Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good Eats: Durham, NC

    In two weeks, I say goodbye to my beloved city of Durham, NC.   I was not born or raised here but I've called it home for four of my seven years in NC.  I'll be starting a new job in Greensboro, NC.  I'm excited about my new home but I will miss the Bull City. 

    Durham has a wonderful history, hidden architectural gems, and friendly residents.  While it's widely known as the Town That Tobacco Built, much of its industry revolved around textiles.

    The downtown area has undergone a wonderful revitalization, with the American Tobacco District (shops/restaurants), the Durham Performing Arts Center,  and Historic Brightleaf Square (shops/restaurants).   It was listed in the NY Times "41 Places to Go in 2011." (#35, page four of the article).

    One of Durham's many charms are the awesome local, independent restaurants.  This town has some Good Eats! This area is home to residents from many cultures and the international cuisine adds to the variety and spice of traditional Southern food culture. 

    If you live here or if you're visiting, check out some of my favorite good eats...listed in no particular order.

1) Watt's Grocery: The chef focuses on local, seasonal ingredients so the menu is ever-changing but the food is guaranteed to be amazing.

2) Nana's: The one and only time I went to this restaurant was on a date.  The food was far more memorable than the guy.  Nana's has a world-class wine list and a menu devoted to local, seasonal foods.  Come hungry.

3) Baba Ghanoush: Excellent, inexpensive Mediterannean food.  You can't go wrong with the lunch buffet.

4) Sitar India Palace:  I love, love, love Indian food and I'm lucky enough to live down the street from a great Indian restaurant that has reasonable prices.

5) Firebirds Wood Fired Grill: This is a chain restaurant but I had to include it because it has the best steaks ever.

6) Rue Cler: A cozy French cafe in downtown Durham.  Bring an out-of-town guest here and color them impressed.  Definitely order the beignets. The seating is limited and fills quickly, so make reservations.

7) Lime & Basil: This is actually in Chapel Hill, on Franklin Street.  However, it is the BEST Vietnamese food I've eaten in the Triangle.  I took my Mom here when she came for a visit and she gave it her stamp of approval.  Authenticated by a Vietnamese mama, do you need any more persuasion??

8) Mama Dip's Country Cooking Restaurant: Holy amazing hush puppies, Batman.  I brought two friends here for dinner about four years ago...and they STILL remember it with awe and reverence!  Southern food at it's deep-fried best. (Located in downtown Chapel Hill.)




  1. I wish their were more restaurant lists posted by regular people instead of food critics! I love your list!

  2. Everything sounds amazing, I wish I lived there now! I'm sure you'll miss it, but I'm sure you'll find other places to love as well!

  3. Great list. I agree, there needs to be more people who list restaurants they like and also include what things they like to eat there.

  4. Good luck with your move and thanks for sharing a list of your favorite Durham eats. I've been to Watts Grocery before, but would like to try the other restaurants you've listed. I hear Nana's a great one!

  5. Yum! My sister just left Durham, but I did get to visit once before she did and she took me to a few of the restaurants on your list. I seem to remember really liking Watt's Grocery! :)