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9 New Spots to Visit in Durham Before the New Year

Estimated Read Time:
3 min

A new year is almost here and so are a handful of new restaurants, cafes, and bars to try!

Posted By Amber Watson on Nov 18, 2021

Foodies who are ready to get back to frequenting their favorite eateries and exploring new spots will be pleased to discover some new cafes, wine shops, bars, and expanded Durham establishments to add to their end-of-year bucket lists.

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 spots in Durham just in time for the holidays. Whether you are looking for a new date night spot, showing friends and family around town, or here on a business or leisure trip, be sure to add these new places to your must-try list!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 sundae’s, banana boats, cherry and chocolate dips, milkshakes, or Cartwheels (ice cream sandwiches).

Sho Nuff Seafood of Durham

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.

The Slush

321 West Main Street

For something delightfully fun and trendy, head to The Slush in downtown Durham for frozen daiquiris and adult slushies in a rainbow of colors and flavors! Topped with candy or swirled together for a perfect photo op, it tastes as yummy as it looks. It’s the perfect spot to meet up with friends for Boozy Bingo, Karaoke, Trivia, or just a fun night out on the town.

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.

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About the Author

Amber Watson - Founder, Content Creator
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Amber Watson is the creator and writer of the local Durham food news blog, Bites of Bull City. For more, follow @bitesofbullcity.