CitiesDurhamFoods & Drinks

The Coziest Restaurants in Durham

(The Triangle Trend) — As the days cool down and we welcome a long-awaited Winter, figuring out where to comfortably, warmly, and deliciously dine can make for a real task. Though asking for a fireplace may be a bit much, there’s no shame in preferring an eatery with a cozy ambiance and “snuggle up” atmosphere. Fortunately, Durham is all about getting cozy. From the menu to lighting to seating, music, and environment, there are plenty of restaurants looking to provide the coziest meal of them all.

Mateo Bar de Tapas

109 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

A unique and warm spot with delicious tapas, beautiful desserts, and a thoughtful, courteous wait staff to boot. The food is always perfect. The décor and atmosphere are warm and inviting. The Cheerwine sangria and boquerones are mandatory. The dim lighting makes the space feel warm and welcoming.


2200 W Main St, Durham, NC 27705

Great location, lots of ambiance, exceptional service, and delicious food in a colorful and funky, upscale atmosphere. The menu has a Mediterranean feel, with lots of Greek and Italian flavors. The dishes are full of fresh herbs and spices from the first to the final course.

Mothers & Sons Trattoria

107 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

The service here is warm, welcoming, and just makes you feel at home. Definitely a nice date night spot! The service is phenomenal and the food is delicious! We highly recommend coming here when you want to treat your significant other as the atmosphere is quite romantic. The meals are served with multiple courses and smaller pasta dishes that act as accompaniment. The pasta is incredible—fresh and made in house—and the entrées have a delicious wood-grilled flair.

Vin Rouge

2010 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC 27705

Vin Rouge has a great atmosphere in a cozy, historic building. While the setting definitely has a rustic charm, it also has a very sleek and elegant feel. The prices are reasonable and the food is really good (get the mac & cheese, seriously; it’s awesome!).  Also a really good place for wine, especially by the glass, including some via Coravin. There is outdoor seating available, or you can sit cozy inside. It has a bar as well as some of the best brunch in town.

The Melting Pot

202 NC-54, Durham, NC 27713

Expect a very warm setting with some amazing recommendations and service from your waiter. They’re a great intimate place for a fun and creative meal.  Be prepared for an experience of at least an hour and a half. This is a fonduing spot where you dip your own food, which makes for a fun and memorable experience. They have cheese, meat, and dessert options, so if you want fondue, this is the place to go! Booths are private and intimate, so be sure you are on good terms with your dining partners.


335 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

Viceroy has a great atmosphere with wonderful staff. The food is awesome and served hot. The menu is limited, but it results in you having a sure shot and getting a delicious dish. And you won’t be left hungry, as the portions are very generous. The setting could be described as an upscale British pub.

M Sushi

311 Holland St, Durham, NC 27701

Small and intimate with minimal lighting makes for a cozy dining experience here. The menu is large and has many sushi options. The grill area is front and center, so you are part of the activity, making for a wonderful and unique dining experience. The staff is courteous and attentive, but give you your privacy. The atmosphere is cozy and romantic. The food is truly something special, with delicious and exciting options. While they do have traditional sushi rolls, their menu presents a unique dining experience with thought-provoking flavor combinations and fresh seafood and produce.

Maggiano’s Little Italy

8030 Renaissance Pkwy, Suite 890, Durham, NC 27713

A great place for a comfortable, romantic dinner. Their appetizer of fried zucchini is not to be missed. The restaurant has a lot of space, but the fabulous atmosphere keeps things cozy at the same time. The service is personal and professional and the food is warm, homey, and authentic.

Taberna Tapas

325 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

This restaurant has a cozy, quiet atmosphere and an interesting upscale menu with lots of creative, mouth-watering dishes. The portions are a bit small, but you’ll enjoy the price/portion value of their paella plates. Check out Taberna Tapas for some great flavors, courteous wait staff, and a wonderful ambiance.

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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