Several of my classmates who attended Duke for undergrad constantly raved about the restaurant scene in Durham … Cosmic Cantina, Satisfaction, Café Parizade, Vin Rouge, Alivia’s: these were some of the places that Dukies recommended.

At some point, I decided to venture away from the more popular spots to find some fine dining on my own. After doing some Google searches, I stumbled upon Meelo’s Restaurant at 1821 Hillandale Road.

The pros:

  • It’s only a two-minute drive from the Duke Hospital.
  • Chef Andre greets and checks up on everyone from start to finish.
  • The décor, ambiance, and atmosphere gives off an old school, cozy feeling.
  • Dishes can be prepared specially for vegetarians (I am one).
  • Reasonably priced.
  • The BEST food I have tasted in Durham. Outstanding!


  • None.

The location may come across as a bit shady. The restaurant is situated in a rundown shopping complex, but as I learned in elementary school, don’t judge a book by its cover! My party got a little lost on the way, so we called the restaurant. Chef Andre waited outside in the cold until he could spot us in the parking lot.

I ordered a vegetarian tortellini, and the chef made it with the perfect amount of spice. Everything was fresh, and nothing was bland.

Meelo’s is the hidden gem of Durham. You don’t want to miss this incredible experience!