Watts Grocery
Watts Grocery

Watts Grocery

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.wattsgrocery.com/
  • Phone: (919) 416-5040
  • Hours of Operation:
    Saturday, Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm; Lunch: Tuesday- Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday 5:30-9:30, Friday and Saturday 5:30-10
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Southern
  • Executive Chef: Amy Tornquist
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Our sister company, Sage and Swift Catering, if a full service catering company. Please call 919-957-7889 or email info@sageandswift.com
  • Special Events: We host monthly wine dinners with the Hope Valley Bottle Shop. Please join our mailing list or friend us on facebook to keep up with these events.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Club Blvd
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking is located right beside restaurant.
A word from Watts Grocery
Our menu of classic favorites and Carolina tradition is best defined by what is grown locally and seasonally. Please call for reservations for parties of 5 or more for all services and only reservations of 5 or more accepted for Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Watts Grocery reviews from OpenTable diners
134 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (99)neighborhood gem (82)special occasion (50)great for lunch (24)romantic (24)great for brunch (23)good for groups (18)hot spot (18)notable wine list (15)kid-friendly (6)vibrant bar scene (5)great for outdoor dining (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Food lovely, service substandard
    JKozVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    My third time at Watts, and once again the really quite nice food was accompanied by poor service. Timing off, visits from waiter at random and odd intervals. Every time I leave I am reminded that this is a fine place for a couple to sit and have a drink and food at the bar. Skip the restaurant seating, and don't come with a group and sit at a regular table unless you don't care about good service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So-So this time
    Claud
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    I love Watts Grocery but want them to get more creative with the menu. A bit boring and everything tasted the same even though we tried 4 different things. Kinda uninspired. However, the lemon chess pie was outstanding (it didn't taste like garlic and bacon)
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • can't miss with Watts!
    Carolinagirls
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Food is always unique and yummy. Very busy on a Friday night so a little noisy, but to be expected in such a popular place. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Watt's up?
    BillVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Food quality and preparation seems to be slipping. Nearly inedible goat cheese grits were pumpkin orange and had the consistency of Spackle. Fried chicken entree was an over salted and dry single breast. Unimaginative and underdone duck breast entree.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • More food quality consciousness wanted
    AnnEats
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    My pear salad was mediocre - unripe pear, dry chicken breast. My partner's fried shrimp on the Cobb salad he loved. The waitress seemed to know nothing about the quality of the food (nitrite free? organic? etc), but was friendly. It's fun food, but not healthy enough for me. I probably won't go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    The friendliness of the servers is only surpassed by the yumminess of the food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!!!
    MichVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    The food and service were great! It was our first time here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Celebration
    BrianC
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We were celebrating my nephew's recent wedding, and I gave him Watts Grocery as one of three options to select, telling him he couldn't go wrong. Everything was great, as I knew it would be. Our services was attentive and knowledgeable, without being overbearing. The foot was flavorful and perfectly prepared, and there were some really great menu selections the night we went. Our selections ranged from angus ribeye to fried chicken to seared tuna for entrees. We also had some of the best collards and butternut squash for sides, and the desserts were amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great to meet friends for lunch.
    JudyNovember
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We often meet friends at Watts Grocery during the week for lunch. This time the food and service were wonderful, as always.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GreatJobAmy
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    super meal, as always dishes were creative, tasty, unique, across the board
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ALWAYS WONDERFUL IN EVERY WAY
    Anniem
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Great experience every time. Wonderful food and easy access on and off major highway.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Tuna dish
    ChrisVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Excellent food, my colleague had the ribeye I had yellowfin tuna on a bed of cauliflower purée and sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon, it was a creative dish, nicely presented and tasted great. Service was excellent, although the place was a little noisy. Overall a good experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Great experience! Loved every bit of the experience. Food was just about the best I have ever had!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Smooth and tasty experience
    RedMike
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Our first time at Watts Grocery for lunch. Wonderful food as usual and a waitress that let us dictate the flow of the meal. Good selection of sandwiches and salads. Enough choices for almost anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great birthday celebration
    Mary
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    From start to finish our evening was very enjoyable. Local food prepared in original and tasty ways has always been the draw. Our son was home for the weekend, and we celebrated his birthday at Watts Grocery. Our evening was relaxing. The appetizers and entrees we ordered were just great. Service was very good, as always. We'll be back soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful again
    DisappointedVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    As usual Watts Grocery delivered. Brought guests from out of town and they loved every bite
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food & service; little pricey
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Seafood special (red drum) was excellent. Service couldn't have been better - knew both food & wine menu well - rec'd excellent guidance!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food amid cacophony
    Demanding
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We had a terrific meal at Watts Grocery, but conversation was really difficult because of the din. It has to be the noisiest restaurant in Durham (and that's saying a lot). Some sound softening panels hung from the ceiling might work wonders. The eggplant custard was delicious, and the market fish (red drum wrapped in potato slices on a bed of kale) was perfectly prepared. The appetizer of fried okra was hot, crisp and so tempting that even those who'd chosen something less caloric couldn't resist them. Our server was pleasant and professional and unfailingly cheerful even as closing time approached.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oh the vinegar!
    LikesLunch
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Two of us had salads, either as our "main" or an accompaniment. The extreme over-vinegaring of the salad dressing made us both have coughing fits. I think the restaurant should pay as much attention to salads and fresh vegetables as to its fried and Southern specialities.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointment
    foodieforeverVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I have been to Watts Grocery at least 10 times since it opened-the food is always excellent. However, on 9-27, our service was not at all up to par. Our server was significantly undertrained.She could not remember/recite the specials, could not answer simple questions about the entrees, and left our table several times to ask questions of the bartender & others while we waited for answers. We had to ask her to fill our water glasses numerous times. The straw that broke the camels back was this-my husband asked for a simple substitution of mushrooms for kale (that were clearly available as they were on my dish). The server went to ask the chef who basically said no..."not a part of her process".Other fine restaurants are happy to accommodate
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as expected
    EatNout
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    I've been to Watt's twice before and was extremely pleased. This visit was a bit disappointing. Wine we wished to order was not available -- although we got a good sub. Service was definitely off. Asked for salad with no bacon only to have it come out with bacon. Had to ask for bread three times before getting another serving to finish off appetizer. Waitperson seemed less concerned than he should have been with these glitches. Food was above average but the experience was disappointing overall. And we were entertaining a guest for whom this was a first visit. Wish it had been better.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brown
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    After numerous awesome meals at Watts Grocery, we finally had an average meal. Hush puppies were undercooked. Fried okra appetizer was tough. Peanut slaw had an odd taste that was not good. One order was incorrect. Having said all that, we'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always Good
    goodeatingVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    I have never had a bad food or service experience at Watts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What's Up With Watts?
    rixxfaves
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    To be honest with you, the name of the restaurant merely suggest going to your local grocery store - au contrare! It was a chic, elegant venue with a mouth-watering menu fit for any foodie. I had a great time and will return soon!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pork shank is where it's at
    LocalDINKs
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Promised to come back sooner and I glad I did. The pork shank with grits and greens was perfect--meat fell off the bone and was moist and delicious, grits were creamy and cheesy, pickled peach relish was a perfect counterpoint. Evolution Syrah blend complemented the entree beautifully. Waiter appeared as needed, was friendly and helped cement our with selection. Skipped the soft dinner rolls--I prefer bread with a crust--but I think the bread changes. I seem to recall cornbread last week. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great dinner
    TheDocIsIn
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Always great at Watts! Great beer selection, great dinners, fantastic ribeye.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great southern food
    Aefriedm
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    This was a great take on southern food. I had the fried fish and it was great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect fried flounder
    LocalDINKs
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Fried flounder was breaded (with cornmeal), cooked perfectly, and arrived piping hot. Grit cake was creamy and delicious. I love collards--and these were vinegary and fabulous--but their flavor obliterated every other flavor on the plate. The Albarino wine our waitress recommended was a nice complement and change of pace from the ubiquitous summertime Pino Grigio. I won't wait so long to visit again. My husband will want to try the scotch whisky flight and short ribs I spotted on the on-line menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Quiet
    AmbienceChaser
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We had a lovely date at Watts Grocery on Saturday. I had requested a quieter place in the restaurant, and sure enough, we were beside a small wall which helped facilitate conversation. Most restaurants in Durham are as loud as a train station at rush hour. We are always grateful to be able to spend our few hours away from our kids in conversation, and Watts Grocery, besides having incredible and delicious food, was ideal for our date.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A nice spot for a nice dine
    thedevildinesout
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Watts Grocery is tucked a couple of blocks away from most of Durham's other dining options (and, curiously, it's not actually on Watts Street). It's worth the few extra minutes wandering off through residential streets and past billiard parlors to have a slightly more upscale dining experience, though. Not terribly expensive, either: the total for my entree, cocktail, and a dessert split with my date didn't even crack $40. The one downside is that, because it's somewhat popular, and because the dining space is rather closely arranged, it can be a little hard to hear your dining conversation over the din.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Meal
    BrachlVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We went with two friends on a Saturday night. The food was excellent -- between the four of us we got 2 fabulous salads (one corn, one grilled romaine with blueberries), 2 orders of the market fish (which was tuna), 1 flounder, 1 steak, the black and white cake, and the peach sorbet. Everything was fabulous, although one should not get the market fish if one does not like chimichurri. Our server was terrific -knowledgeable and helpful. Our only complaint was that we sat at a table in the middle of the front room, and it was cold in that spot because of the vents. (Apparently, it is cold in many spots in the restaurant.) So bring a sweater or jacket when you go.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, service ok
    CJ03
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We have dined at Watts Grocery several times over the years and the food is always fantastic including our most recent visit. Our server was very friendly but we found that the service was a bit slow considering we were there before the Saturday night dinner rush so the restaurant was fairly empty. Our drinks came at separate times so by the time the last in our party received her drink, the first to receive her drink was nearly finished! We won't let this deter us from visiting Watts again but hopefully management will address these issues.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    cocciVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The decor us casual dull, the food was not that original and on the heavy side.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great place to bring out of towners
    enjoyfinefood
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Enjoy the fresh produce and menu. Everyone we bring enjoy the unique dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • durhamgal
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    An innovator: fresh food cleverly paired. Especially good bar drinks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh... Good but not that good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Went in for lunch, small restaurant, food is good but nothing exciting. I would classify as a decent spot to eat, dinner is much better in my opinion. Dessert was the best part of the meal, Ice cream sandwich! Friend enjoyed his food as well.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great North Carolina Food
    DukeAlumna
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Watts Grocery is a great relaxing place with wonderful local food choices. The staff is very friendly and the food has always been excellent and interesting. Even without a reservation, you can get lucky and find one of the open tables in the front of the restaurant that cannot be reserved. The restaurant is not open terribly late, but many other restaurants in Durham close fairly early.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great lunch!
    Bosella
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The steak sandwich was especially good. Paired perfectly with the sweet iced tea.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • always a winner
    nytastebuds
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    One of the benefits of having my daughter at Duke is eating at Watts Grocery - food is imaginative, fresh, and local
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    Livingwell
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Remembered previous dining experiences to have very creative food . Unfortunately my dinner was very bland & uninspired, especially after a very long wait for it to appear. Dessert was another long wait, plus no cutlery to eat it with. Three attempts with three different waiters, before we finally got forks, but dessert was delicious. However, poor service, high price for a bland vegetarian dish, and high noise levels made me decide I will not be coming back again. Did Amy change her management & chef? With all the restaurants Durham has, I think diners can do better.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic