Walking into Foster's Market on a sunny Sunday morning where the weather is inching towards 80°, I can already tell my day is off to a good start. I'm greeted by a group of Girl Scouts selling cookies as I walk into this adorable part-market part-cafe. Almost every table is taken, but that doesn't seem to affect the laid back and happy atmosphere that permeates. As I sit down to talk to Jon, one of the managers, I realize Foster's is a gem within Durham.
Foster's Market was opened by Sara Foster in 1990, and has grown to be the kind of restaurant Durham wouldn't be complete without. As Jon tells me, Sara Foster has become somewhat of a brand name in Durham, and I can tell why: her food tastes incredible. As someone who inarguably loves brunch, I'm blown away by how good absolutely everything is. The classic southern biscuit, scrambled eggs and grits are impeccable, and I continue to be impressed by each dish I try.
There was no shortage of food, and the dish I'm still dreaming about as I type on my laptop is the Chef's Special. With sweet potato cheddar grits, over easy eggs, country ham, red eye gravy, and creamed collards, it's the brunch special I never knew I needed. The homemade granola parfait and cinnamon vanilla french toast can't be missed either.
The Real Deal
In Durham's constantly growing food scene, Foster's has managed to stay relevant and continues to be loved by Duke students and Durham's own residents. I ask Jon why he thinks this is, and he says it all comes down to maintaining its authenticity. It has a bit of a cult following, and a low-key online presence; most people hear about Foster's by word of mouth. The locale has no wifi and a large set of regulars and also has amazing service. As Jon tells me, they hire a certain type of people who make customers feel welcome and Sara herself has continued to stay involved in running the restaurant's day-to-day operations.
Foster's Loves Duke
As I continued to devour this class-A brunch, I'm amazed by the amount of people around me wearing Duke gear. Jon reveals this is pretty common on any brunch at Foster's. Sports teams regularly visit after morning practices, and the basketball team is known to call in mass orders. As much as Duke students love Foster's, Foster's loves them back; Jon says he is amazed by how polite and friendly students always are.
Don't Miss Out
Foster's Market is a restaurant that is way worth the drive out of the Duke bubble, and will be for years to come. Come for the food and stay for the fun, yet comforting, atmosphere. Still dreaming of that chef's special, I know I'll be back soon.