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The Best Restaurants in Durham Thumbnail

The Best Restaurants in Durham


By Eric Chetwood, CFP®

If you’ve been following our newsletter, you know about our true love for Durham. We enjoy the big-city fun and relatively small-town feel—a combination that’s hard to find. The big city means we have endless eating options, and since our family loves to entertain and host, our visitors are frequently impressed. But it’s not just us, the New York Post encouraged readers to go to Durham, calling it “The Foodie Capital of the South.” (1)

The mix of old and new is felt throughout the city. It turns out old tobacco warehouses make for a trendy backdrop for buzzworthy restaurants. The cool restaurant scene draws national attention, which has top chefs flocking to the area.

Our Favorite Durham Restaurants

We can’t keep them to ourselves—it’s time to share our favorite Durham restaurants. These 6 establishments are in no particular order, and you’re sure to be satisfied no matter which you choose.


At Durham’s original tapas bar, (2) Mateo's endless variety and flavors are unmatched. And as if the food itself isn’t enough, the staff is always friendly and accommodating. You can’t go wrong with the calamari, chicken croquetas, or the mata pimienta. 

Located just inside the downtown loop, the setting is perfect for grabbing a bite to eat and exploring downtown on foot. (And they offer takeaway!)


You’ll find more than traditional Southern food in Durham. Cucciolo puts a contemporary twist on authentic Italian. We love the atmosphere; the exposed brick and high ceilings give this place an industrial modern feel. If you go, promise us you’ll try the bruschetta! Another favorite starter is the arancini. And the truffle pasta is an always satisfying entrée. 

Vin Rouge

Vin Rouge is great for brunch with an equally impressive dinner selection. This intimate French eatery brings a piece of Paris to North Carolina. The eggs benedict is top-notch and they always have brunch drink specials.

Nestled into Old West Durham, the inside has a warm and historic feel, and the patio seating under the pergola is perfect on a warm day. Those with a taste for wine will not be disappointed by the extensive options.

Casual Dining in Durham

Whether you’re pressed for time or you’re simply looking for a casual dining option that’s not a chain restaurant, there are many options! These options are perfect for dining out with family or friends without skimping on flavor or quality.

  • NuvoTaco wins for best Mexican food in our book. 
  • When you need a BBQ fix, head to Picnic
  • And for breakfast, the fried chicken pickle biscuits, apple butter muffins, and biscuits and gravy have us regularly returning to Monuts.

Ready to Join Us in Durham?

It’s no secret that we love the Durham area, and the restaurant scene is just one of many reasons the city ranks so high in our hearts. While sharing financial advice is what we do here, it’s pretty hard for us to get through a meeting without talking about the things we love about Durham.

As we believe in financial peace of mind with a plan, we hope your plan includes fully enjoying all that Durham has to offer its residents and visitors. If you’re already here, then you know. And if you’re looking to relocate or take a vacation, the Durham restaurant scene is sure to take any trip itinerary up a notch. 

Interested in learning more about our firm or the Durham area? Reach out to us online or give us a call at (919) 287-5660.

About Eric

Eric Chetwood is managing partner and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) at Adams Chetwood Wealth Management Group, a faith-based Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm located in Durham, North Carolina. Eric graduated from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has been on the Adams Chetwood team for over 15 years. Eric spends his days helping clients with comprehensive financial planning and portfolio construction and helping them navigate the opportunities and challenges of each stage of life. Away from the office, Eric enjoys effecting change in the local community. He was chosen to participate in the 2007 Leadership Durham program and the 2009 Leadership Triangle program. Currently, Eric serves as a directional Elder at the Summit Church. He also serves on the board of directors for the NC Study Center at UNC-CH and previously served on the board of Samaritan Health Center, an organization that provides medical care to uninsured and low-income families in Durham. He and his wife, Allison, have two sons, and are passionate about adoption advocacy as well as leveraging their gifts and resources to alleviate physical and spiritual poverty through microfinance and social businesses. To learn more about Eric, connect with him on LinkedIn.


(1) https://nypost.com/2016/06/14/go-to-durham-the-foodie-capital-of-the-south/

(2) https://mateotapas.com/