Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi
  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi
  1. Distance: 1.43mi
  2. Distance: 2.19mi
  3. Distance: 3.27mi
  4. Distance: 3.52mi

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 - 2 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

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.7

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (34)
Great for Outdoor Dining (31)
Notable Wine List (30)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (29)
Good for a Date (28)
Romantic (25)
Good for Birthdays (23)
Good for Groups (23)
Good for Anniversaries (22)
Creative Cuisine (22)
Fit for Foodies (22)
Business Meals (21)
Bar Seating (21)
Handcrafted Cocktails (18)
Worth the Drive (17)
Great for Brunch (16)
Fun (16)
Casual (15)
Local Ingredients (14)
Cozy (13)
Great for Lunch (13)
Quiet Conversation (13)
Sunday Lunch (13)
Comfort Food (12)
Happy Hour (11)
Live Music (11)
Pre/post Theatre (10)
Seasonal (10)
Tasting Menu (10)
Authentic (10)
Organic (9)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Hot Spot (8)
Vibrant Bar Scene (8)
Disabled Access (7)
People Watching (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Paleo Friendly (5)
Tapas (5)
Great Beer (3)
Late-night Find (3)
Quick Bite (2)
Scenic View (2)
Vegan (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Live Sports (1)
Spicy (1)
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493 reviews
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 (Charlotte)·Dined a day ago

Cafe rule was great as usual. We were seated outside and it was perfect for Sunday Brunch. Only two complaints...my wives waffle was just barely warm and the candied bacon was $6 for 2, yes 2, slices of bacon. Overall though it was an enjoyable dining experience,

Tags: Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined 5 days ago

Third time at Cafe Rule over a number of years. The kitchen offers delights while the staff is a bit aloof. Wait staff not at the level of the kitchen and environment. Just not professional. Hostess sipping coffee and surfing the web on her phone rather than focusing on customers. Staff on various distracting management missions somewhat distractive to customers. I would give it another try for sure as the food and wine selection is superb. Just seems like the customer facing staff needs the same focus on customers the kitchen does. We all have off nights, but it looks like the staff here has the opportunity to step their game up and make this restaurant the place it deserves to be!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on September 16, 2017

The food was delicious and our server was awesome!

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

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 9, 2017

This is our second visit to this restaurant and we very good food and service. Our first visit in the Spring was not so good and we wanted to try it again. I would recommend.

Tags: Cozy, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 8, 2017

All good. First time visitors, will be back. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Food was very good and Service was excellent. What could have turned into a poor experience was more than made up by the wait staff and floor manager. The salads are huge and can easily be shared if ordered in addition to an entrée. Noise level is moderate to loud that would be my biggest knock.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 2, 2017

Absolutely one of the best restaurants in Hickory. Server remember our drink order from our previous visit 4 weeks earlier. Fish special was amazing. Will now become our go to place in Hickory for dinner/drinks. Definitely a must visit if in the area.

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Live Music
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 25, 2017

We had reservations at 7:30, walked in at 7:06 and they already had the table ready for us and seated us immediately. The service was super. We had at least 4 different staff members wait on us throughout the night. Made us feel special for sure! Food was incredible and atmosphere was great. Good choice for the evening!

Tags: Fun, Bar Seating, Tasting Menu, Organic, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 23, 2017

Such a great place and a lot of neat things on the menu. The steaks are top-notch when they serve them at the correct temperature. I ordered the 9s Prime filet medium rare it was served nearly medium well I refuse to send it back cuz I didn't feel like waiting and it was still edible that's the waist of 50 bucks right there. I ordered a grilled Caesar salad the dressing is terribly weak really needs to be fixed if you've never had a good Caesar don't order here. It would be nice if the waitress came right after my food was served by another waiter so she could check on things like temperature. We went through several bottles of wine expecting the year stated would be the year served so we continue to return them until we found a wine with the correct year on it as listed.

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food3
ambience5
service2

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 22, 2017

Very good... service was a bit slow but overall value was nice.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Great food ..
So So service..
Reserve a week ahead .
Asked to seat in Shade on Patio, was told that table was reserved..
Sat in High Sun for 45 mins before anyone
Used the shaded table????

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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 20, 2017

Excellent spot for Sunday brunch! Very cute garden area with live bluegrass music. Great food, fantastic atmospherie!

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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Good food and great service. Loved the outdoor patio !

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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on August 17, 2017

Cameron was a very friendly and helpful waiter. The dirt bike cocktail was the kind of spicy drink that I enjoy. The triggerfish special was superb. The eggplant puree was well done and the many vegetables were roasted to perfection.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 13, 2017

New Age Modern feel. Very nice to go on a "Fancy" date without the uptight feel. Can be yourself and staff is great. Prices are excellent for the quality of food you get. Chicken and Waffles will blow you away!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Business Meals, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 12, 2017

love Café Rule as always but had an issue this time with the volume level of the live band playing in the bar at 7:00 pm. it is difficult to enjoy a dinner conversation with your party when the band thinks they are playing at an outdoor amphitheater.
many others in the dining area had an issue with this.
it may be an appropriate volume level at 9 pm for the bar crowd but not while people are trying to enjoy dinner and conversation 30 feet away.
we did ask for volume to be brought down but to no avail.
disappointed by the lack of sensitivity by the manager.

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 11, 2017

Food options, taste, and outdoor dining is always great. Specials are overly pricey. Place is very good but never perfect. Still, like to eat here often because of the food selection.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on August 11, 2017

Cafe Rule does not disappoint!! There is something for everyone on the menu. They have recently brought back their fried okra with pimento cheese dip. This has always been a favorite, but the dip could use a little tweeking. The fish specials are always wonderful, and incorporate local vegetables. The halibut on Friday evening was fantastic!! As always, the service was superb!!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fun, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Late-night Find, Seasonal, Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, People Watching, Quick Bite, Vegan, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Business Meals, Spicy, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Healthy, Paleo Friendly, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Cozy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Worth the Drive, Good Vegetarian Options, Bar Seating, Hot Spot, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Gluten Free Options, Local Ingredients, Disabled Access
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 6, 2017

We chose Café Rule to celebrate a special occasion and was disappointed from our time of arrival, until we elected to walk out of the restaurant without being served. We arrived at 7:55 for an 8:00 reservation and were promptly seated. Our server appeared in about 5 minutes and collected our spirit order. At 8:35 our cocktails had not arrived, our server had not reappeared and our starter or entrée orders had not be taken. When the waiter did appear, he informed us that the "ticket" for our cocktails was misplaced. He failed to see that while those situations do occur, failure to revisit our table in over 30 minutes is the root cause of service and restaurant failure. We would not recommend Café Rule to anyone, for any event or purpose. There are other, better options in Hickory including Boca, and Highland Avenue - with excellent food, great ambiance and prompt service. We left Café Rule and arrived at Boca at 9:00 to find Youseff and his top team ready to serve us. Our cocktails were delivered in under 3 minutes, and our entrees in under 15. We will not return to Café Rule.

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
·Dined on August 5, 2017

Me and my hubby went for hamburgers and a beer. Food and beer was awesome. Our waiter Graham was awesome!!! Would recommend the place for sure!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Food was excellent and may be the best in the Hickory area. Servers were very attentive thus making the dining experience superb for any occasion. Highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Only complant is they need a better wine buy the glass selection

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Puzzled by the award given to this restaurant by Open Table given the lack of quality in ingredients we experienced in our meals. Great atmosphere and wine selection were the positives. Whomever is buying ingredients needs to find a better vendor for product! There is no excuse today for serving tasteless corn, rubbery calamari, or bottled caesar dressing with such a great menu.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on August 3, 2017

The grouper was fantastic, wait staff was professional and informative loved Flo Rina and Rebecca
Pecan cheesecake is outstanding we will be back

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on August 2, 2017

Had a great lunch on our way from Charlotte to Asheville. The place is very cool with a lovely outdoor area. Food is imaginative and great tasting.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Did not know it was restaurant week but enjoyed the special menu. Had the flank steak with horseradish potatoes. Was excellent.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on July 29, 2017

It's always a treat to dine at Rule. The food is consistently fresh and amazing. The menu is great for every palate. It it a great place for a date, a party, or just a simple night out!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Some food temperatures were off and our service was spotty. Additionally, the table we were seated at was too close to the door and the hostess area for comfortably.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience5
service2
value2

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Enjoyed our visit very much, on a Saturday evening. Extremely attentive service by Phillip. We enjoyed the cheese bread and jelly spread, broccoli baffle was simple yet extremely tasty. Shrimp and grits are unique, and the flank steak was tender and perfectly cooked. Chocolate torte was good but the strawberry fool was way too sweet and rich. Both wines were light and thoroughly enjoyed; the wine by bottle selection is amazing. Go and enjoy Cafe Rule! You will love it.

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 28, 2017

Food was fabulous. Service was great. Outdoor patio is beautiful.

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 27, 2017

The highlight of my dinning experience was my wine the rest of the food was odd and disgusting. So if you're going to relax and drink and not eat anything, this is the place for you.

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food1
ambience4
service5
value1

 
·Dined on July 26, 2017

Amazing outdoor garden and patio! You feel like you're not in Hickory when sitting out there. Amazing food and alcohol selection. Will definitely go again!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on July 25, 2017

Great food, the waiter was patient with us (some in our party arrived late), attentive, and engaged. He treated my young teenagers like adults and was just so sweet.
As always, the food did not disappoint.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on July 21, 2017

I went here for Charlotte Restaurant week. The menu selection for the event was decent. I had the petite spinach salad, marinated beef flank steak, and popcorn ice cream. The wine list is fairly extensive compared to other restaurants however there is not much on the lower to intermediate price range for wine. I'm all for splurging a bit for wine but when most of the selections are $50 plus I'll stick with water. The restaurant itself is very nice with a nice contemporary feel. Our server was nice, courteous, and was very knowledgeable in recommendations for my gluten intolerant wife and sister. The atmosphere in the other diners wasn't very favorable. In the dining room, there are fairly quiet conversations and I could hear other tables. The problem is the sound from the bar area is quite obnoxious at some points it seemed as though we have to shout at each other to hear ourselves. My food however was mediocre to say the least. My salad was drenched in vingarette dressing. Each piece of spinach was soaked with what seems like oil and balsamic vinegar make the other all salad a little bitter. My main course of "marinated" beef flank steak was completely bland with no hint of salt or pepper. The accompanying mashed potatoes were prepared well as well as the asparagus. Topping the steak was a balsamic tomato sauce which I had to eat with every bite to give it flavor. However my dessert was exceptional eating the popcorn ice cream. It wasn't what I expected, and tasted very much like popcorn. My fellow guests also had the same complaints about the same salad but got different main courses. I tried my wife's shrimp and grits which were delicious however her dessert was possibly too sweet and seemed like a poor attempt at a compote. In retrospect it could be my poor menu selection but I had higher expectations for a restaurant with these prices. I ate meal as intended and I personally didn't find it to my liking.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Gluten Free Options, Notable Wine List
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food2
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 15, 2017

We really enjoyed the blackberry mojitos and gin/tonics. Bartenders were exceptional. Food was great and patio dining was perfect. The live music was awesome but it didn't last very long. Service was friendly but I think they were understaffed that night as service was a little slow. It was not terribly slow but obvious not enough wait staff.

Tags: Happy Hour, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Live Music, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 12, 2017

A great experience, as always! We will be back. Thanks!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining, People Watching, Cozy, Healthy, Bar Seating, Organic, Live Music, Great for Lunch, Good Vegetarian Options, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Fun, Kid-friendly, Paleo Friendly, Quiet Conversation, Disabled Access, Local Ingredients, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch, Hot Spot, Good for Groups, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Sunday Lunch, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Seasonal, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 9, 2017

We are so glad that Cafe Rule has started offering Sunday Brunch! Bloody Marys were delicious and the brunch menu was great with lots of choices.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 2, 2017

We were in town to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday and chose Cafe Rule after having heard about it and from good reviews online and it didn't disappoint. I was there with my husband, my mom and father-in-law and there was something for everyone. We also enjoyed the music and atmosphere. We're from Charlotte and we really thought it was a great value as well.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 30, 2017

We enjoyed our salad and pizza. It was a great experience.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value3

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Amazing service, great atmosphere, and always wonderful specials.

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food5
ambience5
service5

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