Durham's varied restaurant scene extends into lazy weekend morning hours at these top brunch spots across town.
Washington Duke Inn
At the Washington Duke Inn, brunch in the Fairview Dining Room offers an atmosphere that rivals the menu. Guests enjoy their Sunday meal with piano accompaniment and a view of the Duke University Golf Course. Brunch is a three-course meal, beginning with appetizers that range from fresh fruit to shrimp. Among the entrees, the crab cakes earn rave reviews, and the goat lady eggs benedict is among the most popular items. Save room for the third course—the dessert table. The pastry chef has new creations each week, and there are always delicious chocolate selections. Best of all, sampling more than one is encouraged. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 3001 Cameron Blvd., Durham. 919.493.6699.
The regulars at Rue Cler start with a cup of coffee and sweet treat. The beignets are a fried focaccia dough tossed in granulated sugar and dusted with powdered sugar. The Oeufs Rue Cler offer a French variation on the classic eggs benedict, with a béarnaise sauce replacing hollandaise on top of poached eggs, ham and asparagus. And what is more French than crepes? You can order crepes filled with salmon, duck confit or eggs with bacon. The menu is elegant French, but Rue Cler has a casual, neighborhood restaurant feel. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 401 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham. 919.682.8844.
Shrimp and grits is a popular item on the brunch menu at Watts Grocery, served the coastal way with a flavorful combination of bacon, green onion and mushroom. Here’s a nice combination: house-smoked pork on cornbread with a fried egg, barbecue sauce and cole slaw. Save room for the coffee cake, too. The restaurant’s pastry chef rotates the selections each week, introducing something new and delicious. The atmosphere is casual, with local artwork giving Watt’s Grocery a neighborhood dining ambiance. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 1116 Broad Street, Durham. 919.416.5040.
Guglhupf Café and Restaurant
Guglhupf Café and Restaurant can satisfy any brunch lover with its authentic German cuisine. Here’s a sure winner: The farmer’s omelette blends country sausage, emmenthaler cheese and caramelized onions. The house-made bratwurst is served on a brezel sub roll. The café, with its unique architecture, is adjacent to the Guglhupf Bakery, where you'll find mouth-watering options for dessert to take home. Brunch is served Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Durham. 919.401.2600.
At Vin Rouge, you will feel you’ve arrived in Southern France. If you prefer lighter fare, start with the crepes du jour or the French onion soup gratinee. Eggs Mediterranean, one of several authentic egg dishes, is sure to please. A caper-olive relish adds something special to the benedict-style entrée with poached eggs, ham, tomato and hollandaise sauce. Feel free to splurge with mussels in white wine, shallots and thyme broth served with pommes frites. Brunch is served Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 2010 Hillsborough Rd., Durham. 919.416.0466.