiful and The Tavern is super cute downstairs.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on December 30, 2017

The food was so delicious, service was extra great. Will definitely return.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on December 30, 2017

This is our 4th or 5th dinner at Second Empire. We drive up to Raleigh from Wilmington, NC t get access to Southwest Airlines and we stay overnight in downtown to be able to include this wonderful restaurant as part of our trip.

My N.Y. Strip steak was delicious and properly cooked (sauce was excellent, it's one of their strengths). My wife had the duck and I tried a bite; this beef lover is going to have that next time. Wonderful.

Looking forward to returning on our next trip to Raleigh.

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

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