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Durham restaurants?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We've found ourselves in Durham at a meal time at least 3 times in the last couple of months. The only place we know that's not chainy is Elmo's and dh is tired of it, so we keep ending up at the big chains. What are your favorite places to go?
post #2 of 11
I like the Mad Hatter right down the street from Elmo's (in the same shopping strip as Whole Foods). They do have tons of sweets (the food came second) so it's hard not to buy something sugary, too, and the kids' meals come with a decorate your own cupcake for dessert, but if all that's okay with you I've always liked the grub, too.

We like the Mellow Mushroom (small regional chain) for pizza. They used to offer soy cheeze on the pizza which suits dh. It's down in the American Tobacco complex I believe.

There are lots of great restaurants in Durham. I'm sure some Durham mamas can chime in with more. It's such a foodie town.
post #3 of 11
Where is Durham are you looking? DH is assistant manager at Bocci, so I'm maybe a little biased. But they have a nice lawn area outside that kids love to run around on, and live music Thurs and Sat nights. It's in SW Durham, near Southpoint Mall

I also Mellow Mushroom, and could think of others if you could narrow down the area in which you're looking
post #4 of 11
We live near Elmo's, and some other places we like nearby are Bahn's (right up the street on 9th)--cheap, yummy Chinese-Vietnamese; Cosmic Cantina on Perry Street (towards Whole Foods); Shanghai is good for standard, sit-down Chinese, it's on Hillsborough next to Kroger. On the other end of town, we like the Q-Shack on University Drive, and I recently had a great meal at Rockwood Filling Station, which is right next door to that.

Since you mentioned Elmo's, I'm assuming you're looking for kid-friendly, which guided this list....
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
We usually look for someplace casual and kid-friendly. Other than that we're not too picky. One time were at the Durham museum so something around there, and I can't remember now where we were the other times... so that's not helpful too helpful is it? We live about an hour SE of Durham and it's something of an event (you know not a weekly thing) to come over, so we'd probably go a bit out of our way to go someplace good.

We live close to Fuquay Varina and my husband and I were talking about the differences in the types of restaurants in this area vs. other places. There are a lot of buffets and country cooking that comes out of a can here. So something not like that.
post #6 of 11
The cafe at Guglhupf Bakery. I love the grilled ham and cheese panini. They are only open till 5 or 6 most days, but I think they have plans to open for dinner soon.
post #7 of 11
Broad Street Cafe is newly renovated (wood fired pizza with several vegan options and more) and not far from the science museum.
(They also have Guglhupf pastries.)

We also love Foster's in Durham. The little shaded arbor around back is a fun little "secret garden" place to sit.
post #8 of 11
For nicer food, Watt's Grocery is right next door to Broadstreet and aims to be kid-friendly. I wandered in after a very sweaty, dirty afternoon of play, curious about take-out dinner options. Amy, the owner, was in the front of the restaurant and was VERY nice and welcoming, helping us find the best gluten-free options for DS on the menu. They have a nice book nook and really welcome children. I haven't tasted enough of their food to recommend much more than the kindly atmosphere!

We've also been to Blue Corn Cafe on 9th street, which has a very enticing dedicated kid section [with big TV and videos, natch, but my kids played without noticing it much]. The waitstaff was so nice and the food is yummy. I think there's a lot in Durham for kids and parents.

For quick, nutritious and not super expensive bites, nothing beats Whole Foods for us on Broad St. I love that we can get our food QUICKLY. The Durham WF has really expanded their take-out options and there is plenty to choose from.
post #9 of 11
We find ourselves at Tyler's at American Tobacco at least twice a month. Mostly pub fare, but I think it's well executed, and we love the river and lawn outside.
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by beanma View Post
We like the Mellow Mushroom (small regional chain) for pizza. They used to offer soy cheeze on the pizza which suits dh.
Just FYI - their soy cheese brand contains milk, if your DH is avoiding that. I don't know who eats soy cheese if they are willing or able to consume milk, but apparently these people exist somewhere...

Back when DS and I were both avoiding just milk, we would order a pizza with no cheese, but I have to admit it wasn't very yummy.
post #11 of 11
The soy cheese works for my dh. He's intolerant of dairy, but the casein they use in faux cheeses doesn't bother him too much. He's not opposed to dairy and would eat it if he could tolerate it, but his stomach does not agree with his mouth.
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