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Federal

4.4

914 W Main St
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 680-8611
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Google Reviews

Photo of Russell Clark Russell Clark
Dec 28, 2021 4

Fun & friendly staff - bartender Brad was helpful, gregarious. We enjoyed a great meal & good drinks at The Federal.

Photo of K H K H
Nov 20, 2021 3

Who is it in the kitchen that doesn't know the difference between goat cheese and feta? That's the only reason why I got the beet and arugula salad. No pepitos, either. Everything else was good.

Photo of Barbara Ontiveros Barbara Ontiveros
Nov 2, 2021 5

The best sandwiches in Downtown Durham, in a corner where you can enjoy the atmosphere. the smell of this food is delusional.

Photo of Jordan Vereen Jordan Vereen
Aug 19, 2021 5

Get the Cheesecake and the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich so delicious

Photo of Carl “Gromo60” Carl “Gromo60”
Aug 15, 2021 4

I only order out but so far all of the food has been excellent

Photo of Vincent Salgado Vincent Salgado
Jul 29, 2021 5

Great draft beer selection and excellent food. Nice patio out front on Main Street.

Photo of Akshata Malur Akshata Malur
Jul 2, 2021 5

Chill atmosphere with good food and tap selection. The fries are garlicky goodness.

Photo of Jasmine Pflepsen Jasmine Pflepsen
Apr 10, 2021 3

We went for the poutine, but it was incredibly salty. The rest of the dishes we tried were alright, but nothing stood out as particularly good. Not a lot of vegetarian options. Friendly staff and nice ambience.

Photo of Pamela Swanson Pamela Swanson
Feb 12, 2021 5

Loved the cheese curds, French fries and gravy!

Photo of Keith Phillips Keith Phillips
Mar 4, 2021 4

I love the Federal and It's neighboring bars on W. Main St. I always enjoy their Poutine (and it was delicious as usual). Their newly refurbished outdoor bench seating is great, and their indoor has a nice cozy retro feel to it. Also recommended is their Cuban sandwich - delicious!

Photo of Keith Phillips Keith Phillips
Nov 7, 2020 4

I love the Federal and It's neighboring bars. I always enjoy their Poutine (and it was delicious as usual) but our server was unusually surly and treated us as if we were a distraction for him. Hope he was just having a bad day. Otherwise this place is great, and I love their newly refurbished outdoor bench seating. Also recommended is their Cuban sandwich - delicious!

Photo of Charles Vinueza Charles Vinueza
Oct 30, 2020 3

Usually this place has great service and food but my friends and I decided to go on a Friday and service was very slow and inattentive. The food was good. Cocktails didn't have much alcohol. I'll adjust my review lower or higher when I try this place again.

Photo of Mark Joseph Mark Joseph
Oct 22, 2020 5

I love this place, a Durham institution. Great food and service plus the recent decor refresh make it a bit more homey.

Photo of Rosa Slavik Rosa Slavik
Oct 7, 2020 5

Best burger I have had in a long time! Perfectly cooked, with just what I wanted on it. Great service! May be a new Durham favorite!

Photo of Nolon Blaylock Nolon Blaylock
Sep 15, 2020 5

You must order the Federal Fries.. If you don't, you're missing out on this place. Great friendly service as well!

Photo of Unc Biosuperwomen Unc Biosuperwomen
Jul 27, 2020 5

The food is delicious 😋 the service is good never had a complaint. Sometimes the wait can be long.

Photo of Josh Lamb Josh Lamb
Jun 21, 2020 5

Absolutely delicious buffalo chicken sandwhich, mac and cheese wasn't bad either. Would recommend to a friend.

Photo of Olivia Engelhardt Olivia Engelhardt
Apr 14, 2019 5

One of my favorite local hangs. Fantastic draft beer selection all the time (esp for dark beers). Highly recommend the Left Hand milk stout & the beer braised pork sandwich. (Currently my fav beer &sandwich in durham.) Outdoor seating is great, can also catch a game on the screens inside.

Photo of Amin Mohamadi Amin Mohamadi
Feb 25, 2020 4

Their kitchen is open until late night, too many beer options! Smoked wings was a little bit dry though.

Photo of Nina Massengjll Nina Massengjll
Mar 11, 2020 4

Absolutely the best chicken sandwich and garlic fries sold here worth a try if you're in the area

Photo of Valerie Thompson Valerie Thompson
Feb 3, 2020 5

We’ve been here a handful of times now and have only had positive experiences! We’ve met Nate and Katie (separate occasions) and they are both just really cool, friendly, and helpful. We mostly come to get drinks, but recently took an out of town guest here and sat down for lunch. Throughout our 4-ish visits, we’ve tried the fries, roasted red pepper hummus, and the burger, and they are all delicious! Awesome beer selection with multiple local N.C. brewery options. They have some mimosa deals and others we just noticed, so we’ll have to come back and try those too! Overall, we really like coming here!

Photo of Jerry Chavez Jerry Chavez
Jan 27, 2020 4

Food was great - Buffalo chicken sandwich was flavorful with a very generous portion of fries, and the side salad was fresh and tangy drizzled with tasty white balsamic vinegar dressing. All was delicious and service was fast and friendly.

Photo of theschwanz . theschwanz .
Jan 12, 2020 5

Awesome find while walking around Durham today. Outstanding pub food, kind, friendly service. Highly recommend. Will return soon.

Photo of Jesse Locklear Jesse Locklear
Jan 5, 2020 5

Met a friend here for lunch on a Saturday. Service was prompt and friendly:) The menu selection was great and the food was delicious. I ordered the carnitas and ended up making 2 meals with the generous portion or pork. I love their garlic fries and nachos as well. My friend got the veggie sliders and really liked them. The bar selection is good too and I got a mimosa.

Photo of Alex Williams Alex Williams
Jan 2, 2020 5

Strange mix of people (super hood, preppy, college, elderly, young, old, all races/ethnic groups), cheap drinks, great bartenders. Great people watching too.

Photo of Isis Hart Isis Hart
Dec 18, 2019 5

Very delicious had the Cuban sandwich friend got the spicy chicken sandwich both equally delicious 😋 recommend going here. Nice bar beautiful establish and very home feeling. Great customer service Greer is wonderful.

Photo of Sarah Chittenden Sarah Chittenden
Nov 22, 2019 4

Great place to hang out with a great beer and a bite to eat. Not a lot of seating but worth hanging around for a table if you are planning to eat.

Photo of Chris Derickson Chris Derickson
Nov 5, 2019 5

One of my favorite places. Great food and great service. No frills but none needed when good is so good

Photo of S D S D
Oct 23, 2019 5

Was passing through town and dropped in. If I lived in Durham, this would be my spot. Relaxed and friendly atmosphere, nice menu and great beer selection.

Photo of Richard Jenkins Richard Jenkins
Aug 10, 2019 4

Decent food, good beer selection. It's a little bit on the pricey end of the spectrum compared to neighboring bars.

Photo of Micheal Peters Micheal Peters
Sep 14, 2019 5

Food & service were excellent. The fries do not disappoint!!!

Photo of Jasmine Anderson Jasmine Anderson
Jul 26, 2019 5

Had a great experience here! Food was great and service was too. Nice little hidden gem in downtown Durham.

Photo of Bhoodha S Bhoodha S
Aug 22, 2019 5

Bartenders were nice and fast. Managed to get in while not crowded and got the Fed Burger. I'll be back in October to try the stouts.

Photo of Jason Heinrich Jason Heinrich
Jul 3, 2019 5

Can't go wrong here. Good beer list, good food and competent and friendly service.

Photo of Adam Thompson Adam Thompson
Mar 16, 2019 3

It's not bad, but the cleanliness rating is only 91.5, and the food wasn't anything special. Actually, pretty pricey in my opinion, as I paid $30 for two burgers with cheese. It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't say it was worth the price, though volume is good.

Photo of Ted T Ted T
May 28, 2019 4

Great location with lots of people watching. The service was exceptionally fast even though we were outside on the patio. The garlic french fries were the best fries I've had in a long time. Both the staff and patrons were friendly. I ordered the Allagash White which is my favorite beer. However what they gave me was not Allagash White not sure maybe the wrong keg was hooked up?

Photo of Robert Oehler Robert Oehler
Apr 18, 2019 3

Great food, good rotating beer selection, and friendly staff Edit: I originally made the above review over a year ago with 5 stars, however I'm having to update as quality has changed some. I've been in Durham for 5 year now and watched a lot change, but the fed was always a constant for me that I could rely on. And the staff and beer selection are still great, but the food has really dropped in quality. I used to tell people they had the best burger and fries in Durham, however my last two trips the fries were greasy and severely short on the garlic that made them special in the first place. As for the burger I ordered one earlier tonight medium rare only for it to come out very rare with the middle barely being luke warm. I had it sent back for a new one and that one came back in the same condition and I notice at least one other recent review below with a similarly raw burger. I hate to leave a review like this as for the last 4 years the fed has been my hang where I've celebrated birthdays, new jobs, and going away parties. And there are still some high notes(the pork sandwich is great as are the nachos), but one of the things I loved about the fed was that I could get anything from their menu and be confident it was gonna be great. Now it always feels like a role of the dice. I know kitchen staff has changed in the last year or so, but I'm hoping they can turn this around so I can change this back to 5 stars and start bragging to people about knowing the best spot for a burger and fries again.

Photo of Timothy Timothy
Mar 18, 2019 5

Super chill place. I went for lunch and really liked it. Our waiter was very nice, and he kept our drinks full. Plus, the food was good for “bar food.” A good place to go with friends.

Photo of Kate Litscher Kate Litscher
Apr 27, 2019 5

Nice little bar with lots of character. They have good food (especially the fries). It was not too busy, it was great for conversation and late night snacks.

Photo of I’m Brent James I’m Brent James
May 19, 2022 5

Super cool bar! The vibes were great and the beer was even better. Ordered fries and man I’m glad I had a friend with me to help me eat them. We couldn’t finish the fries! Bartenders were great, kind, and they didn’t let my beer get empty.

Photo of Guptha Meda Guptha Meda
May 9, 2022 5

I like the fries here. With the Garlic topping. But, went there about 4 times in the last few months and they were closed or only had curbside pickup open. Would appreciate if the timings in Google Maps are updated appropriately.

Photo of Charles G Charles G
Jun 12, 2022 5

Service was fast and very friendly. They got busy while I was there but stayed attentive to my table even though I was alone. Food was much better than I expected after reading reviews. The steak was cooked perfectly. I was sitting on the front patio and the couple next to me had a dog, the staff made sure the dog got a bowl of water. Only complaint is the paper they put between the tray and the food does not work well then cutting steak. Other than that it was a perfect meal.

Photo of Stacy Muston Stacy Muston
Jul 29, 2022 5

Great little spot for a drink, great food and staff. At the bartenders suggestion I tried the Steak Frites and they were amazing!! Definitely recommend and I will be back.

Photo of Brent Andrus Brent Andrus
May 19, 2022 5

Great selection of craft beers, I was very pleased. We came in hungry two minutes before the kitchen was closing and felt bad about wanting to get food. They insisted it’s fine they will be happy to make us our food. So we ordered fries to keep it simple. When the fries came out we were shocked by how much was on the plate. It had to have been four whole potatoes! Needless to say we left full and didn’t finish all of them. Let’s get into the beers! I had the Flying Machine Kolsch and was pleased! Great flavor and very smooth. My buddy made a couple great choices in the Bells Oberon as well as the Foothills Hazyum. Solid choices. Looking forward to coming back.

Photo of Dozer Dozer
Aug 30, 2022 5

Patio seating gem! It’s hot during the day but the friendly staff will help you beat the heat. Been eating lunch and dinner here for over 2 weeks now. Both dining in and ordering out. Staff is excited about the menu and knows how to sell good food. Good beer selection makes this spot a must for food or drinks anytime. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable. Dogs will be found on the patio often and who could ask for more! The vibe here is great. Vintage beer/tobacco decor with Durham swag throughout. The owner has a few other businesses throughout the area and we have been going to them too. Bravo!!

Photo of Javier Carranza Javier Carranza
Aug 3, 2022 3

This place has it's own charm and character to it. However it was short-staffed which led to food and service being delayed a bit. That is no fault of the waiter/bartender/host as he was doing the best he could by himself. Food was good, and had healthy portions. I did notice that when I went to the bathroom (which is small) there was what appeared to be a big roach crawling on the floor behind the toilet. At first I thought my eyes were tricking me but it was a cockroach on the bathroom floor. Bugs aren't the end-all of a restaurant but it does cause concern. Overall, I thought it was a decent food place. The bug thing scares me a little so I'd be a bit hesitant to go back immediately.

Photo of Colleen B Colleen B
Aug 16, 2022 5

Had an incredible time coming in for the first time in years since moving further away. I brought in my parents for dinner before a show at DPAC and we really enjoyed our evening. Our servers Meredith and Diamond were great. They were attentive and engaging. The food was just as delicious as I remember it. We devoured our Fed fries and Pimento cheese deviled eggs. My dad insists on coming back tomorrow for the prime rib sandwich (we live an hour away). The music and vibe were great. Can't wait to come back!