Raleigh–Durham

For years, the tight constellation of North Carolina cities known as the Triangle drew outsiders for two main reasons: school and sports. But in recent years, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill have expanded upon that grouped identity; each has forged its own vibe while remaining in dialogue with the others. Nowhere is this renaissance more evident than in the restaurants and bars: Old standbys are embracing new approaches, while young guns are pushing the envelope. The resulting landscape is rich and varied, with the best of small town and big city.