from a NY point of view
Everyone knows NY-ers love their food. Lots of people have relocated from the Northeast to the Raleigh-Durham area. Here are the top 5 restaurants in Raleigh from the point of view of a Long Island-er that has relocated to Raleigh.
1. Bella Monica:
Bella Monica is easily the best Italian restaurant in Raleigh. Bella Monica has great traditional Italian dishes, a delicious red sauce and NY style pizza. Their house specialty is the lasagna. The lasagna comes out in a dish baked right in the oven. It's crispy on top and oozing cheese. They have gluten-free options on their menu, so it's a great restaurant if you have someone in your family that needs that. Bella Monica is located in North Raleigh.
2. Vinnie's Steakhouse:
Vinnie's Steakhouse is the best Prime Steakhouse in Raleigh. The steaks along with the sides are delicious. Vinnie's also has a nice wine selection. The service is excellent, which I think is an important factor in a steakhouse. I tried many steakhouses in Raleigh, including the Angus Barn, and this is my favorite. Vinnie's Steakhouse is located in North Raleigh.
3. Los Tres Magueyes:
Raleigh has Mexican restaurants like the Northeast has Chinese and Italian restaurants. The mexican restaurants are in every shopping center and on every corner, and the food for the most part is delicious. Los Tres Magueyes is the best Mexican restaurant we found in Raleigh, and as a bonus it's cheap! You can get a great meal for two at Los Tres Magueyes for $25 including drinks and guacamole. Los Tres Magueyes has restaurant locations in Raleigh and Cary.
Mura and Sono are sister restaurants, and the food is excellent at both. Mura and Sono serve Asian fusion cuisine. They have amazing sushi and are one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Raleigh.The sushi is fresh and the rolls are creative and tasty. The Screaming O, their signature roll, is a must order if you go for sushi. Mura is located in North Hills and Sono is downtown. The atmosphere is classy, so they are great places to take a date.
Everyone knows Northeasterners love their Italian, so I figured I needed two Italian restaurants on the list. Piola is a chain (there is one location in Manhattan), but there aren't many locations around the world. One of them is in the North Hills area in Raleigh. Piola has excellent thin crust pizza. Their specialties are gnocchi and pizza, but they have some other great dishes on the menu. Piola is very reasonably priced!
Also check out 5 Ways to Save Money at Restaurants, for some money-saving tips to make eating at great restaurants easier on the budget.