Best dining deals and restaurants around the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) is one of my most popular posts but I focused on restaurants that were a bit out of the way because things can get VERY busy right near DPAC. But I’d be remiss to not mention some decent spots that are closer by and at or around the American Tobacco Campus (ATC). Just be warned that you’ll likely need a reservation and things may get crazy busy when you hit up these spots before a show!
L’Uva Enoteca is another new restaurant that recently opened up in the American Tobacco Center. Owned by the same people as Revolution, it’s a small, chic Italian eatery focused on upscale, seasonal ingredients in a minimalistic style. While the dining room is a bit tight, they’ve got a nice, patio in the back which would be great if the weather cooperates. Just make sure to let them know you’ve got a show to make if you want to have dinner here. My last visit here included a nice bruschetta and short rib over cheese grits and it was all nice and well-executed. I like the place for a casual but dressy date but just wasn’t blown away by the food. But L’Uva Enoteca is probably your best spot for a more upscale meal really close to DPAC.
Further down in the American Tobacco Center is Tyler’s Taproom. You’ll see their busy sidewalk patio and know you’ve found the place. Tyler’s specializes in solid pub food along with a great selection of beers, They’ve got locations in Carrboro, Raleigh and Apex in addition to this Durham spot so they know what they’re doing. While I haven’t had a full meal here yet, I’ve done some snacks and beers along with food at other locations. Their Carolina nachos and cheese-fries are to die for which is appropriate since they may stop your heart. Tyler’s is known for their great selection of micro-brews, don’t miss out on all the great local choices. Their garlic fries are a can’t miss but the bacon-parmesan popcorn just wasn’t that impressive. Just be aware that the place can get really loud with the open space and brick walls, not a great spot for a romantic or quiet meal.
So there are some decent spots right near DPAC (highlighted in blue on the map) but understand that everyone going to a show will probably have their eyes on these restaurants. They all can get really jammed and I’d hate to have a loud rushed meal before a fun night at the DPAC because that’s not how I want to get things started. For some other dining options, check out my DPAC posts below. But i’ll definitely be back to add to this list, bon appetit DPAC visitors!
Best Restaurant and Dining Deals around the DPAC in Durham, Part III (Closest to DPAC, American Tobacco Center)