About Cafe Rule & Wine Bar

Located in the beautiful foothills of Hickory, North Carolina, Cafe Rule & Wine Bar is an upscale restaurant where you can experience the fine dining that our quaint town has to offer in a relaxed and refreshingly casual setting.
Fresh, sensational flavors and exquisite wine pairings are yours to enjoy as your palette is spoiled by our culinary team. There is simply no comparison to the array of dishes, the extensive wine selection or the fabulous ambiance that Cafe Rule invites you to savor. We offer a private dining room and seating for parties, business meetings and special events (up to 35), as well as an inviting outdoor patio with fountains, sculptures and beautifully manicured gardens.

242 11th Avenue NE
Hickory, NC 28601
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary Southern, Fusion / Eclectic, American

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm; Sunday Brunch: 11 am - 3 pm

Cross Street:
HWY 127

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(828) 324-2005

Website:
http://www.caferule.com/

Entertainment:
please check www.CafeRule.com for details.

Parking Details:
Self park

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, High Tea, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Cafe Rule & Wine Bar, Hickory, NC

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Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Details

We will be offering a special Valentine's Prix Fixe Menu Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday (in addition to our regular menu), as well as Sunday Bruch specials. Make your reservations today!

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Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

Cafe Rule & Wine Bar Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.4

ambience

4.8

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (20)
Good for Anniversaries (17)
Romantic (16)
See All
Good for a Date (15)
Great for Outdoor Dining (13)
Notable Wine List (12)
Modern Decor (11)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Business Meals (9)
Bar Seating (9)
Good for Groups (9)
Casual (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Handcrafted Cocktails (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Great for Lunch (7)
Fit for Foodies (7)
Local Ingredients (7)
Comfort Food (7)
Healthy (6)
Cozy (6)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Seasonal (5)
Fireplace (5)
Vibrant Bar Scene (5)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Hot Spot (5)
Tasting Menu (4)
Fun (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Private Room (4)
Vegan (4)
Organic (4)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Great for Brunch (3)
Authentic (3)
Wood Oven (2)
People Watching (2)
Great Beer (2)
Outstanding Value (1)
Spicy (1)
Open Kitchen (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Family Style (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Historic (1)
Dining Occasion:
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358 reviews
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We LOVE Cafe Rule!! It is our favorite ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined 3 days ago

We LOVE Cafe Rule!! It is our favorite !! The food is always good, the drinks are good, and the service is excellent!! You can get anything you may want to eat from a burger to an excellent steak!! Love,love love it!!!

Tags: Romantic, Modern Decor, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Vegan, Creative Cuisine, Fireplace
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Really enjoyed our waiter! He was very h ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined 7 days ago

Really enjoyed our waiter! He was very helpful in explaining the specials, wine choices etc. it was s real treat!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our experience was mostly great. However ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Our experience was mostly great. However, one of the hostesses was rude as were 2 female bartenders. I simply asked for salt as my server was busy with other tables. I seemed to irritate these 3 ladies by my request of them. Perhaps it was below them. My server was extremely upset by the way we were treated. He and his manager comped a dessert and discounted one item. I will not say not to go here as the food was yummy. I would have rather eaten in the dining room, but they put us at a bar table. Just beware of some of the other staff members.

Tags: Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

The pages of my menu were stuck together ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 28, 2016

The pages of my menu were stuck together with previous diners food. Large table near us caused very slow service.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience5
service3
value3

We're from NY and visiting the area when ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 27, 2016

We're from NY and visiting the area when we were told about this place. We were impressed with the quality and quantity of the food. We are building a house in the Lake James area so this restaurant is an easy commute for us . We're looking forward to future visits to this restaurant. The wine list is extensive.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Christmas Excellent food. Highly recomme ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Christmas

Excellent food. Highly recommend the salted caramel popcorn ice cream and the pizzas!

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Had the seared scallops with vegetable r ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Had the seared scallops with vegetable risotto.

One of the best meals I have ever had in a restaurant!

Looking forward to my next visit.

Will order it again.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for a Date, Healthy, Romantic, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Service was slow, but the restaurant was ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 21, 2016

Service was slow, but the restaurant was busy. Food was excellent and the Christmas decorating was exceptional. Loved the ambiance. We'll be back.

Tags: Historic, Seasonal, Modern Decor, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

Outstanding restaurant! Probably best in ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 17, 2016

Outstanding restaurant! Probably best in Hickory right now. I wanted to take my wife and mother-n-law somewhere special. Cafe Rule did not disappoint. Great food and great staff.

Tags: Fun, Late-night Find, Comfort Food, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Special Occasion, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Seasonal, Healthy, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine, Great Beer, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Amazing surprise! Food was excellent. ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 14, 2016

Amazing surprise! Food was excellent. Worth a detour

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

MRI had their Christmas Dinner there. Ev ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 13, 2016

MRI had their Christmas Dinner there. Everything was perfect. We were in Chef's Pantry and so enjoyed watching the Chefs......Would love to bring friends for Birthday Luncheon(Sunday) in JAN. We will be back!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is based on my last visit...first o ...

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on December 4, 2016

This is based on my last visit...first one was much better. Service was poor...server was new. Food was good, but one steak arrived over cooked and cold.

One thing was consistent on both visits. They overcharged our steak $5 each and why we waited 15 minutes to correct it, the night just went downhill. Too bad, it is a better restaurant than they showed tonight. Management presence was absent.

Tags: Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

We have been in Café Rule many times for ...

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 29, 2016

We have been in Café Rule many times for lunch and Dinner; their menu is good for both adults and children, for small or large group. Very interesting lunch menu and I love to invite a friend to have lunch there. Their servers are good, one or two of them are excellent.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Healthy, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

My wife and I were in Hickory helping ou ...

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 29, 2016

My wife and I were in Hickory helping our daughter get settled in to a new home.She had plans tonight so we were free to have a date night. Found Cafe Rule & Wine Bar on Open Table, I am so glad we did. We were greeted at the door by the owner Bob and Sawyer. Dan our server was outstanding, he described the menu i caught parts of it as is was in deep review of the grand wine list (we choose the 2006 Wallis Family 2006 Cab it was Great). We had the Broccoli Appetizer was outstanding. My wife had the Fillet and I had the Bone In Rib eye, for sure one of the best streaks I have had in a while. The Pecan Cheese Cake and Waffle Ice-Cream Sandwich were a fitting/filling end to our dinner. The food was outstanding but it was a great atmosphere to relax and talk and just had an great date! I am really glad our daughter has moved to the area because there are several other items on the menu that were calling our name. We Will Be Back. Thanks Bob and the Whole Team at Cafe Rule it was a great night!

Tags: Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Awesome Food with a great atmosphere. Gr ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 27, 2016

Awesome Food with a great atmosphere. Great selection of Wine and Beer.

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

Great food, service, and atmosphere! Ch ...

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Great food, service, and atmosphere! Chicken and waffles are awesome- would highly recommend this restaurant for lunch and dinner.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual, Private Room, Modern Decor, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food and great service. Destiny w ...

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Great food and great service. Destiny was a top notch server. Always treated special when we are there

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Wood Oven, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, People Watching, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fig jam pizza.....ooh la la! Steak outst ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 22, 2016

Fig jam pizza.....ooh la la! Steak outstanding as was the fish special. Perfect evening.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious food, excellent and personable ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Delicious food, excellent and personable service, very nice atmosphere, aesthetic decor. Overall, an excellent experience

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food5
ambience5
service5

As always a great dining experience. Won ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 13, 2016

As always a great dining experience.

Wonderful atmosphere and active bar area.

Great service from Graham.

The food is always wonderful.

Roy C

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Fun, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Pricey but food and service were worth i ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Pricey but food and service were worth it!!!

Would definitely return.

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We are regulars at Cafe Rule because we ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on November 4, 2016

We are regulars at Cafe Rule because we love it! The food is always spot on!! The hot crab dip is WONDERFUL!!! I will have to say that the cocktails are not always consistent, but they are willing to fix what isn't right. Always an excellent waitstaff! Thanks Jocelyn!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals, Great Beer, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Fireplace, Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Spicy, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Vegan, Quick Bite, Gluten Free Options, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Brunch, Fun, People Watching, Private Room
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Delicious brunch options and open on Sun ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 23, 2016

Delicious brunch options and open on Sundays! We had a variety of entrees including shrimp and grits, chicken club and the breakfast skillet in our party. Each was delicious and we all greatly enjoyed the presentation of each dish. Our waiter was fantastic and very enthusiastic about his job and the cuisine. Definitely recommend as a good brunch spot. The only downside is you can't order cocktails until after 12 per state law which makes brunch a little less decadent.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Bar Seating, Seasonal, Modern Decor, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Cafe Rule was wonderful!! We have come ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Cafe Rule was wonderful!! We have come to Cafe Rule (aka Cafe 242) for several years. To be truthful, when the switch was made to Cafe Rule we were not happy. However, the change has now settled in and it is once again our favorite place on a Friday evening! The cocktails and food are all fantastic!! Love our server Jocelyn!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Quick Bite, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients, Sunday Lunch, Comfort Food, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Food was awesome! Service was great als ...

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on October 21, 2016

Food was awesome! Service was great also. Great restaurant for a quiet cozy dinner. Would highly recommend.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Great for Outdoor Dining,
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Terrific....food options are spectatular ...

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on October 18, 2016

Terrific....food options are spectatular especially the steaks. Excellent wine list

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Fireplace, Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals, Organic, Healthy, Casual, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Food was amazing. Enjoyed dining outdoor ...

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 18, 2016

Food was amazing. Enjoyed dining outdoors. Lovely evening with friends!

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food5
ambience5
service5

This place is absolutly outstanding! My ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 15, 2016

This place is absolutly outstanding! My girlfriend loved it and how it was a modern/vintage feel. Food is off the charts good from the jalepeno jelly to the dessert. Overall an unbelievable place. Will be going back ASAP.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

I was driving from Asheville to Greensbo ...

vip
 (Greensboro)·Dined on October 10, 2016

I was driving from Asheville to Greensboro and I planned to stop in Hickory for dinner. I used open table to look for any unique options and found Cafe Rule. What a fantastic and unique place! The bartender was fantastic and made some great recommendations. I had the ahi tuna appetizer and a wood fire pizza. The food was really fantastic! The pizza is small so you can split it with a friend and enjoy a couple smaller appetizers or you could make it a meal for one. The prices were very reasonable. The patio was so cute and had a lot of seating. I can't wait to come back and explore Hickory and enjoy this little gem (mind you it's a 90 minute drive - and worth the day trip).

Tags: Family Style, Good Vegetarian Options, Quick Bite, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Gluten Free Options, Worth the Drive, Wood Oven, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great wine selection and the food was de ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 1, 2016

Great wine selection and the food was delicious. I had the shrimp and grits- they were amazing.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Organic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We enjoyed a fabulous girls' birthday di ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 23, 2016

We enjoyed a fabulous girls' birthday dinner with fun cocktails, delicious food and out of this world desserts! The staff is always friendly and they made it a truly special occasion. Thank you!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Private Room, Great for Lunch, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Cozy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Loved it. Be careful requesting garden ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on September 23, 2016

Loved it. Be careful requesting garden seating before 7pm, it can be quite hot. Overall good quality and service was fantastic. Absolutely the best calamari in the area, hands down

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food4
ambience4
service4

Just a fabulous experience in every aspe ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 22, 2016

Just a fabulous experience in every aspect. Very impressive for a small town dining establishment.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The hostess moved our table to the outsi ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 17, 2016

The hostess moved our table to the outside patio which was wonderful. Our server was exceptional .

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food, I had the ham and fig gluten ...

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 12, 2016

Great food, I had the ham and fig gluten free pizza and the broccoli baffle. Wonderful!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Had a great time. Food was outstanding a ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 9, 2016

Had a great time. Food was outstanding and the wine list quit extensive. Diffently not your ordinary fare. Chef is extremely creative. Owner/chef stopped by the table and treated us like family. Friday night date night. Extremely busy. Reservations highly recommended! Will definitely be back.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Wood Oven, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Super experience, excellent service by J ...

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on September 9, 2016

Super experience, excellent service by Jocelyn, innovative food

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Calimari was some of the best I've had. ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 3, 2016

Calimari was some of the best I've had. Grilled Romaine Caesar was very good as well. Across the board all of our steaks were perfectly cooked at a variety of temperatures.

Highlight of our experience was the service. My daughter was a bit cold, our waitress offered her a blanket.

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food4
ambience4
service5

My favorite restaurant in Hickory!

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 14, 2016

My favorite restaurant in Hickory!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Very nice modern restaurant, quite open ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 13, 2016

Very nice modern restaurant, quite open with natural lighting. I am from the Washington, DC area where are many fine dinning places. Cafe Rule can compete with the best of them. If you are looking for a special place to dine in Hickory, NC this is the only restaurant that I have found that offers fine dinning a varied selection of steaks, seafood and their own very special appetizers.

If you are a "foodie" and wish to a sophisticated dinning experience in regard to both service and food offerings you will enjoy Cafe Rule.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

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