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Full Durham: New Restaurants in 2021

Here's the scoop on some of the new restaurants that opened in Durham in 2021.

Against all odds, new restaurants continued to develop and open up across Durham in 2021. Kudos to local restaurant owners who have created online menus, built new patios for outdoor dining, opened up completely new establishments, and pivoted time and again during the pandemic. We are excited to get back to normal-ish and welcome new cafes, pizza shops, dipped soft serve, and so much more to the Durham food scene.

With so many new things to eat and places to discover, we joined forces with Amber Watson, owner of Bites of Bull City, to bring you a roundup of new restaurants in Durham just in time for summer. Whether you're visiting or looking to fuel up as you adventure around, make sure to check out these new spots with the people you love.

Anissa’s Spot

5111 NC Highway 55, Suite 101

Looking for something healthy on-the-go or for a quick pick-me-up in between meetings or a shopping trip at Southpoint Mall? In a small plaza located off HWY-55 in South Durham, a cheery smoothie, açaí, coffee and tea cafe called Anissa’s Spot recently opened. Women-led and black-owned, this family-run business features a vibrant menu that is perfect for healthy fast-casual food. Anissa’s açaí bowls and fresh smoothies are made with real fruit (no syrups), so you can feel good about your breakfast and lunch options.

Boxyard RTP

900 Park Offices Drive Research Triangle Park

Visualize yourself grabbing a cup of coffee from Beyú Caffè and then creating your own Korean BBQ bowl at Bulkogi for lunch. Or, maybe visualize a beer and pizza pairing from Fullsteam Brewery and then top it off with a big fluffy puff of organic cotton candy from Wonderpuff for dessert! Is your mouth watering yet? Now you can experience all those delicious flavors and more surrounded by repurposed shipping containers, unique shops, music, and fun at Boxyard RTP.

Cugino Forno

800 Taylor St.

Golden Belt will be gaining a new pizza tenant this summer. Cugino Forno specializes in Neapolitan-style pizza using ingredients certified by the Italian government. (We already know it's going to be good!) They import almost 85% of their ingredients from or around Napoli, including fresh buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce.

Farmside Kitchen

5431 Page Road

Research Triangle Park (RTP) continues to expand with new restaurants filtering into the area. In what was briefly Gusto Farm to Street, there is a new healthy grain and salad bowl fast-casual restaurant called Farmside Kitchen, a women-led business that prides itself on using ingredients sourced from local and regional farm partners. In addition to their delicious food, they also serve hand-crafted sparkling drinks containing herbs from the restaurant’s in-house vertical garden.

Ideal’s Sandwich and Grocery

2108 Angier Avenue

It seems the ideal sandwich can be found at Ideal’s Sandwich and Grocery in East Durham. Two local friends from the Northeast took their love of classic deli sandwiches and replicated what they loved here at Ideal’s. This new lunch spot is already buzzing with popularity as patrons form lines outside their window at lunchtime and the deli often sells out of their house-made breads. You can order warm or cold sammies like Philly Roast Pork or an Italiano on their fresh hoagies or pressed focaccia. For breakfast, enjoy an egg and cheese on a warm English muffin.

Indian Monsoon Restaurant & Bar

105 W. Morgan Street, Ste 100

Named after the monsoon in India which is said to bring prosperity, happiness, and hope, Indian Monsoon opened last year with a mission to bring happiness to their guests with every plate. Stop by for some coconut curry, tandoori lamb chops, samosas, and a selection of cocktails.


5418 Page Road

Another RTP addition was created by the team at Chapel Hill Restaurant Group (CHRG) and the former chef of Lula’s in Chapel Hill. LuLuBangBang offers an eclectic array of pan-Asian street food like pad thai, tom kha soup, coconut char-grilled skewers, and kung pao shrimp, along with tasty tiki-inspired cocktails. Check out their beautiful modern new space off Page Road.

This restaurant made the leap to a new location...

Parker & Otis

324 Blackwell Street

Parker and Otis, a cafe serving breakfast, sandwiches, artisanal coffees, and wine, got a new home on the American Tobacco Campus. The store relocated to the new 5,600-square-foot space previously occupied by Tyler's Taproom. Check out the Parker & Otis website for parking and curbside suggestions.

Plum Southern Kitchen & Bar

501 Washington Street, Ste C

Plum is a newly-opened Southern American restaurant serving small plates, beverages, and desserts in downtown Durham. Make sure to visit the restaurant for some chicken and dumplings, shrimp and grits, and apple cobbler!


359 Blackwell Street (American Tobacco Campus)

Press is a European-inspired coffeehouse offering quality coffee and a variety of sweet and savory crepes. The first location opened in Graham, NC, and the second location is now open on the American Tobacco Campus.

Pure Soul

4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Ste 1

Pure Soul is a new comfort food restaurant aiming to spread the joy of vegan soul food as a fast food concept. Located in a little oasis off Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., diners can enjoy dishes like popcorn “shrimp,” fried “chicken” sandwiches and vegan barbecue platters in a bright and welcoming space both indoors and out (as well as to go).


321 E. Chapel Hill St.

The owners of Kingfisher cocktail bar and the QueenBurger pop-up plan to open Queeny’s, a restaurant and bar, this summer. Queeny's will include a drip coffee bar, a curated bookstore, and a zero-fee, soundproof podcast studio. Expect hot and cold sandwiches, fried pickles and so much more!

Sho Nuff Seafood of Durham

1104 Broad Street

Another food truck-to-restaurant success is that of Sho Nuff Seafood, which has grown its physical footprint just as it’s grown in popularity. You’ll find their new brick and mortar spot on Broad Street in the former location of The Palace International. Abundant fried seafood platters are their specialty—everything from whiting to shrimp to crab legs and lobster tails. Get your napkins ready because their combo platters are the perfect way to peel, dip and savor a little bit of everything.


EverLou Coffee Co.

506 N. Mangum Street, Ste 102

If you love that tasty, slightly sweet, cereal milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl, head to the newly opened EverLou Coffee Co. for a Fruity Pebbles latte or Cinnamon Toast Crunch latte. EverLou aims to provide a safe space with great coffee for everyone to enjoy, and they serve a variety of treats from local bakeries, including JP's Pastry and Junie B's Cookies.

Rofhiwa Book Café

406 S. Driver Street

Offering titles by Black writers across the globe and a wide selection of coffee brews, Rofhiwa is scheduled to open in the old East Durham Bake Shop space in the next few months.

Whisk & Rye

3401 University Drive, Suite 5

You might already be familiar with the satisfying cups of coffee and delicious scratch-made breakfast baked goods from locally-owned bakery Whisk & Rye’s mobile coffee truck. If so, you’ll really love visiting their beautiful new brick-and-mortar café on University Drive. With more space comes an even larger variety of savory and sweet treats, vegan and regular puffed pastries, and so much more inside this inviting new space. And don’t worry, you’ll still be able to find the mobile coffee truck Wednesday-Sunday at Northgate Park.

Yaya Tea

807 E. Main St., Suite 2-150

More refreshing treats can be had at Golden Belt this summer thanks to the addition of Yaya Tea, specializing in freshly brewed fruit and milk teas with boba or jellies, along with snacks like riceballs and gyoza. This is the tea shop’s second North Carolina location, with the first having grown a steady following in Chapel Hill.


Dram & Draught

701 West Main Street, Suite 123

It was a long time in the making, but Dram & Draught’s Durham location is finally open on the ground floor of the sleek remodeled Chesterfield building in downtown Durham. Whiskey fanatics, craft beer lovers, and cocktail enthusiasts will appreciate this bar’s comprehensive drink list of rotating seasonal cocktails, classic renditions, wine, beer, whiskey flights, and rare and vintage whiskeys.

Killer Queen Wine Bar

117 East Main Street, Suite B

A brand-new neighborhood wine bar in downtown Durham is the perfect place to unwind. Killer Queen is happy to host wine lovers, wine nerds and the wine curious for date nights, networking nights, meet up with friends’ night, or just that “I really need a good glass of wine” night. Enjoy it all in a cozy, elegant atmosphere, and pair with a perfect dish like a local farmers market salad, warm house-made fettuccine, a meat and cheese charcuterie board, or a hot-chocolate-inspired panna cotta for dessert.

Melanated Wine Shop

4608 Industry Lane

Melanated Wine is the area’s first Black-owned wine shop, led by Lashonda Fort-Modest, who wanted to simplify wine and make it enjoyable and accessible for the minority community. Setting out to explore what the industry was missing regarding people of color, Lashonda’s new shop, Melanated Wines, demystifies the complexities of the buying experience so that wine can be educational, delicious, and fun for everyone. Stop by for a paint and sip event or for some of your holiday shopping! You can also become a member of the MelaNation by purchasing all four of their premium varietals and score sweet Melanated Wine swag.


321 W. Main Street

Durham native Rashanda Mason recently opened The Slush, a new slushy lounge offering frozen cocktails and non-alcoholic frozen beverages in the heart of downtown. Stop by for music, fun, and slushy menu options like lusty lemonade and camron cray cray!

Tobacco Wood Brewing Co.

2500 Meridian Parkway

This female-veteran-owned taproom opened their second spot in NC at Meridian Parkway. Tobacco Wood Brewing Co. features 30+ craft taps and delicious bites like pork belly grilled cheese, BBQ tacos, and flatbreads. Enjoy all the outdoor seating and grassy nooks with your family and your dog.


Mister Softee

We all scream for Mister Softee’s soft-serve ice cream! This popular ice cream truck brand was first established in Philadelphia in 1956 and now has a presence in Durham thanks to local franchise owner, Jim Bourguignon, who grew up in New York and couldn’t wait to bring this nostalgic piece of his childhood to the Bull City, which he and his family have called home since 2005. Track the truck online or listen for the music in your neighborhood and try one of their signature twists, hot fudge sundaes, banana boats, cherry and chocolate dips, milkshakes, or Cartwheels (ice cream sandwiches).

Simons Says Dip This

117 W. Parrish St.

In exciting ice cream news, Simons Says Dip This is finally open on the ground floor of One City Center. This soft serve ice cream shop makes our wildest childhood dreams come true with over 20 different house-made flavors of chocolate to dip in! Sprinkle your cone with toppings like crystalized cookie butter rocks or caramel popcorn. You can also purchase their artisanal nut butter spread on-site or leave with a bag of their fun freeze-dried candies like puffy Jolly Ranchers and Skittles.

Sweets by Shayda

105 W. Morgan Street, Ste 105

Did someone say pastries, macarons, and chocolates? Shayda Wilson, owner of Sweets by Shayda, aims to bring a little piece of France to Durham with her new pastry shop and café. Head on over and try something sweet...by Shayda.

Two Roosters Ice Cream

800 Taylor Street, Ste 9-100 (Golden Belt Campus)

Jared Plummer’s love for making ice cream began on a North Carolina farmhouse beneath the watch of his grandma’s two black wooden roosters. He created Two Roosters Ice Cream from that same love and passion, and now you can get a scoop or a pint on Golden Belt Campus.



2618 Hillsborough Road

The beloved Locopops started 2021 with a big transformation! Their party room is now a store of sundries, so you can stop by for frozen treats and peruse their unique selection of goods.


823 W Morgan Street

Guess what panini, tea, and coffee fans? There’s a new cafe in town brought to you by the wonderful people at Goorsha, bringing that same Ethiopian flavor into bowls, salads, and sandwiches for lunch!

The Loop

1116 Broad Street Durham

The Loop opened its second Durham location on Broad Street in the former Deeluxe Chicken space! With options like flame-grilled burgers, pizza, salads, soups, shakes, and malts, you won’t be disappointed. We’ll keep you in the loop about The Loop.

The Glass Jug

545 Foster Street, Suite 10

Where can you get exclusive Glass Jug beers on draft, wine and cider, and a view of Durham Central Park? Stop by The Glass Jug to enjoy a beer on the patio and pick up cans and growlers to-go.

Heavenly Buffaloes

2816 Erwin Road, Suite 205

Heavenly Buffaloes continues to maintain a solid business from their popular take-out shack near Duke’s East Campus. They now have a second Durham location in the plaza off of Erwin Road near Duke Hospital in what was formerly The Tamale Factory. Their buffalo wings are heavenly indeed, especially when paired with their signature waffle fries!