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Shop Local: A Durham Shopping Guide

When you visit Durham, these local shops have every little thing that you'll need.

As COVID vaccines continue to roll out and we ease back into travel mode, many of us find ourselves navigating old choices in new ways. Should we dine out for every meal like we used to on our trips, or do we grab easy meals and ingredients and cook at our Airbnb or rental property? Do we go to the malls and department stores to get clothes and souvenirs, or do we try and avoid the crowds?

If you aren't quite ready for shopping malls and dining out just yet but need to stock up on some goods, we've got you. Discover Durham connected with Amber Watson, owner of Bites of Bull City, to bring you a list of incredible local shops and markets offering everything from essential items and practical goods to gifts (even for dogs) that will make you feel right at home.

Bulldega Urban Market | 129 W. Parrish St. Durham, NC 27701

Bulldega is a small, family-owned grocery and convenience store in the heart of downtown Durham. With fresh produce, humanely raised meats from local farms, boxed and canned goods, toiletries, lotions and soaps, beer and wine, packaged foods to go, a fresh salad bar, local chocolate, household goods, and small trinkets, they pack a lot of valuable items into a relatively small footprint. You can easily find everything you need to make complete meals at your rental property or hotel suite, and they've got your back if you forgot to pack necessities.

Durham Co-op Market | 1111 W. Chapel Hill St. Durham, NC 27701

The Durham Co-op Market is a warm and welcoming grocery store with fresh produce, staples like milk and eggs, frozen food, boxed and canned goods, sweet treats, wine and beer, granola and nuts in bulk, locally sourced meats, bread and cheese (mostly from local farms, bakeries, and makers). The Co-op also features a deli counter with prepared foods to go and a café menu with coffee and more. There is a spacious seating area outside with picnic tables if you want to sip your coffee or enjoy a meal outdoors.

Sundries at Locopops | 2618 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705

During the pandemic, Locopops, known for its locally hand-crafted popsicles, ice cream, lattes, and floats, welcomed Sundries, a neighborhood grocery and specialty food shop, into their homey space. Sundries offers locally prepared foods, specialty items, and pantry essentials like beer, wine, coffee, cheese and bread, spices, pasture-raised meats, snacks, coffee, tea, home goods, and personal care products, puzzles, and cards. Grab a pop and shop around with the kids or grandkids!

Melina’s Fresh Pasta Shop | 2717 Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707

If you are craving a hearty home-cooked meal, consider picking up some traditional, fresh-made, authentic Italian pasta from Melina's Fresh Pasta Shop. Melina's carries a large assortment of pasta, including filled spinach and cheese ravioli, lemon ricotta, mushroom, and light and flavorful gnocchi and sauces. The pasta is made fresh and then frozen, so all you have to do is boil some water when you're ready to eat! For a super easy Italian meal, order their hefty take-and-bake tins of lasagna or manicotti.

Bull City Olive Oil | 905 W. Main St., Durham, NC 27701

Located in Brightleaf Square, this warm and pleasant shop is teeming with culinary delights. With an assortment of oils, jams, raw honey, sauces, olives, snacks, sea salts, and even extravagant gift baskets and olive wood dishes and platters, it will be hard to go back to regular store-bought varieties. Make sure to try the specialty olive oils and balsamic vinegar – many of which hail from Modena and Italy. If you are looking forward to getting back to hosting and entertaining (or know friends who are), this shop has unique items that will have guests asking, "Where did you get this?"

Stone Bros. & Byrd | 700 Washington St. Durham, NC 27701

While mainly known as a rustic store for plant and gardening supplies, Stone Bros. & Byrd also carries traditional North Carolina pottery and lots of Durham-made canned goods such as local jellies and preserves, honey, peanuts, chow chow, pickled eggs, and veggies. Enjoy these condiments here on vacation, or take a local gift home to your pantry.

The Mad Popper | 105 W NC-54, Durham, NC 27713

Have you ever tried popcorn flavored with green apple, french toast, hot wings and ranch, or dill pickle? If there is ever a popcorn flavor you have been curious to try, chances are the Mad Popper in South Durham has it! This local gourmet shop pops fresh popcorn daily and covers it in over 40 different sweet and savory flavors. Grab a small bag or tin for the perfect travel snack while on the road, or take some home to family and friends.

Foster's Market | 2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC 27707

Foster's Market has a charming cottage café vibe. Head over for breakfast or lunch and enjoy a salad, soup, sandwich, or one of their many baked goods (perhaps a slice of their indulgent peanut butter pie) on the patio or lawn. On your way out, stop to peruse their selection of local gifts, including jelly, coffee, toffee, cheese straws, grits, and candy, along with cookbooks and kitchenware.

Bull and Bean | 3710 Shannon Road, Durham, NC 27707

Bull and Bean is a small café and coffee shop that also touts a small retail section featuring Durham mugs, delicious Durham and Chapel Hill toffee, Bull City books, planners, and more. It's the perfect place to visit if you want to grab breakfast, a sandwich, or a pastry, and pick up a quick souvenir.

Parker & Otis | 324 Blackwell St., Bay 4, Durham, NC 27701

With its fun and funky vibe and plethora of gifts, goods, and food, Parker & Otis is one-of-a-kind. The popular long-standing café/shop hybrid has everything on your list and then some: local goods, chocolate, wine, party and paper supplies, toys, puzzles, games, cookbooks, home décor, bags, totes, and more. Make sure to grab a coffee or chai and try the classic P&O sandwich with pimento cheese to fuel you up as you explore Durham.

Chet Miller | 118 W. Parrish St., Durham, NC 27701

Both the savvy business traveler and the adult who has everything will find something to surprise and delight at Chet Miller. The shop carries classy modern goods with a vintage vibe. It's a great place to visit to snag elegant local souvenirs like etched Durham tumblers, Bright Black candles, high-end chocolate, crude bitters, funny adult cards, and unique items for the office.

Tiny | 770 9th St., Durham, NC 27705

If you have children or grandkids, you definitely want to make a stop at Tiny. They have everything from diaper bags, blankets, and nursery décor to creative and cute arts and crafts, children's books, puzzles, games, stuffed animals, candy, and cards. We promise you will leave happy with adorable whimsical baby and children's toys, gifts, and apparel.

Bull City Fair Trade | 811 Ninth St., #100, Durham, NC 27705

At this bright and welcoming small shop, you will find hand-crafted accessories from all over the world, including colorful bags, purses, scarves, beautiful jewelry, stunning home décor like lanterns and candles, kitchen items like tea towels and coasters, toys, cards, and even edible treats like fair trade chocolate. Bull City Fair Trade's focus is on providing fair wages to low-income craft persons, and they work with artisans who live in over 70 different developing countries.

Vaguely Reminiscent | 728 Ninth St., Durham, NC 27705

Vaguely Reminiscent has been a fixture on Ninth St. for quite a while. Their space has evolved from selling natural fiber clothing and basket-weaving supplies to a shop packed with eclectic and comfortable women's clothing, shoes, jewelry, hair scrunchies, and purses. Need a unique gift? They also sell colorful and quirky socks, wind chimes, buttons, and magnets.

Indio | 905 W. Main St., Suite 20G, Durham, NC 27701

Located in the quaint shopping zone of Brightleaf Square, Indio offers gorgeous, thoughtfully curated artistic home goods. Inside, you'll find luxurious table cloths and runners, trays, mugs, reusable bags, pouches, high-quality candles, diffusers, incense, soaps, lotions, jewelry, prints, puzzles, notebooks, and more.

Dolly’s Vintage | 213 W. Main St., Durham, NC 27701

Get all your funky one-of-a-kind items at Dolly's Vintage. Spend hours looking through vintage clothing, scarves, gloves, costume wigs and jewelry, and an eclectic assortment of socks. They also have old-fashioned candy, sunglasses, cards, and local gifts and art. There is so much to catch your eye, and you'll definitely leave with something extraordinary.

Exotique | 319 W. Main St., Durham, NC 27701

Along with selling African-style clothing, this unique downtown boutique features a collection of handmade items from artists around the world (and Durham, too!) You'll find incredible works of art, instruments, décor, vibrant purses, clothing, fabrics, accessories, jewelry, and décor. Stop by and grab an outfit or get something to liven up your home or office.

Other End of the Leash Pet Boutique & Bakery | 1000 W. Main St., Durham, NC 27701

Other End of the Leash Pet Boutique & Bakery is a great locally owned shop for pet owners seeking quality, fair trade pet supplies. In addition to pet supplies, they also sell pet-themed jewelry, merchandise for the home, and gluten-free animal treats. The animal treats are baked daily in their gluten-free kitchen, so you can always treat your furry travel companion to a fresh-baked yummy treat.

Oliver’s Collar Dog Treat Bakery & Boutique | 202 W. North Carolina 54, Space 0016, Durham, NC 27713

In South Durham, there is a popular pet boutique and bakery that makes spoiling your fur babies easy. All the Oliver's Collar treats are baked with wholesome ingredients like carrots, sweet potatoes, molasses, and other ingredients you would find in your kitchen. They also carry everything from animal apparel and travel gear to toys, leashes, cards, and adorable gift boxes.

Durham Bulls Ballpark Corner Store | 409 Blackwell St., Durham, NC 27701

Are you looking for a piece of Bull Durham movie nostalgia? Located at the Durham Bull's Athletic Park, the Durham Bull's Ballpark Corner Store is the official store of the Durham Bulls minor league baseball team. Not only will you find baseball caps, apparel, and jerseys sporting the team's iconic bull brand for adults, youth, babies, and pets, but you can also purchase key chains, mugs, bags, and display baseballs. Go Bulls!

Golden Fig Books | 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

It's okay if you forget to pack a book for a rainy day or need more reading material on your trip. Golden Fig Books is a locally owned bookshop with a fantastic variety of titles, both used and new. The charming, thousand-square-foot store features an inviting layout resplendent in natural light, so grab a cup of coffee and pick up your next good read.

The Regulator Bookshop | 720 Ninth St. Durham, NC 27705

The Regulator Bookshop sells a little bit of everything. In addition to the wide selection of fiction, mystery, poetry, cookbooks, kids books, and more, they also sell mugs, shirts, totes, and yes, hot sauce. Make sure to check out the selection of books from local writers.