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Brunch Your Way Through Durham

Let’s be clear, brunch is not breakfast.

Posted By Discover Durham Staff on May 07, 2021

Move over, coffee — it's the mimosa's time to shine. There's just something quite special about the meal in-between breakfast and lunch where you can eat dessert (pancakes for the table, anyone?) and drink bottomless cocktails for your whole meal.

Thankfully, restaurants all over Durham are embracing the brunch lifestyle with dedicated menus specifically for this special course. Whether you're visiting for the weekend or just looking for a restaurant with delicious brunch menu options, here's a guide to some restaurants in Durham offering international, Southern, and American flavors. Keep calm and brunch on.

International Flavors

Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Restaurant

Sample German fare on the weekend brunch cafe menu at this European eatery. Familiar brunch items like eggs benedict over Westphalian ham and nutella on grilled brioche mix with traditional German cuisine, such as schnitzel and house-made bratwurst. Make sure to stop by the attached bakery for an almond schnecke pastry.

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Vin Rouge

With the Art Deco design, traditional white table cloths, red accent walls, and black and white photographs, you might actually think you’re brunching in France. Vin Rouge has a brunch menu filled with options like mushroom and gruyere cheese omelets, crepes, and French toast. Last but definitely not least, top off your meal with a mimosa or Bloody Mary.


Located in downtown Durham, Spanglish offers delicious Puerto Rican cuisine for brunch, including omelets, empanadas, avocado toast, herb-marinated roast beef with chimichurri, and so much more. Their motto is simple, "Barriga Llena, Corazón Contento," which translates to "Full Belly, Happy Heart." They say that their food is designed to ensure you leave with a big smile, and trust us, you will.

Rue Cler

The atmosphere at this Parisian restaurant couldn’t be more charming. With a menu full of authentically French dishes, enjoy a warm fluffy beignet or French toast with fruits and maple syrup. Bon appétit!

Nzinga's Kitchen

Chef Zuri Hester serves up the Creole-inspired food you’ll be dreaming about long after you’ve taken the last bite. While Nzinga's Kitchen doesn't have a specific brunch menu, they do serve breakfast every Thursday-Friday until 2:30 p.m. Stop by for an in-between meal of cheese omelets, pancakes, waffles, warm melt-in-your-mouth breakfast biscuits, and more. You can thank us later.

Straight Up Southern

The Durham Hotel

Turn brunch into a public or private party at The Durham Hotel every Saturday and Sunday. Dishes like smoked North Carolina fish toast, pecan French toast, and steak and eggs are served alongside Bloody Marys for a fun outing that everyone will enjoy. Opt for brunch in bed via room service during your stay!

Harvest 18 Restaurant

If you're looking for brunch menu full of fresh local ingredients, check out Harvest 18 in the Southpoint area. They are dedicated to staying true to their Southern roots in the kitchen by sourcing local goods and Southern flavors. Bring your dog and sit outside on their pet-friendly patio while trying the veggie frittata, Southern eggs benedict, or crispy chicken sandwich outside on their pet-friendly patio. Pair your delicious meal with the strawberry cobbler and choose from their selection of craft beer.

True Flavors Diner

It’s hard to snag a seat at the cozy True Flavors diner on the weekends, but the inventive menu is truly worth the wait. You’re served a hot, buttermilk biscuit the second you sit down (try not to inhale it), and the menu is filled with delicious dishes like slow-roasted duck hash with roasted red peppers, thyme, shallots, and eggs, or the creamy four-cheese shrimp and grits with peppers, onions, fresh corn, sausage, and eggs on the side.

GRUB Durham

At GRUB Durham, you can enjoy brunch every day until 3 p.m. in an old gas station turned hip Southern eatery. Whether you get The Slammer (two eggs, any style, served with bacon or sausage, taters, grits, fruit, and a buttermilk flapjack) or the West End Grit Bowl (stoneground cheddar grits, roasted red pepper sauce, turkey sausage, sunny side up egg and green onions), we know you will leave satisfied with happy memories.

It's a Southern Thing

This is the restaurant for people who don’t play around when it comes to brunch. With an extensive brunch menu, you can order hearty items like "Pete’s Fat Kid Breakfast Sandwich" with a toasted brioche bun filled with pulled pork, bacon, breakfast sausage, fried egg, cheese, and bourbon honey BBQ sauce. Still hungry? Try the flapjack charcuterie board, chicken and waffle skewers, or shrimp and grits. And yes, their brunch menu features both mimosas and Bloody Marys!

All American Fare

Alley Twenty Six

Every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Alley Twenty Six has a brunch spread complete with a variety of savory and sweet dishes, as well as out-of-this-world drinks. Staples include the Fat Elvis, made with challah from Ninth Street Bakery, fried banana, bacon, Nutella, and peanut butter sauce topped with powdered sugar, and the famous Alley burger, made with black truffle cheddar, bourbon bacon jam, and chipotle aioli. Top off your meal with a mimosa or a red bloody mary.

Beyù Caffè

With a menu full of classic comfort foods made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, Beyù Caffè knows how to serve brunch right. Fuel up on jazzy shrimp and grits, burritos with scrambled farm fresh eggs, shrimp quinoa bowls and more. Pair your meal with a cup of freshly-roasted coffee and call it a day.

Durham Food Hall

Make the whole crew happy with a weekend brunch at the Durham Food Hall in downtown Durham. Satisfy multiple cravings at once and order locally sourced gourmet bagels and avant-garde sandwiches from Everything Bagels, and casual Mexican fare from Ex-Voto. Wash your meal down with coffee from Liturgy Beverage Company or hand-crafted cocktails and beer from the Auctioneer Bar.

Dame's Chicken & Waffles

You haven't been to Durham if you haven't brunched at Dame's Chicken and Waffles. Dame's brings the sweet and savory flavor to their brunch menu with their world-famous waffles and crispy chicken. Make sure to top it all off with the delicately whipped sweet crème butter schmear or some of their extra special drizzle.

Jack Tar & The Colonel's Daughter

Fish and grits bowl, pork carnitas tamales, and the Julia Child's omelet are just a few of the brunch menu options you can enjoy at Jack Tar every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is also a whole section of sweets which includes fried to order crullers with sweet honey cream — you're welcome. Thirsty? Try one of the creative and delicious cocktails like Harry’s American Bar Original Mary with organic tomato juice, vodka, tobacco, Worcestershire, lemon, salt & pepper.

Elmo's Diner

Enjoy a hearty brunch all day long at this family-friendly diner on Ninth St. which has won awards for its breakfast, brunch, and child-friendly menu. They serve everything you could ever want for brunch including cinnamon apple pancakes, baked French toast, wild oats, quiche of the day, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, and more.


Monuts takes an updated approach to the American brunch, pairing bold ethnic flavors with seasonal and local ingredients. With menu items like guac dirty to me (a biscuit with guacamole, sausage, and an egg) and Durham dreams of shawarma (focaccia with shawarma aioli and chicken), you'll want to try everything. Build your own bagel or sandwich, or get a slice of quiche with a side of salad or soup. Got a sweet tooth? Do not leave without trying one of their famous donuts.

Honeysuckle at Lakewood

Mark Mishalanie, the chef at Honeysuckle, has developed a menu of classic American fare, elevating your typical bar food. Expect bold flavors melded with classic French techniques as you choose from their farm-inspired food menu which includes items like a butternut squash bruschetta and charcuterie. Enjoy brunch on their spacious outdoor seating area, or you can reserve your own VIP bee hive for a private brunch!

Refectory Café

Everybody loves avocado toast, but we’re willing to bet you’ve never had it the way they do it at Refectory Café. Hopefully, your friends and family are into sharing, because everything on the brunch menu is delicious. Try the signature lemon ricotta pancakes or the challah cinnamon French toast every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m!

Foster's Market

Brunch every Thursday-Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Foster's Market, a gourmet food market and cafe focusing on scratch-made soups, salads, casseroles, sandwiches, and more. You will enjoy every bite of your meal because everything is made in-house — they even roast the turkey for their sandwiches!

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Discover Durham Staff