Both Raleigh and Durham celebrate acclaim as some of the tastiest towns in the South. From fried green tomatoes to bison burgers, discover the best of the area’s southern classics that award-winning chefs are cooking up.
Southern Weekend Brunch
Located in Raleigh’s Historic Five Points shopping district, the NOFO Café knows how to serve up a mean, southern-style brunch. This casual, family friendly eatery boasts a weekend brunch menu featuring pulled-pork hash—pork shoulder with a side of poached eggs and biscuits—and fried green tomato benedict—smoked bacon jam, two poached eggs and tomato relish topped on a crostini. Not feeling breakfast? Order the buttermilk fried chicken salad off the lunch menu.
Fried green tomatoes are such a traditional southern dish, they could almost be mistaken for ordinary—but not in Durham, where the Only Burger food truck pairs a crispy slice of fried green tomato with a locally sourced cheeseburger. It’s such a hit that Only Burger has added two Durham-based restaurants to its lineup—in Shannon Plaza and at downtown’s American Tobacco center. Get the award-winning fries—fresh, hand-cut Idaho potatoes—with your meal.
Sweet Potato Decadence
It’s not unusual to sprinkle your fries with cinnamon in sweet potato country, but the practice gets kicked up a notch at Mattie B’s Public House in Durham. The gastropub offers creative, signature sweet potato chips. Try the Southern Bell—crisp-fried sweet potato chips topped with puffy marshmallows, toasted pecans, and a brown sugar and cinnamon syrup. Or, go for The Thai Tumble—sweet potato chips dusted with garlic-chili seasoning, lime drizzle, toasted coconut flakes and a guava-cayenne sauce.
Frozen Custard Goodness
It all started in 1987, when Goodberry’s Frozen Custard insisted they’d only use fresh, locally sourced cream, eggs and pure cane sugar to make a frozen custard that everyone would love. To this day, you’ll still hear Raleigh residents speak of Goodberry’s with a touch of pride. The menu brims with mouth-watering flavors of the day, including coconut, maple almond, burgundy cherry and more. You can find Goodberry’s shops in Raleigh, Durham and nearby towns.
The Pit Authentic Barbecue has been featured on a variety of TV shows and magazines—and for good reason. The restaurant cooks up can’t-miss, lip-smackin’ barbecue, North Carolina style. Order the chopped barbecue—free-range pork pit-smoked overnight—and pair it with starters and sides made from local produce, including fried okra and crispy potato fritters. You can find this barbecue gem in the heart of Downtown Raleigh’s Historic Depot District.
Game Day Eats
Fans of the NC State Wolfpack, North Carolina Tar Heels, Duke University Blue Devils and Wake Forest Demon Deacons don’t agree about much—especially on game days. But they do love a good meal with their football. At the Tobacco Road Sports Cafes in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, you’ll find team namesake dishes. Try the Tar Heel Ram Wrap—pulled leg of lamb, mixed greens and pickled red onions topped with black currant curry aioli. Or, order the Durham Bull Burger—in-house-ground Angus beef topped with bacon, barbecue sauce and your choice of cheese.