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13 Essential Durham Restaurants, According to Bon Appétit

Durham continues its streak of being a foodie's Southern paradise.

Posted By Craig Carter on Oct 26, 2017

Bon Appétit Magazine featured a three-page article on the Bull City and 13 of our many amazing restaurants — many of which are within walking distance from one another.

Over the coming weeks, we'll be profiling each one individually. Here's a preview of Bon Appétit's featured Durham restaurants.

American Meltdown

American Meltdown's motto is "we believe in delicious." And after having one of their incredible grilled cheeses, from their awesome food truck, so will you.

Bar Brunello

Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bar Brunello owner Esteban Brunello brings over 600 wines by-the-bottle and 48 pours by-the-glass hailing from 29 different countries!

Bar Virgile

If you're looking for an intimate setting with amazing cocktails and prohibition vibes, Bar Virgile is the place for you. The sultry vibes and exposed brick walls will have you feeling like you're in "The Great Gatsby."

Cocoa Cinnamon

Durham has not one, not two, but three Cocoa Cinnamons. Each one has its own unique vibe and menu. The most recent Lakewood location is inspired by the churrerías of Mexico.

Dame's Chicken & Waffles

Fried chicken and waffles is an essential southern and soul food experience. And it's hard to find better than Dame's Chicken & Waffles. A waffle, a cutlet, and a schmear later, and you'll be one happy customer.

Durty Bull Brewing Company

Durty Bull Brewing Co. provides local, bold, artisinal beer cultured right in the Bull City. They use old-world brewing techniques, along with creativity and passion, to create barrel-aged and sour beers as well as many unconventional brews.


A small restaurant that makes a big statement, Littler is a unique Durham dining experience. The owners were big fans of hosting dinner parties at their home and that is exactly the vibe you'll find at this restaurant.

Lucky's Delicatessen

From the black and white tile to the classic counter, Lucky's Delicatessen is everything you'd want in an essential deli experience. From melts to BLTs to mediterranean platters, everything is fresh and delicious.

M Kokko

In the alley next to The Durham Hotel, you'll find two Mike Lee creations on the same corner, M Sushi and M Kokko. While M Sushi is more about traditional Japanese sushi, M Kokko is more about fun, experimental Asian-fusion. Their trademark fried chicken sandwich is incredible.

Want to learn more about M Kokko? Check out this Q&A with Head Chef and Owner Mike Lee.

Pie Pushers

Another food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar, Pie Pushers owners Mike Hacker and Becky Cascio pride themselves on creating electic, fun, and seasonal slices. Whether it's on the street or up above Main St, pizza from Pie Pushers is a superb affordable option.

Pizzeria Toro

Chef Gray Brooks spent 15 years cooking in Seattle before he decided to come back to Durham to open a restaurant across the street from where his grandfather once owned his restaurant. The result is Pizzeria Toro, which serves wood-fired pizza, seasonal antipasti, and cocktails.

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The Durham

The Durham is a restaurant, coffee shop, rooftop bar, and private event space in The Durham Hotel run by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing. The menu features high-quality ingredients grown and made by North Carolina farmers, cheesemakers, brewers, distillers, bakers, and fishermen.


Although currently closed, Scratch is still remembered fondly by Durhamites and visitors alike. The name of this bakery and restaurant was very appropriate because everything was made from ... you guessed it ... scratch! Phoebe Lawless, the owner of Scratch, has a dedication to making real, honest, hand-crafted food. And you can tell just by looking at it.

There you have it. Thanks again to Bon Appétit and congratulations to all of the amazing Durham businesses featured in the article.

About the Author

Craig Carter - Social Media Manager

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