Raleigh Nightlife Guide Part 1: Best Bars in Raleigh

Raleigh is the capital city of our state and is a must-visit place, whether you live in North Carolina or are planning to visit. It is a popular destination for concerts, universities, vacations, and much more. There is no doubt that the nightlife scene is loads of fun and has a lot to offer. Raleigh is full of bars, each one having its own unique characteristics. If you want to visit more than one, then you need to book a Trolley Pub tour with us! We stop at multiple spots along the way of your tour through downtown Raleigh. No need to plan your own crawl and struggle with finding your way to each spot. By booking a tour with us, you and your friends will always stay together, and we help guide you to the next destination. Plus, we like to think the trip to each spot is so much fun with more drinking and great music. Here are 5 bars we suggest you visit when experiencing the Raleigh nightlife:

#1 –  Fox Liquor Bar 

Things to Do in Raleigh: Fox Liquor Bar

This taproom is a fun yet sophisticated environment. They usually serve meat and cheese platters to add to this vibe. They have a cocktail, wine, and food menu. What more do you need?

  • Recommended Drink: Kentucky Maid (bourbon based)

This bar is open Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 2 am so is a great late-night spot if you plan on being out all night. You can’t go wrong with starting or ending your pub crawl here.


#2 –  Watts & Ward 

Best Bars & Activities in Raleigh

A cool, hidden, speakeasy bar is hard to come by in this decade but that is exactly what Watts and Ward is. They are a basement location with a library feel. You can lounge on their couches and escape our era for a bit. Raleigh Magazine also voted them one of the best bars in Raleigh.

  • Recommended Drink: U.S.S Maine (house cocktail)

Many of their reviews are about the abundance of creative cocktails they offer. Feel free to talk with the bartenders to make something you will love during your stop here on the Trolley Pub tour.


#3 –  The Blind Barbour 

Raleigh Bar Crawl: Trolley Pub

People love to come here for the service offered. The bartenders and staff are fun and accommodating. They will make you a drink that is perfect for your palette. It is a more laid-back environment, so you won’t find yourself trying to shout over music to conversate with friends.

  • Recommended Drink: The Porch Swing cocktail

This bar is open 7 days a week now, so you will be able to stop by any night you decide to do a pub crawl!


#4 –  Drink Drank Drunk

Best Bars in Raleigh, NC: Trolley Pub

We all know this saying too well, so it already catches our attention with its name. This bar is known to be cozy, with fast service, and they also have outdoor seating (great for people watching). They offer “beer, wine, and hugs.” It is a hole in the wall dive bar that some consider a “hidden gem” of Raleigh. It is a great place to relax and have a beer.

  • Recommended Drink: Devils Backbone Gold Leaf (their drafts change often though)

This is a well-known bar in the community so stop by here on your pub tour and you are bound to meet some locals.


#5-  Boxcar Bar 

Raleigh, NC Pub Crawl: Trolley Pub

This bar is also an arcade! They have a full liquor bar with hundreds of arcade-style games to take part in. You can drink, play, and hang. The staff is always open to game recommendations to add in as well so don’t hesitate to let them know what you think for future games to come.

  • Recommended Drink: Bad Mama Jama

They always have some type of deal going on with drinks, beers, or shots so be sure to see what their special is when you come by here on your tour.


The Trolley Pub is a great way to experience some or all these spots if you wish, depending on how much time you want to spend at each place. Even if you only stop at 1 or 2, you can continue to the rest after your pub crawl. Downtown Raleigh is a great place to explore and experience all the bars they have to offer. Book your tour with us soon and experience the fun!