About On The Square

115 East St. James Street
Tarboro, NC 27886
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Located in Historic Downtown Tarboro, one of the oldest towns in North Carolina, On the Square Restaurant offers seasonal, sustainable ingredients that are celebrated throughout the ever-changing menu. Open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and for lunch on Monday through Friday, we are as proud of our food and comfortable atmosphere as we are of our eclectic and value-driven wine list.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Main Street

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(252) 823-8268

Website:
http://www.onthesquarenc.com/

Catering:
We offer catering of every kind. From box lunches to weddings, we are happy and able to provide food and wine for your special event.

Executive Chef:
Stephen Ribustello

Private Party Facilities:
Our private dining area seats 38 people comfortably. It is available any night of the week. On Sunday-Wednesday, the minimum is $1500 ++, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, the minimum is $2000 ++. Of course, we also cater off-premise so please contact us for more information if you already have a space in mind.

Private Party Contact:
Frances Liverman: 2528238268

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Cod Sandwich
  • Corned-Beef Ruben
Cod Sandwich
Corned-Beef Ruben

On The Square Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.4

noise

Moderate

99% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Value
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Notable Wine List
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Contemporary American
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
7 More
Best Overall
Raleigh
Best Food
Raleigh
Best Service
Raleigh
Best Value
Raleigh
Fit for Foodies
Raleigh
Great for Lunch
Raleigh
Notable Wine List
Raleigh
Best Restaurants in Tarboro ›

fit for foodies (58)
special occasion (55)
neighborhood gem (43)
See All
notable wine list (40)
good for groups (25)
great for lunch (25)
romantic (25)
hot spot (19)
vibrant bar scene (9)
kid-friendly (7)
late-night find (6)
great for brunch (3)
scenic view (2)
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Newest
838 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5

This place is truly a diamond in the ruf ...

Dined 2 days ago

This place is truly a diamond in the ruff. One of my favorite restaurants in the state of NC, and definitely in my top 10 of national cuisine. The ambiance, service, food, sommelier wine pairing suggestions - everything Is wonderful. Ours meals tonight did not disappoint. Will definitely be back.

food5
ambience4
service4

Always great food. Lunch is a little cr ...

vip
Dined 3 days ago

Always great food. Lunch is a little crowded and a reservation is a must.

food5
ambience5
service5

The food was excellent, and it is a wond ...

Dined 4 days ago

The food was excellent, and it is a wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion.

food5
ambience5
service5

We moved out of the area over 3 years ag ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

We moved out of the area over 3 years ago but return to this restaurant when we are visiting. The food is always excellent and the staff is friendly. Be certain to make a reservation as soon as possible because the time slots fill up quickly.

food5
ambience2
service2
value3

Excellent food at a good price...but not much else

Dined on June 10, 2016

The food at On The Square was excellent. The remainder of the experience was a let down. The wait staff seemed like the owners' nieces and nephews--nice enough but not informed about the menu selections. We felt rushed and were asked if we were ready to order (our meal, not drinks) about a minute after we sat down. Tables are close together, but not too close as the clientele seemed to realize the proximity to others and were quiet. I was generally disappointed that I chose On The Square for our anniversary meal. I believe a wait staff that is attentive but not hovering, informed about the menu, not making me feel rushed, and most importantly, making me feel like they were glad I was there would make me want to go back. If I lived in Tarboro, I would go back for the high quality food but if I'm going on a drive again, I'll head to downtown Kinston.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5

Love coming from Greenville for dinner!

Dined on June 4, 2016

Love coming from Greenville for dinner!

food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Excellent Anniversary Meal

Dined on June 3, 2016

This is one of our favorite special occasion restaurants -- and a dinner there is always a treat to look forward to. The presentation of the food was awesome. The bottle of wine perfect. And for desert, they added "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate writing -- making a special occasion even more special. Looking forward to our next visit and hoping to make it there more often!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always the BEST experience !

Dined on June 3, 2016

On the Square never fails to make you feel so special! Very southern, comfortable dining experience with delicious food as a bonus! Their food is always the freshest plus the desserts decandent! We had the best strawberry cake that I have ever tasted! Cannot wait to return!

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Read about it, and sounded well worth th ...

Dined on June 2, 2016

Read about it, and sounded well worth the drive. It was! Price not only seemed reasonable, but actually cheap for Level of food and service. Wine was no exception. We will absolutely be returning within a month. Talk about a hidden gem. I know it's a drive from Raleigh, but don't miss this. Not a lot of places in Raleigh that bring this level of excellence. And we consider ourselves hard to impress ex-New Yorkers.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Delicious

Dined on May 28, 2016

As usual, my friends and I each enjoyed delicious meals (and I had dessert). It is always exciting to try new items added to the menu.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

The only complaint i have is that I call ...

Dined on May 26, 2016

The only complaint i have is that I called and changed my reservation to 8 people, upon arrival I found out my 80 year old uncle was coming and I needed to make an adjustment to 9 and the hostess got annoyed. She accommodated our request,however she was visibly upset about the change. We thanked her for accommodating our new request and she walked off and said nothing!!!! Our reservation was for 5:30 and the restaurant had plenty of room, however we did not let her attitude affect us celebrating my mother's 70th birthday!!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding food and impressive wine sel ...

Dined on May 25, 2016

Outstanding food and impressive wine selection. Big city dining experience in acquaint historic beautiful small town.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food always good! Highly recommend the ...

Dined on May 24, 2016

Food always good! Highly recommend the Carrot cake cupcakes!!!!!

Tags: great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

First time left good impression.

Dined on May 22, 2016

Great server. Great atmosphere and fantastic food and dessert.will definitely be back (with friends).

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Place off the beaten path worth the trip.

Dined on May 8, 2016

Absolutely one of the best restaurants in eastern NC. Tarboro is not a hot spot for food but this place is worth the trip. The menu is moderate priced. Dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine under $100 not including tax and tip. the food is great as is the service. Would definitely go again. Best for a date night with your significant other or special occasion. Reservations are best made 1-2 days a head of time for best selection of times. We will definitely be going again.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

Mother's Day celebration dinner

Dined on May 6, 2016

We enjoyed the restaurant, the historic location, the service and the food. I ordered the sea food trio. It caught me by surprise that all the seafood items were fried. Maybe the menu mentioned this and I just missed it. My wife's meal, the seafood crepes, was outstanding. The restaurant was full and busy, yet the service was good.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service4
value3

On the Square is on time!

Dined on May 6, 2016

On the square has a limited, rotating menu that allows them to focus on quality and presentation of the food. Selection usually covers meat, chicken, seafood and locally sourced veggies. The dinner entrees can be pricey. Good wine, beer and cocktail selection. They also have their own nearby brewery and pub. Very popular so can get busy and noisey. The restaurant is in a historical store front in the wonderfully quaint historical town of Tarboro. The executive chef is very experienced and well trained, as is the restaurant manager.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Thursday Night at On The Square

Dined on May 5, 2016

The wait staff is exceptional. Well-informed, attentive, but not hovering. Food was outstanding. Broken Dreams was terrific.

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Great wine selection, knowledgeable sta ...

Dined on May 5, 2016

Great wine selection, knowledgeable staff, delicious food

food5
ambience3
service4
value5

The food was delicious as always!

Dined on April 30, 2016

The food was wonderful as usual, but I tried the seafood crepes for the first time, and they were amazing, rich and decadent. My dining partners both had steak, always a good choice. Love it, can not wait to go back again.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

a gem in Tarboro

Dined on April 28, 2016

We also look forward to an opportunity to dine at On the Square. Great menu and wine list, and always a few creative specials. We've never been disappointed.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Great Place

Dined on April 22, 2016

Great food, friendly service. It took a bit longer than I would have liked but other than that no complaints.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

I just had a wonderful supper with my wi ...

Dined on April 22, 2016

I just had a wonderful supper with my wife. The food, wine, and service were superb. The calamari was perfection. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The aioli sauce served with it was divine. I have eaten a lot of fried calamari over the years around the world. What I had tonight beat anything I had in Italy.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Nice dining experience

Dined on April 8, 2016

There were four people in our group and everyone really enjoyed our meal. The food was very good and not overly pricy. The desert was crazy good.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

Pretty Good -- could be better

Dined on April 3, 2016

Dined here on the recommendation of several friends. Wine list and sommelier were top-notch. Food was good overall, although an asparagus soup was pea-green, utterly tasteless and gelatinous, which was weird because there was asparagus on two of the entrees and it was fresh, green and lively. When we sent it back the server said, I tasted it and it tastes like it always does. Other than that we had a lovely risotto, very nice trout and a rib-eye. Accompaniments were good too. Service was very friendly and warm, but oddly slow although they were not very busy. We don't like to rush through dinner so it was not a big deal. Dessert was nice too - an okay coconut creme brulee and an outstanding carrot cake that was really a tower of cake and cream cheese filling. Prices were reasonable. The staff apologized all over the place about the soup and offered several times to replace it with something else at no charge, and to be fair, these things happen. I would return.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Love the food and service. My favorite p ...

Dined on April 2, 2016

Love the food and service. My favorite place to eat!

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great Small Town Dining

Dined on April 2, 2016

We are never disappointed with On The Square...great wine options and wonderful dishes. The services are great and the staff is wonderful!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Another Great Dinner

Dined on April 1, 2016

We recently met friends from Williamston at On the Square for dinner! Had a great evening... food, wine and conversation! Loved the grilled Romaine !

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Best restaurant in area

vip
Dined on March 18, 2016

Always a treat. Great food. Beautiful presentation. Friendly staff. Excellent value.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

STELLAR

Dined on March 12, 2016

The Gem of Northeast NC and indeed the entire Southeast.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Great food in a cool location.

vip
Dined on March 11, 2016

Great food in a cool location.

food5
ambience5
service5

Oso buco was fantastic and suggested win ...

Dined on March 6, 2016

Oso buco was fantastic and suggested wine pairing was wonderful! :-)

food5
ambience5
service5

The food was delicious, service perfect ...

vip
Dined on March 5, 2016

The food was delicious, service perfect and atmosphere great. Delightful evening!

food5
ambience5
service5

Early reservations suggested, before get ...

Dined on March 4, 2016

Early reservations suggested, before gets too busy, too loud...

food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Unique for the area....

Dined on February 28, 2016

On the Square is a rare find in Tarboro, NC. The food is amazing!!! We waited a little over 30 minutes past our reservation time for our table (worth the wait) and unfortunately there's really no comfortable place to be until you are seated. The staff members and servers are friendly and prompt. For the record I would much prefer waiting for my table over being rushed out before I'm ready to end my meal.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Worth the drive from Raleigh!!!

Dined on February 27, 2016

A great neighborhood restaurant and worth the drive from wherever for this experience. Our server, Paige, was expertly trained in conveying the menu and sommelier wines selected for the dinners. She was well versed with all aspects of the menu selections and their origin. I had the Tilefish with the spaghetti squash bread pudding and brussel sprouts. Beautiful presentation and a huge WOW for the entire meal!. My husband had the Petite Filet and was able to switch out the sides due to dietary restrictions with no problem. In fact, they actually encourage to make sure you are completely satisfied. The Sommelier visited our table to chat about the wines that were selected by her. A true dining experience. Fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Do not miss this! Looking forward to attending the wine dinners.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a treat.

Dined on February 27, 2016

I would put On the Square on bar with any restaurant I have visited anywhere.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service4
value5

Great lunch in a small town.

Dined on February 25, 2016

We had lunch. An interesting aspect is that you line up to place your order whether take out or in. Best to make a reservation even at lunch as seating is limited. Would like to try dinner.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding Food

Dined on February 20, 2016

As always, the food is delicious and the service is fabulous. The wait staff is very attentive to our needs. If you are looking for a great dining experience visit OTS.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

great food

Dined on February 13, 2016

Have been here many times. I'm always satisfied. One of the most consistent quality dining establishments in 50 mile radius. Great wine. ++++++++@@

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list

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