Last weekend my wife and I headed into downtown Raleigh to have dinner at the Irregardless Café for her birthday. The café is mainstay of Raleigh with a loyal following which has lead to its continued success over the past 35 years. We enjoy going there because they often have live music entertainment on the weekends and offer a wide variety of items from including pasta, fish, poultry, beef, and lamb, most prepared using organic ingredients. They are also one of the few restaurants in the area known for offering vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options on their menu. You can check out their menus on their website here.
On the night we dined there it was fairly busy, but we were seated at a table right away because we had reservation (not needed, but a good idea for weekend visits). The clientele spans a wide range of ages and it isn’t uncommon to see tables for two on a date night next to a larger round table with a family out for the evening. The restaurant has a warm ambiance with what is typically a talkative and lively crowd. The musical offerings vary from week to week ranging from acoustic performances, to smooth jazz and vocals. Sometimes they even move the tables aside to open up the dance floor so people can “cut the rug” after their meal. On our most recent visit there was a string trio playing the modern day tunes on the violin and electric bass. During one of their breaks wandered around the restaurant playing table-side and even plucked off a “Happy Birthday” song for another lucky customer.
Going to the Irregardless Café is a rare treat for my wife and I, but a must see for anybody living in Raleigh looking to eat at a quality restaurant with a local flare.