HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >


Favorite soup in Durham or Chapel Hill, NC?

I did a search on this board and didn't find any similar discussions so I'm starting this topic:

Its January and its definitely been soup weather lately so I've made a few various batches of tasty homemade soup over the last couple of weeks. Then, I started wondering what are some restaurant destinations for really good soup in Durham? Or maybe Chapel Hill?

Some of the places that came to my mind:

Eastern Lights
Twisted Noodles
Sopa at various taquerias and Mexican restaurants

What are some others? I'm sure that many of you will come up with others that I haven't thought of.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've always enjoyed the soup I've gotten with my panino at Toast.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bbqme

      Gumbo at Crook's Corner
      Soup at Panzanella

    2. Chicken Noodle at Neal's Deli in Carrboro. Light and flavorful. Jan Pong at Eastern Lights though perhaps slightly edged out by the Jan Pong at China Express. Get it spicy for sinus clearing. Korean or Chinese style? I can't decide. Both are good. I just wish Eastern Lights offered the smaller size that China Express does. Standard size is one big bowl of soup. Haven't had any yet, but the soups at El Cuscatleco on Garret Road that I had saw on tables as we exited looked fabulous--either sopa de camarones or mi mariscada (I just know it had seafood in it). On my list for a return visit. Won Ton soup may sound boring, but the version that comes with the lunch special at Peony Asian Grill (Patterson Place, Durham) is really a very nice example. Flavorful broth and a couple of very plump won ton. We have had won ton soup at several other Chinese restaurants in town and theirs is the best.

      I second soup of the day at Panzanella.

      Lately the soups at Toast (one of our favorite places) have been way too salty for me, though I have always enjoyed their flavor combinations.

      I will look forward to seeing what others have found. Soup is my lunch of choise.

      Out of the Chapel Hill/Durham area, but I just had the chicken noodle soup with kreplach at Weinberg's in Raleigh. Unbelievable. I am glad I only got a cup--it was that rich. One of those dishes that I will dream of.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Panski

        The lentil soup at Mediterra Grill in Durham is as close to this glorious soup as I remember it from Turkey, quite unlike other lentil soups around here (except that Tallulah's comes close). The clam chowder at Nantucket Grill is one of my standbys as is the Kim Chee soup at Chosun OK. Of course Min Ga's soups are all quite wonderful. The Caldo de Mares at Fiesta Grill is really special. 9N9's Pho Tai is a destination comfort soup. I'm still looking looking for Thai soups better than my current favorite, the Beef Noodle soup at Bangkok 54. (Falconbridge).

      2. MG serves some of the very best soups anywhere not just Durham - an integral part of the meal there. And as one of the least expensive things on the menu they're a bargain. The first basket of bread is never enough because it get finished sopping the last few drops of soup ;-).

        If you get a chance, read the intro to soups in Barker's cookbook. Even if you've never eaten there, that should be enough to convince you :-).

        2 Replies
        1. re: D R C

          I'm guessing "MG" refers to Mediterra Grill and not Ming Ga, which was also mentioned in the post previous to yours.

        2. My vote is for the Brunswick Stew at Allen and Son.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Notaslavetofashion

            I'm a big fan of the Baby Goat soup at Chosun OK. My wife believes it cures the common cold.

            This is a really fun thread.

          2. Agree with many mentions, but my favorite is vegetable dumpling tofu soup at Vit Goal. Fair warning: the spiciest option is not for the faint of heart.

            1. There are so many good ones, but the French Onion Soup at Rue Cler in Durham is awesome. Toast also always has great soups.

              1. Osh at Sage Cafe in Chapel Hill. http://sagevegcafe.com/: "Our classic Persian soup; garbanzos, lentils, pintos, spinach, noodles, herbs & spices"

                I actually like my version of their soup a little better-I don't cook it as long as they do.

                1. Agree with recommendation for Neal's chicken noodle and would add that their daily special (which I think is generally vegan) is also invariably excellent. Toast soups make a good start but would be significantly improved by a lighter hand with salt and cheese. They are often more like sauces than soups. I sometimes take them home an heat up with additional broth or water. Guglhupf often makes a decent soup, as does Scratch. Very disappointed with all Chinese restaurant soups (and Chinese food in general) in this region. I had an excellent soup at Pomegranate Kitchen on my recent first visit. Foster's soups are leaden, consistent with their other offerings. Front Street Cafe does avgolemono which I long for, but I suspect them of cornstarch, or cream, or both. The place is just a little too strange for me as is Spartacus which I also discovered in search of avgolemono-- if soup was really good at either place I would not even comment on the weird environment or service. Cinelli's in Durham used to do a very nice stracchiatella but the last couple times I had it (over 6 months ago) I did not detect any chicken in the broth, just salt and water. I LOVE soup and might add that a good soup begins with and exhibits a highly extracted stock. I would truly love to find a real, regular source of consommé (other than my kitchen).

                  1. Tomato bisque at Elmo's Diner in Carrboro. We drive all the way there for just this.
                    tom yum goong at Thai Palace. (A Thai friend told me that that restaurant is the closest to authentic Thai food she's had in the area.)

                    1. The one time I had it. I liked the sweet Congee at Gourmet Kingdom. By nature, I'm not a soup getter at restaurants unless it is cold out or comes with the meal.