On top of its beautiful sceneries and numerous entertaining activities, something else that makes Durham a great tourist destination is that it offers a wide range of delectable cuisines. Residents and visitors alike enjoy Durham’s various dining options. From chain restaurants to fine dining experiences, you’ll definitely find one that you’ll enjoy among the best restaurants in Durham, NC.
Locals come to Durham from far and wide thanks to its proximity to the Research Triangle Park, as well as the internationally renowned Duke University and Medical Center. So whether you’re planning to visit Durham, are new to the area, or are planning to move there for good, this article will help you find the best restaurants while you’re in the city, no matter if you're on the outskirts of the city or looking for downtown Durham restaurants.
Here are the top Durham restaurants that are worth a visit for a bite to eat:
Are you up for a French food dining experience? Vin Rouge is the best place to go! You’ll never want to miss its classic moules mariniere, steak frites, and cassoulet. During a warm day, make sure to reserve a table on the walled patio, sip some good wine, and enjoy the view in the one of the best locations the restaurant industry has to offer.
Zweli’s is a delicious Zimbabwean restaurants. From catering Zimbabwean food to successfully expanding to brick-and-mortar locations, Zweli’s has gained a following of admirers across the country. Make sure to try its samosas, jollof rice, piri piri chicken, and other unique dishes on its menu in Durham, NC.
You have to go to Chicken Hut the next time you’re in Durham, NC. It’s quite famous among locals in the area and for good reason. What’s unique about this place is that its daily special menu changes depending on the day of the week. Thankfully, its popular fried chicken is available every day.
If you love steak, you’ve got to try Durham’s go-to steakhouse, NanaSteak. With its wide selection of dishes, you’ll have a wonderful dining experience. With their crispy pork ribs, charcoal-grilled filet mignon, Wagyu beef-fat french fries, roasted Brussels sprouts, and kimchi Napa cabbage slaw, your mouth will surely water for their delicious food.
Parker & Otis
A well-known cafe and gift shop hybrid, Parker & Otis is one of the most beloved eateries and hangout places in Durham. Enjoy a pepper jelly and turkey or grilled pimento cheese sandwich while checking out carefully selected gifts, books, and stationery. You should also try its green goddess tuna salad while dining al fresco to take in the breathtaking view of the American Tobacco.
If you’re planning to dine out with friends and family, consider the expertly cooked Ethiopian food menu from Goorsha. You’ll enjoy generous helpings of awaze tibs, doro wat, and timatim salad—all of which come with hand-torn bits of Ethiopian flatbread, which will serve as your utensil.
There’s also a sandwich and coffee shop located behind the restaurant called Gojo by Goorsha, which is a great alternative if you’re going alone or looking for quick delicious food.
King's Sandwich Shop
Care for some classic burgers and hot dogs? Then there’s no better place than the King’s Sandwich Shop! This Durham restaurant has established a name in Durham and has become the go-to place for those who are looking for stress-relieving, comfort food.
Help yourself to the famous griddled burgers with King’s sauce, try its all-dressed hot dogs, and do not forget the piping hot fries or wash them down with ice-cold shakes.
Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant
Are you planning for a dim sum weekend night? If so, then you’ve got to go to the Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant. On weekends, the restaurant transforms into a complete dim sum parlor. You’ll see carts of sui mai, turnip cakes, steamrolls, and other dim sum classics being passed from table to table.
Plus a cup of hot green tea will surely make your dim sum experience complete. Note that on weekdays, this popular restaurant serves a typical Chinese-American menu.
If you’re into Japanese cuisine, M Sushi is the place for you. Treat yourself to expertly crafted sushi rolls and other dishes available a la carte for lunch or for dinner. If you want the best and complete M Sushi experience, you’ve got to try its famous omakase menu. Enjoy a six or eight-course dining experience and you’ll keep coming back for more.
Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas
Handmade empanadas, tacos, and rotisserie chicken are a few of the things that you’ll enjoy at Luna. What’s more, it offers an extensive menu for vegans and vegetarians. Its best-seller is the vegan chili-braised jackfruit in either a grain bowl or in a patacon pisao.
Dame's Chicken & Waffles
Another local favorite is Dame's Chicken & Waffles, which is famous for its unique specialties. For instance, the Orange Speckled Chabo, a fried chicken cutlet on a sweet potato waffle with orange honeycomb schmear and orange dijon sauce, is something that you wouldn’t want to miss.
The Red Crested Rose Comb, which consists of two fried chicken legs on a classic waffle with candied pecans and strawberry schmear, is also an all-time favorite and makes a perfect dinner. You can also create your chicken and waffles combo—choose your preferred type of fried chicken, waffle flavor, and flavored butter spread.
Queeny's is a fairly new restaurant in Durham—but since it opened in late 2021, Queeny’s has become a go-to place for snacks and even full meals. Among the customers’ favorites are sandwiches like the Mt. Airy and the birria French dip, as well as the famous chicken tenders. You can also have some beer, cocktails, or wine to complement the meal.
Durham offers a wide array of dining options to its residents and visitors. Whether you are looking for a quick bite to eat or want to have a fine dining experience, you’ll find the perfect match to satisfy your cravings in Durham.