June/July 2023: The Best of Durham Issue

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I always get sentimental when our Best of Durham issue rolls around. The first publication I edited for Durham Magazine featured the results of the inaugural awards (back when we used to give out “medals” instead of buttons!).

It’s hard to believe that, 13 years ago, I was in my first editorial internship with my nose to the grindstone, fact-checking the names of every Durham restaurant, art gallery, salon, veterinarian and gift shop that our readers had dubbed “the best.” Truthfully, it was such a fun and comprehensive introduction to my new hometown, and it gave me a lot of knowledge and confidence when making recommendations to my friends about where we’d go out for dinner that night or which museum we’d visit next.

It’s my hope that others who read this issue year after year end up feeling the same and use this list as a guide to discover new ways to love the Bull City. After all, the Best of Durham is a reflection of our community’s collective voice, a resounding chorus of recommendations and testimonials that illuminate the outstanding establishments and individuals that shape our city. Each winner represents a testament to our city’s vibrant tapestry, from the top restaurants and bars to the finest local cultural experiences and services.

You can find the complete list of winners on page 94, but start on page 40 to learn more about a few of them and make plans to visit any businesses you haven’t patronized before. Trust us – and our infallible readers – you won’t be disappointed! – Executive Editor Amanda MacLaren


42 Global Palate
These restaurants highlight cuisines from around the world – here’s just a sampling of their most impressive dishes

52 Wake-Up Call
Three long-standing restaurants and coffee shops remain popular places to start the day, 20-plus years later

58 Perfectly Pour Decisions
Make the right selection at these four bottle shops and brew houses

62 You’re Gonna Be Popular
Our readers’ fave local food products are ready for their close-up

70 Thrift Seekers
Prop stylist Cameron Renfrow shares his tips and tricks for finding the perfect pieces to accent your home

76 Join the Club
Members tell us what they love most about these favorite sports clubs

82 Treat Yourself
Enlist a few of our Best of Durham winners to help you indulge in the ultimate self-care day

88 Encore!
Beyu Caffé’s live music series hits all the right notes in its triumphant comeback

94 Best of Durham 2023 Winners

106 Agents of Change
Emily K Center is the inaugural recipient of Durham Magazine’s social impact award

108 Unconventional to Unforgettable
Couple turns not-so-traditional Hope Valley house into a home of artistic splendor and tranquil innovation


124 Play On
Older adults stay active and social through Durham Parks and Recreation programming

128 Seen & Heard
Retired couple finds fulfillment in their golden years through their respective projects

132 Directory of Assisted Living, Continuing Care, Independent Living, 55+ Living and Cohousing Retirement Communities


8 Letter from the Editor

10 Go.See.Do.
Our top picks for a sizzling summer

28 Noted
What we’ve heard around our city …

38 Talking Shop
Influential members of our community share their visions for the city’s future

150 Engagement & Wedding


36 Adopt a Pet
Meet a dog and a cat waiting on their forever homes at the Animal Protection Society of Durham


140 East Durham: The Next Chapter
A neighborhood fosters Black-owned business and community growth

145 Networking: Durham Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting

146 Hot Shot
We chat with Mill & Meadow owner Elyse Burns


16 The Gathering

18 Museum of Durham History’s “Making History Together” reception

22 Durham Library Foundation’s All Booked Up After-Hours Party

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