Busy Bee Cafe

Busy Bee CafeBusy Bee Cafe
Busy Bee CafeBusy Bee Cafe
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

225 S Wilmington St
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27601-1433
United States

// CLOSED //

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Ratings by bostonbeans:
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Rated by bostonbeans from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Aug 15, 2015
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4.26 by curtisjoseph from North Carolina

Apr 09, 2016
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Reviewed by Docrock from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
Had 18 beers on tap, mostly local but what was a big win was the bottle selection. Wide variety woth many styles including multiple barrel aged options and the pices for some of the rarer beers was very reasonable. Food was good and service staff was friendly and reasonably knowledgeable about most of the beers. Definitely worth a visit!
Apr 02, 2016
Rated: 4.56 by StoutSnob40 from California

Mar 30, 2016
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Reviewed by ncbrewgator from North Carolina

4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5
Love this place, especially The Hive upstairs. Excellent variety of beers, both bottled and on tap. These guys are very well connected within the NC beer community and tend to get rare/limited kegs that others in the area cannot . Helped empty a keg of BOMB! during my last visit. :)
Jul 15, 2015
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Reviewed by jjboesen from Maryland

4.36/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25
The Busy Bee was my first stop during an Easter vacation sojourn to the Tarheel capital city. The comfortable vibe hits you in the face the moment you enter; it is a small place: a single room with an average bar on the left; the ceiling is high and airy (there is a mezzanine section towards the back) with plenty of ducts and brickwork to satisfy the most picky of construction workers. The Bee offers 12 taps and one cask, along with a massive selection of bottled beer - some very $$$.
My visit coincided with a recent Finch Brewing event, since there were plenty selections from this Chicago-based brewer: Pale Ale, Fascist Pig and Sobelski. Also wetting my palate: French Broad Ryehopper, something from Stone, a stout from Asheville's beloved Green Man, and my first try at Founder's "Blushing Monk.

Excellent service, delicious grub (fish taco) and reasonable prices made this a sweet place to hang out, but not long enough to swing by Crank Arm. (See My Review.)
Apr 19, 2015
Rated: 4.18 by loverofthecraft from North Carolina

Apr 16, 2015
Rated: 4.63 by RBowers from Virginia

Mar 26, 2015
Rated: 4 by Cynic-ale from Texas

Feb 09, 2015
Rated: 4.38 by Macsimus from North Carolina

Feb 02, 2015
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Rated by CptBlackBeerd from Pennsylvania

4.74/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75
One of my favorite beer places in North Carolina. Super tap & bottle selection, great food & service and all at a reasonable price.
Jan 30, 2015
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Reviewed by Penguins66 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
My wife and I came here twice during a long weekend in Raleigh--first for drinks on a Saturday afternoon, then for Sunday brunch. Beer selection was amazing. They had some beers on tap that I had only ever seen in bottles--Dogfish Head Red & White for instance. Prices were very reasonable.

On both our visits we sat at the bar. Service was pleasant--we had the same bartender both times. Sunday brunch was tasty although the ham biscuit I ate was way too salty for my tastes. Ambiance was fine--not too noisy, a long bar with an exposed brick wall behind it. Only negative is the location. Busy Bee Cafe is next door to a bus terminal so you may have to dodge some folks asking for spare change.
Nov 21, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by CavemanRamblin from North Carolina

Nov 16, 2014
Rated: 5 by Michael_Comstock from North Carolina

Oct 20, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Soto from North Carolina

Sep 27, 2014
Rated: 4.7 by delapowicz from Virginia

Sep 25, 2014
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Reviewed by daryk77 from District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
I really enjoy this place. Great beer and great food. Love the servers, very knowledgeable. This is definitely a must stop if you are in the area. Great place to bring you non-beer nerd girlfriend/boyfriend since the cocktails and food are absolutely superb as well. It's a win all around.
Sep 16, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by wesbourne from Florida

Sep 13, 2014
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Rated by Mantooth from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
No longer in biz - it's now Trophy Brewing - great joint, check 'em out!
Sep 02, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Zimm from New Jersey

Aug 23, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Highbury09 from North Carolina

Aug 16, 2014
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Reviewed by Dreizhen from District of Columbia

4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5
I had the great pleasure of visiting the Busy Bee Cafe and the accompanying Hive on a recent trip through Raleigh. I can not say enough nice things about the place.

Food was very good and reasonably priced. Our group ordered a decent variety of items from sandwiches to desserts and everyone was pleased with their selections.

The beer selection was very impressive with a number of bottles I had never seen before. The waitstaff was great at making suggestions and steered our choices in the right direction. Wide variety of styles and prices. Very impressive list.

The atmosphere was lovely, the upstairs patio is gorgeous, and the bar has a fun yet tacitly reserved demeanor.

The service was absolutely incredible. I can't do justice for the experience we had with only a review, but know that the service was perfect. Ask for Catherine. The owner was incredibly hospitable and quite the gracious host.

It would be a crime to not visit the Busy Bee if you have the chance.
Aug 11, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by jak from North Carolina

Aug 01, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by MIchael_D_Larkin from North Carolina

Jul 26, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by dunix from Vermont

Jul 22, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Brewski from Pennsylvania

Jul 15, 2014
Rated: 5 by beatleszoso86 from North Carolina

Jul 13, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by macuistin from Illinois

Jul 07, 2014
Rated: 4 by jophish17 from Georgia

Jul 05, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by dailyminefield from North Carolina

Jun 25, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by woodchip from North Carolina

Jun 25, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by RyanAU from North Carolina

Jun 05, 2014
Rated: 3.85 by ncstateplaya from North Carolina

Jun 02, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by SmellsofMahagony from Texas

May 25, 2014
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Reviewed by clayrock81 from Florida

3.82/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75
This is a good place but didn't have too much time so can't really say I got a complete layout of the place. Went around 6 on a Friday (for about an hour) during spring break so while place wasn't empty at all there were seats at the bar. Guess I would agree with "hipster" vibe as nothing but college kids with nothing to do were around (doesn't bother me). Bartender was quick and polite, no complaints about service, and while the bottle selection isn't the greatest or that cheap, the tap selection was pretty good as it mixes some local with hard to find domestic gems. Also, the draft beer prices, unlike bottle prices, were pretty even with rest of neighborhood. Seems like a good place to hang out if it doesn't get too crowded and enjoy a couple of drafts.
Apr 24, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by OldhouseRecs from North Carolina

Apr 20, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by alexm1309 from Illinois

Apr 19, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania

Apr 02, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by kjkinsey from Texas

Jan 24, 2014
Rated: 5 by Oakcitybrews from North Carolina

Jan 23, 2014
Busy Bee Cafe in Raleigh, NC
Place rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 69 ratings