News & Observer’s Top 20 Restaurants in the Triangle

Greg Cox of the N&O announced his top 20 restaurants in the Triangle today. No big surprises, except he really listed 30 when including his top newcomers and best bargains. He also named Fins his restaurant of the year.

Some comments: Two Urban Food Group restaurants on the list, with Frazier’s and Vivace. Seven out of the top 20 are in Raleigh, six are in Durham. five in Chapel Hill, and one each for Cary and Morrisville. Only one of the top newcomers or bargains, however, are in Raleigh.

Finally, I found it interesting that he listed his top choices alphabetically, except for Jujube, which he listed last. Last minute change of thoughts? Overlooked something so obvious? Who knows?

List after the break.

Fins (Restaurant of the Year)

Bin 54

Bloomsbury Bistro

Bonne Soirée

Elaine’s on Franklin

Enoteca Vin

Fairview Dining Room

Four Square




Magnolia Grill



Red Palace


Second Empire

Vin Rouge


Web site:


Allen & Son

Dain’s Place

London Fish & Chips

Los Comales




J. Betski’s



Rue Cler


5 Responses to News & Observer’s Top 20 Restaurants in the Triangle

  1. Cheryl says:

    While I’m certainly a fan of Betski’s, not so much with Piedmont, I don’t understand why they’re on the “newcomer” list since they’ve both been in business over a year. Haven’t tried Rue Cler….since I’m a Raleigh resident, I’m very reluctant to go to any popular restaurant in Durham without having reservations (we’re not into waiting to be seated) and RC doesn’t even accept reservations.

  2. Susan says:

    Maybe he was afraid to mention jujube – then he remembered it was his own blog, not “that other one”.

  3. Nibbs says:

    For the Durhamites, Rue Cler also has the best latte and egg sandwich around. I’m pretty jazzed up on one right now. The latte, not the latter. The egg sandwich is served with a choice of meat and the yolks are still runny. Piedmont I see as being hit or miss, but still improving. We still really need to get to Red Palace.

  4. durhamfood says:

    Susan: lol 🙂

    I’m a big fan of Piedmont myself. I know quite a few people who have had less than brilliant meals there, but we’ve always had a great time. It’s one of the restaurants I’m not recognized at, I think, so it’s nothing to do with the blog, methinks. I guess we’ve just been lucky.

    By the way, they’re putting up daily menus on their website now, which is a great idea. I wish more places would do the same (eg the Fed…)

  5. Varmint says:

    I had lunch at Fins today, where we had a discussion of whether Greg Cox thought that Fins was the best restaurant in the Triangle by calling it his “restaurant of the year.” I’m thinking that he wasn’t necessarily calling it the “best,” but thought it best represented what’s going on in the Triangle. Talented chef moves to downtown Raleigh in very upscale space. It’s a very good story, and it shows that there is some future to our fair city’s downtown eating scene.

    Greg Cox may also consider it to be the best place in the Triangle, but I’m not so sure.

    Oh, and I think Herons is one of the top 20 restaurants in the Triangle, but I suspect he didn’t include any newcomers.

    One omission was An, which is a pretty damn good place. Pretty space, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: