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You Have to Try these Seasonal Food & Drink Specials

Restaurants around Durham pull out all the stops when it comes to culinary specials during the holidays.

Posted By Shayla Martin on Dec 05, 2016

Sure, pumpkin spice and peppermint are great, but we think it’s time to expand your horizons when it comes to the true flavors of the festive season. Here are some of the most delicious holiday treats, drinks, and seasonal specials around Bull City; the perfect itinerary for a holiday food crawl. Hurry, they won’t be on menus for long!

On the Sweet Side

  • Monuts Donuts is known for its apple cider doughnut, but you can also find seasonal flavors like cranberry crumble cake and hot toddy.
  • If you’re not feeling the idea of whipping up dessert this holiday season, snag one of Scratch’s pre-made pies and tarts like the cran-raspberry cream tart, buttermilk sweet potato pie, or Fullsteam gingerbread cake.
  • Some crazy folks out there think wintertime is too cold for ice cream, but we’ll go to The Parlour every month of the year. The menu changes frequently but recent seasonal flavors include peppermint stick and molasses butterscotch. Look out for beverages like eggnog and ice cream hot chocolate, as well.

Seasonal Dishes

  • At the recently opened Littler, vegetarians will love the seasonal carrot gnocchi, made with turnips and escarole, topped with parmesan.
  • Fall and winter menus usually see an uptick in game meats, like the pan-roasted venison loin over roasted fingerling potatoes and artichokes in a rosemary jus at Nanas.
  • Try the roasted duck leg from Harmony Ridge Farms, served with nuts, mushrooms, oats and apple at Piedmont Restaurant.
  • For lunch on the go, pick up the Fig-uratively Fall sandwich at Monuts Donuts, made with focaccia bread, fig jam, chevre cream cheese, roasted butternut squash, roasted chicken breast, and pea shoots.

Holiday Treats

  • Power through the holidays with Beyu Caffe’s Gingerbread Mocha – espresso with gingerbread syrup, white chocolate, and steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and nutmeg.
  • In anticipation of Hanukkah (December 24 until January 1), stop by Parts & Labor for a few servings of potato latkes, served with homemade applesauce and sour cream
  • Joe Van Gogh offers a creamy and comforting eggnog latte on at its three Durham locations.
  • Stock up on Hanukkah goodies at the Hanukkah Festival on Dec. 11, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill. You can also enjoy food from Soom Soom Pita Pockets while you shop.
  • Order traditional German stollen from Guglhupf. This Christmas treat is filled with fruits, nuts, spices, and is covered with powdered sugar. You can also special order bûche de noël and gingersnaps.

Festive cocktails

  • Kanki Japanese restaurant has an entire seasonal menu of specialty appetizers and sushi rolls, but the Peppermint Bark Martini and the Frozen Mudslide holiday cocktails are the essence of Christmas.
  • When the temperature drops, warm up with a soothing Apple Brandy Hot Toddy (pictured) at Alley Twenty Six, made with North Carolina apple brandy, rum, honey, lemon, a slice of orange, and cinnamon.
  • At Rue Cler, sip on the effervescent Bourbon Cider Fizz, made with Bulleit bourbon, honey thyme syrup, lemon, and sparkling cider.

Want more Durham holiday cheer? See our tips for entertaining in the Bull City this holiday season.

About the Author

Shayla Martin