Since the dawn of time, Raleigh.com’s nightlife editors have been preoccupied with understanding the difference between a local bar and a neighborhood bar. If you can help us resolve this, the bar review team has a surprise for you! Just leave your answer in the comment field below. For now, here are a few of our favorite local and neighborhood bars in the Raleigh-Durham area:
Blinco’s - 6711 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, North Carolina; Tel. 919.785.5060
Voted the “Best Place to Watch the Game” by NBC 17 viewers in the Raleigh/Triangle area, Blinco’s sports bar combines standard pub fare and draft beers with an impressive selection of big screen TVs to catch the big game. Blinco’s serves food all night, and for the especially hungry or adventurous, the famed Garbage Plate is a challenge, boasting a five-ounce cheeseburger or two hot dogs served over home fries, baked beans and macaroni salad topped with hot sauce. The four-sided bar allows patrons to watch a centrally located TV and cheer on the home team — the Stanley Cup even made an appearance after the Hurricanes won the title as a tribute to loyal Raleigh fans at Blinco’s.
Carolina Ale House 4512 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, North Carolina; Tel. 919.431.0001
Raleigh’s Carolina Ale House is a popular Raleigh destination for a drink or an after-work snack. With more than 30 beers on tap and many more in bottles, Triangle sports fans can grab a pint and relax on a stool in front of Monday Night Football on the big-screen or try their hand at pool. A full menu, including hot wings voted by fans as the best in the Raleigh-Durham area, is available from opening until last call. The Carolina Ale House is a classic pub with a well-curated selection of beers and Raleigh’s beer drinkers enjoy the Carolina Ale House’s relaxed atmosphere, well suited for unwinding after a day at the office or for watching football on a Sunday afternoon.
DiveBar Raleigh 3 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, North Carolina; Tel. 919.832.9363
Located in the Downtown Raleigh’s University/North Boylan neighborhood, DiveBar Raleigh advertises itself as “Raleigh’s black sheep rock n’ roll dive bar on Glenwood South.” It’s not really a dive, though, just a celebration of dive bar culture with a stylish, hipster twist. What it DiveBar Raleigh is, to be sure, is a rock and roll bar, with shows every weekend and no cover. Darts, anyone?
The Goat Bar 5111 Western Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27606; Tel. 919.233.4143
Yes, this is definitely an authentic Raleigh dive bar, not some hipster joint posing as a dive bar. Last time we checked The Goat Bar at the end of Hillsborough street., it had $2 pints on Mondays and $1.50 Miller Lites on Tuesdays. That kind of pricing brings out the beer drinker in us. The Goat Bar serves Jello shots too. Oh, and there’s a frozen Jack and Coke machine too. Come to think of it, we’ll have one of those, please.
Lucky B’s Around the Corner 609 Tucker St., Raleigh, North Carolina; Tel. 919.833.1310
Lucky B’s Around the Corner is the quintessential Raleigh neighborhood bar. Triangle locals gather here to have a good time and shoot some pool. Lucky B’s even has free pool all night on Mondays and great drink specials Sunday through Thursday. Lucky B’s is definitely Glenwood South’s most popular billiards bar and it can get pretty crowded, but this just gives more chances to mingle with new people. This Raleigh billiards bar has a loyal group of regulars, but newcomers are always welcomed.
Sammy’s Tap and Grill 2235 Avent Ferry Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina; Tel. 919.755.3880
Sammy’s Tap and Grill is a haven for NC State students and Pittsburgh Steelers fans —games from both teams draw crowds from all around the Raleigh-Durham area looking to cheer on their sports teams while enjoying standard beer and pub fare in the comforts of a sports bar atmosphere. With 45 televisions and 4 satellite dishes, Sammy’s keeps fans up-to-date with scores and highlights from every game. The bartending staff also has a reputation for being one of the friendliest around, and patrons appreciate the welcoming atmosphere — as well as the $2 pints. Catering services are also available for guests wishing to entertain large parties, either on-site or anywhere in the Raleigh-Durham area, bringing the spirit of Sammy’s Tap and Grill to any event.