Triangle Favorites

Summer 2020

RESTAURANTS: Durham County

  • BEAN TRADERS (Claire McCormick) – Their drip coffee, tea clouds and any of their baked goods;
  • BEYU CAFFE (Minna Ng) – Owner dedication to supporting families in need, providing food to children and frontline families during COVID, and their omelettes;
  • BLEU OLIVE (George Gopen) – The (Greek) food is excellent; the service is warm and caring; and it is owned and run by the members of a single family;
  • CLOUDS BREWING (Doug Butler) – Have never had a bad meal. Currently closed;
  • COPA CUBAN RESTAURANT (Diane Steinhaus) – Farm to table, sustainably raised food. Many of their tapas and small plates are based on 19th- century recipes. They pay their staff a living wage, and make mean cocktails! They are very conscientious about following COVID-19 protocols;
  • CUCCIOLO OSTERIA (Doug Butler & Chuck Kuhlmann) – Wonderful Italian menu and great curbside service; Black truffle pasta;
  • GOCCIOLINA (David Fleischer) – Perhaps the best food in town. Smaller-sized entrees and sides prepared spectacularly! Don’t miss it when they reopen, and I have heard that they are currently doing great things for take out!;
  • NINTH STREET BAKERY (Melissa Smigelsky) – Ginger cookies – thin, crispy, and very flavorful;
  • PARKER & OTIS (Lynn Cummins & Chuck Kuhlmann) – Counter Culture coffee, lunch & pastry, gift shop & enjoying time with friends/family on the back porch;
  • Q SHACK (Sandra Cook) – Brisket;
  • RANDY’S PIZZA (Eleni Nicholas) – Randy’s has delicious and fresh NY style pizza and subs, salads, pastas, and desserts! Additionally, during the weekends of the summer months, the Hope Valley location has local bands perform on the outdoor patio;
  • THAI CAFÉ (Andy Stewart) – I love their chicken or shrimp Massaman;

RESTAURANTS: Orange & Wake


  • GLASSHALFULL (Melissa Smigelsky) – Dark chocolate sea salt budino with coffee cream and toasted hazelnuts;
  • KIPOS (Nancy Clapp-Channing) – Greek… the real deal!;
  • LANTERN RESTAURANT (Norm Loewenthal)– Excellent food, excellent atmosphere, excellent service;
  • RADIUS PIZZERIA & PUB (Dave Tremmel) – Great wood-fired pizza. Our favorite is the Pesto Passion with chicken;
  • TANDOOR INDIAN RESTAURANT (Pete Andrews) – The restaurant is Indian, but not fiery hot: the chef is actually Nepalese, and the lunch buffet has a delicious selection of basically Nepalese flavors to choose from, which are warm rather than harshly hot and diversely spiced (and all you can eat for just $11!);
  • THAI PALACE (Pete Andrews) – This has been our go-to place for comfort food for years; a family-owned local business with a wonderful owner, a place where Thai visitors always want to go. Watch for the weekend special of basil spring rolls as well as all their regular menu items;
  • WEAVER STREET MARKET (Margaret Maytan) –
  • WOODEN NICKEL PUB (Natalie Ziemba) – Wings and fried banana peppers;


  • NANCY’S PIZZA (Dave Lackey) – Stuffed pizza (although a bit pricey);



  • BLUE POINT YOGA (Leslie Fiddler) – Streamed Mon-Fri ‘Yoga for +50’ classes;
  • DOWNTOWN DURHAM YMCA (Minna Ng) – Group exercise classes and community fundraisers;
  • THE 360 APPROACH (Minna Ng) – Expert physical training classes; family-friendly and offers Zoom;
  • WARRIOR POSE YOGA AND HEALING with LAURA PHOENIX (Vangie Poe) – Virtual yoga classes (for now); I have attended her classes for 2 years, and she’s excellent!;


  • BULL CITY OLIVE OIL (Dave Tremmel) – Lots of flavors of infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars, plus other sauces and condiments. Our favorite is the basil- infused olive oil – drizzled over tortellini with some good parmesan. On Thursday afternoons she also has some locally-made English muffins that are amazing;
  • CAROLINA BALLET (Melissa Smigelsky) – What these dancers convey with their bodies and movement is incredible. Past performances can be viewed on their website during this time – I believe it is two new performances each week;
  • THE REGULATOR BOOKSHOP (Doug Butler) – Best selection of books and great service from an independent bookshop;
  • THE ZEN SUCCULENT (Melissa Smigelsky) – Beautiful plants;


  • BARNES SUPPLY – Large stock of garden and pet supplies. I buy giant bags of birdseed;
  • ELMO’S DINER – Great food, especially huevos rancheros and enchiladas;
  • HAWTHORNE & WOOD – Superb, creative food (though pricey);
  • JULIO LALIBERTE – Deep, strong, thorough massage;
  • LIME & LEMON – Delicious food, kind owner;
  • ST. JAMES SEAFOOD – Yummy seafood & cocktails, for special occasions;
  • TRIANGLE GREEN BUILD with STEVE WACHHOLZ– He built my new back porch and deck. He is willing to give you latitude in conceiving the project; price is very fair;
  • CHORAL SOCIETY OF DURHAM – Huge fan! Sublime, inspired singing — amazing people!! ❤