It's not hard to find top-notch food in Durham. But if you're looking for the hidden gems - tucked away eateries with a loyal following of regulars - you'll have to dig a little deeper. Explore all of Durham's unique districts and check out unfamiliar shopping centers to expand your Bull City culinary horizons!
• Banh's Cuisine - This cash-only, cozy restaurant on Ninth Street offers fresh flavors from Vietnam and China.
• Chicken Hut - Located on Fayetteville Street, this cash-only, 60-year-old soul food restaurant is known for its mouthwatering fried chicken. You can also find barbecue, collards, and more Southern staples depending on the day of the week.
• El Chapin - Tucked away in a strip mall, El Chapin serves inexpensive Guatemalan food and doubles as a small grocery.
• The French Corner Bakery - In a nondescript shopping center north of Highway 85, The French Corner Bakery "makes the real deal Parisian-style breads and pastries," according to Reddit user FlowersForMegatron.
• Halgo European Deli & Groceries - Find specialty Polish and Eastern European foods at Halgo, including pierogi, Polish kielbasy, and homemade cookies.
• Home Plate Restaurant - Open since 1995, Cafeteria-style Southern cooking with a variety of entrees and sides.
• Johnson Family Barbecue - You'll find Eastern Carolina barbecue off the beaten track at this hole-in-the-wall joint. They smoke their meat over hickory wood for up to 10 hours and make all desserts and sides from scratch.
• KoKyu Na'Mean - This is the brick-and-mortar iteration of the KoKyu food truck, serving globally inspired street food. People rave about the Belly Banh, Kokyu's take on a Banh Mi.
• La Cacerola - A Honduran restaurant near the Walltown neighborhood. "We take everyone we know to La Cacerola," wrote Reddit user Smokeahontas. "Get the guacamole and the pickled vegetables!"
• Melo Trattoria & Tapas - Italian cuisine with Spanish influences tucked away in a strip mall. You'll find classics like Bolognese and spaghetti alla puttanesca, along with a globally inspired tapas menu.
• Sitar - Indian cuisine with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Gluten-free and vegan dishes are available, and Sitar offers a lunch buffet daily.
• Thai Café - A family-run restaurant offering authentic Thai cuisine from its Rockwood location. It also has a full bar.
• Thai Spoon - Tucked away in a shopping center, Thai Spoon serves classic Thai dishes. "So good, food is made to order, prices are reasonable," wrote Facebook user Liz Stabenow.
• Vegan Flava - Specializing in vegan cuisine, particularly raw foods, the cafe also hosts community events and offers consultation services.
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