City guides

Fun bars in Raleigh

Discover Raleigh's most exciting bars where unforgettable nights and unique experiences await.

December 15, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Feb 14
A view of the Raleigh skyline.
Raleigh, a city known for its vibrant energy and diverse culture, is home to some of the most entertaining and unique bars. Whether you're a local or just visiting, these top picks promise an experience filled with laughter, great drinks, and memories to cherish.

Boxcar Bar + Arcade

Nestled in the heart of the city, Boxcar Bar + Arcade is more than just a bar—it's a vibrant hub of nostalgia and fun. It welcomes you with the bright lights and familiar sounds of classic arcade games, instantly transporting you back to your childhood. Here, you can challenge friends to a round of Pac-Man, pinball, or skee-ball, all while sipping on your favorite craft beer or cocktail. Their drink menu is a delightful mix of local brews and timeless favorites, ensuring there's something for everyone. With regular events and a lively crowd, Boxcar is the perfect spot for a night of laid-back fun and games.

The Raleigh Times

The Raleigh Times Bar, housed in a beautifully restored 100-year-old building, is a tribute to the city's past. As you step inside, you're greeted by an ambiance that perfectly blends the old with the new. The bar's walls are adorned with historic newspaper clippings, paying homage to its namesake. On the rooftop, you can enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Raleigh, making it an ideal spot for a romantic evening or a night out with friends. Their cocktail menu is a creative masterpiece, offering a range of drinks from classic to contemporary, all made with the freshest ingredients. The Raleigh Times Bar is more than just a place to drink—it's a place to experience the heart and history of Raleigh.

Trophy Brewing and Taproom

Trophy Brewing and Taproom is a celebration of Raleigh's craft beer scene. Known for its small-batch, innovative beers, this place is a haven for beer enthusiasts. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, with an eclectic mix of locals and visitors mingling over pints. Each beer is crafted with precision and passion, offering a range of flavors from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts. The taproom's charm is enhanced by its food menu, featuring gourmet pizzas that perfectly complement their beers. With a commitment to quality and community, Trophy Brewing is more than a bar—it's a destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Little City Brewing + Provisions Co.

Little City Brewing + Provisions Co. offers a refreshing take on the brewery scene in Raleigh, blending the craft of brewing with a sleek, modern atmosphere. Tucked away in a cozy corner of the city, this spot is known for its innovative and flavorful beers, ranging from crisp lagers to bold IPAs. The industrial-chic decor, with its open layout and communal seating, invites patrons to mingle and relax. Beyond the beer, Little City boasts a curated selection of wines and artisanal cocktails, catering to all tastes. It's a place where enthusiasts and novices alike can explore the nuances of craft beverages, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Raleigh's thriving brewery culture.

Watts & Ward

Watts & Ward, a hidden gem in Raleigh's bar scene, offers an escape into a world of vintage charm and speakeasy vibes. Located beneath the city streets, this bar captivates with its unique setting - think exposed brick walls, soft lighting, and leather couches that invite you to unwind. The drink menu is a testament to the art of mixology, featuring a range of handcrafted cocktails made with the finest spirits and freshest ingredients. Whether you're in the mood for a bold whiskey concoction or a light and refreshing gin-based drink, Watts & Ward's expert bartenders have you covered. This bar is more than just a drinking spot; it's a journey back in time, offering a cozy, sophisticated retreat from the bustling city above.


FOUNDATION stands as a testament to Raleigh's commitment to local flavors and artisanal craftsmanship. This underground bar, with its exposed brick walls and warm, rustic ambiance, offers a cozy retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here, the focus is on simplicity and quality, with a cocktail menu that showcases the best of North Carolina's spirits and produce. Each drink is thoughtfully created, balancing classic techniques with innovative twists. FOUNDATION's charm lies not just in its drinks but in its atmosphere—a blend of friendly, knowledgeable staff and a laid-back, inviting space. It's the ideal place to unwind with friends, enjoy a date night, or simply savor a quiet moment alone with a top-notch drink in hand.

Galaxy Fun Park

Galaxy Fun Park is Raleigh's answer to those seeking an energetic and exhilarating night out. This sprawling venue is more than just a bar—it's an adventure playground for adults. With activities like laser tag, go-kart racing, and a trampoline park, it offers a unique blend of fun and excitement. Amidst the action, you'll find a bar stocked with a variety of drinks, from refreshing beers to creative cocktails. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a fun group activity, Galaxy Fun Park delivers an unforgettable experience. It's the perfect place to let loose, challenge friends, and create memories that last a lifetime.

Big Easy NC

Big Easy NC brings the soul and spirit of New Orleans to the heart of Raleigh. This lively bar is a celebration of Cajun culture, offering a vibrant atmosphere filled with the sounds of live jazz and blues. The décor, inspired by the French Quarter, sets the scene for an authentic New Orleans experience. From their famous hurricanes to a selection of craft beers, the drink menu is as diverse as the city it honors. And don't forget the food—their Cajun-inspired dishes are a delicious complement to their drinks. Big Easy NC is more than just a bar; it's a journey to the heart of the Deep South, promising a night filled with music, flavor, and fun.


Bittersweet is Raleigh's sweet spot for dessert and cocktail enthusiasts. This unique bar combines the indulgence of desserts with the sophistication of craft cocktails, creating an experience that's both delightful and unique. The interior is chic and intimate, making it an ideal spot for a romantic evening or a night out with friends. The menu features a range of decadent desserts, each paired with a cocktail that complements its flavors. Whether you're in the mood for a rich chocolate cake or a light, fruity tart, Bittersweet has something to satisfy your cravings. It's a place where sweet dreams are made, offering a perfect ending (or beginning) to your night in Raleigh.

The Green Light

The Green Light, nestled secretly behind a bookshelf in the Architect Bar, is Raleigh's enchanting speakeasy-style hideaway. This intimate bar exudes mystery and charm, with a dimly lit ambiance that's both cozy and inviting. The cocktail menu is a showcase of creativity and finesse, featuring classic speakeasy drinks alongside innovative new creations. Each cocktail is expertly crafted, making The Green Light a paradise for those who appreciate the art of mixology. It's the perfect spot for a discreet rendezvous or a quiet nightcap. The Green Light's allure lies in its exclusivity and elegance, offering a unique and memorable experience in Raleigh's nightlife. In Raleigh, every bar has its own story and charm. Whether you're in the mood for a nostalgic trip down memory lane, a sophisticated night out, or just a fun and lively atmosphere, these bars promise to deliver an unforgettable experience. So, next time you're in the city, make sure to check out these gems and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife Raleigh has to offer.
*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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