Mateo, at 109 W. Chapel Hill St., is an excellent tapas restaurant in the downtown area that features Spanish tapas with a Southern flair. It received a nomination in 2013 from the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant. I enjoyed the great food and atmosphere with local friends.
Nana’s is also a wonderful restaurant, at 2514 University Drive, with Nanataco next door which is good for more casual dining. Chef Scott Howell was a semi-finalist Best Chef Southeast from the James Beard Foundation 2012.
Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue is the perfect spot for great barbecue and Southern specialties at 3330 Quebec Drive. The decor, servers and customers make for a special experience!
Other recommendations for Durham include:
Scratch Bakery: Phoebe Lawless was a James Beard Semi-finalist in 2013 for Outstanding Pastry Chef. 111 Orange Street. Known for their pies!
Watts Grocery and Toast, at 345 Main St., are also highly recommended.