15 Best Restaurants in Durham NC

October 18th, 2022

15 Best Restaurants in Durham NC

Best Restaurants in Durham, NC

Warning: Your mouth may water after reading about these best restaurants in Durham, NC!

When you live in or visit Durham, NC, you can expect to be transformed into a world of Duke University and Durham Bulls Baseball. Durham is known for many reasons that bring people from all over the world. With its World-Class medical centers and proximity to Research Triangle Park, it's clear that Durham is growing and has a lot to offer. And who doesn't love food? Durham, NC, is becoming a hotspot for exceptional restaurants.

While Raleigh Realty focuses on helping people find their dream homes, we also like to provide readers with lists and guides to help them navigate their new areas.

Our list will give those visiting or moving to Durham, NC, some insight into the restaurants we think are worth trying! So let's get into what you're here for!

Best Restaurants in Durham, NC graphic

Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant

Are you looking for some excitement in your dining experience? On weekdays, Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant can be seen as your typical everyday Chinese-American restaurant, but on the weekends... it's a whole different story. The dining room is completely transformed into a busy dining area serving Dim Sum classics via carts on Saturday and Sunday. Their menu is filled with numerous flavorful options that will leave you satisfied. Friends and family best enjoy Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant so they can enjoy the experience!

Located at 3003 Guess Rd

Check out their website here!


11:30 AM - 2:30 PM

5:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Via Rouge

Sometimes an escape from your everyday scene is just what you're looking for. Dining at Vin Rouge makes you feel like you've traveled to France and are enjoying a nice meal in a French restaurant. The atmosphere of this restaurant is perfect for a date night out. It's decorated with black and white photos of celebrities and French art designs. The red accent walls provide the ideal ambiance and romantic setting.

Executive chef, Matt Kelly, has created the perfect menu consisting of French dishes. Menu options include escargots, steak frites, et fruit de Mer, and many more delicious meals. If French is your favorite type of cuisine, Vin Rouge is the perfect restaurant for you to try!

Located at 2010 Hillsborough Rd

Check out their website here!


Sunday 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM and 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Tuesday - Thursday 5:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Friday - Saturday 5:30 - 11:00 PM

Dames Chicken and Waffles

Do you love soul food as much as we do? Dames Chicken and Waffles has quickly become a fan favorite since opening up its Durham location. Diners line up daily to taste Dames's delicious and classic comfort food. When visiting Dame's, you're sure to get a feel of their love for jazz through their choice of music and art. The restaurant is unique and guaranteed to leave you feeling like you can't get enough!

Located at 530 Foster St

Check out their website here!


Sunday - Monday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Tuesday - Thursday 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Friday - Saturday 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM

chicken and waffles on a plate

Pizzeria Toro

What could go wrong with ordering your favorite wood-fired pizza? At Pizzeria Toro, nothing could do wrong! As wood-fired pizza restaurants are popping up all over, Pizzeria Toro has stayed true to its original goal of creating exceptional pizzas. Their pizzas can be ordered based on either red or white sauce and are enjoyed by all. Some fan favorites include the San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and the prosciutto Cotto with olives and asiago. Not only can you order great pizza, but they also offer antipasto and salad, and you can pair your meal with your choice of wine from their extensive selection.

Locatd at 105 E Chapel HIll St

Check out their menu here!


Sunday 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM

Monday - Friday 4:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Saturday 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM


Durham, NC, has the perfect restaurant for those that enjoy a juicy steak. Recently opening in 2016, NanaSteak made sure to pay homage to the history of Durham. While dining, you'll soon realize that the bar tops and tables are inlaid with real tobacco leaves, as Durham has a long history. Going out with friends or family or enjoying a special date night, NanaSteak's high-energy and upscale dining experience is one you'll never forget. From charcoal grilled filet mignon to seared Scottish salmon, NanaSteak offers menu options that will soon make this restaurant one of your favorites!

Located at 345 Blackwell St

Check out their website here!


Sunday 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Tuesday - Thursday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Friday -Saturday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Harvest 18 Restaurant

Another restaurant in the Durham area to satisfy your craving for southern food is Harvest 18 Restaurant. Their farm-to-table experience of chef-driven cuisine is one of a kind. Over 80% of ingredients at Harvest 18 are sourced from local farms, ranches, and fishmongers. You can choose from one of their signature entrees, soup or salad, sandwiches, and more! They also serve a robust brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. Pair your delicious meal with one of their popular craft brews or seasonal wines!

Located at 8128 Renaissance Pkwy

Check out their website here!


Sunday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Monday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Mateo Bar de Tapas

There's nothing better than going out to dinner and getting to try a variety of different menu options. Mateo Bar de Tapas is the perfect restaurant for those that can never quite decide what they want to eat! As his first solo mission, Matt Kelly of previously mentioned Vin Rouge set out to create the perfect menu of small Spanish plates with a southern influence. To top it off, Mateo Bar de Tapas offered an extensive Spanish wine list. No worries if you don't feel like eating at a restaurant; their tapas and paellas are available for curbside pickup.

Located at 109 W Chapel Hill St

Check out their website here!


Sunday - Monday CLOSED

Tuesday - Saturday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Mothers & Sons Trattoria

An authentic Italian meal is always a go-to in our book! Fatta, a mano, meaning handmade pasta, is just one of the reasons that Mothers & Sons Trattoria is a fan favorite of Durham, NC residents. You are sure to feel transported to Italy. At the same time, you dine here as they have based the restaurant around Italian traditions, and families gather around the dinner table to enjoy a nice meal. Overall, Mothers & Sons Trattoria is a must-try. You won't be disappointed with their authentic Italian dishes and wide selection of wines.

Located at 107 W Chapel Hill St

Check out their website here!

Sunday - Monday CLOSED

Tuesday - Thursday 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Friday - Saturday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

pasta in tomato sauce on a white plate

Cucciolo Osteria

Another exceptional Italian restaurant located in Durham is Cucciolo Osteria. With its upscale yet causal environment, dining at Cucciolo Osteria is perfect for a girl's night out to enjoy pasta and wine or a date night with your loved one to celebrate a special anniversary. Although they mainly focus on pasta, their menu includes Bruschette and antipasti options. After trying their delicious meals using the highest quality ingredients, you will soon be raving about your experience at Cucciolo Osteria.

Located at 601 W Main St

Check out their website here!


Sunday - Monday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Tuesday CLOSED

Wednesday - Thursday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Friday - Saturday 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Alley Twenty Six

Do you love cocktail hour as much as we do? Alley Twenty-Six has cocktail hours every Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday from 4 pm to 12 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 4 pm to 10 pm. But it's not all about the drinks! Alley Twenty-Six serves up delicious American-style cuisine and tapas/small plates. Featured in magazines like Vogue and Our State, there's no doubt that you will enjoy your dining experience. The Alley Burger (8 oz. ground chuck and brisket, black truffle cheddar, bourbon-bacon jam, chipotle aioli, arugula, on a potato roll) is constantly raved about, and we encourage you to try it out!

Located at 320 E Chapel Hill St

Check out their website here!


Sunday 10:30 AM - 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM


Tuesday - Thursday 4:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Friday - Saturday 4:00 - 2:00 AM

three cocktails on napkins

Bar Virgile

When visiting Durham, stop by Bar Virgile and grab a quick bite and a delicious cocktail! Conveniently located near the Durham Performing Arts Center, Bar Virgile has become the place to stop before or after a show. The restaurant is highly inviting, making it an excellent place to take your friends or co-workers after a long day. The tables are close together, and the energy is high, so don't expect a quiet, intimate conversation! Their brick walls and classic vintage posters remind you of being in a French restaurant. The menu is ever-changing and consists of poultry, beef, and pasta options.

Located at 105 S Mangun St

Check out their website here!



Monday - Saturday 5:00 PM - 12:00 AM


Are you looking to enjoy a phenomenal Ethiopian meal in Durham? Look no further; Goorsha is the restaurant for you. At Goorsha, they serve authentic Ethiopian food with a modern twist. You can feel the love for the culture as soon as you enter the restaurant. Goorsha, the act of feeding one another, is highly encouraged when dining in. Menu options include tibs (mean sauteed in spices) and Shiro (Chickpea stew) that are intended to be eaten with hand-torn bits of injera.

Located at 910 W Main St

Check out their menu here!

Sunday 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Monday - Friday 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Saturday 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Local 22 Kitchen and Bar

Grab your fur baby and head over to Local 22 Kitchen and Bar! If you couldn't tell, Local 22 is a pet-friendly environment, making it a hotspot amongst those looking to bring their pet out for a lovely afternoon meal. Their new American cuisine proves to be a hit with Durham residents, as people who dine here say it's one of the best restaurants Durham has to offer. Family and friends can enjoy a meal at Local 22 Kitchen and Bar. The bar offers handcrafted cocktails and local drafts that pair perfectly with its menu.

Located at 2200 W Main St

Check out their website here!


Sunday 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Tuesday - Friday 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Saturday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM

M Sushi

Finding a good sushi restaurant can often be challenging, but M Sushi exceeds expectations. The restaurant owner describes the environment as a minimalistic vault with stone-gray walls and dim lights. The atmosphere ensures you keep your mind Zen, syncing it with your palate. While they only serve a small menu, the quality makes up for it. By using seafood directly from Japan, Korea, and the US, they can create a menu of delicious sushi that will never disappoint.

Located at 311 Holland St

Check out their website here!


11:30 AM - 2:00 PM

5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

sushi with wasabi and chop sticks

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas 

This fusion South American restaurant serves empanadas, small plates, grain bowls, desserts, and craft cocktails in a stylish atmosphere with exposed brick walls. Offering plenty of vegetarian options on the menu, Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas is a must-try in downtown Durham. 

Located at 112 W Main St

Check out their website here


11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Our Final Thoughts on Restaurants in Durham, NC

While people worldwide are quickly relocating to Durham, NC, the restaurant industry needs to keep up! And that's precisely what Durham is doing. Chefs and restaurants set their sights on having a location in Durham as the population continues to grow. No matter what you're craving, the options in Durham are endless. You will likely find just about every type of cuisine you can imagine throughout the city!

The city of Durham has plenty to offer. Whether you're interested in attending Duke University, pursuing a career in health care at Duke hospital, or looking to move to a growing area, Durham is the perfect place to live and raise a family.

When you're ready to move to one of the fastest-growing cities, Raleigh Realty is here to help you find your dream home. Contact us or check out the available homes in Durham, NC, on our website.

Are you wondering what restaurant to try next? Please pick one from the list we created, and let us know what you think!



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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Raleigh Real Estate Blog! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I'm a REALTOR® in Raleigh-Durham, NC, the owner of Raleigh Realty. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in Raleigh. You can find more of my real estate content on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and more. Realtor Magazine named me a top 30 under 30 Realtor in the country (it was a long time ago haha). Any way, that's enough about me. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Raleigh Realty. Looking forward to connecting!