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restaurants/features/tastiest-town ihi-

restaurants/features/tastiest-town ihi-

Tastiest Town

In January 2013, Durham's food scene was again catapulted into the national spotlight by inclusion on Southern Living magazine's "Top 10 Tastiest Towns in the South." It shared company with culinary megastar destinations like New Orleans, Charleston, and Miami. The winner was chosen by popular vote through an online poll. Despite the difference in size between Durham and many of its competitors, the Bull City took home the title.

In the ensuing article, Southern Living recognized the creativity, accessibility, and passion in Durham's food scene. The article commended Durham's "elevated casual fare" and abundance of "artisans committed to crafting their own to-die-for takes on simple culinary delights." (Read the full article.)

The Tastiest Town title is a crowning recognition after years of praise for Durham's food scene. In 2008, Bon Appétit named Durham (along with Chapel Hill) America's Foodiest Small Town. In addition, out of Durham's 700+ restaurants, more than 50 have been recognized by regional or national media, many of them repeatedly. (The full list of those businesses can be found at the Celebrated Cuisine page.) Many Durham chefs and restaurateurs, including Matthew Kelly of Mateo and Vin Rouge and Phoebe Lawless of Scratch, have also been nominated for national awards, like the James Beard Award.

All this praise proves what the locals already know: Durham is rich with culinary delights. Go ahead, get out and explore all the culinary treasures that Durham has to offer. Discover firsthand why so many agree that Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South!


Scratch Profile Thumbnail

Phoebe Lawless Interview

Hear what acclaimed pastry chef Phoebe Lawless has to say about Durham’s food scene and Scratch, the restaurant she owns in Downtown Durham Read More


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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

  • Mobile truck see website for location
  • Durham, NC -
  • Durham-Roaming

"Whoever believes that there is no such thing as a gourmet grilled cheese needs to take a trip to American Meltdown," says Food Republic. This food truck 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 …

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
  • SW Durham, including Southpoint

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 …

Bull City Burger and Brewery

  • 107 E Parrish St, Ste 105
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 680-2333
  • Downtown Area

Bull City Burger and Brewery is a locally owned, independent restaurant and craft brewery. The restaurant is very much farm-to-fork, working closely with North Carolina farmers supplying beef (with …

Bullock's Bar-B-Que

  • 3330 Quebec Dr
  • I-85 exit 173
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • (919) 383-6202
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

"At Bullock's, the lines form early for chopped or sliced pork... great hushpuppies too." That's how Southern Living describes Bullock's, a barbecue joint that's been operating in Durham since 1952. …

Chamas Churrascaria

  • 905 W Main St, (Inside Piazza Italia) Brightleaf District, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 682-1309
  • Downtown Area

Chamas Churrascaria is a Brazilian steakhouse that serves rodizio, a style of barbecue from southern Brazil. There are a variety of different cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and chicken that a server, …

Chirba Chirba Dumpling

  • Mobile truck see website for location
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • Durham-Roaming

Speaking literally, chirba chirba is Mandarin for "eat eat!" But the phrase evokes warmth and hospitality to friends and guests, and that's what Chirba Chirba tries to do with the Chinese-style …

Dain's Place

  • 754 Ninth Street, Ninth Street District
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • (919) 416-8800
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

Dain's Place is a bar and restaurant located on Ninth St., near Duke University. It was named one of the country's 25 best college campus bars by Complex magazine, and Adam Richman, of the Travel …

Durham Spotlight


Get a taste of the South's Tastiest Town: from fine dining to food trucks, from burgers to gourmet French, find your flavor, Fresh Daily.
Whether you're watching or playing, Durham is where you'll find the best of sports, Fresh Daily. It is the City of Champions, after all.
History isn't just in the past in Durham. It's everywhere you look, from historic sites to city blocks, and it's born anew, Fresh Daily.
Art isn't just shown here. It's made here, Fresh Daily. From touring exhibits to works made in Durham's own studios, find something new.
New knowledge is uncovered, Fresh Daily. In the labs, the universities, and the startups, experience all of Durham's scientific wonder.

Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
101 E Morgan St.
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604