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It's no secret that Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. A great dining experience can easily become a lifetime memory. Everything from the food to the décor to the service contributes to the experience, and you will easily find that winning combination in Durham. Durham chefs love to execute their craft for an excited, knowledgeable, and engaged audience. You won't soon forget a meal in Durham.

Durham is home to many restaurants that deliver high-caliber experiences, several dozen of which are celebrated by the media. Diversity drives Durham's culinary offerings as much as its proximity to great local producers and deep Southern food heritage. Visitors are as likely to find life-alteringly amazing collard greens and BBQ as they are to tuck into a plate of authentic Peruvian charcoal-fired rotisserie chicken or enjoy an eight-course Japanese kaiseki tasting menu.

Durham is a true global melting pot community, and almost nowhere is this more prevalent than in its food scene. Media like The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Southern Living, Cooking Light, and Food and Wine have written about the quality, breadth, and scope of the dining and food scene in Durham.

Read on about all the dining options in Durham remembering that this is one of the places in the US putting serious energy behind the mobile food scene, with more than 50 trucks. Their offerings range from standard street food to some items that will simply leave you changed forever. If things like salted caramel ice cream or Korean short rib sliders sound good, then beat a path to Durham at once.

Local Favorites

Food Truck Scene

Get the scoop on Durham's acclaimed food truck scene and browse listings to see which ones whet your palate. Read More

Saltbox Seafood Joint

Local Favorites

See what restaurants, shops, and nightlife options were named local favorites by area newspapers. Read More

Search All Durham Dining:

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Maggiano's Little Italy

  • 8030 Renaissance Pkwy
  • The Streets at Southpoint
  • I-40 Exit 276
  • Durham, NC 27713
  • (919) 572-0070
  • SW Durham, including Southpoint

Traditional, family-style restaurant combining old and new world Southern Italian fare. Reservations recommended. Martini night every Thursday. Live music in piano bar M-Sa.


Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas

  • 112 W Main St, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (984) 439-8702
  • Downtown Area

Luna Rotisserie & Empandas offers South American meets American South inspired food. They feature wood-fired rotisserie meats, Andean-inspired braises, empanadas and small plates.


Bel Gusto at the Millennium Hotel Durham

  • 2800 Campus Walk Ave
  • US Hwy 15/501 exit 108A
  • Durham, NC 27705-4479
  • (919) 383-8575
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

Bel Gusto serves contemporary, health-oriented dishes inside or on the patio; and the Varsity Lounge & Grill is a great place to watch sports at this sports-loving campus.

Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken

  • 302 Davidson Ave
  • Durham, NC 27704-4454
  • (919) 220-9028
  • East Durham

Best known for its Peruvian rotisserie chicken, cooked over wood charcoal and served from a bright red and yellow storefront. Acclaimed chef Ashley Christensen cited Alpaca (formerly called Mami …

American Meltdown

  • 6910 Fayetteville Rd & Mobile truck--see website for location
  • The Streets At Southpoint
  • Durham, NC 27713
  • (919) 473-6358
  • SW Durham, including Southpoint

"Whoever believes that there is no such thing as a gourmet grilled cheese needs to take a trip to American Meltdown," says Food Republic. American Meltdown serves melts and grilled cheeses crafted …

Backyard BBQ Pit

  • 5122 NC Hwy 55, I-40 Exit 278
  • Durham, NC 27713
  • (919) 544-9911
  • SE Durham, including RTP & NCCU

The Travel Channel's Man v. Food hails the open pit-smoked chicken and other Southern classics, but "it’s the succulent pulled-pork barbecue that really makes this family-run restaurant a hungry …

Bar Virgile

  • 105 S Mangum St, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 973-3000
  • Downtown Area

Handmade snacks and artfully crafted beverages. Bar Virgile is a food and beverage partnership between husband and wife team Aubrey Zinaich-Howell and Scott Howell and their great friend Daniel …


  • 359 Blackwell St, Downtown Durham, Diamond View III
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 797-9728
  • Downtown Area

Modern Japanese cuisine focusing on specialty sushi, seafood, appetizers and sake. The interior design features a mix of rustic materials and modern design, like the pagoda-style booths made of raw …

Blu Seafood and Bar

  • 2002 Hillsborough Rd, Ninth Street District
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • (919) 286-9777
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

"Three-time winner of the best seafood restaurant award from Durham Magazine and three-time winner of the same award from the News & Observer, Blu Seafood and Bar serves responsibly sourced seafood. …

The Blue Note Grill

  • 709 Washington St, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 401-1979
  • Downtown Area

Located in Downtown Durham near the Historic Durham Athletic Park, the Blue Note Grill is known for both the blues music you can hear there on Fridays and Saturday and their North Carolina smoked …

Durham Spotlight
Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
212 W Main St #101
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604