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11 Amazing Lunch Spots in Durham, NC (Delicious Food)

View of toast, one of the best lunch spots in Durham, NC
Best lunch spots in Durham, NC – Nolichuckyjake /

There are many great lunch spots in Durham where you can have a variety of delicious dishes.

If you’re exploring Durham, it’s great to have some food during lunchtime. Throughout the city, there are incredible restaurants for this. Many of these serve all kinds of sandwiches, including sandwiches made with local and seasonal ingredients. You can also get other dishes for lunch at these places, such as soups, bowls, salads, biscuits, and bagels. In addition to that, you can choose from several types of cuisines, including Mexican, Japanese, and American cuisines.

In this guide, you can find the best places for lunch in Durham!

Best Lunch Spots in Durham


Salad at Toast
Brussels sprout chopped salad at Toast, which was a special

Toast is an Italian sandwich shop that is located in downtown Durham and that was founded in 2008.

The sandwich shop makes its sandwiches using farm-fresh produce from local farms, artisanal bread from local bakeries, and Italian meats and cheeses. All sandwiches are prepared from scratch every day.

You can get sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch at Toast.

There are different types of sandwiches to choose from.

One type of sandwich is a panini, which is a hot grilled sandwich. There are lots of different types of panini, such as the panini which is made with portobello, fontina, arugula, and roasted tomato.

You can also get a tramezzini at Toast, which is a cold sandwich and you can get a set of two small toasts, which is called “crostini”.

There are always two homemade soups at Toast, of which one is a vegetarian soup.

Address: 345 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Alimentari at Mothers & Sons

Sandwich at Alimentari at Mothers & Sons
Fried chicken sandwich at Alimentari at Mothers & Sons, which was a special

Alimentari at Mothers & Sons is a lunch restaurant in Durham that is open from Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 3 PM. Alimentari at Mothers & Sons is situated next to Mothers & Sons Trattoria, which is a place where you can have dinner.

At Alimentari at Mothers & Sons, you can choose from a variety of lunch options, including sandwiches and salads.

One of the best sandwiches is the Caprese sandwich, which consists of tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella, and other ingredients.

The Salumi Misti sandwich is a great one as well and comes with Mortadella, salame calabrese, arugula, tomato, and more.

The “Farm Lettuces” salad is a great salad to have for lunch and includes mixed greens, radish, green beans, ricotta salata, and red wine vinaigrette.

Address: 105 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

M Kokko

Food at M Kokko
Dish at M Kokko

M Kokko is a restaurant where you can have lunch from Tuesday through Friday. The restaurant is located next to M Sushi.

M Kokko has a menu with all kinds of casual chicken dishes with Korean and Japanese influences, and the restaurant is constantly working on improving its dishes.

The restaurant has a cozy interior and has 20 seats only.

One of the best dishes to get at M Kokko is the Chicken Sandwich, which comes with buttermilk fried chicken breast, bread and butter pickles, and other ingredients.

You can also get the “Curry Udon” for lunch. This is a vegan dish that includes veggie tempura, curry, thick Japanese noodles, and caramelized onions.

Address: 311 Holland St Suite B, Durham, NC 27701


Dish at Guglhupf
Food at Guglhupf

Guglhupf is a bakery and restaurant that was established in 1998. The restaurant uses local and seasonal ingredients to create contemporary southwestern German food.

Besides being great because of the delicious food, Guglhulpf is also a great place because of the architecture of the building of the restaurant.

The menu of Guglhupf has a variety of dishes, including various types of sandwiches.

One of the best sandwiches to get at Guglhupf is the falafel döner, which is a pita with 3 fried falafel, cabbage, tomato, tzatziki, tahini, herb, and other ingredients.

Another sandwich that is great is the spicy fried tofu sandwich. This is a sandwich made with a dill pickle marinated tofu patty, a vegan chipotle aioli, and other ingredients.

The menu also includes buttermilk pancakes, salads, soups, and much more.

Address: 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

GRUB Durham

GRUB Durham is a restaurant that is located on West Chapel Street in Durham. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is an incredible place to have lunch in Durham.

When having lunch here, you can choose from a large variety of sandwiches and burgers.

One of the best burgers to have at GRUB Durham is the Cubano Burger. This is an 8 oz. Angus beef short rib and chuck burger with Havarti cheese, lettuce, and a variety of other ingredients.

The Brussel Sprout Sandwich is a great option on the menu. This sandwich includes fried Brussel sprouts with mixed greens, feta cheese, caramelized onions, and other ingredients.

There are also delicious salads to have for lunch, such as the Greek couscous salad, which comes with couscous, cucumbers, garbanzo beans, and other ingredients.

The restaurant also has a varied, and daily-changing, selection of desserts, such as double chocolate cake.

Having food at Grub is also one of the best date ideas in Durham.

Address: 1200 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701


Spicy roasted chicken and kale sandwich at Monuts
Sandwich at Monuts

Monuts is a bakery and cafe in downtown Durham. The restaurant began as a donut stand in 2011, and is now a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch.

You can get a modern version of American breakfast and lunch at Monuts, and the restaurant uses local and seasonal ingredients.

For lunch, you can build your own sandwich at Monuts. You choose a bagel or biscuit, and add cheese, veggies, meat, condiments, and egg, to make the bagel that you like.

Besides that, there is a variety of other dishes to choose from. For example, you can get the “Bacon + Guac Breakfast Burrito”, which is a flour tortilla with scrambled eggs, guacamole, applewood smoked bacon, queso fresco, and other ingredients.

The menu of Monuts also includes seasonal specials.

Address: 1002 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

King’s Sandwich Shop

King’s is a sandwich shop that is located in the historic downtown of Durham. King’s was established in 1942 and is a family-run business.

The restaurant serves hot dogs, burgers, fries, and milkshakes.

There are two types of burgers to choose from. These are the King Burger and the Double Kingburger. You can add whichever free toppings you like.

There are also different types of hot dogs, including the “traditional king’s hot dog” and the “veggie dog”.

If you want to have a milkshake, you can choose from three types of flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. All are made with 1950s multi-mixer and are topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

Address: 701 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701


Koki is a restaurant in downtown Durham where you can get Puerto Rican dishes. The menu includes a variety of dishes, including rice bowls, empanadas, and sandwiches. There are also lots of vegan and vegetarian options.

One of the best bowls to get at Koki is the “Old Havana”, which is a bowl that consists of steamed white rice, pink beans, fresh sliced avocado, and other ingredients.

The “Fountain of Youth” bowl, which comes with a salad mix, chicken chimichurri, queso fresco, avocado, and more, is great too.

One of the best empanadas is the “Pork-U-Pineapple”, which is made with slow-roasted East Carolina-style BBQ pork and pineapple chunks.

The sandwiches at Koki are made with bread from a local bakery. An example of a great sandwich is the Spanglish Cuban. This sandwich is made with slow-roasted pork, black forest ham, Swiss cheese, and other ingredients.

You can also get salads, soups, and other dishes at Koki.

Address: 104 City Hall Plaza #101, Durham, NC 27701

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Outside of Maggiano's Little Italy
Exterior of Maggiano’s Little Italy – Sharkshock /

Maggiano’s Little Italy is an Italian-American restaurant with a lot of food options for lunch.

You can get different types of sandwiches at this restaurant, such as a “Chicken Parmesan” sandwich.

You can also get a variety of salads at Maggiano’s Little Italy, such as the “Wedge Salad”, which comes with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, blue cheese, smoked bacon, and other ingredients.

There are also many other types of lunch dishes, soups, pastas, and more.

The starters that you can get at Maggiano’s Little Italy, such as the “Margherita Flatbread”, which comes with aroma tomatoes, an Italian cheese blend, fresh mozzarella, and basil, are delicious too.

Address: 8030 Renaissance Pkwy., Durham, NC 27713


Mezcalito is a Mexican restaurant in Durham that makes for one of the best lunch spots in Durham. You can have authentic and fresh Mexican dishes for lunch here.

The lunch menu includes a variety of dishes, including tacos. Each order comes with two tacos that are served with rice and beans, chicken soup, or consomé. There are lots of different types of tacos, such as the vegetarian taco, which comes with grilled veggies, agave-chipotle drizzle, corn, cheese, guacamole, and sesame seeds.

You can also get different types of burritos, enchiladas, bowls, and other dishes for lunch at Mezcalito.

Besides great food, you can also get Mexican drinks at the restaurant, such as different types of tequila and mezcal.

Address: 706 Ramseur St, Durham, NC 27701

Ninth Street Bakery

Ninth Street Bakery is a bakery that was established in 1981.

The bakery is great if you want to get delicious bread and pastries, such as chocolate chip cookies, but there’s also a lunch menu if you want to go here during lunchtime.

Ninth Street Bakery has a rotating lunch menu, which consists of many different types of sandwiches, bowls, and other dishes. The restaurant suggests calling them or looking at their Facebook page to see what you can get for lunch.

You can find Ninth Street Bakery near many of the best sights in Durham, such as the Museum of Durham History, so it’s easy to have lunch at Ninth Street Bakery and also explore the best things to do in Durham on the same day.

Address: 136 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

More Durham Articles

Things to do with kids in Durham

Day trips from Durham

Things to do at night in Durham

Rainy day activities in Durham

Weekend trips from Durham

Durham Lunch Spots Tips

Some of the restaurants on this list are very popular. So if you want to make sure you are able to have lunch in Durham at one of these restaurants and not have to wait, I recommend making a reservation in advance.

However, there are popular restaurants where you can’t make a reservation, so if you want to go there, I recommend showing up early.

View of buildings in Durham
Buildings in Durham – Sharkshock /

Lunch in Durham Map

As you see, there are many great lunch spots in Durham, NC. I hope I helped you find a place you want to visit!

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