From seafood to science: Explore the 5 top spots in Raleigh's North Central neighborhood

Taverna Agora. | Photo: Marianne R./Yelp

Visiting North Central, or just looking to better appreciate what it has to offer? Get to know this Raleigh neighborhood by browsing its most popular local businesses, from a seafood grill to a science museum.

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top places to visit in North Central, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of neighborhood businesses. Read on for the results.

1. Second Empire Restaurant And Tavern

Photo: kong l./Yelp

Topping the list is modern American eatery Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern. Located at 330 Hillsborough St., it's the highest-rated business in the neighborhood, boasting 4.5 stars out of 362 reviews on Yelp. Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern is housed inside a restored historical home, and features an award-winning wine list and a rotating menu that reflects seasonal offerings. (Take a look at the full menu here.)

2. North Carolina Museum Of Natural Sciences

Photo: Cynthia C./Yelp

Next up is museum and art gallery North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, situated at 11 W. Jones St. As "North Carolina's most visited museum," it has become a local favorite, with 4.5 stars out of 176 reviews on Yelp, per the museum's website. Highlights include dinosaur fossils and the bones of a right whale, as well as plenty of dioramas and interactive experiences.

3. 42nd Street Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill

Photo: Dale D./Yelp

Traditional American spot 42nd Street Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill is another top choice in the neighborhood. Yelpers give the business, located at 508 W. Jones St., four stars out of 425 reviews.

The business has its origins in a grocery store offering oysters and draft beer in 1931, according to the restaurant's website. It was then re-opened in 1987 in its current incarnation.

On the menu, look for pan-seared Hawaiian ahi tuna, served with sweet wasabi and sesame ginger sauces, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and Cajun fried shrimp, and a surf-and-turf combo with bacon-wrapped petite filet and a pound of snow crab legs. There's also a rotating selection of oysters available. (Take a look at the full menu here.)

4. Taverna Agora

Photo: taverna agora/Yelp
Taverna Agora, a bar and Greek spot, is another neighborhood go-to, with four stars out of 362 Yelp reviews. Head over to 326 Hillsborough St. to check out the modern eatery, which is "reminiscent of gathering places found in Greece, with old world flavors and rustic roots," per its website.

The restaurant offers brunch, lunch and dinner service. Specialties include baklava pancakes, walnut buttermilk pancakes topped with baklava syrup and served with fresh fruit; poached pear salad with cucumbers, candied walnuts and feta; and souvlaki, skewered pork with vegetables served with rice pilaf.

5. Brewerks Cafe & Bakery

Photo: Alan A./Yelp

Check out Brewerks Cafe & Bakery, which has earned five stars out of 37 reviews on Yelp. Located at 701 East Lane St., the restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and coffee services, as well as a deli full of home-cooked meals to go.

Look for the house-made granola, which comes with vanilla honey Greek yogurt and fresh seasonal fruit, as well as a variety of classic sandwiches, including BLTs and fried chicken tender wraps. (Find the complete menu here.)
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