With Moogfest just a day away, we thought we’d offer you the Style of Sound Top 10 guide to Durham  – essential reading if you’ve never visited Durham before.

At the moment, the weather in Durham isn’t looking particularly sun-drenched for the week, so this guide will be even more handy in shepherding you to Durham’s dry spots in between Moogfest workshops and performances.

1. Best Coffee: Cocoa Cinnamon

Word has it that Cocoa Cinnamon has some of the best coffee in Durham matched by impeccable friendly service. Housed in industrial-chic surroundings, Cocoa Cinnamon has two locations, but we’ll be frequent the location on the Moogfest festival site. The cafe stays open late in case you’re in need of an evening caffeine fix.

2. Best Fried Food: Dame’s Chicken & Waffles

If you’re looking for good old southern fried cooking then you need not look any further than Dame’s Chicken & Waffles. Their specialty is in their name and The Carolina Cockerel is a personal favourite featuring three chicken wings, a blueberry waffle, and their signature peach & apricot shmear. Upon entering Dame’s, one thing that becomes immediately apparent is the owner’s love of jazz.

3. Best Beer:  Fullstream Brewery

Celebration time! #fullstreambrewery #durhamnc #beer

A photo posted by Katrina Sinno (@katrinasinnoyall) on


Fullsteam is one of Durham’s premiere  brewery and taverns inspired by the food and farm traditions of the South. The brewery has at least 20 beers on tap at any one time, offering plenty of variety which showcases their dedication to the art of ‘Distinctly Southern Beer’. Our favourite beer of theirs is something called Coffee for Closers, a unique blend made from Ashburne Mild Malt, Chocolate Wheat, Carapils, Caramel 60, Flaked Oats, Roasted Barley, and Black Malt.

4: Best Pizza: Pizzeria Toro


If you’re looking for comfort food during your Moogfest visit then you probably need to visit Pizzeria Toro which is an Italian inspired, wood fired pizzeria located in downtown Durham. The upscale pizzeria offers freshly made red and white pizzas starting at just $14. Don’t have an appetite? Then head over to their bar where you can enjoy a customised drink and nibbles.

5. Best for any Meal: Elmo’s Diner

But first… Coffee! Can you believe the Mrs. and I have been dining here since 2008? #Elmos #Elmosdiner

A photo posted by Guillermo Delgado (@gdelgado919) on


If you’re with a big group of people and can’t decide where to go, we’ve got one word for you – diner. Scratch that. Make that two words – Elmo’s Diner. Elmo’s offers traditional diner fare at great prices which is sure to be group pleasing. Their coffee is extraordinarily good which is something of a surprise for a diner. Word has it that they get their beans locally from Counter Culture Coffee.

6. Best Spot for Artistic Reflection: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

#Repost @camille_robbins. #anishkapoor #amateriallegacy

A photo posted by Nasher Museum (@nashermuseum) on

If you’re looking for a moment of calm in between Moogfest synthesiser sets we suggest checking out the Nasher Museum. We’re quite keen to see A Material Legacy, an exhibition that explores two distinct legacies: one of contemporary artists’ innovative use of materials, the other of philanthropy and collecting. The museum has a great cafe which has some nice options for vegetarians and their shop offers an excellent range of art-inspired items, perfect if you’re looking to bring a gift home.

7. Best Cocktails: Alley 26


Alley 26 is a sophisticated cocktail & wine bar serving up a simple menu of charcuterie & small plates in sophisticated  environs. They offer proper cocktails starting at $11 and the bar staff is open to making all manner of experimental cocktails which are tasty to say the least. Open nightly until 2am, add Alley 26 to your list if you’re looking for a swanky night cap with your friends.

8. Best Hangover Option: Dashi


For us, a big bowl of steaming ramen has the ability to magically erase a hangover from the night before. There are couple things which make ramen the ideal hangover food. First, the soothing warm broth will cost your stomach with goodness, making it easier to keep things down. Secondly, ramen has lots of water and salt, two components which can help rebalance the fluids in your body. So where to go to get your hangover bowl? Head over to Dashi ramen which is open from 11:30am until 2am (just for Moogfest).

9. Best Grab & Go Breakfast: Scratch

A photo posted by @scratchdurhamnc on


If you’re looking for a quick breakfast on the go, then you’ll probably want to head over to Scratch, a Durham establishment which offers a wide selection of breakfast goodies and proper coffee. We hear that Scratch makes a good ol’ new fashioned  pie, so if that’s your thing, make sure to taste one for us and let us know what you think.

10. Best Post-Moog Destination: Duke Lemur Center


If you’ve decided to stay in Durham post-Moogfest we suggest booking a visit to The Duke Lemur Center which is an 85-acre sanctuary for rare and endangered prosimian primates. It is the largest sanctuary for prosimian primates in the world and whilst there, you’ll observe at least 10 different species of lemurs. Just make sure to book a reservation in advance as all visits are guided and spaces fill up quick.


Got any other tips for our readers at Moogfest?

Published by John Noi

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