Brunch Your Way Through Durham
Let’s be clear, brunch is not breakfast.
Posted By Discover Durham Staff on May 04, 2023
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 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.
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.
With the Art Deco design, traditional white tablecloths, red accent walls, and black and white photographs, you might actually think you’re brunching on the Champs Elysees. Vin Rouge has a brunch menu filled with options like mushroom and gruyere omelets, crepes, and French toast. And, of course, you can pair your meal with a mimosa or Bloody Mary.
Located in downtown Durham, Kokí 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.
In the American Tobacco District, Press is an airy European-style café with a full menu of sweet and savory crepes, an Italian-inspired espresso bar and a brunch cocktail bar that's all-American.
Chef Zuri Hester serves up the Creole-inspired food you’ll be dreaming about long after you’ve taken the last bite. While Nzingas 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.
Brunch doesn't have to include poached eggs and French toast. Sometimes dim sum hits the spot like no other. Crowd around a table and order stacks of soup dumplings, buns, congee and scallion pancakes.
Rose's menu of East Asian-inspired dishes and housemade pastries is perfect for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with friends. Order a few steaming noodle bowls and some veggies and dumplings to share, and save room for dessert.
Straight Up Southern
Turn brunch into a public or private party at The Durham Hotel every Saturday and Sunday. Dishes like "The Full Durham," stuffed French toast and breakfast fried rice are served alongside Bloody Marys for a fun outing that everyone will enjoy. Opt for brunch in bed via room service during your stay!
The brunch menu at Local 22 is clearly designed for a good time, with the Big Bottom Brunch and Parlez-Vous Frozé headlining the cocktail menu and hearty mains accompanying shareable "amusements."
Gather your crew for brunch at Lula & Sadie's in the historic Davis Baking building in Lakewood. Chef Harry Monds serves dishes inspired by the southern cuisine of his grandmothers, the namesakes of the restaurant. Bring your appetite for bacon pecan cinnamon rolls, "Down Home" biscuits and gravy or their famous red velvet chicken and waffles.
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.
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.
All American Fare
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.
Saturday brunch at Alimentari features American classics like pork rolls and BECs along with dishes taking inspiration from Mothers and Sons, its Italian nighttime alter ego. Bacon frittatas are served next to spaghetti pies and chocolate cornetti. Bring your tote bag to stock your fridge with homemade pantry and prepared food items like fresh pastas and sauces, prosciutto sliced to order and giardiniera.
With a menu full of classic comfort foods made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, Beyu 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.
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.
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.
Enjoy a hearty brunch all day long at this family-friendly diner on Ninth Street 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.
On Sundays, Geer Street Garden transforms into everyone's favorite brunch buffet. Grab a plate and get in line for steaming piles of scrambled eggs and bacon, toast, specials like smoked salmon 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.
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!
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. And by more, we mean thick slices of the best peanut butter pie you'll ever eat. You will enjoy every bite of your meal because everything is made in-house — down to the roast turkey for their sandwiches.