Restaurant Review: Porter’s City Tavern, Raleigh, N.C.

When I saw the Living Social coupon ($30.00 worth of food for $15.00) to Porter’s City Tavern I jumped all over it. Porter’s (2412 Hillsborough Street Raleigh, N.C. 27607) is one of my favorite standby restaurants, especially when the kids are with a sitter and N.C. State is on break or in summer session to make parking less of a challenge.

Brad and I have been going to Porter’s since it first opened in the summer of 2003. It replaced another favorite standby of mine, the Rathskellar, which I was very sad to see go. But even though I miss the Rat’s sweet potato ravioli and sliced mushroom sandwiches, both of which I crave to this day, I have to admit I was impressed with the transformation this place underwent.

We had to wait approximately 30 minutes for a table on a Saturday night earlier this month, but luckily there were two bar stools that had just opened up. I had a nice glass of Santa Rita Sauvignon Blanc ($7.00). If you prefer beer and want to support our state’s economy, Porter’s has a nice selection of North Carolina microbrews ($6.00 for a 20 oz. pour).

We decided not to order any appetizers, but did split a caesar salad ($6.50) which was nice and fresh with shavings of pecorino cheese and a yummy lemon parmesan dressing.

Brad had the filet mignon au poivre ($26.00 and chose sautéed spinach as his side, and thought it was nicely prepared with just thre right amount of pepper on the filet.

I ordered the crispy potato and duck lasagna (15.95), which consisted of duck confit, roasted mushrooms, arugula, goat cheese, celeriac-apple puree and truffle oil. This was quite good, and unlike any “lasagna” I’ve tried. I love duck confit, and it went well with the goat cheese, potatoes and roasted mushrooms. I will definitely order this again.

Other menu items I recommend from previous visits include Porter’s classic hamburger (with cheese of course), shrimp and grits, crispy shrimp tacos, bleu cheese macaroni and cheese, and the grilled marinated portobello sandwich.

Even though Porter’s is right across the street from N.C. State University, it is not your typical college hangout, especially at night. If it is a nice day weatherwise, you can try and get a seat outside. Reservations are recommended, at least on weekend nights, which you can book on its website at:


  • Price: Pretty good, especially when you consider the size of the portions.
  • Service: 4.00:  Good to very good on numerous occasions.
  • Food: 4.50: Tasty! I’m always willing to try something new based on previous meals.
  • Recommend: Absolutely. Food and atmosphere both are quite good – sit outside during the day if you like to people-watch.
  • Kid friendly: On the fence about this – I would leave younger children at home.

1= hater, 2=poor, 3=adequate, 4=above average, 5=superb

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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6 Responses to Restaurant Review: Porter’s City Tavern, Raleigh, N.C.

  1. trixfred30 says:

    That seriously cheap filet!

  2. Shila Nordone says:

    hi Kelley – do you have the recipe for the Rat’s mushroom sandwich? Like you I still crave them and I have never found another sandwich like them.

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