Your Questions About Our Best Bars Voting—Answered


What you need to know when voting for your fave Raleigh bars/bartender in our Best Bars Awards

So you’re voting your favorite bars and bartender in our annual Best Bars Awards… but you’re tripping up on a certain question (or questions). Have no fear! We’re gonna spell it alllll out for ya, including what a bar even is—yes, really. Keep in mind that you don’t have to answer every question (so if you don’t have a fave dive bar, just skip it!), but you cannot repeat the same bar in your answers more than three times. Voting closes at midnight on Dec. 15, 2022. Read our simplified guide below then cast your votes here

What constitutes a bar?

Alright, this may seem obvious but we’ve gotten plenty of questions on what constitutes a bar—so we’re here for you. A bar is any place that serves alcoholic beverages, whether wine, beer, cocktails, spirits or all of the above. Most likely, your favorite local restaurant has a bar program—which would be a great answer for our Best Restaurant Bar question!

What is a dive bar?

Different people have different definitions of dive bars—or may think a certain bar is a dive while someone else may not. Sure, it can be relative. But when we say dive bars we mean those typically small, casual, dimly lit, no-frills watering holes that serve inexpensive drinks (mostly beer or basic mixed drinks). Think The Goat, Lucky B’s, Slim’s, The Cardinal and Pink Boot to name just a few local ones. 

What is the difference between the Best Bar for Craft Beer and Best Brewery categories?

To be fair, yes, you drink beer at both of these types of establishments. But while they both serve beer, only a brewery makes its own beer. So, for example, Raleigh Beer Garden has 300-some beers on tap, but none of them are made by RBG. Meanwhile, Trophy Brewing is a brewery that makes its own brews in-house.

What is a suburb?

Given this is Raleigh’s best bars, when we say suburbs we mean the smaller cities located outside of our own in Wake County. Some popular suburbs of Raleigh include Apex, Clayton, Knightdale and Garner. Note: While we love our neighboring cities Durham and Chapel Hill (and, ahem, their bars!), these larger cities do not count as suburbs of Raleigh—and obv aren’t in Wake County.

What is the difference between the Best Bar Grub and Best Restaurant Bar categories?

For Best Restaurant Bar, think restaurants with elevated cocktail programs or cool spots to cop a squat… the restaurant you might go to just to chill at the bar and have a drink (some recent winners include Vidrio and Angus Barn’s Wild Turkey Lounge). Best Bar Grub is just that—that bar whose nachos and wings, etc., call your name just as much as the pints they pour. 

What are the requirements for Best New Bar?

By our definition, a “new” bar must’ve opened during 2022 past year—so Jan. 1, 2022, through now.

Have any other questions? 

Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] and [email protected]


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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.