Parker & Otis
112 S Duke St
Yelp: 4 Stars, 288 Reviews
A quintessential place to grab a “southern” style sandwich — something along the lines of a grilled pimento cheese. Because, you know, a regular grilled cheese sandwich wouldn’t cut it in the Triangle.
Also look for a a shrimp blt with deviled eggs on the side.
P&O won’t disappoint for a lunch get time getaway. Just be sure to leave some time as it can get pretty crowded.
4823 Meadow Dr
Yelp: 5 Stars, 45 Reviews
Pickled vegetables, peanut sauce, and a short rib on a crusty, crunchy roll.
I’m getting all misty eyed just thinking of how good that sounds.
KoKyu Na’Mean makes a mean Korean sandwich and an excellent spot to grab lunch in between shifts.
Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop
121 N Gregson St
Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 69 Reviews
I say a beautiful conundrum because who would think to mix meat and sweets?
Well Rose did and it’s friggin awesome.
You can go in and grab a sandwich and a little dessert to bring back to the office. Personally, I recommend the bread pudding and the morning buns.
And nifty tip, look out for days when they serve Ramen. Soo, soo good.
Backyard BBQ Pit
5122 NC Hwy 55
Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 445 Reviews
Have a BBQ craving? Backyard BBQ is the place to quench your BBQ thirst.
The line might be long, but it’s definitely worth it. The last time I went for lunch I got there right before closing time and the owner almost didn’t let us in. However, after begging, we were able to get in and get probably the best BBQ in Durham.
This needs to be part of your regular lunch rotation.
345 W Main St
Yelp: 4 Stars, 301 Reviews
Toast is where to go to get your fancy sandwich on.
So fancy that you might skip right over a sandwich and go straight for a Panini. Or you can go even fancier and grab a tramezzini. Or at least the word seems fancier.
My favorite sandwich is the pancetta, arugula, and oven roasted tomato. God bless fancy italian sandwiches.
Dame’s Chicken & Waffles
317 W Main St
Yelp: 4 Stars, 581 Reviews
Please go here as soon as you can.
For your own good, if you work anywhere close to downtown, grab some chicken and waffles for work this week.
Words can’t do the food justice.
It’s so good that several of my friends request it for their birthday every year. So, basically, you can make any lunch a birthday lunch at Dame’s.
5826 Fayetteville Rd
Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 122 Reviews
Dulce Café is the kind of place where after you eat a lunch, you need to get some pastries to bring back to the office.
Think turkey, brie, and apple panini. With a carrot cake or macaron to go, this will make you never want to bring a brown bag lunch again.
True Flavors Diner & Catering
5410 Hwy 55
Yelp: 4.5 Stars, 66 Reviews
Come to True Flavors hungry. I’m talking really, really hungry — the portions are over the top huge and delicious.
The shrimp and grits will hit the spot every…single…time.
It’s a bit expensive for food in Durham, but still cheaper relative to the rest of world. And man is it tasty.
2512 University Dr
Yelp: 4 Stars, 278 Reviews
Nanataco has burritos and tacos that will make you coming back for more.
My personal favorite is the pork butt with guacamole and several different salsas from the salsa bar.
But make sure to call it in ahead of time so you don’t have to wait in line. It can be a pain in the butt to park and wait there with so much awesome food all around you.
Hope Valley Diner
3710 Shannon Rd
Yelp: 4 Stars, 13 Reviews
Ever get a craving for pancakes at lunch? Maybe some waffles?
The Hope Valley Diner’s got your back. They serve breakfast all day long and it’s some of the best in town. I’m a regular there and I’ve never been disappointed.
The crowd may be a little older than you’re used to, but that’s because age brings wisdom. And you can get smarter than eating here.