Durham has many great dining options, but I’m not going to discuss anything gourmet. Or expensive. Life at Fuqua is busy, and sometimes, you need to get food quickly. Or even if you’re not busy, you sometimes (or often) crave fast food.

Durham has all of the typical American fast food chains, like McDonald’s and Burger King (where do these not exist?), but I’m not here to review those places. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of either. However, there are many fast food chains that I love that are unique to North Carolina and to the South. I will miss these places dearly after graduation.

All of these restaurants are located on Hillsborough Road (which I think should be renamed Fast Food Alley), only about a 5-minute drive from Fuqua.


This place has received more of my money than any other restaurant in Durham. Cook-Out was founded in North Carolina, but has expanded to Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and hopefully will expand throughout the rest of the country (and world) soon. Cook-Out is open 24 hours, and has become my go-to spot when I’m hungry late at night.

The best thing at Cook-Out, without a doubt, is the milkshake. Everyone who goes to Cook-Out raves about them, and they may be the best milkshakes I’ve ever had. What makes Cook-Out unique is their large variety of milkshake flavors: 36 total, and you can combine flavors as well. Just writing this article makes me crave a Cook-Out milkshake…

Cook-Out has a very large menu, offering burgers, chicken, barbeque pork, and a wide array of sides including fries, hush puppies, onion rings, and much more. I’m a big fan of the burgers, which you can get in a variety of sizes, up to a half pound of meat, and with many different toppings. Cook-Out is also renowned for its low prices: an entrée and two sides is under $5. While you can get the usual offerings as sides, you can also get chicken nuggets or a chicken wrap, giving you many combination options.

While Cook-Out is probably not very good for my body, it’s great for my happiness and my bank account. And that will keep me going back, although I’ll refrain from going more than a few times a week so that I can avoid cardiac arrest.


Bojangles’ is a fast food chain that started in North Carolina and specializes in fried chicken. This chain is extremely popular in North Carolina and has recently expanded to nearby states like Virginia and Maryland, and for good reason.

The most popular item is the fried chicken (i.e. fried breast, thigh, etc.), but my favorite items are the Cajun Filet Biscuit (a piece of fried chicken on a biscuit) and the Chicken Supremes (essentially chicken strips). The fixins’ (sides) are not bad, but not on the same level of quality as the chicken. Bojangles’ also gives you sweet tea with pretty much everything, and if you don’t know what sweet tea is, you will within two days of moving to NC.


Biscuitville is a breakfast-oriented fast food establishment that has locations in North Carolina and Virginia. It’s never open past 2 or 3 pm, and specializes in (you guessed it) biscuits, although it has other breakfast options as well. I think their chicken biscuit is excellent.  The most disappointing thing about Biscuitville is that it closes so early. I’m not used to eating chicken as part of breakfast, which takes away part of Biscuitville’s appeal. However, I highly recommend trying it.

Waffle House

Waffle House does not fully fit the criteria for this article. While its origins are in Georgia, it has expanded all the way up to Pennsylvania and throughout the Midwest, making it not fully southern anymore. Also, this is a sit-down restaurant. However, I decided to include it for four reasons: it’s open 24 hours, has a very southern spirit, the food is delicious, and it’s as cheap as a fast food restaurant.

Going to Waffle House is always a very exciting event. Since it’s a sit-down restaurant, I don’t go as often as I should, and maybe it should be one of my New Year’s resolutions to go to Waffle House more often. Waffle House makes me a very happy individual, and eating there automatically makes my day great.

Waffle House has some very large combination platters that will fill you for days. Go there with 4 or 5 people, and you will have so many plates on your table that you can’t fit all of them on the table (one time, when me and my teammates went on a study break to Waffle House, I had to put my hash browns on my lap.) I could write more about the food options, but it won’t do the restaurant justice. You just need to go.