Food & Drink

The 12 Best Restaurants in Durham

Published On 09/10/2015 Published On 09/10/2015
Jason Frye/Thrillist
Jason Frye/Thrillist
flickr/the-specious
Jason Frye/Thrillist
Toast
Monuts
Backyard BBQ Pit
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1. Bull City Burger and Brewery 107 E Parrish St, Durham, NC 27701

What sets this burger joint and microbrewery apart is that they make almost everything in-house: sauerkraut, pickles, mayonnaise, mustard, buns, all-beef hot dogs, bacon, and, of course, beer. Bull City Burger and Brewery also uses locally-sourced and pasture-raised beef—ground daily—and boasts year-round outdoor seating.

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2. Tobacco Road Sports Cafe 280 S Mangum St, #100, Durham, NC 27701

At Tobacco Road Sports Cafe, you can do all the things you like to do -- sip brews, get some gourmet grub, and watch the game -- in a buzzing sports environment. Just don't expect it to be quiet here!

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3. Piedmont Restaurant 401 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701

For a farm-to-table experience, Piedmont Restaurant sources its ingredients from its sister company, Coon Rock Farm, which boasts pasture-raised antibiotic and hormone-free chickens. The locally-inspired cuisine continues with North Carolina craft beer selections.

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4. Cosmic Cantina 1920 Perry St, Durham, NC 27705

If you're looking to spice up your night, this hole-in-the-wall Mexican eatery uses handmade tortillas and is open until 5am.

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5. Basan 359 Blackwell St, Durham, NC 27701

At this west-meets-east eatery, Pacific-style sushi is brought to the Atlantic with fresh seafood, creative speciality rolls, and an array of sake.

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6. Four Square Restaurant 2701 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707

Guests can enjoy a seasonal, bi-monthly menu inside a 1908 Victorian manor, complete with a wraparound porch. If this isn't fine, Southern, dining, I don't know what is.

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7. Pizzeria Toro 101 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

Located in the heart of Durham, Pizzeria Toro supplies creative, wood-fired pies with toppings such as fried eggplant, spicy lamb meatballs, house prosciutto, summer squash, and Hog Island bay clams. This bustling restaurant is also equipped with a full bar that offers Italian and dessert wines.

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8. Toast 345 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Although the name suggests everyone's least favorite breakfast food, this paninoteca serves the holy trifecta of sandwiches: panini, tramezzini, and crostini. Toast also serves two types of homemade soup daily and an assortment of vegetarian options.

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9. The Palace International 1104 Broad St, Durham, NC 27705

The Palace International is a casual, family-owned and operated restaurant serving African cuisine. The owners, of Kenyan descent, strive to create a cultural environment through food and music.

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10. Monuts Donuts 1002 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

Durham’s beloved Monuts began as a farmer’s-market stand, but now stands as the belle of the ball in the Durham bakery scene. The place’s yeast and cake donut offerings differ daily, with favorites like Salted Caramel, Earl Grey, Chocolate Chai, and Strawberry Buttermilk making the rounds on the chalkboard that also advertises its incredible bagel selection.

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11. Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club 3001 Cameron Blvd, Durham, NC 27705

Situated on Duke's campus, the club's 300 acres offers guests a relaxed retreat from hustle and bustle of nearby cities, along with access to hiking trails managed by the university. The Fairview Dining Room, located in the AAA Four Diamond hotel, serves regional neo-American cuisine.

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12. Backyard BBQ Pit 5122 NC Highway 55, Durham, NC 27713

Forgoing the grill, barbecue at this unassuming restaurant is cooked in a pit over hickory and oak wood, infusing it with unique, smoky flavors. In addition to cooking up a variety of meats and fish, Backyard BBQ Pit also serves up homestyle sides such as candy yams, fresh shucked collard greens, and fried okra.

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