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Busy Bee Cafe

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

29 Reviews
Busy Bee CafeBusy Bee Cafe
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(919) 424-7817 | map
busybeeraleigh.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by rtratzlaff on 04-18-2009

PLACE STATS
Score:
94
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
69
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
4.88%
 
 
Taps:
19
Bottles/Cans:
120
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 69
Reviews by slowbie:
Photo of slowbie
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Went to Busy Bee on 1/22/2010.

Not that busy for a Saturday night, so no wait for a table which was nice. The atmosphere was quieter and the decor is just my style. Exposed brick walls with a nice clean and classic bar.

First things first: the beer. This place is not a place with a giant tap list, but it is definitely a place that reminds me that you don't need a giant tap list to have great beer. Lil' Sumpin' Wild, FBS, Knob Creek barrel aged Foothills People's Porter, and DFH Burton Baton are just a few highlights from their 15ish taps. In the past week they've tapped two kegs of Hopslam, tonight they are tapping Backwoods Bastard, tomorrow Hoptimum, and on Wednesday a keg voted for on their website (looks like it will be Terrapin Big Daddy Vladdy). For the record I went for the barrel aged People's Porter and the wife got Brooklyn Cuvee Noire. There are a lot of bottled choices for those who want more options too, but I rarely get bottles.

The service was good and our waitress seemed to be knowledgeable about beer, although we didn't ask any tough questions.

The food menu isn't huge either, which wasn't a big deal because I once again found something I wanted quite easily. It's basically high end bar food, but I can honestly say that I have not had a better burger in the state of North Carolina. There are some more interesting choices too such as fish tacos, shrimp and grits, and chicken pot pie.

The beer is a bit more expensive than other places around, but I still gave it the $$ rating because the food is reasonably priced and they don't seem to do the rarity pricing that some places around do. I got a generous pour (listed as 12 oz. but I'm pretty sure I got a full 16) of barrel aged people's porter for $6, and I have a feeling that I could name a few establishments around here that would have sold me a 10 oz. pour for $8 or more. So don't expect to get a $3 pint, but the pricing relative to the quality of beer is actually very good.

 1,978 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of curtisjoseph
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Photo of Docrock
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

 339 characters

Photo of dwagner003
4.56/5  rDev +6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of bostonbeans
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of ncbrewgator
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
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. :)

 285 characters

Photo of jjboesen
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
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.)

 974 characters

Photo of loverofthecraft
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of RBowers
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of Macsimus
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of CptBlackBeerd
4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
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 +4.7%

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.

 697 characters

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Michael_Comstock
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Soto
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of delapowicz
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of daryk77
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

 289 characters

Photo of wesbourne
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Zimm
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of Highbury09
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Dreizhen
4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

 981 characters

Photo of jak
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of MIchael_D_Larkin
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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Busy Bee Cafe in Raleigh, NC
4.3 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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