As part of our annual Best Bars Issue, we asked y’all to vote on Best Burbs Bars—and while the crowd was loud on its three faves, turns out y’all may have a fave burb to boot. This year, all three of our top billing burbs bars are in Cary. (Looks like Cary really is upping its cool factor.) Here, the three concepts that rocked the vote.
At once stylish, cozy and laid-back, SideBar answered Cary’s call for a cool craft cocktail bar in 2018—and has been a favorite sip spot ever since, even tempting Raleighites to cross borders for a bev or two (no shame!). The brainchild of local cocktail connoisseur Matthew Bettinger, SideBar offers both classic and house cocktails, plus wine, beer and an array of liquors lining the wall behind the L-shaped bar. Pro tip: You won’t find more comfortable bar stools at any other bar—and you’ll get front-row seats to the bartenders working their magic. @sidebarnc
Pass me a beer, bro. … Having already landed on USA Today’s list of best new breweries in the country, this Downtown Cary sup spot has kept the bar high: boasting a brewery, taproom and beer garden—seriously, the patio is huge and the vibes are immaculate—with bar snacks from local faves (think Bakers’ Peanuts and Carolina Kettle chips). And if you’re hankering for something a little heavier, no worries. Check the rotating schedule of food trucks or BYOF… it’s that chill. And be sure to check out Bond Bros’ sister bar, Bond Brothers Eastside, for some live tunes. Go on, hop to it! @bondbrosbeer
Clearly whatever Dram is mixing up, we’re all drinking in. While the flagship Raleigh location has been racking up the awards since it bowed in 2016 (hey, five consecutive Raleigh Mag Best Overall Bar Awards!), the craft cocktail and whiskey haven’s Fenton location (now one of soon-to-be seven total across the state) is already a fan fave. Though that’s hardly a shocker—what with the cozy-chic come-as-you-are two-story lit glass-walled drinking destination, complete with its usual impressive range of spirited selects, NTM the full-service bar and heated patio upstairs, and walkup window… so you can sip while you shop till you drop (ICYMI, Fenton is a social district). And, fun fact: Be on the lookout for this locale to soon add bar food to boot. @dramanddraught