Take a food tour through the South's Tastiest Town
Posted May 27, 2013
Updated May 29, 2013
Durham, N.C. — For foodies, the intersection of Magnum and Parrish streets in downtown Durham is a Bermuda Triangle they may never want to escape. Within one block of it, in any direction, is a plethora of eateries, bakeries, and bars that prize local ingredients, quality products, and creativity. Consider this your guide to a perfect food lover’s day in Durham without doing more than crossing the street.
Stop 1: Breakfast at Monuts Donuts (110 East Parrish St.). This donut and bagel shop used to operate out of a tricycle. Cake and yeast donuts come in flavors like chocolate chai and the delicious maple bacon bourbon I sampled. Bagels are also a hot commodity and can be topped with eggs, cheese, and … maple sriracha? Counter Culture iced coffee should help with that morning headache.
Stop 2: Lunch at Bull City Burger and Brewery (107 East Parrish St.). Alton Brown recently tweeted “Got food from here. You should too” about this burger and beer hot spot. Pasture-raised North Carolinian beef is ground daily for the patties, and all toppings, from the Ghost of Rogers Alley Hot Sauce to the changing daily pickle, are made in-house. Don’t forget a Parrish Street Pale Ale to wash that juicy, farm-fresh burger down.
Stop 3: Afternoon dessert at Scratch Baking (111 W. Orange Street). This jewel of latté and dessert ingenuity resides on a side street obscured by a small park and sculpture garden. Recent pies have included rhubarb chiffon and Mexican chocolate cream. Try their lavender-infused latte, the Purple Rain, to help you out of that food coma.
Stop 4: Tomorrow’s bread at Loaf (111 W. Parrish St.). This boulangerie focuses on bread loaves and pastries of the French persuasion. Take a cherry pepita or polenta loaf home for later. If you aren’t full after dessert, try the pain aux pistaches, a sweet roll overflowing with ground pistachios and a hint of cream.
Stop 5: Dinner at Dos Perros (200 N. Mangum St.). An upscale Mexican restaurant awaits in this bright yellow building on the corner. Refresh yourself with an agua fresca and enjoy the house-made chorizo in whatever dish features it. On Monday nights, try the taco specials. They’ll include the cochinita pibil, if you’re lucky.
Stop 6: Late night drinks at Bar Lusconi (117B E. Main St.). If you can find it, this brand-new bar is a great way to end the evening. The elbow-to-elbow night spot hides behind windows covered with butcher paper for now. Identify it by the words painted above the door: “Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.” The knowledgeable bartenders will guide you through their unique list of wine and beer imports. Order a bottle to share while indulging in a cheese and charcuterie plate.
Photos: A walking food tour in Durham Most stops have a patio, but if not, take your food to go and claim some grass at the parks bordering the intersection. Don’t forget to relax; that much gluttony could wear anyone out. In fact, leaving might be too much work. We’ll send a search party out if you go missing.
Rebecca Gomez Farrell is a Durham-based fantasy, horror and romance author and a freelance editor. She reviews the Triangle’s restaurants and cocktails on her blog, The Gourmez, contributes to the food blog Carpe Durham and writes television commentary for All My Writers.