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Nasher Cafe
Nasher Cafe

Nasher Cafe Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.nasher.duke.edu/museum_cafe.php
  • Phone: (919) 684-6032
  • Hours of Operation: Brunch: Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Wednesday, Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Thursday: 11:00am - 5:00pm; Dinner: Thursday: 5:00pm - 8:15pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic
  • Executive Chef: Enrique Abreo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Cafe, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Private Party Contact: Aidan Peters (919) 684-6032
  • Entertainment: Live and Local features live music and local products. Check out the calendar on nasher.duke.edu for further information regarding special programming and more.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Please contact Aidan Peters, General Manager of the Nasher Museum Cafe for details regarding Private Events and bookings. 919.684.6032 or aidan.peters@duke.edu

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Anderson
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: The Nasher Museum has a metered parking lot. The meters accept credit cards or cash (exact change needed as they do not provide change).
A word from Nasher Cafe
The 100-seat indoor/outdoor Nasher Cafe overlooks the garden and sits adjacent to a Mark Di Suvero sculpture, providing a serene and beautiful ambience. The menu consists of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "After a shaky start (I waited 10 minutes for someone to show up to seat me. Finally phoned the restaurant to point out that I had been standing there.), we had a very nice dinner. Unfortunately they were out of tuna, so I had to settle for chicken as a salad topper. Fortunately it was well seasoned and quite good. We ordered two glasses of Cote d'Rhone wine. They were only able to supply one glass; made a decent substitution for the second. My husband had the Paella which was excellent. It is a very limited menu made more limited by running out of offered items"
    Dined on 9/18/2014
  • "The food was creative and delicious. The choices were varied, and we wanted to try many of the dishes. I heard other people commenting on how good their food was. There were a lot of vegetarian options, so vegetarians will be happy. The ambience was perfect. We sat outside, and who doesn't like dining alfresco in a beautiful setting? My only complaint is the server did not listen when I told her we wanted our two shared choices coming one at a time. Yes, both came out at once! How difficult was that request? Nonetheless, she was nice, and we enjoyed the experience a lot. It went well with our Miró exhibition."
    Dined on 9/18/2014
  • "Reserved table for 6 at window - birthday party for family incl 8 year old! Arrived - and "window not possible for big group". Unfortunately that was the POINT of choosing Nasher Cafe: great view ! To hot to sit outside. Disappointed - that should have been made clear during booking. Fantastic food - to loooong wait (35-40 min) and several servings were cold (3 stars only) - and NOTHING basic for a regular/picky child. Acoustics are awful (not really "energetic)" and make conversation in a group hard."
    Dined on 9/7/2014
  • "When I go to the Nasher for a show, talk, or whatever, I always plan to eat there. Usually I plan a meal, but always at least a snack and tea. Unlike many museum restaurants that are hidden down a dreary hallway, the Nasher Cafe is in the lobby and is part of the action. This does not detract from the ability to talk at your table. There are often groups of students or Duke faculty groups eatting there as well as the ''ladies who lunch". And the food is good. The menu changes with the seasons and is sufficiently varied so that carnivores and vegans can co-exist. Worth a try on your next visit to the Nasher."
    Dined on 9/4/2014
  • "Went because Food And Wine rated this as one of the 25 best Museum cafes in the country. Boy, did they ever get it wrong!! It might have been good when they rated it but it has gone down since then. On the day we visited - a Saturday at 2:30 pm they were serving brunch. We ordered the soup and salad and the Salomon eggs benedict. The soup Chicken Tortilla, arrived at room temperature, not hot. When we askedif it should be hot, were told that since they shut down at 3:00 pm they had turned the soup off. Reheat it but not enough. The salomon eggs benedict were good. For dessert we were told their freezer had broken down the day before so all the gelato had melted. Needs a professional tightening up."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "We went to the museum first and then had dinner in the Cafe. Once a month, the Cafe features a guest chef. I can't say how the Cafe's regular fare is, but the menu offered by the guest chef (Teddy Diggs from Il Palio) was fantastic. I think the idea of a guest chef periodically is a keeper."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "The Nasher is such a beautiful building, filled with art and you get to have a meal in the middle of it all! It is one of my favorite places, it never disappoints! I took my teen grand daughter and a friend for brunch on Sunday, the selection was excellent, the girls loved their meals and the ambiance and so did I. And I enjoyed sharing it all with them."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "We went for lunch when there was entertainment. The sound acoustics are not great. The food was fine, just not exceptional for a brunch affair. Not too impressed unfortunately."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "What a lovely meal. Farm to table dining at its best with chef visiting from Durham Restaurant Harvest 18. 3 tomato gazpacho soup was delicious as well is beautifully presented. The flounder with grits was perfectly prepared, moist and flaky. And the blueberry cobbler was heavy on blueberry's and light on the usual sugar heaped crust. The healthy serving enhanced the taste and lowered any potential 'guilt' factor. Having never been to Harvest 18 before, we are definitely adding it to our list of great Durham restaurants. We love supporting Durham's growing foodies scene and are pleased the Nasher offers local chef's opportunities to share their talent."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "If it had not been for the manager, Aidan, I would barely have had any kind of service at all. Someone took my order and then I waited over 30 minutes to be served. When the food was delivered, only after I asked what was happening with my order, I received the entree and I had never gotten my appetizer. The person who took my order never checked back with me to see how I was doing or if i needed anything. I had to call him to the table to see what happened to my order. The chef stopped by the table and asked how things were and I told him I had not yet received my food. He did not seem pleased. All of this was discussed with Aidan and they did not charge me for the appetizer. This is not the first time I have had lackluster service here."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "I find it very pleasant to dine in the beautiful atmosphere of Duke's beautiful Nasher Museum. Before or after lunch or brunch, one can enjoy the art exhibits and have a delightful experience. I am so happy to live within a few minutes of this Durham gem."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The Guest Chef events are never a disappointment. Menu is Prix Fixe so it's a bit overpriced, but the food is excellent. Also, the menu is themed around the guest chef's experience, so throughout the year, you can experience considerable variation."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "There was a long wait for food although the servers were rapid. Very loud music inside; quiet outside. Food was good, especially home fries."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I love the food at the Nasher Cafe. It is always freshly prepared and delicious. What is missing is a dining room manager to oversee service and to pay attention to details for the customer. I recently made a reservation with Open Table. I went to the restaurant and there was no host to seat me, there was a sign that said "seat yourself". I noticed several tables with reserved signs on them, so I asked a waiter where I should sit since I had made a reservation. She told me to take one of the reserved tables. She never asked my name or checked to see that I had a reservation. Service was spotty at best. No one checked on me to see how the food was or if I needed anything. A manager would help this situation and add enjoyment to the dining. "
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "We attended beer tasting at the museum ($5) and then received $5 coupons to use towards the restaurant so you can't go wrong. Food and service were both great!"
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Our first time. The wait staff were very pleasant and the food was excellent - made you realize that a lot of what you eat doesn't actually provide pleasure. A very pleasant night out."
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "ambience and food was superb. Wait staff was very attentive and accommodating as our group had a tight schedule and had to leave within about 35 minutes of arriving... "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "The food was great, the only problem I had is with the chair s. The chairs were metal, so my legs were freezing. I wish they had covers so I was less cold."
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Sorry, but the only justification for the prices is the convenience when visiting museum exhibits. Otherwise acceptable but overpriced and dull food. I expect it would be more fun sitting outside on a nice warm (but not brutally humid) day."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "This is really a very nice place to eat - with the exception of the noise inside. In the good weather the outside dining is fine. The only other option is to go at times when they are not busy."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Always great art exhibitions. Have brunch, lunch and experience uplifting art. "
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "I have only one word to describe my experience at the Nasher Cafe and Museum last Thursday -- DELIGHTFUL! "
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Great for brunch, but hostesses and waitresses are a little...I don't know, a weird combo of cold and sassy. Not straight-up rude, so it's excusable, but definitely off-putting. Food was great though."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "I enjoyed popping in before viewing the Archibald Motley exhibit, nice place, cool vibe, good cappuccino, great gazpacho. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "great for lunch "
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "Museum is free to Brunch, A nice way to break routine. Good Omelets"
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Service was a little slow (I think they were short on staff) and it was hot in the sun (limited shady tables and very windy. But I would return because there's no other place at Duke that serves wine at lunch other than the Washington Duke Inn."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Nasher is a wonderful university museum. It always has world class art. Tastefully shown. The Cafe has outstanding food. Friendly service, an outdoor patio, in good weather. Faculty, students and local folks enjoy a great combo ... art and food."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Good restaurant with good food. Just a lunch spot, while visiting the Nasher Museum, otherwise, I would not go there."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "This museum cafe is many steps above your average museum cafe. All our food was quite good and we enjoyed it. Split checks and parties of 6 or more have an automatically added tip of 18-20%. Many restaurants have this policy so that wasn't unusual. However, our server was somewhat inattentive. (ex: no salt and pepper and we had to get up to ask, no sugar with coffee and we had to ask twice and wait, etc.) However, without us complaining to management, someone noticed and must have spoken to him and his service improved considerably. Kudos to them. I personally hate to complain about stuff and to have the issue recognized and resolved was a first in my experience."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I took a friend to the Nasher Museum to celebrate his birthday, and it was his first time visiting the museum and eating in the cafe. We has an excellent time and really enjoyed the tasty food."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "If combining a meal with visiting the Nasher, this is sufficient. While the food is generally ok, we found a poor selection of wines and one taste was clearly from an old bottle. They often seem to continually switch servers which can be annoying."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "What a great way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon! The food was delicious, the wait staff was very attentive, and we thoroughly enjoyed the music."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "My daughter and I dropped in after walking around Duke Gardens. It was very crowded but we were seated in 15 minutes. What I had wanted to try was sold out by the time our waitress came to take our order and she made a point of saying that if she had come seconds earlier we could had our first choice. Our food was okay but nothing great and our service was lacking. We will probably try again before making a final judgement."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "A group of us were looking forward to brunch at the Nasher Cafe. We left disappointed and it will not be a venue we return. Although the food was wonderful. The service was atrocious. There was just a lack of service. We had to flag the server down to order; drinks were not refilled; no checking back with the table; we had to ask for the dessert menu; then at least a 30 minute wait for the checks. It was not busy there either. I was the only one charged for my beverage as the rest of the table wasn't. The experience was just off and there are much better places to dine in the area."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "I don't usually write reviews but felt compelled to express what a wonderful experience I had. When I made the reservation I had seen some recent negative reviews posted about service and food quality, but from my experiences the food is amazing and the servers are fabulous and super fun! I've been to the Nasher a couple of times because it's such a nice place to visit - being a museum cafe, it's a one-two punch for dining and entertainment. This time around I made a reservation because I know they are busy for brunch (they're almost always busy) and I wasn't wrong. But despite being busy and having such a small kitchen, the service is consistently satisfying and well-rounded. Make a reservation and try it out for yourself!"
    Dined on 1/12/2014
  • "Tired of going to the same restaurants for dinner, a friend recommended going here, and I was truly blown away by this hidden gem. The food menu changes every Thursday night which is great for those of us who get tired of routine, static menus and establishments that are always the same. Each server we were approached by was very energetic, enthusiastic, and more importantly honest about their menu recommendations. They told us that we couldnt go wrong with ordering a beautifully crafted cheese plate and a salmon entre. The food was absolutely astonishing. For a small space, you dont expect such beautifully prepared food with unique, savory tastes. We very very well taken care of by the staff and will definitely recommed to friends"
    Dined on 1/9/2014
  • "We will definitely be back! Servers were great with our children and were more than gracious in offering to provide food that was not on the menu or kids menu for our picky son--- Food was wonderful with surprisingly healthy options. Wish the museum had had more artwork but I guess one exhibit had just closed, so they were in transition. The only downside was that it is cold in there with drafts from the beams above so we were thankful we brought our jackets! Paying for parking isn't great either, but neither one of those things is the restaurants fault, so a definite four star experience!"
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "I ordered a sandwich, but found grit (broken glass bits or sand) inside. I told the waiter, who brought another sandwich. It also had grit. Since we had waited almost an hour for service, we gave up and left."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Although I usually like this place a lot, my last visit was a major disappointment. The food was advertised as a special Middle Eastern menu and it looked good on paper, but it turned out it was so poorly described that we received was not what we expected. The main course was skimpy, and the advertised lamb in the stuffed tomatoes was miniscule. The service was appalling - no silver brought, no waiter around to ask for it, the soup (which was described as a stew) too cold to eat by the time we got a spoon, and the whole thing so slow we had no time to visit the exhibit before the museum closed. Here's hoping they were just having a bad night."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
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