On top of its beautiful sceneries and numerous entertaining activities, something else that makes Durham a great spot for tourism is that it offers a wide range of delectable cuisines. Residents and visitors alike enjoy Durham’s various dining options and coffee shops. 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:

Vin Rouge

Are you up for a French food dining experience for the whole family? Vin Rouge is the perfect spot! 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 industry has to offer for a casual dinner or special occasion.


Zweli’s is a delicious hidden gem in Durham. Both catering Zimbabwean food and 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.

person looking at a menu on an outdoor patio

Chicken Hut

You have to go here 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 and bring 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.

a sandwich with a basket of fries next to it on a wooden tray

There’s also a sandwich and coffee shop located behind the building 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 Durham location than the King’s Sandwich Shop! This place 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 don't forget to save room for 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.

M Sushi

If you’re into Japanese cuisine, this is the place for you. Treat yourself to expertly crafted rolls and other dishes available a la carte for lunch or for dinner. If you want the best and complete 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.

three sushi rolls displayed on a tray

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, all made in-house.

Dame's Chicken & Waffles

This is another local favorite, famous for the unique specialties on its menu. 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 own 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 or even a full lunch. 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.

Bottom Line

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’re guaranteed to find a least one or more restaurants to satisfy your cravings in Durham.

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