Let’s be clear, brunch is not breakfast. There’s something quite special about the in-between weekend meal, and restaurants all over Durham are embracing the brunch lifestyle with dedicated menus just for this special course. Here’s a guide to some of the most unique brunch experiences in Durham, as well as classic Southern favorites.
Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Restaurant | Sample German fare on the weekend brunch cafe menu at this European-meets-Southern eatery. Familiar brunch items like eggs benedict over Westphalian ham and nutella on grilled brioche bread mix with traditional German cuisine, such as schnitzel and house-made bratwurst. Don’t leave before popping into the attached bakery for an almond schnecke pastry.
Vin Rouge | You’ll feel tucked away in a Paris arrondissement at this classic French bistro. Stick with the tried and true favorites, like a gooey Croque Monsieur sandwich, a mushroom and Gruyere cheese omelet, or the Eggs Oscar – poached eggs served over English muffins with asparagus and crab hollandaise.
Old Havana Sandwich Shop | Sundays are made for hearty meals with friends, so grab your crew and stretchiest outfit to fill up on Cuban cuisine. The top-seller El Obrero plate includes slow roasted pork, a fried egg, maduros (oven roasted sweet plantains), and rice and black beans. Vegetarians, have no fear! The El Vegetariano plate features arroz congris (white rice cooked with black beans) two fried eggs, maduros, and a salad.
Straight Up Southern
Piedmont | Specializing in hyperlocal cuisine, brunch visitors to Piedmont will find menu items from some of their favorite nearby purveyors, like the Loaf Bakery brioche French toast served with poached apples, candied pecans, and bourbon-maple syrup, or the barbecue pork shoulder with root vegetable hash, a fried egg, and Pig Whistle BBQ Sauce.
Oval Park Grille | As expected, the “local as heck” tagline of Oval Park Grille makes for a seasonal menu filled with local ingredients, but it also applies to the restaurant’s neighborhood vibe. Try the OPG Benedict with toasted brioche, Heritage Farms bacon, poached eggs, hollandaise, and home fries, or the open-face North Carolina mountain trout sandwich.
True Flavors Diner | It’s hard to snag a seat at the cozy True Flavors diner on the weekends but the inventive menu is truly worth the wait. You’re served a hot, buttermilk biscuit the second you sit down (try not to inhale it), and the menu is filled with delicious dishes like slow roasted duck hash with roasted red peppers, thyme, shallots, and eggs, or the creamy four-cheese shrimp and grits with peppers, onions, fresh corn, sausage, and eggs on the side.
Scratch Bakery | Primarily known for its seasonal pie menu, Scratch also serves up a mean weekend brunch. Try the avocado toast topped with buttermilk radishes, or the tangy shakshuka – two farm eggs, tomato-braised seasonal vegetables and minted tahini, served with hearth bread for dipping.
Watts Grocery | Start brunch on the sweet side with an order of Southwestern churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce, followed by the Farmer’s Scramble with eggs, house-made chicken basil sausage, mushrooms, kale, and feta cheese. If you’re in a lunch mood, munch on the fried oyster po’boy and French fries.
Durham Hotel Disco Brunch | Turn brunch into a full-fledged party at the Durham Hotel every third Sunday of the month, where local DJs spin vinyl in accordance with a monthly theme. Dishes like smoked North Carolina fish toast, pecan French toast, and steak and eggs are served alongside Bloody Marys and punch bowls.
Bottomless Mimosas | Bottomless mimosas can turn any meal into a party, and the weekend brunch menus at both Primal Food & Spirits and The Little Dipper Fondue on Main offer endless glasses of OJ and bubbly.
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