The fourth largest city in North Carolina, Durham is something of a cultural hub, with venues such as Carolina Theater and Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art contributing to the city’s creative energy. The city also has a reputation for dining: try out these top 10 Durham restaurants, serving everything from Southern fried chicken and steaks, to sweet waffles.
Parizade brings the spirit of the Mediterranean to Durham. The menu continues to impress visitors, with their wide array of fresh seafood dishes, from cornmeal crusted oysters to lump crab cake. Accompanying these mains are delectable desserts such as the decadent dulce luna and the popular banana rum napoleon. Coupled with their impressive selection of coffee creations, Parizade has something for every palette. Furthermore, the high ceilings decorated with murals and a big open kitchen adds to the relaxed setting and inviting nature of the restaurant.
Parizade, 2200 West Main Street, Durham, North Carolina. +1 919 2869712
Tonali is a family run restaurant that aims to bring an authentic Mexican dining experience to Durham. While serving traditional Mexican dishes, Tonali uses local farm produce for their creations, producing a distinctive blend of Southern flavors. Tonali changes its menu weekly, providing a different dining experience every time.
Tonali, 3642 Shannon Rd, Durham, North Carolina. +1 919 4898000
Dame’s is a unique experience, fusing traditional Southern fried chicken with European style waffles to create an unusual culinary combination. Boasting an almost worldwide recognition, Dame’s menu is a decadent feast of indulgence and comfort foods. When not accompanying their savory chicken delights, Dame’s sweet and fruity waffles are also served on their own with one (or two) of Dame’s signature crème butter ‘shmears’. With a nod to the history Wells Supper Club, Dame’s has taken the curious combination of chicken and waffles, and created their own distinctive dishes, which pay homage to the historical Harlem jazz scene. With a range of other house specialties and local craft beer, Dame’s is worth a visit.
G2B describes itself as a gastropub and beerhouse, and with its wide selection of food and over one hundred beers, the term is fitting. Using a wood fire grill, G2B creates a unique range of culinary pleasures, such as mahi mahi, the G2B burger and the intriguing and overly indulgent ‘aFOIEcalypse’, a one pound burger complete with fois gras, triple crème brie, eggs and bacon. Guests are also attracted to G2B’s for its lively atmosphere, which is enhanced by live music at the weekends. Overall, G2B is a gastronomic gem in Durham’s dining crown.
Piedmont is a modern restaurant with large windows, exposed woodwork and vaulted ceilings in the main dining area, and skylights and industrial features on the mezzanine. Head chef Ben Adams creates inspiring dishes, with an emphasis on local home grown produce from their partners at Coon Rock Farm. Using avant-garde techniques, Adams transforms simple ingredients into adventurous meals. Together with hand crafted cocktails, native beers and suitable wines, Piedmont is a fresh and innovative farm-to-table experience.
Piedmont, 401-B2 Foster Street, Durham, North Carolina. +1 919 6831213
Situated in the gastronomic district of Ninth Street, Metro 8 mixes the traditional American steakhouse with an Argentinian twist inspired by the background of the restaurant’s owner, Francisco Pirillo. Run by Pirillo and his wife, the menu features delights such as crab stuffed shrimp, churrasco steak and chimichurri and their renowned dulce de leche crêpes. Their selection of cocktails is also noteworthy, such as handcrafted martinis and margaritas.
Metro 8 Steakhouse, 746 Ninth Street, Durham, North Carolina. +1 919 416-1700
Tyler’s is an exciting blend of North Carolinian food and drink. The menu is a wealth of classic American comfort foods, seasonal salads and gourmet sandwiches, which are enriched by their medley of sides, including their famed garlic fries. Tyler’s in Durham also hosts a speakeasy that serves sixty craft and specialty import beers on tap, and weekly pint nights and beer events. With indoor and outdoor dining options, Tyler’s has something for everyone.
Beyù Caffè (pronounced be-you) is the venue for locals and visitors alike. Beyù Caffè has food to suit every mood, from smaller bites of Buffalo wings, to larger meals of pizzettes, espresso rubbed sirloin steak and pecan smoked bacon cheeseburgers. Coffee and espresso are also a specialty of Beyù Caffè, with a range that includes classic cappuccinos and lattes, to coffee cocktails such as the oprah mocha and a caramello macchiato. Beyù Caffè plays host to premium live jazz, supports local musicians, and also features Grammy award winning artists.
Beyù Caffè, 335 West Main Street, Durham, North Carolina. +1 919 6831058
Scratch works with and supports local food producers to create new products each season. Made using southern baking techniques, enjoy pies, crostatas and tarts. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, Scratch also boasts a wide selection of savory lunch and brunch treats. Scratch is a cozy venue full of local flavor.
Scratch, 111 Orange Street, Durham, North Carolina. +1 919 95665200