North Carolina’s exciting and colourful city, Durham, is an unmissable spot while in the Triangle area. An energetic and active cultural hub, Durham boasts music, dance, and art festivals, and is home to numerous nationally acclaimed restaurants. The eclectic selection and great variety of tastes make Durham’s culinary scene one to explore. Following our previous selection, here are our top 10 cultural venues revealing the city’s stimulating diversity.
Dame’s Chicken and Waffles
‘We didn’t invent Chicken & Waffles; we want to be the only ones you think of’ – says this venue’s mission statement. It was during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to 1940s that this seemingly odd pairing became a hit as the first real late-night food combination. Dame’s Chicken and Waffles is the venue that gave it a brand. Located on West Main Street, Dame’s is an exciting culinary experience, where Southern fried chicken and European sweet waffles are the simple basis for a wide selection of mouthwatering options. Try the original combo, or ask for the house signature chicken and waffle dishes separately. Dame’s gives a tantalising taste cavalcade that can be wonderfully enjoyed with a range of local craft beers or the seasonal wine collection.
Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, 317 West Main Street, Durham, NC, USA, +1 919 682 9235
604 West Village
Located in a former tobacco warehouse in Durham’s downtown area, 604 West Village developed a unique and historical milieu, while bringing authentic Italian gastro-culture to the city. The interior is as would be expected: wall bricks, high ceilings, wooden floors, and some decorative art on the walls. While the indoor area is somewhat dimly lit, the spacious patio is a chance to enjoy a fresh and tranquil meal outside. The menu is exciting and unusual, featuring not only classic Italian homemade pastas but also seasonal seafood and other specialties that clearly expose a creative kitchen in the background. With various events, from Latino nights and Monday Martinis, 604 West Village ensures a multi-faceted fine dining experience.
604 West Village, 604 Fernway Ave, Durham, NC, USA, +1 919 680 6333
Blu Seafood and Bar
Blu Seafood and Bar is the best seafood spot in town, if not in the whole Triangle area. Supporting local fishing communities, the restaurant doesn’t compromise when it comes to freshness and quality, and this, as well as the impeccable service, is what brings the continued success among locals and visitors. The setting is faithfully inspired by maritime elements, with a dominating blue color and tiny aquarium windows inserted into the sidewall. This is an upscale restaurant, where the focus is concentrated on serving a rich variety of delectable, innovative, and exciting assortments of seafood dishes. Choose from the special oyster menu, the nightly and weekly changing menu, the fixed lunch and dinner menus, or try the daily catch.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Blu Seafood and Bar, 2002 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC, USA, +1 919 286 9777
Yamazushi Japanese Fine Dining
Open since 1986, Yamazushi Japanese Fine Dining is a tiny traditional Japanese venue in the heart of Durham, where the past is gently brought into the present. The ritual atmosphere of Japanese tea ceremonies is echoed at Yamazushi by featuring Kaiseki multi-course meals. This is an eight-course special line of small-portioned traditional dishes, served in strictly timed intervals over 2.5 hours. Imagine flower-shaped sashimi and other delicacies, all presented with care and attention to detail. The success of the venue lies in the masterful hands of Chef George Hitoshi Yamazawa, who, by creating exceptional flavours from the freshest ingredients, demonstrates more than 40 years of outstanding cooking experience daily. Enjoy the traditional and serene Japanese atmosphere, with an excellent selection of sake and authentic oriental teas. Yamazushi is by reservation only and all reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.