From 9th Street to downtown, you will never have trouble finding a place to add to your dining in Durham bucket list. The restaurant scene has a little something for everyone.

While eating may not seem like an important part of the business school experience, meeting up with classmates to try new places has been a fun and unique part of my Fuqua experience.

Favorite Place to Meet Friends

Elmo’s Diner

After a long day at school, there’s nothing better than sliding into a booth at Elmo’s. They have a wide variety of options, from a classic burger to burritos. A long specials menu every day lets you try something new each time. A two-minute walk from the popular Station 9 and Berkshire Ninth apartments, this place is an institution for any Fuquan.

Favorite Menu Item: Pasta Salad—I order it whenever I see it pop up on the specials menu!

Favorite Downtown Restaurant

Pizzeria Toro

The wait to get into Pizzeria Toro is worth it. Their wood-fired pizzas are tasty, and the high-top tables make it a fun place to meet up with friends.

Favorite Menu Item: San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella pizza

Sausage and spinach pizza from Pizzeria Toro
Sausage and spinach pizza from Pizzeria Toro


Try Something New

The Palace International

Their authentic African cuisine is fun to try with a group, especially those who have never tried anything similar before. With generous portion sizes and reasonable prices, this is not to be missed. Share the samosas for a surprising and fun appetizer.

Favorite Menu Item: Nairobian Beef

Best Brunch

Watts Grocery

A line forms at 11:00 a.m. each Sunday to get into Watts Grocery, and for good reason. Last term, I planned a section brunch to catch up after spring break, and this was the perfect place to meet up with a larger group.

Favorite Menu Item: Fried Green Tomato BLT

lunch plate from Watts Grocery, a great place for dining in Durham
Pimiento cheese, bacon, and fried green tomato sandwich from Watts Grocery


Best Cheap Eats


Located right near Station 9, this is the perfect place to swing by on my way home after a long class day. The Venezuelan arepas are to die for, and the quick-service environment is fast and friendly. I’ve done many a team meeting here—the chips and guasaca are essential!

Favorite Menu Item: Shredded Beef Arepa

Can’t Forget About

Fox Center

The place I eat at most often in Durham is without a doubt, Fuqua’s own Fox Center. With too many options to count and an incredibly friendly staff, I look forward to eating lunch here every day.

Favorite Menu Item: Anything from the custom sandwich counter or the grill’s chicken tenders on a particularly trying day



Lunch fix at the Fox Center : @rylee_ry #dukestudents

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