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Refectory Cafe, Durham, NC

Refectory Cafe

4.6
4.6
522 Reviews
$30 and under
American
Established in 2005, The Refectory Cafe was the first “Green” restaurant on the Duke campus and was located at the Duke Divinity School. The Refectory Cafe focused on social & environmental sustainability, healthy dining and sourcing from local farms.
The award-winning Refectory Cafe was to be a “one-of-a-kind” local farm to table restaurant where omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, plant-based, KETO and gluten-free diets could all happily share a table together in the same facility. Every diet classification could delight in delicious, satisfying, creative food from a common menu, while enjoying the health benefits of consuming nutrient-dense meals devoid of chemical additives – all while practicing social & environmental sustainability.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 50 times today
Experiences are available.

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    American, Vegetarian / Vegan, Café

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Thu 9:00 am–8:30 pm Fri, Sat 9:00 am–9:00 pm Sun 9:00 am–3:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (919) 908-6798

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Rob Kinneen

  • Catering

    Seven-days a week, Breakfast, lunch & Dinner. Comfortable casual events to full service, you design your perfect event - we will deliver!

  • Private party facilities

    Delicious & Nutritious, serving all diets, always. Cafe can be rented for private parties - indoor and outdoor experiences. Staff fully vaccinated

  • Neighborhood

    Durham

  • Cross street

    Academy Road

  • Parking details

    Plenty of parking in our private lot, right outside the front or side doors. Handicapped parking out front.

  • Public transit

    Bus stop across the street from the cafe

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Vegan, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Experiences

  • Afternoon Delights Menu At The Refectory Cafe

    Multiple dates available
    Enjoy The Refectory Cafe's Afternoon Delights menu Monday-Friday from 2:30pm-4:30pm and 3pm-4:30pm on Saturday. This limited menu features some of the cafe's favorite items like our Boxcarr Cremery cheese plate, Refectory favorite Hosin brussels sprouts, our very own house-made chips & dip and much more! Full cocktail menu is available!

Popular dishes

What 522 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.5Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

    Great for Brunch

  • Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

    American

  • Durham

    Great for Brunch

  • Durham

    Healthy

  • Durham

    Outdoor Dining

Sort by

Filters

  1. KS

    KathleenS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time diners here, we had a reservation but chose to move to an outdoor tsble in the back of the patio, the weather was cool and the back of the patio was quiet. The service was prompt, the food came out quickly and was just superb! We will be back!!
  2. NV

    NancyV

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Food was terrific! They were short staffed so service was slow, but server was excellent. Will be back!
  3. K

    Kandance

    Raleigh

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had an outdoor farewell brunch for our son who was returning to college. The food and service were wonderful! I love that you can reserve a table in advance. I could not recommend Refectory Cafe more highly!
  4. LM

    LindaM

    Tampa

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Cute little spot, if traveling - know that Sundays they cannot serve alcohol until 10am.
  5. RL

    RitaL

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 9, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was great and owner was very gracious and knowledgeable and welcoming.
  6. CC

    CarolC

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great dinner and service - the restaurant is small, but comfortable and the food is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!! Had their salmon dish and my friend had the bolognese spaghetti and both were absolutely delicious! Would highly recommend - oh, and don't forget the desserts . . . yum!
  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always our go to when in Durham.
  8. LL

    LisaL

    Raleigh

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had a great experience. Excellent place.
  9. NC

    NCJoan

    Raleigh

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Wonderful dinners last night included the shrimp, crab cakes and pasta bolonese. Each was delicious and
  10. LF

    LynnF

    Raleigh

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on August 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent, fresh, local food and wonderful service. We enjoyed a comfortable dinner on the patio with shade and a gentle breeze from the fans. It looks like they have heaters for colder days, too. We will definitely be back!
  11. F

    Foodlover

    Pinehurst

    15 reviews

    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on August 5, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    The menu is varied making it likely that everyone will find something they'd like. I enjoyed trying a new type of fish that was their special for the evening. It was pricey, but very good. The salads were large and fresh. They have a huge selection of desserts made in house. The chocolate mousse was the best I've ever had. The staff was friendly and attentive.
  12. KB

    KyleB

    Raleigh

    18 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was ready when we got there. Had a party of 10. Everyone’s food was awesome. Chicken and waffles, breakfast burrito, quiche, cheesy grits everything.
  13. PC

    PaulC

    New England

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great brunch better service!!! Boys love their ricotta pancakes. I love their specials

    Refectory CafeResponded on July 29, 2022Thanks so much! We appreciate the awesome support!

  14. J

    Joanie

    Greensboro

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Having never been to The Refectory, I made reservations for a friend and me for 1:00 on Saturday. What a fabulous find! We both ate shrimp and grits which were the best I’ve had anywhere! We split a piece of cake for dessert, and it was delicious. The staff was extremely pleasant and accommodating. Highly recommend!

    Refectory CafeResponded on July 29, 2022Thank you Joanie, we love being a "fabulous find" and highly recommended. We are truly blessed with a competent happy and skilled staff. We look forward to serving you again very soon! Italian Wine dinner coming up on August 16th! Bon Appetit! Laura

  15. RM

    RobertM

    Raleigh

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on July 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service!

    Refectory CafeResponded on July 29, 2022Woohoo! Thank you! Laura

  16. TB

    TonyitaB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food. Nice quiet atmosphere. Could actually talk and enjoy our meal without all the background action.

    Refectory CafeResponded on July 29, 2022Thanks very much Tonyita! Laura

  17. F

    Foodlover

    Pinehurst

    15 reviews

    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on July 9, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    The food was fresh and nicely presented. The calamari appetizer was lightly breaded, had good texture and was well prepared. The garlic shrimp linguini had a light wine sauce which was nice, but an Alfredo sauce would have been more to our liking. The shrimp and grits was very tasty. The shrimp in both dishes was tender, very flavorful and served without tails. The fish special was served with Quinoa and flash fried, slices Brussels-sprouts and was beautifully plated. It was difficult to choose from the large selection of desserts. The chocolate mousse and pecan pie are highly recommended. The chef Service was very good. At night, a server takes your order. At lunch time, you place your order at the register. Both times, your order is brought to your table. The calamari appetizer was lightly breaded, had good texture and was well prepared.

    Refectory CafeResponded on July 29, 2022Thank you "Foodlover"! We appreciate the 5-Stars and the comments. Bon Appetit! Laura

  18. F

    Foodie91

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 9, 2022

    overall3food5service5ambience5
    Food was good, but we did have to wait an hour for a waffle and grilled cheese.
  19. H

    Huck

    Los Angeles

    37 reviews

    4.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on July 2, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    Has abundant outdoor seating. Appreciated the overhead fans
  20. K

    Kandance

    Raleigh

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 1, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    The crab cakes were wonderful- full of crab meat instead of breading and other fillers. This is also one of the few restaurants I have been to in the area that has a Sancerre on the wine menu- and it was wonderful. The lemon pie reminded me of my mother's. I can not recommend Refectory Cafe more highly for a nice, casual meal.

    Refectory CafeResponded on July 2, 2022Thank you Kandance! Everyone loves those lump crab cakes and thank you for commenting on the wine list. All of the wines are carefully curated to create something special for all of our guests. Many thanks, on behalf of the entire staff, for the recommendation, Bon Appetit! Laura

  21. N

    Nemo

    Atlantic Canada

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on July 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Once you eat at Refectory, you will keep going and eating!! Consistently great food, excellent service and warm/friendly service.

    Refectory CafeResponded on July 29, 2022Woohoo! Thank you Nemo.... :-) We look forward to serving you again soon. The entire staff works hard for and appreciates that 5-star experience for all of our guests. Many thanks Laura

  22. C

    Chip

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Food and service good but pricey. I would like to see more wine in a glass and more food on the plate for the $100+ meal.
  23. T

    Tembosi

    Raleigh

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Excellent food and service. All in our party had a variety of entrees which proved to be great across the board. The Caesar Salad dressing was a bit different in a zesty kind of way and made me wish I had ordered the full salad and couple sides.
  24. NC

    NCGrl

    Raleigh

    28 reviews

    5.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on June 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Three of us ate outside, under an awning, on a pleasant day. Two orders came out promptly, one order took extra time so we had to check inside. Excellent food, server checked in periodically, but didn't rush us as we chatted.
  25. C

    Charl

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall3food2service2ambience4
    I like all the gluten free an vegan options but the waiting in line vs having a waitress/ hostess would solve some issues.
  26. RR

    RichardR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This continues to be a standout location for brunch, with good food and good service.
  27. KC

    KathleenC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Lovely atmosphere and fresh food. Make reservations for brunch -- it's busy!
  28. FR

    FrankR

    Washington DC

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was fabulous! From the service , variety of menu items and the food was amazing. Well done.
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good food, good service!
  30. GS

    GeorgeS

    Atlanta

    28 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience5
    I have to acknowledge the kind, lovely people who work there - as well as the beautiful and tasty looking items in the bakery case! The breakfasts we ordered, sadly, were very overcooked, dry and substantially lacking in flavor. It’s an unusual set-up with regard to reserved seating, ordering at the counter and a mixed bag of self service tossed in.
  31. JS

    JerryS

    London

    14 reviews

    3.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on June 24, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    We were so anxious to dine here after reading ao many great reviews but in t6he end walked away disappointed. We started with 2 cups of soup, award winning chili for my wife and chicken and chorizo gumbo for me. Both were good bug not outstanding. I added the kale salad which was bland and almost tasteless. For entrees, my wife ordered the the lobster risotto and I went with the salmon. Again, both just OK. The tiny lobster tail on my wife's dish was perfectly cooked and tasty but the risotto left a lot to be desired. My salmon was also perfectly cooke to a medium rare but the basil sauce beneath was mostly tasteless. Total tab including 2 glasses of wine and a Manhattan, tax and tip came to $132. This is definitely not a 4 or 5 star review restaurant and definitely doesn't deserve Trip Advisor's #2 best restaurant in Durham. We won't be returning.
  32. TH

    TeriH

    Birmingham

    40 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    40 reviews

    Dined on June 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food & service!! Everything we had was outstanding. Wine list is special & they know how to make cocktails! Could not have asked anything more from our service!! We were there while visiting our friends who live in Durham who weren’t familiar with this restaurant. They will be back!!
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New Orleans

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    This is a really cute place lace with fresh flowers on each table and nice outdoor seating. The food is always excellent. I love the French toast , the pancakes, the shrimp salad, the chicken and waffles. My daughter ordered an iced cafe latte with raspberry syrup and it was amazing! Service is variable. Our last visit was a good one. All of our food arrived within the same five minute window (last time my husband and son waited 45 minutes for their food AFTER everyone else was served). The servers were very kind and pleasant on our most recent visit. We were told it would be 45-60 minutes for our food to be made after ordering g even though we had a reservation. Luckily it was more like 30 minutes. It must be the labor shortage?
  34. DB

    DBDtraveler

    Charlotte

    213 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    213 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    Average food. Attentive wait staff but sadly very slow cook staff. We waited over an hour for our meal. Perhaps we came on a bad day. It was a very busy Father’s Day.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Naples

    12 reviews

    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Great night to dine outside. The shrimp linguine was perfect. Only negative thing are the picnic tables.
  36. a

    abc123

    Raleigh

    8 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 18, 2022

    overall2food5service1ambience5
    I usually love refectory and have had great good and service. This time, I waited so long for my food (over 80 min) that my party, who had arrived five min earlier and had ordered through the QR code, had finished eating before my food ever came out. Their food also took a long time, and they had waited an hour so I told them to go ahead and eat when they finally were served. I went inside to check on my order bc my group was done eating and my food still hadn’t come out. Collectively, I probably waited 1.5 hrs and did so bc I had out of town friends who at least got their food after an hour. I just asked the server to pack up my food bc my friends had to get to a wedding and were meeting me for lunch right before it. It was an overall weird experience. Also many ppl were complaining about the severe delay in service and orders that were missing items. I could sense the servers and staff were visibly stressed and taxed. Although my dining experience was not positive this time, I ended up leaving stressed for the staff bc they couldn’t keep up with the orders and I knew they were trying their best but that they were never going to be able to get the plates and food out in time. They were SO behind and at a place where ppl would be needing to leave or walk out with their money back. They said it would be a 30-45 min wait for food but it was 1.5 hrs. I’ll still go back bc I love their food and outdoor dining option. But I’ll not go back during the weekend during peak service hrs. Potential solutions for the staff is to limit the number of patrons that can enter the restaurant or book reservations if staff are understaffed or cannot flip the tables and bring out food in a reasonable amt of time. They were drowning that day. Not fun for them or the guests.
  37. AC

    ACEfoodie

    Raleigh

    20 reviews

    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Although I did find it a little strange to order at a counter upon arrival, choose a seat and have my Bruce delivered, I was was delighted by the quality of the food! My friend and I enjoyed a crab cake for appetizer, lemon ricotta pancakes and the meat quiche of the day (ham, mushrooms and asparagus with Parmesan). The food was well crafted and delicious! We shared a mimosa flight which was fun and tasty! The service was great until the shift changed and we could hardly find someone to refill our water glasses. Finally, an excellent busser brought us water which was well appreciated! Overall, a lovely place that I would visit again!
  38. SH

    SabineH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was outstanding! Service very friendly. Great ambience. Will definitely return
  39. r

    rlcc

    Raleigh

    12 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall3food3service1ambience5
    Love this place- had a few challenges on my most recent visit, but they say they were understaffed. The wait for food was over 1.5 hours and was promised many times.
  40. DR

    DebbieR

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience2
    First time there, and service and wait time for food was poor. Very disappointed in lack of attention to the patrons. Staff not personable, was told to order by phone or go stand in line and order. To get a refill of water we had to go stand in line to ask. Took over an hour to receive or meal, which was avacodo toast, salad, chicken biscuit and breakfast wrap. Don’t see returning

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

Refectory Cafe offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (919) 908-6798.

Refectory Cafe is rated 4.6 stars by 522 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 50 times today
Experiences are available.
Google Map for Refectory Cafe

2726 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Academy Road

  • Neighborhood

    Durham

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Thu 9:00 am–8:30 pm Fri, Sat 9:00 am–9:00 pm Sun 9:00 am–3:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    American, Vegetarian / Vegan, Café

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Plenty of parking in our private lot, right outside the front or side doors. Handicapped parking out front.

  • Public transit

    Bus stop across the street from the cafe

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Rob Kinneen

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Vegan, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (919) 908-6798

  • Catering

    Seven-days a week, Breakfast, lunch & Dinner. Comfortable casual events to full service, you design your perfect event - we will deliver!

  • Private party facilities

    Delicious & Nutritious, serving all diets, always. Cafe can be rented for private parties - indoor and outdoor experiences. Staff fully vaccinated

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