Durham, NC City Guide {UPDATE}

american_tobacco_42Photo by Jessie Gladin-Kramer

Today’s Durham City Guide Update comes from Django Haskins, a musician and author who has lived in Durham for over a decade. Django is the singer and songwriter of the Durham-based band The Old Ceremony, whose fifth album, Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide, was released on Yep Roc Records in October 2012. Today, Django shares his deep love for his adopted hometown through this updated guide. Thanks, Django, for such a wonderful guide! — Stephanie

Read the full guide after the jump . . .

downtown_01Photo by Jessie Gladin-Kramer

Durham is actually many cities at once: gracious southern city of stately residential architecture framed by old-growth oaks; post-industrial tobacco town whose brick warehouse district has sprung back to life, thanks to a ballooning creative class; gritty urban landscape that bears the marks of historic poverty even as it boasts a vibrant culture built around its African-American middle class; and cradle of the neo-gothic academic cloisters of Duke University. It all depends on what you bring to Durham.

Check out the Google Map with all of the below listings.

Downtown/Five Points

Toast: 345 W Main St, (919) 683-2183

A true mom-and-pop restaurant, Toast packs them in for the lunch hour with an assortment of incredible crostini, tramezzini, panini, and soups. My only complaint is that I love the five or six different crostini and soups I always order so much that I can’t bear to order anything else. Most of the year you can sit outside and people-watch. As the Five Points area continues to bloom, the people-watching gets better all the time.

Whiskey

If your idea of a bartender includes suspenders and a waxed mustache, you have come to the right place. Partying like it’s 1899, Whiskey ably takes up the mantle of the classic “man’s bar,” with dark wood paneling, hunting trophies, and cigars. This is the spot for specialty cocktails or a good single malt. You have to be 23 to get in, and they will make you remove your hat. If all that sounds too democratic, there’s a private club room upstairs that you can rent out to reenact the nomination of Warren G. Harding with your buddies.

Dame’s Chicken and Waffles: 317 West Main Street, (919) 682-9235

I know that Harlem and L.A. both had chicken and waffles before Durham. I’ve eaten at Roscoe’s, and I can tell you that Dame’s puts them all to shame. How? A light, crispy skin; juicy, tender meat; and shmears of Nutella-infused butter. The last time I was in there — a Sunday — the AC was busted on a 90-degree day, and the line still went out the door. It’s that good.

pinhookPhoto by Jessie Gladin-Kramer

Pinhook: 117 W Main St, (919) 667-1100

Pinhook is a great neighborhood bar with live music. Everyone knows everyone, and the welcoming atmosphere makes you feel at home. It’s like Cheers, if Ani DiFranco starred instead of Ted Danson. Representing the best of Durham’s community-building, they often host fundraisers and themed dance parties.

Lilly’s Pizza: (919) 797-2554

Lilly’s Pizza started in Raleigh, but soon enough, like all good things, it came to Durham. Try any of the bewildering array of pies — you can hardly go wrong. The Sir Walter, with porcini mushroom oil, prosciutto, smoked gouda, roasted garlic, cremini mushrooms, mozzarella, parmesan, and oregano might be a good place to start on your exploration of the New World.

West End Wine Bar: 601 W Main St, (919) 381-4228

Another expansion, this time from Chapel Hill. If you prefer to woo your paramour with a well-selected grenache, this might be your scene. Comfortable couches upstairs and clean, sleek lines make this the spot of choice for the upwardly mobile. They also serve liquor next door in the Cellar.

Bull McCabe’s: 427 W Main St, (919) 682-3061

Trivia night is the best part of this neighborhood pub. Come in on a Wednesday and witness the dark wood-paneled booths come alive with founts of useless knowledge from ’80s movies to Olympic skiing records. And yes, you can get a good room-temperature pint of Guinness.

Old Havana Sandwich Shop: 310 East Main Street, (919) 667-9525

The recently opened brainchild of Roberto Copa Matos and Elizabeth Turnbull, Old Havana aims to bring authentic Cuban food to an area saturated in down-home Mexican cuisine. Most of the sandwiches offer variations of slow-roasted pork, ham, cheese, pickle, and mustard. Add a side of plantains, and you’re likely to want to start growing a beard.

Scratch: 111 West Orange Street, (919) 956-5200

Seasonal bakery, cafe, low-key hangout (if you can get there when they’re still open; our first two times they were closing when we got there at 3pm), Scratch is situated in a charming back alley of downtown. The fact that it thrives in this out-of-the-way location just underscores how much Durham loves its food.

Respite: 115 North Duke Street, (919) 294-9737

No-frills cafe with plenty of comfortable seating. It retains some of the former office space vibe that it inherited, but it’s a nice unpretentious hang.

Dos Perros: 200 North Mangum Street, (919) 956-2750

Durham is blessed with constellations of authentic Mexican food (thanks to a growing Latino population), but Dos Perros occupies its own space as an authentic Mexican restaurant that has internalized the ethos of the localvore artisanal food movements. It’s a rare spot where you can chomp on a burrito while simultaneously having a romantic night out.

Mateo: 109 West Chapel Hill Street, (919) 530-8700

A recent addition to the downtown food scene, Mateo Tapas is all the rage, and rightly so. They offer an array of carefully selected “Spanish small plates with a Southern inflection.” Hard to argue with that.

Revolution: 107 W Main St, (919) 956-9999

Do you like really fancy food served in what looks like an immaculate spaceship? Do you like your drinks to have fun names that sound like Sex and the City episodes? Welcome home, sir or madam. May I take your stole? This high-end futurama of a fine-dining restaurant — just down the block from Dame’s Chicken & Waffles and the Pinhook — shows the breadth of downtown Durham’s appeal: It provides Upper East Side glamor to contrast with the down-home eats.

Rue Cler: 401 E Chapel Hill St, (919) 682-6879

This Parisian-style bakery, cafe, and restaurant offers reliably delicious French fare, including beignets for brunch. This bright, sunny space opened in 2006, thereby counting among the early wave of Durham’s recent downtown renaissance.

Blue Coffee Cafe: 202 Corcoran St, (919) 682-7000

Located in a central square downtown, Blue Coffee Cafe keeps ’em percolating. Their biggest claim to fame is that President Obama once stopped here for a cup a joe.

Rock Paper Scissors

It’s a salon. It’s an art gallery. It’s an event space. It’s a source for homebrew. Actually, Rock Paper Scissors is all of the above: You can taste their homebrew while getting your locks sheared and admiring the rotating exhibits on the walls. Up there with Brooklyn Bowl (NY bowling/rock venue) and Sudsy Malone’s (OH laundromat/rock venue), this place brings multitasking to a (friendly, pleasantly hip) new level.

Carolina Theatre: 309 W Morgan St, (919) 560-3030

This art deco masterpiece houses both movie theaters and live performances from national touring acts. It also hosts the terrific annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

American Tobacco Campus District

A complex of old tobacco buildings converted to an urban campus, the ATC houses restaurants, bars, the local NPR station, and plenty of office space. Right across the street from the new Durham Ball Park, the ATC starts bumping in summers after ball games or during their “Music on the Lawn” concert series, where a thousand or two folks come out with their lawn chairs and coolers and turn this tobacco district into a sea of good vibes.

L’Uva Enoteca (American Tobacco Campus): 406 Blackwell Street, (919) 688-8181

This newly opened bistro offers excellent authentic Italian cuisine and a small, delicious menu. Located right in the middle of the ATC, it manages to maintain a semi-private patio where you can dine al fresco.

Durham Bulls Athletic Park: 409 Blackwell St, (919) 687-6500

When wooing visiting friends with the charms of Durham, a sure-fire bet is an afternoon at the minor league ballpark where the Durham Bulls ply their athletic wares. Tickets are cheap, games are fun, and they have fireworks on Friday nights.

Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC): 123 Vivian Street, (919) 688-3722

DPAC is the crown jewel of Durham’s cultural renaissance. From a distance at night, this world-class performing arts center looks like an enormous, elegant ant farm, where bescarfed and beshawled arts supporters scurry from floor to floor in search of their balcony seats. DPAC draws in some of the greatest performers alive, from Leonard Cohen to Paul Simon to Elvis Costello (we won’t talk about the recent Ted Nugent show), and gives them a suitably classy joint in which to hold forth. It also hosts touring Broadway shows, where the scarfs really start flying.

Brightleaf District (Main and Gregson Street)

Another example of thoughtfully repurposed tobacco buildings, Brightleaf connects the Duke-centered hub of Ninth Street and the blooming Five Points/Downtown area with plenty of shops and eateries.

Fishmongers: 806 West Main Street, (919) 682-0128

A downtown icon. Serving up the scaly stuff since 1983, this Durham institution is a great place for both super fresh seafood and tablecloths you can draw on.

Federal Lounge: 914 W Main St, (919) 680-8611

The Fed anchors the Brightleaf District with the always-crowded front patio seating and some of the greatest bar food in the South. The carnitas, veggie sliders, and mountainous nacho plates provide the culinary soundtrack to many a Durhamite’s after-work hang.

Parker and Otis: 112 S Duke Street, (919) 683-3200

If Cracker Barrel had a top-notch deli case along with its southern knickknacks, then P&O could have grounds for an infringement suit. As it is, P&O (or “Pando,” as some of my friends call it) offers yet another pleasant place for patio dining, this time with memorable chicken salads and heaping helpings of boutique old-time candies and sauces for Grandma’s stocking stuffers. And you don’t have to walk uphill both ways in the snow to find them.

Photo by Jessie Gladin-Kramer

James Joyce Irish Pub: 912 W Main St, (919) 683-3022

Another standby for a tipple of the old Irish ale. They host an excellent trivia night and occasionally have live music, as well.

Morgan Imports: 113 S Gregson St, (919) 688-1150

If Pier 1 mated with an old-time general store, they’d be the proud parents of a lovely place like this. Need a Chinese bicycle? Greeting cards? Candles? Kitchenware? Step right up. It’s located right in the Brightleaf area, so your one-stop quirky shopping just got simpler.

Casbah: 1007 West Main Street, (919) 687-6969

The smaller of Durham’s two recently added music venues, Casbah offers an intimate setting for rock bands or solo acoustic performers. Casbah’s Steve Gardner came to the club with plenty of experience, and it shows in the national acts he regularly ropes in.

Central Park District

Motorco Music Hall: 723 Rigsbee Avenue, (919) 901-0875

A renovated car repair shop in Durham’s booming Central Park District, Motorco Music Hall finally presents a proper space for mid-sized touring bands to play in Durham. An excellent sound system and classy layout reinforces Durham’s growing status as a rock-n-roll mecca apart from its nearby cousin, Chapel Hill.

Geer Street Garden: 644 Foster Street, (919) 688-2900

Another example of defunct car service centers making for great hangouts, Geer Street brings gastro-pub stylings to the classic beer garden. Try “The Pile,” which includes fried chicken, French fries, jalapenos, bacon, cheese, and gravy. Then plan on leaving your car to walk home.

Piedmont: 401 Foster St # B2, (919) 683-1213

Great place for brunch or a romantic evening of reliable upscale locally sourced southern fare.

Daisy Cakes: 401 Foster Street, (919) 389-4307

Like cupcakes? Sure you do. But you have no idea what kind of state you’re going to be in when you try Daisy Cakes’ cupcakes. They started out as a food truck, and now they’ve got a brick-and-mortar store with great coffee and brunch to boot.

Full Steam Brewery: 726 Rigsbee Avenue, (919) 682-2337

On sunny late afternoons, Durhamites spill out of this local brewery onto the street like beer-loving Jonahs to Full Steam’s well-stocked whale. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they offer Whale Ale. If they don’t, they should.

Durham Farmer’s Market: 501 Foster Street, (919) 667-3099

Every Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon, this massive farmer’s market appears in the heart of Durham, just down the block from the old Durham Bulls stadium. It’s here that you start to sense just how many conscious, community-minded people there are in this town. Also, how many different types of tomatoes.

Manbites Dog Theater: 703 Foster St, (919) 682-4974

Home to experimental and edgy local theater and multimedia projects, MBD is a non-profit theater right around the corner from Motorco and Fullsteam Brewery.

Rockwood/Lakewood

Thai Cafe: 2501 University Drive, (919) 493-9794

Good Thai food is like a well-loved pair of jeans. It doesn’t work for every occasion, but more often than not, it’ll do the trick. Thai Cafe does this and then some.

La Vaquita: 2700 Chapel Hill Road, (919) 402-0209

This little-known taco stand attracted some big-name attention over the past five years or so (including the NY Times and Gourmet Magazine), and now it is a perpetually crowded and slightly less dirt-cheap taco stand with some of the best authentic Mexican fare around.

Local Yogurt: 2501 University Drive, (919) 489-5900

Remember TCBY? Well, if TCBY was run by local yogurt connoisseurs who stocked their toppings from area farms, it still wouldn’t be as delicious as LoYo’s creations. Also, you really wouldn’t want to call it TCBY (which, incidentally, I believe should be reserved for “Takin’ Care of Business . . . Yesterday!”). There are now two locations, including one on Erwin Road, so you can TCB on two sides of town.

Q Shack: 2510 University Dr, (919) 402-4227

Live Bluegrass, delicious beef brisket, and fried okra. There’s not much not to like about the Q Shack.

Guglhupf Bakery & Patisserie: 2706 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd, (919) 401-2600

Bratwurst and sauerkraut plates, fresh brot, guglhupf, and custard pastries. If this doesn’t appeal to you, Guglhupf may not be your jam. But if all that fails, try the chocolate double-fudge cookies, which will make you forget that you just ate six kinds of sausage for lunch.

Foster’s Market: 2694 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd, (919) 489-3944

Great place for classic Southern deli fare, brunch, shabby chic decor, and sunny patio down-home dining.

Nana Taco: 2514 University Drive, (919) 493-8545

A new addition to the Rockwood area, Nana provides big helpings of guac and tasty handmade corn tortillas along with their “dirty meats” or fish tacos.

Classic Treasures: 2659 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, (919) 401-5777

I hesitate to even include this furniture consignment shop because I don’t want to have to share it with anyone. A great place for funky, traditional, mod, antique, and virtually any other kind of furniture and framed art, I’d still be sitting on egg crates and moving boxes if I hadn’t found them.

Bull City Craft: 2501 University Drive, (919) 419-0800

A recent addition to the Lakewood/Rockwood district, the mom-and-pop-run Bull City Craft caters to the stroller-and-pantsuit set, offering quirky arts supplies and children’s gifts, as well as scheduled arts-and-crafts sessions.

Ninth Street Area

Ninth Street is home to both old Durham establishments and the kind of rotating knickknack/head shop fare you’d expect in a shopping district so close to Duke campus.

Chubby’s Taco’s: 748 9th St, (919) 286-4499

Chubby’s allows you to select from an impressive spread of different salsas, making their already tasty tacos that much better.

Bean Trader’s: 714 9th St, (919) 968-9292

You can commune here any time with the cream of the local laptop huggers while enjoying your jolt of fresh-brewed coffee.

Mad Hatter: 1802 West Main Street, (919) 286-1987

Next to Whole Foods, the Mad Hatter has plenty of electrical outlets, coffee, and fresh-baked goods, ensuring it’s always crowded.

Vin Rouge: 737 9th St, (919) 416-0406

Fine provincial French dining with an impressive wine list and warm atmosphere. Great for a date.

Regulator Bookshop: 720 9th St, (919) 286-2700

Among the last surviving members of a breed of endangered cultural meccas, the Regulator shows us what bookstores used to be: places to luxuriate in well-chosen real-life books with a staff of well-read enthusiasts to help guide you. A place for author readings and other things lit’rary. I don’t care what Apple tells you; there ain’t an app for that, people.

Photo by Jessie Gladin-Kramer

Ox & Rabbit Soda and Sundries: 732 9th St, (919) 286-7850

Great place to have an old fashioned fountain soda or milkshake while browsing their well-curated stock of quirky, hip gifts.

Zola Craft Gallery: 626 9th St # B, (919) 286-5112

Excellent crafts/gifts shop on Ninth Street.

Francesca’s: 706 9th St # B, (919) 286-4177

Francesca’s cafe is a great place to hunker down with a cappuccino and study — quiet, comfortable, and pleasantly dark.

Locopops Gourmet Popsicles: 117 Market Street, or 2600 Hillsborough Rd, (919) 286-3500

These frozen treats (“paletas” is the actual term) keep Durham smiling through the summer with flavors like Mexican Chocolate, Mojito, Mango Chile, and Raspberry Hibiscus.

Broad Street District

Watt’s Grocery: 1116 Broad St, (919) 416-5040

An old standby — loved both for their farm-fresh brunch (and Bloody Marys) and farmhouse-chic dining.

Green Room: 1108 Broad St, (919) 286-2359

The best place in town for billiards, the Green Room exists in a comforting time warp, evoking a simpler world of Bud Light, Mad Dog 20-20, and broken curfews. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, this is a great spot to meet up with old buddies, partially because it’s been around — and cool — since before Durham really turned the corner.

Broad Street Cafe: 1116 Broad Street, (919) 416-9707

A warm, friendly place for local open mics and homemade pizza. Right next door to the local favorite Watt’s Grocery.

Food Trucks

There has been an explosion of food trucks in recent years, and it’s hard to keep up with them (literally!), but here are a few of the favorites: Chirba Chirba (savory Chinese dumplings), Pie Pushers (fresh homemade pizza pies), OnlyBurger (The Greatest Burgers Ever), Bulkogi Korean BBQ (check out the duck-fat tater tots), and The Parlour (artisanal ice cream — try the salted caramel).

Elsewhere

Eno River State Park: 6101 Cole Mill Rd, (919) 383-1686

You don’t have to go far from downtown to get in touch with your primal side. The Eno State Park offers swimming, hiking, and tree climbing aplenty.

Golden Belt: 807 East Main Street, (919) 967-7700

This textile factory built in 1900 was converted in 2008 to mixed-use space consisting of affordable artist lofts, gallery space, retail, and artists’ workshops. Golden Belt brings new vibrancy to East Durham and hosts frequent events that draw in large crowds. A beautiful example of the successful reuse of old buildings.

The Scrap Exchange: 923 Franklin Street, Bay 1, (919) 688-6960

Home to barrels full of wine corks, massive piles of photo slides, reams of scrap wallpaper, and virtually anything else you can imagine. The Scrap Exchange is a wonderland for the imagination, complete with an arts-and-crafts area for kids and an artists’ gallery to demonstrate the unlimited potential of a warehouse full of cast-off oddities in the right hands.

Nasher Museum of Art: 2001 Campus Dr, (919) 684-5135

Duke’s contribution to local fine arts, the Nasher hosts small but impressive traveling exhibits from Picasso to Warhol.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens: 426 Anderson St, (919) 684-3698

A wonderland of a botanical garden. Great place for picnicking or just pensive leafy rambles.

Reads

Bull City Rising

Carpe Durham

Endangered Durham

Open Durham

Indyweek.com

Events

American Dance Festival: June and July

World-class dance companies gracefully descend on Durham every summer in the ADF.

Festival on the Eno: Annually; July 3–5, 2009

Three-day music and arts fest that supports the protection of the lovely Eno River.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival: April

Another annual cultural explosion in downtown Durham, this documentary festival affords first looks at an incredible range of new films, along with filmmakers’ discussions and events.

  1. julie says:

    I live in raleigh and my husband and i rarely go to durham, but we’ll definitely check out some of these hot spots! also, if you’re visiting the area, raleigh is finally on the up and up and has done some major revamping of downtown! great photos!

  2. Treat says:

    Oh this is such a lovely guide! I moved here from NYC in ’95 and fell in love with Durham. In ’06 I took a job in Baltimore but after 2 yrs was too homesick for Durham and moved back. I LOVE THIS PLACE and your guide sums it up so beautifully, thank you! Unless I missed it above, you might want to add Beyu Caffe to the line up of happenin’ places on Main Street.

  3. Susan Rains says:

    Hey Jorie – We moved from Indianapolis to Raleigh 2 years ago and LOVE the triangle area more than I can possibly say. Raleigh and Durham are both excellent places for young couples to live. I think it just depends on what you want and where you’ll be working. But everything is so close, you really get both cities, and Chapel Hill and Carrboro too.

  4. Born and raised in North Cackalacky, I moved to Chapel Hill in 2002 to begin my undergrad at UNC. It is true what is is mentioned above re: Durham having a bad rep. For those who are not familiar with this area, it is known as the triangle due to the three cities (cultural hot spots) within just a few miles of one another. Since 2002, I’ve lived in both Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and I must say that Durham is the most unique, organic, historic, and friendly place I have called home. You never have to ponder over the question, “What do you want to do this weekend?” It’s Durham, and there’s always something going on… and it’s always a good time! Thanks for this post!

  5. Susan Cohen says:

    Great article! I heart Durham. Check out my blog!

  6. Amanda says:

    Fantastic Article! My girlfriend and I just moved to the area from Virginia Beach and I’ve been wondering how to go about finding all the cool local places. Your article gave me a list we’ll be working off of for quite some time, so THANKS! :)

  7. Julia says:

    I love Bull City!! I am from Durham but go to school up North, and I just wish that all of my friends would see Durham as I do before they dismiss it as just another stagnant Southern city. I want to emphasize Nana’s and Four Square as some of the best dining in the area, and I think everyone should absolutely check out Scratch, a new eatery that opened pretty recently on Orange Street, which is fantastic for breakfast or brunch. And let’s not forget that our beloved Duke basketball is another must-experience outing.

  8. David says:

    We had a good experience at The Mad Hater’s cafe and bakery (http://www.madhatterbakeshop.com/). Was looking for a review here. Has anyone been here?

  9. Sarah says:

    Oh man, this thread just warmed my heart! We are currently faced with the possibility of relocating from NYC to Raleigh Durham. I have very little experience there, and was worried there would be a lack of culture or (gasp) lack of good food/booze/shopping. I feel so invigorated after reading this post!! Anyone have experience relocating from NYC area to NC? We’re a young family with one child (2 yrs old). I’d love to hear about anyone else’s experience transitioning, and what neighborhoods you recommend checking out!! Thank you!

  10. Erika says:

    We are planning a move to the Raleigh-Durham area from DC. Has anyone made this leap? If so, how was the transition?

  11. Andrea says:

    Another addition for the update: LOAF (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Loaf/102663859807344) on Parrish St. Croissants (regular and bacon peanut butter), baguettes, ham and cheese scones, and more deliciousness, baked in a wood-fired oven.

  12. lindsey k says:

    A few more recommendations: newcomer Pizzeria Toro: http://www.pizzeriatoro.com/
    and for record shopping, Bull City Records (located right next to Locopops!) http://www.bullcityrecords.com/

  13. Liz says:

    Better than Lily’s, and Durham-based to boot: Pizzeria Toro at Five Points (http://www.pizzeriatoro.com/). Doesn’t hurt that they make the whole intersection smell like a wood-burning fire!

  14. Boxy says:

    Please add Pizzeria Toro and the Cupcake Bar to the 5-points section. They are fantastically awesome and literally opened between the time you wrote this and it was published. Seriously, Pizzeria Toro is… perfection. Really. Five stars in every category (food, service, price, atmosphere).

  15. Boxy says:

    Also, Alley 26, the bar across from Rue Cler… brand new and fabulous!

    I hope I don’t regret giving away all my favorite secret hangouts! But really too good not to share.

  16. Emma S. says:

    I was born and raised in Durham but moved away in 2004. Every time I go back for a visit, I am shocked by all the improvements. My mom is constantly trying to convince me to move back…

    On another note, I’m pretty sure Magnolia Grill closed. Bummer, I know. http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/05/02/2038220/durhams-magnolia-grill-closing.html

  17. Nina B. says:

    My home sweet home! Fantastic update, Django!

  18. Mirella says:

    Aww, I lived in Durham for 10 years, these photos and lists of wonderful places really tug on my heart strings. I have fond memories from Francesca’s, the Regulator Bookshop and many other places. Thank you for featuring the lovely city, you made a southern gal feel warm on a crisp day in NYC!

  19. Brooke says:

    Lilly’s Pizza kind of has the WORST costumer service and the pizzas aren’t worth the hassle… so I would take it off the list. Other than that, great list!

  20. mlyon says:

    One mistake — Bulkogi is not the Korean bbq truck you’re looking for. That would be KoKyu, which has the best duck-fat-fried tator tots out there. Their spray-painted trailer is often hanging out at Motorco.

  21. derek says:

    I love Bulkogi’s Korean BBQ Truck, BUT they don’t have those tots.
    KoKyu BBQ is the truck that has the duck fat tots and amazing sliders and tacos (taKos). Bulkogi hangs on Duke Campus and at the end of 9th street. Kokyu is almost always at Motorco Music Hall and across from Fullsteam.

  22. Liz says:

    Even more great food at Saladelia, Pop’s pizza, Nosh, Elmo’s diner, Mount Fuji sushi, and Tutti Frutti (self serve frozen yogurt!!)…

  23. Jon says:

    Great guide, Django! Pedantic correction: Technically old-growth means forest stands that have never been harvested. Stick with calling them old oaks.

  24. Lindsey says:

    Great job with the guide! I live oh-so-close to Durham and this makes me want to dig my old tar-heels in! Love it! Do Raleigh! Do Raleigh!

  25. Jody says:

    I love Durham, and I LOVE Old Ceremony! Happy to see them both get well-deserved positive attention! :)

  26. yvette yasui says:

    Newest of new comers in 5 Points: Cave Taureau – Durham’s newest wine shop
    http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/cave-taureau-durhams-new-wine-shop/Content?oid=3176815

  27. Erica says:

    Great list! We lived in Durham for a few years and watch a number of places pop up. It’s foodie town with a great music scene.

    Definitely add Alivia’s to the Brightleaf list, hands down best patio in Durham. Also great are Parizade and Blu, both near Ninth Street.

    Someone mentioned Magnolia Grill, sadly, it closed.

  28. Abigail says:

    Hooray for Durham! Let’s add Dolly’s and Vaguely Reminiscent to the “stores where it is easy to spend all of your money on cute things” portion of the list.

  29. alycia says:

    So excited to see a post on Durham! We moved here two years ago from NYC and have loved getting to know NC, especially the food culture in Durham. Other food trucks to note: American Meltdown, Humble Pig, and Sympathy for the Deli!

  30. Kate says:

    Great suggestions… I love Durham, it’s a very underrated place with lots of character. I have to second Cosmic Cantina, it’s the best late night burrito experience you will ever have… and you’ll feel so cool once you actually find it.

  31. Gin says:

    The Old Ceremony is AWESOME! if you go to Durham, make sure you schedule your visit while the band is playing in the area!

  32. Heron Blue says:

    This website is unreadable…the descriptions are so faint, they can’t be seen. Would love to see the info, but this is sadly, a big fail.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      heron

      what browser and version are you using? we’ve never had that complaint before so i’m guessing there may be a viewing or compatibility issue happening that’s localized.

      grace

  33. Rhonda says:

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned Mateo for delicious Spanish wine and absolutely amazing tapas!!! It’s in the 5 Points area. You won’t be disappointed! Great list!

  34. Viper says:

    Just a heads-up: both Ox & Rabbit and Locopops are now closed.

  35. Some reaaly good suggestions here,thanks Grace

  36. Mary says:

    Whiskey’s also closed now

  37. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful guide!!

    I just went to Durham for a month for teacher training and I really didn’t know what to expect. I read your guide and I was able to make it to many of these places during my trip – was never disappointed! I would also add The Museum of Life and Science to the list. I guess it’s for children, but I loved the Butterfly House! Will be heading back to Durham again!

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