I absolutely love eating out, but I always get sucked into a stubborn routine of eating the same things at the same restaurants. I am so stuck in my ways that I am 99% sure that all of the Happy + Hale employees know my order by heart (got to love a good create your own salad). While I love my go-to spots, I am letting Durham down! How can I live in the foodie capital of the South and eat the same things every single week? To do the South's tastiest town justice and take advantage of Dirty Durham's vibrant and flourishing food scene, I branched out and tried a new Durham restaurant every day for a week. Along the way, I learned why the city I have grown to love is known nationwide for having dang good food. 7 days, 7 Durham eateries, 7 new favorite spots - let's go!


Guglhupf bakery, café, and restaurant combines the founders' German roots with their love of fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Its breakfast, lunch, dinner, 'flip the kitchen,' and weekend brunch menus feature both contemporary cuisine and classic favorites. I treated myself to a delicious Saturday morning brunch before starting a long day of studying, and I am not even kidding when I say that the shiitake mushroom omelet was one of the best things I have ever eaten. The melted gruyere cheese pulls were breathtaking, and the flavor combination of mushrooms, herbs, and fresh cheese was exquisite. Because the various Guglhupf menus are all so different, I am eager to come back for lunch and dinner to try something new! Be back soon!

Local 22 Kitchen & Bar

Morgan Bird

Local 22's vibrant menu combining Southern comfort food with seasonal and fresh ingredients and its relaxed ambience create a welcoming environment perfect for date night, celebrations, family dinner, and more. After a long day of meetings and class, the quinoa salad, which was as delicious as it was beautiful, had a perfect balance of crisp vegetables and house-made vinaigrette. Boasting a menu with options that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters, Local 22 is a Durham favorite, and one of my new go-to spots. Can't wait to bring the fam here when they visit! 

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas' menu harmonizes cuisines from South America and the American south while using local ingredients, providing compostable takeout products, and supporting Durham Public Schools and the Durham Living Wage Project. The Luna Salad is, hands down, one of the best salads I have ever had, combining romaine, kale, jicama, red onion, roasted bell pepper, and homemade corn nuts (my favorite part of the dish). I topped the salad with chili-braised jackfruit, which if you haven't tried, you definitely are missing out! Bonus: their location in downtown Durham is perfect for nights out on the town!

Beyu Caffé

Morgan Bird

Beyu Caffé is perfect for coffee lovers, foodies, and jazz enthusiasts alike. Combining a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and jazz club under one roof, Beyu Caffé creates an welcoming environment great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and studying! I enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch consisting of a gorgeous yogurt parfait, two scrambled eggs, and a fresh side salad, a perfect way to fuel my last day in Durham before heading home for winter break. Because I grew up in Mississippi and frequently visited New Orleans, I love good Cajun food, so I hope to come back soon to try their grits, Cajun fries, and vegan Carolina pulled un-pork sandwich! Yum!

Tobacco Road Sports Café

Nestled between DPAC and the Durham Bulls' Athletic Park, Tobacco Road Sports Café brings your favorite bar food to new heights, allowing diners to enjoy fan favorites with modern twists. All while watching your favorite sports teams! The strawberry and avocado salad perfectly combined sweet with savory and topped off a fun night in downtown Durham. Though this spot caters to sports lovers like me, whether you are an avid fan or a friend tagging along, you are sure to love what Tobacco Road Sports Cafe has to offer. Fun fact: because the patio sits on top of left field of the Bulls' stadium, you may luck out and catch a glimpse of a Bulls' or a Duke Baseball game!

Foster's Market

Morgan Bird

A favorite of many Duke students for breakfast and brunch, Foster’s Market boasts a menu with all of your favorite breakfast plates, sandwiches, salads, desserts, and more. I topped their omelet special, which combined fresh spinach, tomatoes, and sautéed onions, with a side of house-made salsa, and it was exactly what this Texas gal was craving! Foster’s Market is a one stop shop as the restaurant offers a wide range of local items for purchase, such as candies, jams, and sauces. After my delicious meal, I grabbed a few Christmas gifts and a coffee for the road! My mom and I love to enjoy a late brunch on Saturday mornings when she is in town, so I am excited to bring her to Foster’s. Come visit soon, Mom!

Refectory Café

After its establishment on Duke's campus in 2005, the Refectory Café spent years catering to Duke students before moving into Durham to better serve the entire community. As a gluten intolerant vegetarian, the Refectory Café was right up my alley! Whether you are low-carb, vegan, or just out for lunch, you are sure to find a meal that you can get excited about! I stopped by for breakfast and had the tofu scramble, which was a delicious way to start off a day of studying for finals! I usually shy away from vegetables for breakfast, but, man, the scramble was a perfect combination of tofu and fresh veggies - all tied together with my favorite spice, turmeric! After looking at all the gorgeous desserts and breads, I knew I'd be back very soon. I may have to write a "I only ate at Refectory Café for a week" article...

Final Thoughts

After exploring these seven restaurants, I am certain of one thing: Durham, NC, has awesome food! There wasn't a meal that I didn't love! While all seven of these restaurants were new to me, many are (and have been) favorites among Duke students and Durham locals alike. If you're ever visiting or looking for a place to grab a delicious meal, I highly recommend one of these restaurants! I'll be back to all of them soon, so maybe I'll see you there!