HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >

Discussion

Lunch spots in Downtown Durham?

I started working at the American Tobacco Campus a few months ago and have enjoyed trying out some restaurants nearby. I am lucky to be in this central location, and walking distance from both Main St and Brightleaf. What places should I try out? Ideally walking distance but short drive is fine. Price range is flexible but I can't do above $15 all-in all that often.

I searched the archives within the past year and didn't find anything on this topic.

I've enjoyed Ninth Street Bakery, Dame's Chicken and Waffles, Toast, Only Burger, Torero's, and Tobacco Road. I am over Saladelia, Tyler's and Mellow Mushroom. I found Parker and Otis a little overblown. I enjoy most types of foods but am a sucker for carbs and baked goods. I am not nor will ever be on a diet.

-----
Toast
345 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Torero's Mexican Restaurant
800 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Saladelia Cafe
4201 University Dr, Durham, NC 27707

Dame's Chicken and Waffles
317 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Ninth Street Bakery
136 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Have you been to the Federal? Bar food, but many notches up from the usual. Rue Cler for French food - wonderfully cooked, but unfortunately service can be a problem. If I'm not mistaken, they make their own bread, which is very good. And def. give them a try for brunch - the beignets are heavenly.

    -----
    Rue Cler Restaurant
    401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

    3 Replies
      1. re: panthur

        I had an outstanding lunch to-day at Rue Cler for 2 with no wine because we were driving, total with apps came to 32 dollars and the service was great. i went because they were recommended by the NY Times and had a great time. No table cloths at lunch by the food is the best I've had in months at any price.

        -----
        Rue Cler Restaurant
        401 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

      2. re: LulusMom

        I will second the Fed. And not just for lunch, it's a great happy hour or evening spot too!

      3. I'm not really familiar with the layout of Durham. However, when I was there I found two very good spots: Joe's Diner 2100 Angier Ave, Durham, NC 27703, which serves excellent hot dogs and other lunch items, and Dragon Express, which even though it looks like a standard take-out shack, serves really delicious and fresh food. They're at 1720 Guess Rd, Durham, NC 27701.

        -----
        Joe's Diner
        8332 Old State Rd, Holly Hill, SC 29059

        1. Try Cuban Revolution right there in the campus, Tavernos Nikos at Brightleaf (some of their lunch entrees are big enough for 3 meals for me, and inexpensive to boot, along with great service), or Dos Perros over near City Hall.

          The secret to Tyler's is to order their seasonal specials. Most of their regular menu items are meh, though I was there one Sunday during baseball season and had their version of eggs benedict from the brunch menu - and it was seriously the best eggs benedict (made with prosciutto instead of ham) I've ever had. So they hit that one out of the park (heh). My husband also loves their bratwurst, but they only have that for dinner.

          -----
          Dos Perros
          200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

          1. I want to recommend Blue Corn Cafe on 9th St., but I can't recall their lunch prices. If you ever stick around for dinner, it's definitely worth it!

            -----
            Blue Corn Cafe
            716 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

            3 Replies
            1. re: sisterbeer

              I have been there for dinner with some folks and we were lukewarm on it. My palomilla steak was good but apps and sides were pretty run of the mill.

              1. re: sisterbeer

                I was quite disappointed with Blue Corn. Almost inedible. Unfortunately, I can't remember what we had but everything was bad. We don't eat meat, so maybe the meat dishes are better.

                -----
                Blue Corn Cafe
                716 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

                1. re: sisterbeer

                  I'm going to disagree with you there and echo panthur and kirol7777's statements.

                2. What do you mean that P&O is overblown? Well if you like carbs there is always Baked and Toast though you've stated you've been to the latter. Doesn't ATC usually have like food trucks on the lawn event every now and again? You are in a good spot and I'd recommend trying a pizza from Pop's Backdoor plus you also have Pops not far away. Dos Perros is not far away either. Really nothing is far away. I'm not sure about price ranges for any of these places. You could try and beat out the crowd for a Wimpie's Hamburger. I don't know if Broadstreet Cafe does lunch or not also not sure what other food trucks may be around at that time. For quick and easy carbs, there is always Chubby's Tacos since most of the more traditional tacqueria places are a bit further from you that one is close on 9th street.

                  -----
                  Chubby's Tacos
                  748 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

                  Pop's Backdoor
                  810 W Peabody St, Durham, NC 27701

                  Dos Perros
                  200 N Mangum St. Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    I went to P&O over the weekend and thought it was cute but my artichoke sandwich was just ok. For the price, I though Toast was better. A choice of side would be nice. I love Chubby's, It's good to know there is one nearby.

                    So there are two Pop's? I have been interested to try but confused on which is which and where it is.

                    Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried to contact ATC to request more food trucks but have only seen Only Burger. I think Farmhand comes close by sometimes.

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                      What is Baked? I can't find any information about it.

                      1. re: panthur

                        Whoops Scratch is what I meant (although Scratch Baked is also used).. Baked is a place in Brooklyn and Charleston and different sorta business. Fair warning though that Scratch is overpriced to some.

                        There is Pop's and at the original location across from P&O's outdoor deck is Pop's Backdoor (to go or delivery pizza). They also have a static location near Only Burger's Static local (not near ATC). So to clarify, there is 1 Pops and 2 Pop's Backdoor pizza places.

                        -----
                        Pop's Backdoor
                        810 W Peabody St, Durham, NC 27701