In 2008, there were THREE exceptional restaurants in downtown Durham: Toast Paninoteca, Rue Cler, and Piedmont. These three restaurants helped score the Durham and Chapel Hill area a title of "America's Foodiest Small Town" from Bon Appetit magazine. They were courageous leaders in an "under-charted" Durham frontier that was only starting to manifest potential greatness in the food realm.

Today, there are a total of TWENTY-TWO restaurants in the downtown sector that earned an "honorable mention" in a recent publication of The News & Observer. Durham's near overnight transformation into a foodie's paradise is nothing short of amazing. In fact, The News & Observer called it "astonishing" and "spectacular." In just six years, a four-block interval on Main Street has turned into an incredible dining selection that will satisfy most any craving. Greg Cox of N&O stated the possible dilemma you might have in choosing where to eat on any given night: "Do you go for contemporary fine dining at Revolution or soul food satisfaction at Dame's Chicken & Waffles? An authentic Cubano sandwich at Old Havana Sandwich Shop or Spanish tapas and a world class sherry selection at Mateo?"

But Main isn't the only street in Durham where good food reigns. Walk a short distance and you'll be faced with even more choices: Bull City Burger & Brewery where house-brewed beer and local grass-fed beef burgers consume the menu; Pompieri Pizza and Pizzeria Toro where your teeth can sink into wood-fired pizza specialties; or Dos Perros, where you will be served traditional Mexican with a contemporary twist. And we haven't even mentioned dessert yet...

In downtown alone, your options include such delicacies as a maple bacon bourbon donut from Monuts Donuts on E. Parrish Street, a blueberry pie with cornmeal crumb (available in June/July) at Scratch Bakery on Orange Street, a cocktail-inspired cupcake at The Cupcake Bar on E. Chapel Hill Street, or a scoop (or two) of The Parlour's house-churned salted butter caramel ice cream. 

It is indeed true that downtown Durham hoards a wealth of good eats, but the city of Durham is vast and there are many restaurants that have been designated "noteworthy" by the foodiest of foodies. If ever there was a reason to explore all of Durham, food is the most epic reason of all! 

If you're looking to move to the area and want more information on what the area has to offer, don't hesitate to contact us! 




Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is Chapel Hil & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting