About Cafe Rule & Wine Bar

242 11th Avenue NE
Hickory, NC 28601
View Larger Map

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

Send a Gift Card

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

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.8

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

98% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Charlotte
Best Ambiance
Charlotte
Most Booked
Hickory
Best Restaurants in Hickory ›

Special Occasion (19)
Great for Outdoor Dining (14)
Romantic (13)
See All
Good for a Date (11)
Notable Wine List (11)
Good for Birthdays (10)
Great for Lunch (10)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Fit for Foodies (10)
Good for Groups (10)
Good for Anniversaries (10)
Modern Decor (9)
Business Meals (8)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Comfort Food (7)
Local Ingredients (7)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Casual (6)
Fireplace (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Private Room (4)
Organic (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Cozy (4)
Great for Brunch (3)
Wood Oven (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Seasonal (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Fun (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Healthy (2)
Vegan (2)
People Watching (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Family Style (1)
Spicy (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Open Kitchen (1)
Authentic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Great Beer (1)
Sort By:
S
334 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

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

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

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

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined 7 days ago

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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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, Outstanding Value
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5

My favorite restaurant in Hickory!

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 14, 2016

My favorite restaurant in Hickory!

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

Eat dessert first! Our waiter, Michael ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 13, 2016

Eat dessert first! Our waiter, Michael was superb and the food was incredibly tasty.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

We took 4 family members to dinner for t ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 6, 2016

We took 4 family members to dinner for their first time and everyone raved about the food. My husband and I have been many times and we are always very happy with the food!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4

Not sure I am crazy about new menu. Not ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 30, 2016

Not sure I am crazy about new menu. Not sure why they insist on live music- warehouse type building noisy enough without background live music. Hard to talk with dinner companions. Service slow. Not inexpensive. Do like the outdoor venue when not so hot.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

The food was awesome as was the wait sta ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 29, 2016

The food was awesome as was the wait staff. Beautiful decor and trendy. The prices, however, were out of our league and questionable cost vs quality. Glad we had a Groupon.

Tags: Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value1

An overall excellent dining experience. ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 26, 2016

An overall excellent dining experience. The food was top-rate and the service impeccable. I have already recommended this restaurant to several of my friends.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I dined there during the Queen's Feast w ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 23, 2016

I dined there during the Queen's Feast week, so I got the 3 courses for $30. This was a good bargain. The Southern Wedge salad and pork chop were splendid! The only downside was the waitress we had-either she was new or very unconcerned with serving us. Other than that, the experience was great and it's definitely a place I want to return to. The ambiance in the outdoor dining area was wonderful and beautifully designed and during early fall months would be a great place to sit once the fireplace was going. We left by going back through the inside dining area and inside the place was alive and vibrant and much louder. Totally different atmosphere than outside but seemed like a hot spot to be.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service2
value3

Dined here as a part of Charlotte Restau ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 23, 2016

Dined here as a part of Charlotte Restaurant Week on a whim and BOY were we impressed! Completely worth the drive from LKN. Everything was wonderful and the bloody mary shrimp & grits was especially fantastic!!! Will definitely be back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Spur of the moment Monday dinner - Many ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 18, 2016

Spur of the moment Monday dinner - Many empty tables. Very good service and meal. Outdoor seating was comfortable. Will return with friends

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Exceptional food and service. Our server ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 15, 2016

Exceptional food and service. Our server was awesome. Food was amazing. Only suggestion I would offer is to expand menu just a bit.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The name has changed recently, but it ha ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 13, 2016

The name has changed recently, but it has the same great, professional service, fantastic food, unique menu and nice atmosphere. We are lucky to have Rule. It would easily fit in the resturant scene of a city 10x the size of Hickory.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We eat there a lot.....and always enjoy. ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 2, 2016

We eat there a lot.....and always enjoy....but last night was best yet. Love the new menu. Service is always superb. Live music was fun....Good background, not too loud. I really appreciate the chef accommodating my low cal diet. Motorcycle display....very cool!

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

Love the atmosphere. Chicken in chicken ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on June 30, 2016

Love the atmosphere. Chicken in chicken and waffles was dry. Drinks were small but tasty. Wish there were more wine by the glass choices. Service was pleasant but we found ourselves consistently looking for our server. Not the best value but not terrible either.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.