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The Refectory Cafe


2726 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd
Durham, NC 27707
Phone: (919) 908-6798
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Google Reviews

Photo of catherine wilson catherine wilson
Jun 19, 2019 5

One of the most charming eateries in Durham! Service is excellent (servers are cheerful and courteous), food is delicious (in particular the Greek yogurt cheesecake!) and the atmosphere is lovely (the fresh flowers add a nice touch). Five out of five stars.

Photo of Kaylaa T. Blackwell Kaylaa T. Blackwell
Jul 7, 2019 5

Awesome and completely yummy Sunday Brunch. Great menu with lots of choices and generous portions...so it was a pleasure to eat and take home leftovers. There were so many things we wanted to try...so definitely have to keep going back so we can do just that...LOL😊. Last but not least, the place was so relaxing you will not be in a rush to leave and its easy to to not realize the time passing.

Photo of Heather Swift Heather Swift
Jun 26, 2019 5

It was romantic and the food was excellent! My fiancee ordered the vegan chili and it was some of the best chili that I've ever ate, let alone a vegan dish. the owner was very kind and she came up and made sure that everything was okay and she was fantastic also. I would definitely go and eat there again Time after Time!

Photo of Joshua Allen Joshua Allen
Apr 27, 2019 5

Amazingly handcrafted dishes that delight the pallet. The ribeye platter was on point and highly recommended. Additionally the coffee was simply amazing. You can spend big money at Starbucks but you still will not get the same flavors and depth.

Photo of Kim Priebe Kim Priebe
Apr 18, 2019 5

I want there with friends to celebrate a 50th birthday lunch. We reserved a table in advance and was glad for that, as it was busy and the owner set a table aside for us in the corner. I ordered the salad with grilled salmon. Delicious. Two friends ordered the chicken and waffles, and reported the chicken was moist and tasty. We got wine at the counter, and the owner and bus staff graciously took our orders for a second round from the table. The owner offered for the pastry chef to make a birthday cake, so I special ordered one. They made a coconut cake with fresh strawberries. It was moist and delicious! I advise people to save room for dessert! Great find for healthy, tasty food.

Photo of Sandra Morris Sandra Morris
Apr 24, 2019 5

The cake made by The Refectory Cafe’s pastry chef Rosa for our wedding was FABULOUS. We have several close family members who have gluten intolerance, so we wanted a cake they could share with us and The Refectory Cafe’s lemon raspberry cake with cream cheese frosting was divine. You would never even know it was gluten free. Rosa gave us a very fair price for the largest size (12”) round cake. It was very tall, with lots of lucious icing, and served ~40-50 people (when cut like a usual wedding cake). It was extremely fresh and moist. Everyone raved about it. She kept the decoration simple (some piping around the edge) per our request, so our florist could easily add some fresh flowers for decoration. The catering manager, Geri, was wonderful to work with. She was easy to reach by phone/email and helped coordinate getting some requested paperwork to our venue coordinator. She checked in immediately after the wedding to make sure everything had gone smoothly. We have been to The Refectory Cafe many times together for both their savory food and desserts (highly recommend both) and are so glad we were able to make this local business a part of our wedding day!

Photo of Dr. Alisha Cornell Dr. Alisha Cornell
Jun 16, 2019 5

I've NEVER had a bad meal at this placeWe come nearly every week and have eaten most of the food with 0 errors. The owner, Laura, is the most delightful and energetic soul to ever own a restaurant. You can taste the love in every drink, dessert, and entree. I've eaten at the best restaurants and by far this 1 holds it's weight. Don't miss out on this hidden gem and don't read any of the negative reviews, some have too much time on their hands to enjoy this treasure.

Photo of Lesley Mastandrea Lesley Mastandrea
Feb 3, 2021 5

This place is OUTSTANDING. Everything. The food, the staff, the service... the desserts. So good! We are in town for a few days and have eaten here twice already. Have had breakfast and lunch and both were excellent. We plan on going back tomorrow!

Photo of Jea Hyun Kim Jea Hyun Kim
Jan 22, 2021 5

Great selection of healthy sandwiches, friendly staffs, and quick service. Salmon avocado sandwich that I tried was a classic homemade style sandwich with fresh veggies. The proportion of veggies and salmon was also on point, and I would definitely return to try their other sandwiches. Highly recommend to people who enjoy traditional style sandwiches and soups.

Photo of AL Lindsay AL Lindsay
Jan 3, 2021 5

Brunch with a few friends at The Refectory Cafe today and found the service exceptional. Placed my order and went outside to get a table and before I sat down with my coffee, my order was at the table. I have dined here prior to the current environment, but I found the service to be better than previous visits. Food is always good. The Open Face Salmon on Avocado Toast was divine! There are excellent Servers here. Great dining experience !!

Photo of Caitlin Hatch Caitlin Hatch
Dec 13, 2020 5

Excellent food and drinks. We had the bacon avocado toast and the french dip sandwich, both were delicious. I also got an Irish cream latte off the seasonal menu and it was delicious, very warming and festive. Definitely recommend!

Photo of rana ryan rana ryan
Dec 16, 2020 5

The title says it all, the owner, Laura Hall, walked us through the all natural ingredients list. Nothing short of spectacular. All the food was wonderful and the people are truly special!! Definitely recommend!! The staff goes out of the way to please and make your dining experience enjoyable. Highly recommend!

Photo of Darryle Banks Darryle Banks
Dec 6, 2020 5

In search of alternative eating. I found The Refectory Cafe to be spot on. Their customer service is great and knowing that some of there menu items are in house made is a plus. Definitely if you are in the area stop in and grab a bite very spacious and lovely out door seating.

Photo of Allan Voichuk Allan Voichuk
Nov 28, 2020 5

Great vegan food options. The service is always great. The staff is really nice. They made really good vegan cheesecake too. I'm really impressed with the chefs skills in terms of making vegan dishes that are often not vegan.

Photo of JTyrone White JTyrone White
Sep 5, 2020 4

The staff, was excellent and so was the casual atmosphere. My wife had eggs, breakfast potatoes and gf toast. Her experience was 5 star.I had the meat quiche, but could not detect any meat however it still taste delicious.We will certainly go back.Also nice outdoor accommodations.

Photo of Olympia Jackson Olympia Jackson
Oct 21, 2020 4

First time. Nice, quiet, clean. The service was good as well. Food was good. Family of 6. No complaints. I would go back to try some desserts. They looked quite good.

Photo of Steven DiFiore Steven DiFiore
Oct 5, 2020 5

The staff and owner are very friendly and kind. I was part of a large group that went there last minute and everyone at the Refectory was accommodating. Not only that, but the food is absolutely phenomenal. With a wide array of delicious vegan and vegetarian options, even a meat eater like me found the food most satisfying. I'm definitely going to make it a point to dine here when I visit Durham in the future.

Sep 2, 2020 5

Good food and good social distancing.

Photo of Steph Steph
Sep 19, 2020 5

Great vibe, amazing service, and the huevos rancheros are incredible! Can't wait to go back.

Photo of Dane Fearon Dane Fearon
Sep 19, 2020 5

Great service. A place you could spend the whole day at.

Photo of Ciro Mcalpine Ciro Mcalpine
Sep 3, 2020 5

My brother and I had amazing fresh salads—the spicy shrimp and the Carolina Cobb. The staff were super friendly and kept hydrated on a hot day. The blue hibiscus tea hit the spot. Everyone there, including the patrons, had masks on. We are so glad we found this special place.

Photo of Rita Musante Rita Musante
Aug 27, 2020 5

Best lunch in town! Try beef tacos, French dip or tasty salads... and made in house key lime pie for dessert. Everything is delicious and highly recommended

Photo of Christine Goettel Christine Goettel
Aug 29, 2020 5

What's not to love? Staff are fantastic, food is to die for. Just make sure to save room for dessert - they come out with a dessert platter with the options, all made in house by their pastry chef. My only disappointment is that we didn't find this place sooner. I mourn all the missed meals.

Photo of Joe M. Joe M.
Jul 28, 2020 5

Great breakfast! Outdoor seating available so we brought the dogs. Really nice covered patio with lots of potted plants and good music playing. Great challah French toast and lemon ricotta pancakes!

Photo of Reggie Scruggs Reggie Scruggs
Aug 1, 2020 5

The food here is always fresh and tasty.

Photo of Michele D Michele D
Jul 27, 2020 5

I live in Oregon and my mom lives in Raleigh so I ordered some food and desserts to be delivered to my mom today for her birthday. They were so easy to work with start to finish and my mom was incredibly touched by the love that was put into a handwritten card they made and an extra sweet greeting at the door (no contact delivery). Super delicious and veggie friendly options. Thanks guys!!!

Photo of Andy Singh Jr Andy Singh Jr
Jul 11, 2020 5

An excellent well-run establishment. Friendly people who can whip up some really good food. Management is always wiping down tables, wearing masks, and they really seem to care for the well-being of their customers during COVID-19. 5 stars!!!!!

Photo of J L J L
Jul 1, 2020 5


Photo of Thomas Monaco Thomas Monaco
Jun 29, 2020 5

Very clean and COVID prepared/safe. Super friendly staff. Plenty of nice pasties

Photo of Elizabeth Baltaro Elizabeth Baltaro
Jul 3, 2020 5

Best covid take-out! We’ve ordered from many restaurants and Refectory wins for the BEST ordering/ pick up experience yet— plus full menu options. Delicious food. We keep ordering again and again.

Photo of Vica Billings Vica Billings
May 28, 2020 5

Decided to check this place out for a to-go lunch. I got the Cobb salad and I will say it's honestly the best salad I've ever had. Quality ingredients, delicious vinaigrette, perfect portion. Will definitely be a regular customer.

Photo of Shae Rob Shae Rob
Jun 2, 2020 5

Everything is freshly made andyou can tell it's homemade with the best ingredients. The butter, yes the butter, is one of the best I've tasted in my life. I think I've found my go-to restaurant! Well worth the price! I've only had the breakfast and the lemon cheesecake thus far. Can't wait to try more!

Photo of Will Sutton Will Sutton
May 7, 2020 4

To go lunch during Covid-19...Our company ordered lunch for us today. There were a lot of options to choose from...Salmon, veggie burger, turkey reuben, chicken sandwich and a salad. I selected the NY Turkey Reuben. It was delicious.... pretty thick and filling with lots of flavor. I would definitely get it again.

Photo of Keith Rench Keith Rench
Mar 11, 2019 5

A little cafe that we enjoyed a delicious breakfast out on their patio. It was a gorgeous day outside and the birds were chirping. The breakfast burrito is huge, so plan on sharing it! My wife and I shared the burrito and a large grits. It was more than enough food for the two of us. The grits were pretty spicy, so beware if you can't handle spicy foods! If we lived here, we'd totally come back for more!

Photo of Caitlin Travels Caitlin Travels
Feb 9, 2020 5

One of my favorite places in Durham. Everything here always tastes incredible. Their tomato soup is spectacular. I also LOVE their kale salad. Sometimes I wish they used a little more dressing so I ask for more on the side.

Photo of Rick Hobbs Rick Hobbs
Feb 12, 2020 5

Great local place to eat and also get work done. Friendly staff who I have seen handle the most *ahem* particular of customers with kindness. I've even had the chef tell me to change my order because they weren't happy with the quality of the fresh ingredients.This is a really great place. Try it as an alternative to the other breakfast places on the same road, too.

Photo of Susan Montani Susan Montani
Feb 2, 2020 3

Maybe it was a bad day? At breakfast specialty coffee maker not working, no reg. Coffee in decanter, cheese grits like "soup" & very spicy. Quiche "okay" (good crust). Reason I will give it another try is the Key Lime pie slices purchased to go were amazing!!

Photo of Mike Xenos Mike Xenos
Jan 3, 2020 5

The Delmonico steak was cooked to perfection. If you've read my previous post, you know I will use condiments if needed. Not in this case. The pre-season and expert char is more than enough flavor to accompany the scratch made sides. A must visit if you are wanting to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Photo of Marcela Lastre Marcela Lastre
Jan 2, 2020 5

The food and staff were great! We arrived on a busy afternoon and there was enough parking. We had a lot of food and were able to take some home. I loved the laid back atmosphere.

Photo of Ryan Sawhill Aroha Ryan Sawhill Aroha
Dec 15, 2019 4

Staff were great and we got our food quickly. Had some good french toast, potatoes, eggs... I would definitely like to come back again to try more of the veg/vegan options.

Photo of B Robertson B Robertson
Dec 1, 2019 5

Delicious! The vegan chili was great! They are always very accommodating to my dairy allergy, too. They staff has very good knowledge of the ingredients in every dish.

Photo of Beverly Harrington Falls Beverly Harrington Falls
Dec 3, 2019 4

This is a restaurant with a good selection and vegetarian options. It was once at Duke University Seminary but relocated in the 2010s to its current location. There are two prominent competing restaurants nearby with similar selections but a friend and I had a delightful dinner here recently. They kept the interior so subdued for a few minutes I was not sure they were open.

Photo of Larry Donaldson Larry Donaldson
Dec 11, 2019 5

I celebrated my PhD earlier this evening in this fine place. I am glad to say that we enjoyed a phenomenal evening and the venue was absolutely one of the reasons for this happy celebration. The stuff cooperated in a lovely way, the food was tasty and my friends were so pleased. We shall definitely come back again for more events. Thank you very much.

Photo of G Hailey G Hailey
Nov 13, 2019 4

Entrees are good, but portions are small with the exception of the desserts. The coffee is excellent. The desserts are worth the money. Did I say the dessert portions are huge?! Well worth a visit.

Photo of Amy C Amy C
Nov 13, 2019 4

This is listed as gluten free, but there are not many options. The salad I had was very yummy so I'll give 4 stars. But I would recommend expanding the menu. It's a little pricey, but worth it for one trip.

Photo of Fit Kid Fit Kid
Jul 9, 2019 5

Man oh man. This was a great pick. The good was amazing and the desserts was just as good. Very friendly and comfortable environment. When in Durham this is a must go place.

Photo of Scott McKeown Scott McKeown
Oct 11, 2019 4

Well-prepared, tasty food. Cocktails are wonderful and desserts sublime - what's not to like?

Photo of Jerri Jordan Jerri Jordan
Jul 24, 2019 4

I liked it because it was clean and i liked the way it was setup. Only 2 things: if you have never been before, you wind up standing at the door waiting to be seated not knowing you have too order at the register then seat yourself. Secondly, had shrmp n grits, which was good but it was a little watery with not too much flavor. Use to the sauce being thicker & spicier. Otherwise, you will enjoy it.

Photo of Nicole Ellis Nicole Ellis
Jan 3, 2022 5

Fantastic! We had the veggie quiche brunch and got a vegan pancake for our little one, so incredibly delicious and very fresh. There was a good amount of vegan options too! The staff was lovely and helpful and the food came out fairly quickly. We will definitely be coming back!

Photo of DD O DD O
Feb 19, 2022 5

Wonderfully delicious menu. All the items our party tried were great. From soup to appeys to entrees. Really nice menu and friendly service in a super casual and comfy setting. We will be back!

Photo of Andrea Carroll Andrea Carroll
Feb 26, 2022 5

A fun little find. Passing through the Durham area for an overnight stay on our way home to Atlanta. The dinner menu had some great choices and the food was delicious. Funky casual atmosphere with a fine menu. Love a place that allows you to bring in your own wine for a corkage fee, but I am sure we could have found a good selection on their wine list. Our server was excellent. Attentive and personal. Should we make this trip in the future, Refractory Cafe will be a stop on our journey for sure.

Photo of Adam Howard Adam Howard
May 17, 2022 5

The Refectory Cafe is a must visit for anyone who is meticulous about what they eat. The atmosphere is incredibly welcoming. Dolly, the shift manager who helped me with my order was not only willing and capable of accommodating my dietary restrictions, she was incredibly enthusiastic. From her and from the other staff I got the feeling that the people who work here are incredibly passionate about helping people like me experience the same delight of eating out that is so frequently taken for granted in the absence of dietary restrictions. The actual food was, above all, clean. Its simplicity allowed each individual flavor to be experienced relative to the others. My simple miso and ginger marinated kale salad with salmon was thus a gustatory delight. To any who enjoy friendly atmosphere, outdoor dining, food with a purpose, or happy staff who accommodate most any dietary specification, The Refectory Cafe is your next good memory!

Photo of Justin Burke Justin Burke
May 16, 2022 5

Food was delicious. It was a bit busy when we went and Tamara really stepped up to make sure she was handling all customers and making sure they were satisfied. Thank you Tamara for the wonderful service and food.

Photo of Trevor Welch Trevor Welch
Jun 6, 2022 5

Amazing coffee and beautiful atmosphere. Great place to sit and talk with a friend or read a book. Very friendly staff! The food is good for cafe fare and is fit for diets of all types. No matter your allergies or preference, there's something for all. Oh and they're very pet friendly!

Photo of Scott Kozloff Scott Kozloff
Jun 27, 2022 5

Great place! We visit this area every 3 weeks and try to do lunch here every time. Wait staff is very attentive, food is extremely decent and also delicious. We have never had an issue and would recommend to anyone in the area. Pricey but worth it!

Photo of Oceanna Marr Oceanna Marr
Jul 17, 2022 5

I don’t understand why people rate 3 stars when they like everything? Anytime I’ve ever been here the food has been delicious! The Irish crème cheesecake we finished for desert was literally the best cheesecake I have ever had in my life! The Bite I had of my aunts sandwich was also delicious. I come back any chance I get.

Photo of Bonnie Williams Bonnie Williams
Jul 17, 2022 3

Definitely recommend getting a reservation. It's counter-order but seating via the staff. The food was pretty good; I had the breakfast bowl and my friend had the lemon ricotta pancakes. I definitely think it's overpriced for what you get. $15 for just pancakes is a lot in my opinion. I probably wouldn't go back, but no real complaints.

Photo of joshua bratcher joshua bratcher
Aug 4, 2022 5

This has been one of the greatest dining experiences I’ve had in a long time. The staff were amazing, friendly, and very helpful. The food was stellar, I ordered the French toast and it was one of the best plates of French toast I’ve had. With the restaurant making all of their own food it was no surprise that the French toast was fluffy on the inside with a nice crisp outside. It was presented beautifully and was delicious with or without syrup. The entire staff from kitchen to servers deserve a well earned congratulations on making the place not just inviting, but a wonderful place to take the whole family. David was the star of the show for my visit, I’ve never seen someone work as hard as he did during my time at the restaurant. He was able to answer questions quickly and helped guide guests through the menu. As well as helping out the rest of the staff, not to mention very sociable. He made me feel like a regular here for my first time dining. I could not recommend this place enough, if you find yourself in the area definitely check it out. Truly a stellar place to eat. Ambiance: 10 No harsh lighting, music at a low volume Staff: 10 Friendly, sociable, professional Food: 10 Homemade, quick service, delicious Accessibility/accommodations: 10 Wheelchair accessible, staff willing to accommodate anyone. Cleanliness: 10 One of the only restaurants I’ve seen with a 99 cleanliness rating. Something to be proud of, absolutely outstanding. It shows the place looks spotless.