10 Best Restaurants in Cary, NC [2022 Updated]

North Carolina is a popular destination for tourists from all over the United States. There are many hot spots in the beautiful state because it is a large area with several different landscapes.

In North Carolina, you can find mountains, lakes, and ocean beaches, as well as small historic towns and larger cities.

Located outside of the city of Raleigh, Cary, North Carolina has many nature parks. It is a popular small-town destination for hikers and nature lovers. There are also several great restaurants. Here is a list of the ten best restaurants in Cary, NC.

Herons

$$$ | (919) 447-4200 | WEBSITE

Herons is an upscale restaurant in Cary, NC located in the Umstead Hotel.  With a sophisticated atmosphere and many great dining options.

They serve afternoon tea as well as lunch, dinner, and cocktails. Dinner menus include shrimp cocktail, lobster rolls, and beef tenderloin.

The lunch menu includes small plates, soup and sandwiches, and a burger. Lunch prices are lower but still expensive. Afternoon tea is hosted in the lounge and includes live harp music.

 

Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen

$$ | (919) 233-1632 | WEBSITE

 

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With locations in both Greensboro, NC and Cary, NC, Lucky 32 features southern cuisine with local ingredients. It has an upscale atmosphere.

The menus differ based on location, so make sure you choose the Cary, NC menu option on the website if you are checking before you go.

Menus include dinner, brunch, dessert, beer, wine, and cocktails. There is another menu called “Get Lucky & Go” that offers carryout food. Menu items include grilled salmon, shrimp and grits, and grilled salmon.

 

Academy Street Bistro

$$ | (919) 377-0509 | WEBSITE

An eclectic find in Cary, NC, Academy Street Bistro offers many different foods. Focusing on local vendors and ingredients, Academy Street Bistro is a great spot for locals.

The working crowd in the area frequents this bistro for lunch because of their great food and reasonable pricing. Dinners are a little bit more expensive, but still affordable.

Academy Street Bistro offers a drink menu, a lunch/brunch menu, and a dinner menu. Dinner options include ribeye, shrimp and grits, and a chef’s fish feature.

The lunch/brunch menu includes options like salads, sandwiches, and, on Saturdays only, brunch items like biscuits and gravy. The desserts that Academy Street Bistro serves are made by local bakeries.

 

Pizzeria Faulisi

$$ | (919) 377-8244 | WEBSITE

 

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Pizzeria Faulisi is a great pizzeria in Cary. It has a woodfire oven that bakes the pizzas. Prices are affordable and the pizza is delicious.

Serving the Cary, NC area, Pizzeria Faulisi offers antipasti options as appetizers. They also offer pizzas with red sauce, white sauce, and desserts.

Pizza options include Nonna’s lasagna pie, red white blue, funghi, salami, and margherita. They also have a large selection of wine to enjoy with your pizza.

 

La Farm Bakery and Cafe

$$ | (919) 657-0657 | WEBSITE

 

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La Farm Bakery and Cafe is located in the heart of Cary and has both a bakery section and a cafe that serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

They also have a du jour menu.  The lunch and dinner menu includes salads, sandwiches, and croques. They also have a reasonably priced kids’ menu with items such as grilled cheese and ham and cheese sandwiches.

The breakfast menu includes options like creme brulee French toast, breakfast sandwiches, croquets, and avocado toast.

Brunch at La Farm Bakery and Cafe is a mixture of menu options from both the breakfast menu and the lunch and dinner menu. The du jour menu includes monthly specials.

The La Farm Bakery menu includes delicious baked goods such as bread, pastries, and du jour and seasonal items.

 

Maximillian’s Grill and Wine Bar

$$$ | (919) 465-2455 | WEBSITE

Maximillian’s Grill and Wine Bar is a great place for date nights or business dinners in Cary, NC. The menu is locally sourced by vendors in the area.

The food reflects the culture and passion of the head chef. Menu items are upscale and include NC mountain trout, NC Pamlico sound shrimp, Brasstown beef ribeye, and Korean BBQ beef.

The atmosphere is relaxing, and Maximillian’s has an extensive wine list.

 

Nazara Indian Bistro

$$ | (919) 694-5353 | WEBSITE

 

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Nazara Indian Bistro is a great, eclectic Indian restaurant in Cary. It has an elegant dining space with traditional food. There are gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Nazara Indian Bistro also offers wine and cocktails. The plating of the food is elegant and clean, making each dish look just as delicious as it tastes.

Nazara Indian Bistro is open seven days a week and serves lunch and dinner. Dishes include chicken tikka masala, malai kofta, palak paneer, tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and other traditional Indian dishes.

 

Totopos

$$ | (919) 678-3449 | WEBSITE

Totopos

Totopos is a great Mexican restaurant in Cary, NC. In a fun, authentic atmosphere, you can get some great Mexican food on your trip to North Carolina.

Totopos is open daily for lunch and dinner, and they are open on Saturdays and Sundays for brunch in the mornings. Brunch items that are served include tacos, huevos rancheros, and breakfast fajitas.

Lunch and dinner items are similar to a typical Mexican restaurant, with items such as tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, and more.
Totopos is also known for its tequila and drinks menu.

They are well known for their margarita selection and the various tequilas they have in the restaurant.

Margarita options include the lifesaver, with pineapple and lime, pineapple habanero, house margaritas, and many more. The drink menu also includes non-tequila options.

 

kō•än

$$$ | (919) 677-9229 | WEBSITE

 

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Koan is proud to be one of the restaurants that bring southeastern Asian food to Cary, NC.

The word “kō•än” means “public table.”Executive Chef Drew Smith felt that there were many Chinese, Japanese, and Thai restaurants around, but that some of the other southeastern Asian countries were not as well-represented in the Cary restaurant scene.

He added flavors from other southeastern Asian countries, like Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines, to the menu.
One of the dishes from Laos that Koan serves is called larb.

Larb is a mixture of minced meat, vegetables, herbs, and citrus. Executive Chef Drew Smith, who spent a lot of time in that part of the world, also enjoys putting his own spin on the traditional dishes in their kitchen.

Koan also offers an omakase dinner, which is a dinner where the chef selects your meal for you.Koan offers dinner, sushi, dessert, libations, and wine. Menu items include edamame, poke, duck pho, and Thai red curry.

 

Brew n’ Que (aka Big Mike’s BBQ)

$$ | (919) 799-2023 | WEBSITE

 

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Big Mike’s BBQ has two locations, in Apex and in Cary, NC. Known locally as Big Mike’s BBQ, Brew N’ Que is the best local barbecue joint.

This is because it is independent, not a chain, and has its own brewery as well as barbecue. Brew n’ Que has a bottle shop located inside, so you can have barbecue and beer served together, a combination that is loved by Americans everywhere.

The Cary location of Brew n’ Que is open Monday-Saturday, and the Apex location is open on Sunday. They serve lunch and dinner.

Brew n’ Que is known as Big Mike’s BBQ because of the owner, Mike “Big Mike” Marcum. He combines beer and barbecue to create an experience with great food that is well-loved in the Cary, NC area.

 

Conclusion

There are so many great restaurants in Cary, North Carolina. This list is a compilation of ten of the best restaurants located in Cary. For the purposes of variety, the list includes several different types of cuisine from many budget options.

There are great fancy, elegant restaurants in Cary. There are also some great bakeries, cafes, and Mexican food options.

To completely experience the culture of the area, it is important to sample all different types of cuisines and dining experiences.
Cary is a beautiful little town outside of Raleigh that offers a lot of outdoor activities, nature walks and hiking. When you come to Cary for your outdoor adventure, get a sandwich from La Farm Bakery and Cafe.

If you are craving some nachos, tacos, or fajitas when you are finished, stopover at Totopos for some Mexican food and a margarita.

If your trip to Cary is a trip with someone special, take them out for a date to Heron’s for an elegant atmosphere and some fine food, and wind down with a glass of wine from the extensive wine list at Maximillian’s Grill and Wine Bar.

There are many options in Cary! We hope you have a wonderful time.

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