Brunch is a college student’s best friend (or perhaps just the best thing to do with one’s best friend – a small, but important difference). Why, you ask? It gives you the excuse to sleep in, eat a lot (yea I’m eating all of this. It’s my breakfast AND lunch), an excuse to eat bacon, and save some $ (two meals for the price of one!) – all things which are of the utmost importance. Brunch is so easy, you can even have some people over and do it yourself (my roommate and I have been pushing for Mimaffle Fridays – mimosas + waffles, duh – since the start of the year, but it weirdly hasn’t come to fruition yet.) If you’re not feeling particularly ambitious, however, there are some fantastic brunch places right here in Durham. Below are my top-five.
- Foster’s – Foster’s offers a friendly environment and delicious food. It’s pretty popular on the weekends though, so be prepared to wait in line if you don’t get there early. It’s the perfect place to go in the fall or spring (or even right now since we’ve been having a fake winter) so you can sit outside! I usually go for the egg, cheese, and bacon biscuit.
- Parker and Otis – I’ve only been to Parker and Otis once – it seemed like the natural way to cancel out the five mile workout my friend and I had just done – but am definitely hoping to go back in the very near future. Parker and Otis has a really fun ambience (similar to Foster’s) and the restaurant itself doubles as a general store! You could find some weird knick-knacks or some interesting wine while waiting for your food to come out. I got eggs and bacon with a cheesy biscuit. (Noticing a trend?)
- Elmo’s – As a freshman, Elmo’s was the best respite from our dining plan a girl could ask for. It’s also always very busy, but it’s been an Easter brunch staple for my friends and me three years running. They give incredibly generous portions and the food is always delicious. I usually debate between pancakes and, you guessed it, some combination of eggs, cheese, a biscuit, and bacon – this time, in the form of an omelet.
- Mad Hatter’s – I got treated to a Mad Hatter’s brunch in exchange for dropping my friend off at the airport. I personally think it was our shared meal before she left for her grad school interview that ultimately led to her acceptance, but I could be wrong. (It would be a first, but I suppose it’s possible.) Like Parker and Otis and Foster’s, Mad Hatter’s has a counter where you order and your food gets brought out to you. I went for a breakfast burrito (you already know about my love of all things salsa related, so this decision shouldn’t come as a shock.) and I loved it!
- Nosh – Sophomore year I worried that Nosh’s “eclectic foodstuffs” were a bit too eclectic for me, but I’ve since expanded my palette and have come to love the place, especially considering its convenient location. Clearly the counter-ordering business model is a successful one, because they’ve employed it as well. They have fun board games you can play while you wait (you could learn about outdated Duke trends in Dukeopoly) and my egg, cheese, and bacon biscuit was fantastic and filling!
I know what you’re wondering, and I’ve been thinking about my answer the whole time I’ve been writing this. Be prepared to be disappointed.
We get it. You like eggs, cheese, bacon, and biscuits, you health nut. Which place has the best one? Sorry to be “that girl,” but I honestly don’t have a favorite. They’re all truly fantastic, so you really can’t go wrong. I did just get back from Foster’s though, so my totally biased endorsement currently is definitely in its favor.