Oct 17 2011

Best Burger Around? Draft in Raleigh on S. Glenwood!

(Closed as of January 2013)

Burgers, burgers, burgers! Have you ever stopped to think how many of them you’ve eaten over the course of your life? Everything ranging from Mickey D’s to White Castle to Red Robin and more. Burgers are one of those food categories where it’s REALLY hard to get a bad one. Same deal for me with pizza and pasta. But your mouth knows when it gets a really good one, and for that reason alone my friend, you need to check out Draft in downtown Raleigh. As part of the Rocky Top Hospitality group, Draft took over the sunken space that used to be the Hi 5. With a very similar menu to Rocky Top’s Tribeca Tavern, Draft does burgers and beers a little bit better in my opinion!


Head over to 510 Glenwood and take the stairs down to the lower level. There you’ll find the inconspicuous and industrial doorway to Draft. Step on through and you’ll be thinking, wow! You’re in a whole different world at Draft, maybe the second happiest place in the world because how can you go wrong with great beers and burgers? Lots of dark polished woods, gleaming beer taps and dim lighting give the place a tavern-like feel. Great space for a casual date, night out with the boys or even solo at the bar.



Pop open the menu, it’s simple but with tons of options. Draft has a set of Mash House brews on rotation and plenty of other high-quality NC brews on tap, about thirty choices total. The food menu has a solid choice of appetizers, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and salads but if you’re coming to Draft for a salad, shame on you! With twenty different specialty burger choices, ten different cheeses and seven different base burgers (ground beef, kobe, bison, chicken, lamb, turkey and veggie) you’ve got nearly an unlimited combination of eats.



Given how big the burgers are at Draft, I’m hesitant to recommend getting an appetizer but let’s throw caution to the wind. For appetizers, I’ve tried out the pickle chips, potato skins with short-rib and grilled Asian wings. Loved the plump wings with a tangy dipping sauce, highly recommend! And Draft still has the crab dip appetizer and Japanese blackened wings from the old Hi 5 menu.


But lets move on to the burger main course, you really have to appreciate Draft’s focus on local North Carolina ingredients. House-ground Angus beef from Ayden, NC, locally smoked bacon and sausage along with fresh Neomonde buns. They pride themselves on the quality of the ingredients here and you will taste the difference. But with prices ranging from $11 to $15 (with a side), you have to be good!



I’m a sucker for meat on meat so anything with bacon works for me. The Hurricane burger is stacked high with pork shoulder barbeque, slaw and bacon. The double-patty Wolfpack comes with monterey jack cheese, bacon and fried onions. Or go with the Pirate which is somewhere in between, with cheddar, chili, slaw and bacon. All of these burgers are meant for two-handed eating or you’ll have to take a knife to Draft’s meaty beasties. My strategy is to pop the top bun on, squeeze down slowly to compress this burger bad-boy and slice it in half for easier eating. Sides of onion rings, house-made potato chips, twice-baked potato and mac n cheese are also done really well, not that you’ll need more food after the burger!



In addition to the great burgers at Draft, service is prompt and professional. Beer specials pretty much every day of the week give you some low-cost quaffing options. And if that wasn’t enough to get you to visit, they also have five full-size pool tables (9′) in game rooms available for rent ($7/hour). A shuffleboard table completes the entertainment options.


The Triangle is experiencing a burger renaissance with the openings of Bull City Burger & Brewery and Chuck’s in addition to Draft and Tribeca Tavern. A year ago I covered some of the best burgers in the Triangle and I’m happy to say that Draft may be the best of them all. Depending on when you stop in, Draft can have a different feel when you visit. It walks the fine line between restaurant, brewpub and sports bar really well. But what I guarantee is that you’ll get a great burger, solid service and fresh beer. And that’s a formula that’s hard to beat any time, bon appetit!


510 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh NC 27603
Menu at Draft

Draft Carolina Burgers & Beers on Urbanspoon


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  1. DGMayor

    >"With a very similar menu to Rocky Top's Tribeca Taverns, Draft does burgers and beers a little bit better in my opinion!"

    Just out of curiosity, how is it better when it's the same burgers at both places? I frequent the Cary location of Tribeca and always get the Wolfpack burger. What makes the same burger at this location any better?

  2. RonW

    >Hey DGMayor, thanks for the comment! I've eaten at Tribeca in N. Raleigh but haven't hit the Cary location yet. However, I think Draft does it "better" from an ambiance standpoint. I'm an urban boy at heart so I like the action at the bar, the coziness of the space and more adult feel. The N. Raleigh location was more like a restaurant and family-oriented. Just a personal preference on decor and the scene.

    But I do wonder if there are any substantial menu differences between the Tribeca's and Draft now…

  3. DGMayor

    >Gotcha. Yeah I enjoy both types of places. Last week We enjoyed Tribeca Tavern for dinner – Myself, wife, 20 month old son and my friend from out of town. After dinner, wife took the kiddo home and my buddy and I went back in and cozied up to the bar for a while :) Best of both worlds!

  4. RonW

    >I'm going to try and find out from Dean Ogan if there are any differences between the two menus. And yes, if you're hanging with the dudes, the bar at Draft works great. Not sure if you've checked it out yet but let me know what you think!

    I'll try and get out to Tribeca in Cary but it's a bit of a haul for me. Thanks for checking out my posts!

  5. DGMayor

    >Yeah I live like 5 minutes from the Cary location, so it's much more convenient for me than going downtown.

    I see Tribeca Tavern on facebook linked to this post. Nice!

  6. RonW

    >As an FYI, got word from Dean Ogan over at Rocky Top Hospitality that the menus at Draft and the Tribeca Tavern's are similar but they do have their own unique items. Pretty sure the burgers are pretty much the same…

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