Durham

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 on 2022.02.02
14 Places
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This guide recommends visiting 1 neighbourhood(s) in Durham: Downtown Durham

The Durham Hotel

Hotel • Durham

"The Durham Hotel, Downtown Durham. The Durham Hotel is a mid-century modern hotel with a coffee shop, raw bar and roof deck combo, and lobby-adjacent restaurant. Most come here for the rooftop deck to enjoy the lovely view of the city when it is bustling most weekend nights. Arrive earlier in the evening, or call for a reservation if you want to sit and enjoy some oysters with your bubbly. Though many come for the the roof deck, the lobby-level restaurant boasts delicious eats from James Beard award-winning chef Andrea Reusing. Pro-tip: stop in for a coffee; they have one of the best coffee bars in town. If you’re looking to enjoy the Durham without indulging in food or drink, check out their website to see when the next roof deck yoga class is happening."

The Durham Hotel

Pizzeria Toro

Pizza restaurant • Durham

"Pizzeria Toro, Downtown Durham. Hands down, one of our top places to go in Durham. Pizzeria Toro has the best authentic, wood-fired pizza, as well as other seasonal appetizers (think burrata and peaches or shishito peppers with salt). The kitchen is open to the chic, minimal dining space. Around the corner from the dining space is a bar to which you can belly-up while you wait for your table. Or, better yet, grab a seat there and order from the full menu without the wait. Be sure to go early as there is limited seating and they do not take reservations!"

Pizzeria Toro

Criterion

Bar • Durham

"Criterion, Downtown Durham. Around the office, we don’t call it Criterion. Affectionately, it’s “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name. We love the vibe of this place. Why? Because it’s a classic bar. No frills. Great bar tenders that literally know us by name. Dark wood flooring, booths to sit in with your buds, and a great beer list. When the weather is nice and it’s not 97 million degrees in Durham, camp out at a picnic table near the street."

Criterion

Ponysaurus Brewing Company

Brewery • Durham

"Ponysaurus Brewing, Downtown Durham. A bit of a healthywalk from the heart of downtown or a short cab ride away, this spot is just what Durham needed. Their official tagline is “the beer beer would drink if beer could drink” - need we say more? A brewery outfitted with plenty of picnic tables, an upper deck, and some indoor seating, Ponysaurus is great for grabbing a quick beer or camping out with a larger group for the afternoon. Ponysaurus doesn’t have a traditional food menu, but a food truck is always parked on-site or you can order from their grill menu. Stop by on Sundays for biscuits and beer."

Ponysaurus Brewing Company

Dashi

Ramen restaurant • Durham

"Dashi, Downtown Durham. If you’re craving a delicious bowl of authentic ramen in downtown Durham, look no further than this delightful japanese ramen shop and izakaya in the blossoming area near City Hall. With a beautiful wood interior featuring the charm of manga on the walls, matched with the friendly and welcoming staff, you always feel at home here. Not in the mood for ramen? Their menu also features delightful and unique small plates and a sake and shochu list that does not disappoint. Pro tip: check out their izakaya (Japanese pub) upstairs where you can have your ramen delivered via dumbwaiter, or just enjoy a beverage. Itadakimasu!"

Dashi

Vert & Vogue

Boutique • Durham

"Vert & Vogue, Downtown Durham. A thoughtfully-curated boutique in the heart of downtown Durham, Vert & Vogue carries trendy, high-quality products with a focus on sustainability. This is their second location and offers a curated assortment of apparel, accessories, and lifestyle goods for the modern woman. Founded by Ryan and Nadira Hurley, Vert & Vogue partners with local artisans, stating “because what you wear, and how you do business, matters.”"

Vert & Vogue

The Parlour

Ice cream shop • Durham

"The Parlour, Downtown Durham. A trip to the Parlour is always a unique experience no matter how many times you may have previously visited. With a menu that is constantly changing, there are seasonal flavors to try and staples that never go. A few vegan options are always available and never disappoint. We recommend trying Vegan Apple Spice Cake in the Fall or splurging for the Brownie Sundae with Cookies and Cream. The friendly staff will happily provide samples to find the right flavor to fit your mood."

The Parlour

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas

South American restaurant • Durham

"Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas, Downtown Durham. Known for rotisserie and empanadas, Luna fuses South American and American Southern cuisine. The menu is authentic, healthy, and fresh! Their grain bowls are a go-to when looking for a hearty yet healthy meal—complete with signature rotisserie meats and locally sourced ingredients like steamed kale and sweet corn.Luna has a full bar with South American inspired cocktails, along with house made Agua Frescas, and Durham’s own Ponysaurus on draft."

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas

Carolina Soul Records

Record store • Durham

"Carolina Soul Records, Downtown Durham. Places like Carolina Soul are what make Durham so much more interesting than the miles of suburbia that surround it. Unassuming, eclectic, and curated, this shop certainly is full of soul (pun intended?). Carolina Soul prides themselves on finding, collecting and selling vinyl, both classic and obscure."

Carolina Soul Records

Letters Bookshop

Book store • Durham

"Letters Bookshop, Downtown Durham. Bibliophiles will rejoice in the cozy atmosphere and variety of new and used titles at Letters Bookshop. Letters has a well curated selection of books from numerous genres including Sci-Fi, History, Poetry, Young Adult, Biography, Cookbooks, Mystery, Travel, Philosophy, Business, Graphic Novels, and even a section of local authors. The staff are thoughtful and welcoming, leaving book reviews here and there to guide patrons through the collection in the hopes of finding them their next favorite book. If you love books, I can guarantee you’ll sigh with relief the minute you step into Letters."

Letters Bookshop

Toast

Italian restaurant • Durham

"Toast, Downtown Durham. Toast Paninoteca is inspired by Italian tradition of simple cooking using fresh local produce paired with cured meats and cheeses. Toast is a lunch-time favorite serving soups, salads, and traditional paninis, tramezzinis, and crostinis. This is our go-to spot when we want a light lunch full of flavor. Sample their inventive two-bite crostinis with a fresh salad or homemade soup."

Toast

Alley Twenty Six

New American restaurant • Durham

"Alley 26, Downtown Durham. For cocktail lovers, this is a great place to stop in for something special. Alley 26 has a local focus, sourcing as much as possible from farmers in the Piedmont region in North Carolina. Stop in during colder months and cozy up their bar, or enjoy their alley patio when it’s warm. Our favorite? The Hurricane."

Alley Twenty Six

Lucky's Delicatessen

Deli • Durham

"Lucky's Delicatessen, Downtown Durham. We've never tried something from Lucky's we didn't love, even the chopped liver.The closest thing to a New York Deli in Durham, Lucky’s Delicatessenis a go-to spot for handcrafted sandwiches and deli classics like a good bowl of matzo ball soup, a reuben sandwich, or a chicken parm hero.Wash it all down with a bottle of local craft soda while you take in the light atmosphere and modern retro feel. Part of a family of restaurants at the heart of downtown, Lucky's is owned by the same proprietor as Mateo Bar deTapas and Mothers and Sons Trattoria."

Lucky's Delicatessen

Chet Miller

Gift shop • Durham

"Chet Miller, Downtown Durham. A shop by the same proprietor as Parker and Otis, Chet Miller is a curated gift storeand a designer's dream conveniently located downtown. With beautiful decor, paper products, greeting cards, serving ware—you're bound to find the perfect gift, or just something for yourself."

Chet Miller