Chicken and waffles. Burgers and beer. Brisket and hush puppies. These are just a few of the culinary pairings you’ll find while living in Durham, NC. The Southern city plays host to a full roster of eateries that serve everything from classic comfort food to contemporary cuisine—not to mention a lively late-night scene. The next time you’re out dining in Durham, NC, or hitting the bars, check out these popular spots.
So Many Shmears to Try: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles
From vanilla almond to orange honeycomb, the flavors of Dame’s Chicken and Waffles’ signature “shmears” cover an array of tastes. They come on the side of gourmet waffles, like the Red Crested Rose Comb with two chicken legs, candied pecans, and the strawberry shmear. Want to try the maple pecan shmear? Then order the sweet potato waffles wrapped around a chicken cutlet, known as the Quilted Buttercup. Customers rave about the Classy Hen, a standard waffle with a chicken cutlet and the vanilla almond shmear.
Local Food, Hyper-Local Beer: Bull City Burger and Brewery
You can see exactly where your beer originates right when you walk into Bull City. Behind its glass wall, brew tanks hold the suds that will soon land in your pint glass. You can take a tour of the brewery on Saturday afternoon, or just taste-test the brews at your table. The beers on tap change with the seasons, but you’ll likely see a full spectrum of styles, from golden ales to Irish stouts. Enjoy your brew with some of the locally sourced fare dished out at Bull City, a restaurant dedicated to working with Durham-area farmers.
German Food for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: Guglhupf Bakery and Patisserie
German fare comes to the city at Guglhupf Bakery and Patisserie, a hybrid bakery-café. In the bakery, staffers dish out fresh breads, breakfast pastries, and cookies and cakes that you can grab on the go. In the café, you can enjoy a full meal any time of day. If you come by for dinner, try the wiener schnitzel. It’s composed of an all-natural pork cutlet with seasonal veggies, new potatoes, and a squeeze of lemon. You can wash down your meal with a pint of beer or glass of wine.
Smell the Smoky Aromas: Backyard BBQ Pit
Hickory and oak wood fuel the fire pit at Backyard BBQ Pit—as you’ll be able to smell when you walk through the door. The smoky aroma will meet your nose around the same time that you crack open the menu, which is filled with a variety of classic barbecue dishes. The brisket and Brunswick stew both wow customers, but it’s actually a side dish that makes the biggest impression: the hush puppies. One patron calls them the best he’s ever had.
Gourmet Baked Goods: Rise Biscuits and Donuts
As its name implies, Rise Biscuits and Donuts only churns out two types of baked goods. But that doesn’t mean the menu lacks variety. The list of doughnuts changes every single day, introducing new seasonal flavors and anything else bakers think might delight their customers. From banana pudding doughnuts to maple bacon bars to pineapple basil sweets, the roster has a little something sweet for everyone. The freshly made biscuits, on the other hand, come with savory fixings such as fried chicken or eggplant, sausage, or country ham.