Primal Food & Spirits
Primal Food & Spirits

Primal Food & Spirits

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.primalfoodandspirits.com/
  • Phone: 9192483000x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday : 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m Sunday: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00pm Sunday Brunch: 11-2 p.m.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Tim Lyons
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
  • Private Party Facilities: Private Dining available for your event.
  • Private Party Contact: Adrian Lindsay 9192483000
  • Special Events: Happy hour at the bar every night 5-7 p.m $4-$7 apps.
    every wednesday at the bar 1/2 off cool-water oysters/ $5 prosecco on draft

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Fayetteville Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is a public lot available for our customers.
A word from Primal Food & Spirits
Farm to fork, locally sourced, Wood-fired, Gluten Free.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
Primal Food & Spirits reviews from OpenTable diners
69 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (52)neighborhood gem (34)special occasion (20)good for groups (18)great for outdoor dining (13)hot spot (11)kid-friendly (7)notable wine list (7)romantic (6)vibrant bar scene (4)great for brunch (4)great for lunch (3)late-night find (1)Show More
  • A Keeper!
    Traveler
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    The minute you walk in and see the stacks of wood,smell the wood smoke - you know you are in for a very interesting experience. The wait staff was very personable, knowledgeable, and attentive. The wine list was very interesting and many wines were new to me - I never knew that Austria produced a Savignon Blanc! We both ordered the grilled romaine salad - it was good, but the presentation could have used more finesse. I ordered the short ribs which were rich and succulent. My friend ordered the tri tips; they were full of flavor but just a little too chewy for our taste. We shared a wonderful raspberry sorbet which was smooth and velvety. Primal lived up to its Durham Magazine review and I would definitely go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Growing Pains
    Dominic
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Great concept - Gluten Free- love the idea. However Primal needs to work on how the food is cooked and the service needs to be improved. Only in business 2 months so I would say they are doing good but room for improvement. Owner needs to be a bit more lively/enthusiastic with his customers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Growing Pains
    cladav
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Primal is a new restaurant that feels new. It's ambitions are high but it's delivery is awkward. The food was ambitious and fell a bit short. The crab cake appetizer was a bit heavy though the slaw accompanying it was light and delightful. The wood grilled pork chop was perfectly cooked yet lacked seasoning to give it some needed pizazz. The cabbage and bacon was just watery and boring. Fine food, not great. As a diner suffering from Celiac Disease, I totally appreciate the gluten free approach. However Primal should not be considered or judged as a gluten free eatery but rather as a fine restaurant that happens not to serve gluten. We'll return in a few months to see if it matures well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud
    MWFlid
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Just really really loud. Just really really loud. Just really really loud.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great evening
    nancy
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Live in the Hope Valley area & dine out once or twice a week.Trying to brand out to new restaurants. We made a list of new Durham restaurants and Primal was among them. Invited friends from Chapel Hill ( they know the best restaurants in the Triangle are in Durham) to join us. While they were skeptical about a gluten-free menu, we convinced them it would be a gastronomic adventure. Food and service were excellent & have already recommended to others. Great to have so many restaurants in Durham and nice that not to have to in the direction of downtown to reach them all. We will be back to Primal and will continue to recommend to others. HV and Woodcroft residents - consider Primal your neighborhood restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Deb LoBiondo
    DeanDebSays
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Primal is an excellent addition to the Durham food scene. All gluten free food is a wonderful concept with a fresh unique flavor. The hickory and oak wood fire heating adds another special element. From the mixed green salad with spiced almonds and shaved coconut to the savory salmon special with a roasted bacon-tomato topping was outstanding! Finished with a flourless chocolate torte and fresh peach sorbet with presse coffee made the dining experience complete. I look forward to trying brunch!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We had a great meal. The food was all excellent, especially the bacon wrapped dates. It was wonderful to know the kitchen was truly gluten-free. My husband was able to order anything and not worry about being "glutenized.". My only minor complaint was that the service was a bit slow, especially considering the restaurant wasn't very busy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TheOpenTablePoetVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Primal serves food gluten free, which is not a problem for me. But expert execution, that's worth attribution, makes us return just about weekly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Working out the kinks
    BCinBC
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We had brunch on their first day serving brunch. I love everything this restaurant stands for and I will definitely be returning. This particular morning, the food generally came out to the table cold, so although the flavor and presentation were great, temp not so good. I always give new restaurants some time to work out the kinks so I would not avoid this place at any cost!! I absolutely LOVE the fact that I can look at a menu and know that I can eat anything on it! This is a gluten-free restaurant, the first that I have every heard of so they get lots of wiggle room from me!! Prices at this moment are extremely reasonable.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome 100% gluten-free restaurant
    GFdiner
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Primal will not disappoint. This was about my fourth time there. We went for their first Sunday brunch. There was a great selection of items for brunch. Everything we had was delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful Experience!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    It was so nice to not have to think about what had gluten in it or not! The food was AMAZING! Also- the Shisho Mojito was very different and delicious. The only thing I was disappointed by was that we made a note on the reservation that it was my birthday but they did not mention it. We will definitely be back!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Allergy Friendly
    FoodLady
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    My girls are allergic to gluten, dairy & soy. What a delight for them to be able to eat almost everything....and it was great too. They were able to eat the bread and cake...so exciting for them. very pricey, would like to make this our to go to restaurant, but can't at these prices
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful meal!
    lovingfreedom
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We loved the grass fed burgers and the GF bun was so tasty. The sauteed kale was a bit spicy and delicious. To top it all off, we loved the house made berry sorbet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing Food!
    paula
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This is a great, urban farm to table restaurant. The interior is very urban renewal with tables made from reclaimed wood, cement floors, and cords of cut wood as decoration. The wait staff is very friendly and attentive. This is a casual restaurant where even the staff wears t-shirts and jeans. The food is simply amazing, but be prepared as fresh cooked takes a few minutes longer to get to your table. It's definitely worth the wait. Every bite was a bit of heaven. Best crab cakes I've ever had. The heirloom tomato and watermelon salad should not be missed. The flourless chocolate cake for dessert made me moan in appreciation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • South Durham Foodies rejoice!
    Grumpy
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    At last, you don't have to venture up 147 to enjoy a non-chain, locally-sourced meal fitting of a NY Times review. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Find
    lanikailiving
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Primal is located at the end of a strip center. Wonderful concept, combining farm to table with gluten-free. I loved being able to order anything on the menu without asking lots of questions. Everything we tried was fabulous. Deviled Eggs, Pork belly confit and crabcakes for starters; We ate the swordfish special, the tri tip and the short ribs. Everything was well-seasoned, interesting and cooked to perfection. For dessert we had the flourless chocolate torte, coconut ice cream and berry tart. It was hard to pick a favorite. The service was impeccable. We never ran out of water which was good as some of the dishes had a little heat. It is definitely worth finding your way here. We'll be back next time we are in Durham.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not Paleo - Not Foodie
    PaleoFoodie
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Being Gluten-free and with a name like Primal, I imagined it to be a low-allergen restaurant, it is not. Like most restaurants, I could find things I could eat, but there is lots of dairy used and the bread has corn flour. It is expensive. I got several appetizers and side dishes and they were good, but not 'fit for foodies'. The kale salad was large pieces of kale with a lemon juice dressing of sorts. Boring and not particularly tasty. The shredded squash (called squash noodles) was very salty. If it was half the price, I would still probably go there maybe once a month, but the prices and quality are not in-line.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Really Great Spot
    NotMe
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We arrived late for our reservation - as well as dinner altogether. The whole staff made us feel like it was no big deal - all other tables cleared before we finished our cocktails. The entire staff stayed, acted like we were welcome, and went out of their way to make sure we were happy with our meal. Our meal was great. Just-right portions, unique preparation, and ... Yum! I also had brought home take-out earlier in the week and it was also yummy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and Great service
    Chillg8r
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We really enjoyed our meal here. I had the pork chop and it was very nice. My wife had a swordfish steak and it was excellent. The chocolate torte for desert was delightful! Best of all was that the service was spot on. It seems like a very well run restaurant. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved it!
    Zhaan
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I decided to go here because its 100% gluten free and farm to fork including grassfed/pastured meats. What I found was fantastic tasting and looking food, great service, and a peaceful relaxing atmosphere. This is my new favorite restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gluten Freedom
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Wonderful food and no angst navigating the menu searching for something, anything that might be passable and gluten-free. This restaurant is 100% gluten free and, for people like myself, it is a fantastic break.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Grateful for Gluten Free
    kellieatsdurm
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    It is very nice to be able to go to a restaurant and order anything off the menu with no worry about it having "sneaky" gluten. The roasted cauliflower and deviled eggs were my 2 favorite dishes on the table. The GF reassurance and modern atmosphere does come at a premium. Husband and I had in total 1 kale salad, 1 roasted cauliflower, 1 deviled eggs (3 little half pieces), and 1 burger entree to the tune of $44. The food is definitely great, but item is a dollar or 3 over priced which could be a deterrent for frequent return visits. I do think I would go back for a special occasion though. Service was knowledgeable and friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty drinks, good food
    JasonLillis
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Had a great anniversary dinner there this week. Our server was knowledgeable and friendly, and had good recommendations.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Addition!
    GlutenSensitive
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    This is a great new restaurant to Durham and I'm grateful for it being gluten free. Don't be afraid to try it if you love gluten - you won't mind a bit. There's a dining, bar and out side seating areas as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great new restaurant
    Luvgreatfood
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Food was superb! Service and ambience was great as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome Service
    Ashley
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Great food options even for individuals without the gluten allergy. Service was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • disappointing
    davidVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    New restaurant, located in a strip mall on Hwy. 54. Ample parking. Minimalist decor, bare walls, concrete floor. Very loud. Service pleasant, reasonably fast. Bread + butter costs $6.00!! My wife had the grilled octopus appetizer and the crab cake appetizer as her dinner. The octopus tasted very fishy compared to how this dish has tasted at other restaurants we've eaten at. The crab cakes were amply laced with bread crumbs, rather than being pure crab meat. My mother's steak was a tough cut of flank steak. I had the pork chop, which was a tough, gristly cut of meat. The drink menu was uninspired; my Manhattan was stingy, to boot. We didn't stay for dessert. There are plenty of better places to eat in Durham, and I doubt we'll be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great new dining option
    LowCarbConnoisseur
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Love the gluten free menu with bread that actually tastes like "real" bread. All the beef dishes were very primal and wonderful. The coconut ice cream was excellent for dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Entrees
    Cotton
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Not impressed with their drink selection, but their food is excellent !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Gluten Free Food
    durhamfoodie
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    This restaurant was fantastic. The fact that the whole restaurant is gluten free was enticing, but the food really is great whether you're gluten free or not!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • BaldHeadNed
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    First of all this is a Gluten Free restaurant. Everything is Gluten Free. When we sat down we ordered drinks and baskets of bread. Glorious bread. Toasted with herb butter. The two diners in my group with Seliac were in heaven. My party of six enjoyed everything we ordered. Notable was the short ribs, whole fish, and pork chop. The grilled Romain salad was so good I can't wait to go back just for this salad...The restaurant is loud but didn't distract from our overall outstanding experience. Great new restaurant, great food and no one at my table had to go through the event of explaining Gluten to the server, having the server go back to the kitchen and then coming out with an unbelievable answer about the ingredients. We will be back soon
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Food and service were great. The noise level was a little loud making conversation difficult with my husband who wears hearing aids that work too good with a lot of backround noise. We will definitely return and recommend to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • gemini26
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Love having a great gluten free option. Great food in a great place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't wait to return!
    NCFoodie
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Primal is one of the newest restaurants in Durham, & it opened without the usual hoopla. But let me tell you, people are buzzing about this place & for good reason! My friend & I stopped by for weeknight dinner. The food was sensational & our waiter, Greg, definitely added to the evening's enjoyment by being friendly, attentive, and not over-bearing. Didn't know quite what to expect from a gluten-free menu, but we had a real challenge deciding what to eat because EVERYTHING looked scrumptious. We settled on a recommended bottle of red wine, the roasted cauliflower for an appetizer, & I had the trout special while she had the tri-tip steak. Presentation was excellent, fish and steak were cooked to perfection, and we savored every mouthful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    Purduegal
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    I had heard rave reviews about Primal so was excited to check the place out. The decor is amazing. The food was wonderful; however, I wish a place like this would have some vegan options as I have a milk protein allergy that is hard to avoid when I eat out unfortunately. I am pretty sure something had butter in it -- although nothing jumps out at me. There are several items I would've liked to have tried, but they obviously had milk protein in them. Overall, great menu, great idea, but would love a restaurant with vegan options for someone who has more than just a gluten allergy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great gluten free restaurant!
    lgmah
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    My husband and I dined at Primal twice this week, and we very much enjoyed the fact that it's gluten free, and therefore offers many low carb options. It's nice to go to a restaurant where you don't have to try to find something, anything, that might not contain 1,000 carbs, and still not feel like you're missing out. At Primal, the entire menu is an option! So far, our favorite things have been the deviled eggs appetizer, the shrimp appetizer, the kale salad, and the short ribs meal. For dessert... the flourless chocolate torte. And if you enjoy a good cup of coffee after dinner, they server it french press style, and it's great as well. Primal has the "downtown Durham" feel, but on our side of town. Great food; great vibe; we'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gluten-free but fit for all foodies
    RVAnewbieVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    I had heard good things about the first weeks of Primal, now open in the former Souper Salad off 54. Their kitchen is entirely gluten-free, but you don't have to be gluten-sensitive to enjoy the menu. Highlights included the bacon-wrapped dates and the 30-hour braised shortrib. The cocktail list is also inventive and the one I tried (shiso mojito) was great. Service is very attentive and friendly with frequent checks on your water & any other needs. Expect a bit of noise, though - even with only a few tables seated early in the evening, the acoustics required louder voices than you'd expect. Not sure how it would be when the place is full, or if you had a big group! But I will definitely be back to try more of the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pricey but good
    Foodfun
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    The atmosphere was fun, though a bit loud. Service was attentive. The portions of food were much too small to fully satisfy and quite pricey for the small amount.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 100% Gluten Free & Delicious
    GFdiner
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    I would HIGHLY recommend Primal to anyone who NEEDS to eat 100% gluten free or those who do not. The food is delicious from the appetizers (including hot bread) to the yummy desserts. They will be adding Sunday brunch soon too! There is a healthy kids menu and plenty of seating indoors and out. Staff was very friendly and great service.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic!
    DurhamLoveVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    So impressed with everything from service to ambiance to food... Overall a fantastic new restaurant that caters to gluten-intolerant folks as well as anyone who loves great fresh and locally sourced food!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 29 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 0 reviews are from the Primal Food & Spirits reviews archive.