Visiting Durham? Here's your dining guide for downtown restaurants.

The menu at Lucky's Delicatessen divides sandwiches into two categories, inspired by Italian and Jewish deli traditions. The list offers something for just about every taste and mood.
The menu at Lucky's Delicatessen divides sandwiches into two categories, inspired by Italian and Jewish deli traditions. The list offers something for just about every taste and mood.

For four days, the Moogfest music festival puts Durham at the center of the electronic music world. The rest of the year, it's just your everyday eating paradise.

As music takes over the city, here are the can't-miss spots to eat and drink.

Accordian Club

316 West Geer St., Durham

The Accordian Club, which opened about a year ago, is neighborhood bar perfection. There's a carefully curated selection of crushable cheap canned beers, but also a draft list that always has a few rare gems. They've also perfected the walking taco — a cut bag of Fritos covered with honest-to-goodness gourmet chili, cheese and sour cream.

Alley Twenty Six

320 East Chapel Hill St., Durham

Shannon Healy runs one of the area's finest cocktail bars. There's a frequently changing menu of seasonal drinks that'll never steer you wrong, but bartenders can make anything you like with a few choice adjectives. They also boast a kitchen to match the booze.

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Bull City Burger

107 E. Parrish St. #105, Durham

Don't worry, exotic meat month is over, so no tarantula burgers. Now it's just a solid local beef burger and a taplist of proprietary beers. Around the corner, the same owners run fast casual pizza joint Pompieri, where tables cut up their slices with scissors.


415 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham

This two-story restaurant is a downstairs ramen bar and an upstairs izakaya. If the downstairs is full, don't despair, there are also noodle bowls upstairs and better luck with a seat.

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The Durham

315 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham

Bearing the city's name, this hotel restaurant is a lobby dining room of retro elegance, with a cozy tucked-away bar. A world away, the rooftop bar has its own menu and a livelier vibe, offering the tallest view of downtown currently available. If you're wandering through for brunch, it sneakily has one of Durham's best coffee programs. Critic Greg Cox named it the best restaurant of 2017.

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Jack Tar
Jack Tar and the Colonel’s Daughter in downtown Durham is built around the diner of old, but has a modern menu and style. Gray Brooks

Jack Tar & The Colonel's Daughter

202 Corcoran St., Durham

This modern diner could be a godsend for festivalgoers, with exciting breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes all day long on the ground floor of the new Unscripted Hotel. The Colonel's Daughter, the black box bar next door, is narrow and dark, usually with a movie on the lone television. There are more than dozen seats at the bar, but plenty of standing room along the wall, with a wooden railing for drinks.

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Lucky's Delicatessen

This marriage of a Jewish and Italian deli is owned by Durham chef Matt Kelly, whose other downtown spots Mateo, Mothers and Sons and Saint James Seafood are all city favorites. Lucky's specializes in Italian heroes as well as corned beef and pastrami, all paired with a choice beer cooler.

Luna Rotisserie & Empanadas

112 W. Main St., Durham

The restaurant boasts a South American-meets-American South menu with, yes, both rotisserie meats and empanadas. Both are excellent. Whether settling in for a meal (with interesting sides) or grabbing a bunch of empanadas and small plates, Luna should suit your festival needs.

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M Kokko

311 Holland St., Suite B, Durham

This sister restaurant of M Sushi serves famous Korean chicken wings and sandwiches, but also excellent bowls of ramen. The waiting list can be staggering, but always worth attempting if your schedule allows.

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The Parlour

117 Market St., Durham

It's finally time for ice cream, but Durham loves this master creamery year-round, with people known to line up in a snow storm.

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Pizzeria Toro

105 E. Chapel Hill St., Durham

This Neopolitan pizzeria is one of the most bustlely spots in town, with a menu of red and white pizzas and even a selection of hams. A large communal table means you may bump into fellow festival fans.

Pour Taproom

202 N. Corcoran St., Durham

This self-service bar features 64 taps of mostly American craft beers, always including a healthy sampling of local offerings. Drinkers wear a wristband that tracks drinks by the ounce and is a great way to try many different beers. You'll find it on the ground floor of the Unscripted hotel, next to Jack Tar Diner.

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