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 //

View: Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 69
Reviews by dirtylou:
Photo of dirtylou
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Cool little spot in downtown Raleigh - watch out for the bus depot a few doors down - tons of terrifying looking vagrants nearby. Inside the busy bee is a warm and comfortable place though.

We had just crushed some BBQ at Cooper's and were looking forward to pizza at Trophy, so we didn't eat here. The menu looked solid though, and everything coming out of the kitchen looked great. I'd definitely plan a subsequent visit around dinner I think.

the selection is a little odd - tons of bottles at a pretty high premium and 15-20 unique taps between the 2 bars. Nothing was particularly enticing on our visit - i opted for the BA hoppyum which was better than expected. Taps appear to turn quickly, and should always be good, but haven't ever been great when I've looked.

Eagle eye-blackie spotted some BCBCS in the cooler that wasnt advertised so we domed a few coffee wales, which turned out to be just the kick in the pants we needed for our Raleigh adventure night.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of curtisjoseph
4.26/5  rDev -3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of Docrock
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!

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Photo of StoutSnob40
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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

Photo of ncbrewgator
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. :)

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Photo of jjboesen
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.)

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Photo of loverofthecraft
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of RBowers
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Macsimus
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of CptBlackBeerd
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.

132 characters

Photo of Penguins66
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.

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Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Michael_Comstock
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Soto
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of delapowicz
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of daryk77
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.

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Photo of wesbourne
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Mantooth
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!

72 characters

Photo of Zimm
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Highbury09
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Dreizhen
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.

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Photo of jak
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of MIchael_D_Larkin
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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