About Cafe Rule & Wine Bar

242 11th Avenue NE
Hickory, NC 28601
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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.

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

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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

4.6

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (26)
Notable Wine List (24)
Good for a Date (23)
See All
Creative Cuisine (19)
Romantic (17)
Casual (17)
Great for Outdoor Dining (16)
Neighborhood Gem (16)
Modern Decor (16)
Good for Anniversaries (15)
Business Meals (14)
Bar Seating (13)
Good for Groups (12)
Cozy (12)
Good for Birthdays (12)
Worth the Drive (12)
Great for Lunch (10)
Fit for Foodies (9)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Local Ingredients (9)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Comfort Food (8)
Great for Brunch (8)
Fun (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Private Room (8)
Healthy (8)
Tasting Menu (7)
Late-night Find (7)
Seasonal (7)
Hot Spot (7)
Fireplace (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Live Music (7)
Authentic (6)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Vegan (5)
Great Beer (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Sunday Lunch (5)
Open Kitchen (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Wood Oven (2)
Disabled Access (2)
People Watching (2)
Tapas (2)
Organic (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Spicy (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Historic (1)
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386 reviews
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 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Everything was great! A little pricey but well worth the money!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Vibrant Bar Scene, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Brunch, Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Fireplace, Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 15, 2017

First time dining there. Great experience, great food, kind and courteous staff.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Great place with amazing food. The decor is nice and love the live music. It will definitely be my place to be on the weekend.

Tags: Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Live Music, Bar Seating, Fireplace, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day was special at Cafe Rule. Roses for the Ladies, special menu, live music, photo booth.

Tags: Casual, Live Music, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 14, 2017

The scallops were amazing!

One of the best meals ever...I am gluten free, so sometimes menus are lacking in choices and taste. This was not the case at Café Rule. Good GF choices.

Tags: Cozy, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 13, 2017

Good fuds

Apparently 2 word answers are not an acceptable review and I need 50 characters, but I can keep typing stuff until it will let me submit!!!! ! !! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! GOOOOOT'EEMMMM!!!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Authentic, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great Beer, Worth the Drive, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 13, 2017

The restaurant was clean, well lit and had nice decor! The music was a little loud for dining! The waitress was very personable but couldn't answer a few questions, but did get the answers! Food was great! We had the petite tenderloin with the Chef! Would definitely eat here again!

Tags: Comfort Food, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Very elegant and classy place with live music and great ambience

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Modern Decor, Fit for Foodies, Paleo Friendly, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Late-night Find, Good for a Date, Casual, Sunday Lunch, Outstanding Value, Vegan, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Friendly and accommodating staff; variety of seating; extensive wine list (the word extensive is really an understatement); wonderfully crafted cocktails; food selection to please anyone (I PA collards is a must) with generous portions; best cheesecake ever!

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Wonderful dining experience! Upscale comfort food done to perfection!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Our first time there for Valentines dinner. Server was awesome. I got a steak and it literally melted in my mouth. My husband and I had a great time and the server was very patient with us as we did not know what we wanted on the list of wines or foods. She gave us some helpful hints of what she liked. It's a little on the pricey side. We will go again. We left full!!!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Private Room, Seasonal, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Good for a Date, Open Kitchen, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Live Music, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 11, 2017

The food was fantastic. The service was great. Overall very nice experience

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Casual, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Hickory continues to surprise us with excellent restaurants and Cafe Rule definitely qualified. Good food, moderate pricing, friendly, efficient staff. Just remember that this is NC. Brunch begins at 11 but you can't get a mimosa until noon!

Tags: Casual, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 29, 2017

The noise level was deafening. If there was live music Saturday night we couldn't hear it or see it. We couldn't hear each other to carry on a conversation. I was sitting closer to the stranger at the table next to me then I was my spouse. The waiter was attentive until we received our entree. If we hadn't ordered our desert initially we wouldn't have stayed for it. My wife wasn't asked if she wanted a 2nd glass of wine until just before we left. A waiter from another table cleared dirty dishes from our table since our waiter wasn't coming around. The food was okay. I expected more for the price. All and all it wasn't the quiet, relaxing intimate dinner with music that we had hoped for.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Excellent food and service. A great dining experience!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 28, 2017

The food was great and our waitress was the best! Even though there was a huge crowd she was on top of everything! I would definitely go again!

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Business Meals, Late-night Find, Good for a Date, Live Music
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 28, 2017

It was Queens Feast do our value for the food was excellent. The menus is a little high compared to our normal choices. But the food was delicious, excellently prepared and beautiful presentation. Noise level was a little high but there was a large table celebrating a birthday that contributed to that. We will be back to try the patio in warmer weather

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Every single course was excellent. None better than the previous. I highly recommend the street corn, broccoli baffle, chicken and waffles.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Love the ambiance and don't miss the original recipe Calamari with the Fig & Prosciutto flatbread pizza ! Delicious!!

Tags: Romantic, Business Meals, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on January 21, 2017

We met friends for dinner and selected menu items from the Queens Feast menu. The food was an excellent value and delicious. The service was good.

The problem was the extremely high noise level. A small band performed, but the noise level before they started made normal conversation with table mates difficult. I noticed that sound deadening panels in the ceiling had been removed.

For me, part of an enjoyable dinning experience is conversation with table mates. This was impossible at Cafe Rule. Sorry, but I will not return.

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience1
service4
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 21, 2017

The food was very good, unfortunately we had to wait about 1.5 hours for it to be served. We heard from friends that they've had similar experiences.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Everything at Cafe Rule is superb!!! I really don't know what more I can say!! Food,service,drinks,atmosphere, everything is wonderful!! We love it!!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating, Cozy, Disabled Access, Good Vegetarian Options, Late-night Find, Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Surprising find in this small town. great wine list. Try the 5000 dollar Petrus, Ha!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 15, 2017

This was our 3rd time dinning here. Only complaint we had was it took our food 50min to get to our table. Everyone was getting there food late.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Great food, great service, and great atmosphere! Always an enjoyable dining experience.

Tags: Fun, Local Ingredients, Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Casual, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Private Room, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on January 13, 2017

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

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 13, 2017

Always a great experience!

Tags: Late-night Find, Private Room, Disabled Access, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Business Meals, Hot Spot, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 10, 2017

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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (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

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

 
 (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

 
 (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

 
 (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

 
 (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

 
 (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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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

Amazing surprise! Food was excellent. Worth a detour

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (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

 
 (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

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

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

 
 (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

 
 (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

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

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

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

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

 
 (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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 11, 2016

Love this place, the outdoor area is the nicest in Hickory!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

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