Refectory Cafe

4.7
230 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.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
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
What 230 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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G
Great
Miami
5 reviews
Dined 19 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience, great food, fast service!

AP
AlanaP
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always wonderful and kid-friendly, especially with outdoor dining.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Father’s Day

T
Teresa
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had an amazing meal. Large portions so I am glad we shared. Appetizer, Greek salad, salmon and dessert to go. Great beer and wine selection too. If we are ever back in the area it's our stop for dinner.

MV
MichaelV
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great for when you need to accommodate herbivores and carnivores! And the desserts are amazing.

TC
TanyaC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Lovely dinner and desert choices. Would love to try the brunch menu.

SS
SusanS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Food, Beer and service! Brussel sprouts were on point!

C
Cookie
Raleigh
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience3

The food here is great, I have never been disappointed and I have eaten here frequently.

ME
MichaelE
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We stuffed ourselves—great apps, entrees and desserts. Very tasty veggie choices, too.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Met a friend for lunch and we sat at the restaurant for three hours! We were able to sit as long as we needed without feeling uncomfortable. The lemon pancakes were the best I’ve ever had.

KS
KelseyS
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always our go to when in Durham! Can meet everyone’s dietary preferences!

DR
DrewR
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Second time I have been here. The first was for a light lunch late breakfast just fast and simple but the food was good. My girlfriend said it was the best shrimp and grits she ever had. She is a board certified nutritionist and a foodie, very picky. Last night we came for dinner and it was our first experience dining out since COVID. We were lucky as they were running a deal of a three course meal for a very good value. Was very surprised at how good dinner was. All three courses were exceptional and since I couldn't decide on which desert I purchased one to bring home. One of the smartest things I have done in a while, both were delicious.

JT
JudyT
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous meal for triangle restaurant week. I had the crispy duck over sautéed vegetables with a cherry sauce. Best thing I’ve had in a long time

EA
EduardoA
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Good food, nice service. Overall a good experience

SK
SteveK
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

First time I have checked them out at their location off campus. Delicious meals all through the courses. They also have vegan- and keto- friendly options. For their quality of service and food, they are way cheaper.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food, especially the desserts, and the service were outstanding. We definitely plan to return there for dinner. I've gone several times for lunch and been very satisfied.

EB
EllieB
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and great service.

B
Bev1
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everyone at our table ordered something different for brunch. We all were very happy with our selections. I highly recommend.

s
vipschautzie1013
Richmond
41 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this cafe. Every time I am in Durham this is my go to place for lunch. Now dinner. We had a wonderful time. Thank you!

S
Selenar
New England
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was so good, especially the trout and the beef ribs, and everything was reasonably priced! Service was perfect.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service!

NY
vipNYFoodie
Raleigh
110 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience4

We love the Refrectory Cafe and were excited to be going back. As always the food was delicious, servings more than ample and of course, who can pass up the delicious dessert selections! Unfortunately, the service was OFF and I mean really off on this particular visit. The waitstaff is typically very friendly and chatty - we have always enjoyed learning about our server, there stories and adventures. Our waiter seemed to be multi tasking and never did introduce himself. I struggled to get anyone's attention for a refill on my water and I guess they didn't care about wine sales as I was never asked if I would like a second glass. We were celebrating a birthday and it was noted in the reservation but no mention was made of the happy occasion. After visiting the bathroom, paying our bill etc... our waiter came over and asked if we were ready for our cheques! I told him we had already settle up with the help of someone else. There was no thank you, come again etc... Not what we are use to at Refectory and not what Laura would expect of her staff. We won't give up just yet as we love the food and overall atmosphere and consider it an off night.

A
vipAlejo70
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Good casual food - key lime pie was great

BR
BrendaR
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Sat outside at a picnic table and had brunch and cocktails. Service was excellent. Staff friendly and made the brunch enjoyable, no rush atmosphere just what I needed.

AO
AnnieO
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Eggs Benedict was a huge let down. The poached eggs were hard and not runny at all. There was less than a tablespoon of Hollandaise on each egg/muffin, and the Hollandaise tasted like it was made from a mix with mayo. I will never order this again. The other dishes we had were better- lemon ricotta pancakes were great as was the huevos rancheros. The biscuits were bad especially since we're in the South.

GB
GingerB
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food. Fresh trout over three bean salad with Green Goddess dressing. Prepared perfectly. Taste combination very nice. Sat outside. Service good considering they were just about full inside and out and this was at 6:00 pm on a Friday. Highly recommend.

j
vipjdesigner
Raleigh
23 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

WOW! Fantastic Huevos Rancheros platter. Every component
was perfect. Far more than I could eat, though I really tried!

G
Gretchen
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous employees and fabulous food! We had a great time!

E
Emma
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food and service were phenomenal. I googled best brunch places in Durham and without trying the others this easily would take the cake. Fresh, fast, hot, and ready food with smiling faces delivering. I will most certainly be back.

I was expecting a fully sit-down brunch experience with drink orders first then food ordering. Not sure if it’s because of COVID-19 or not, but the restaurant has patrons order at the dessert bar their entire meal to then be delivered. Simply because I wasn’t expecting this my “ambiance” rating went down to 4 stars, but all else was absolutely divine.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A group of us went here for my wife’s birthday, and we could not have had a better experience. The food was excellent, the drinks were wonderful, and the service was outstanding. I highly recommend a visit here.

JT
JohnT
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

My first time there, and really enjoyed the experience. I had the Seafood Risotta really good, but good have used just a bit more seasoning. The preparation and presentation of our meal was very good.

SG
SandyG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have loved this restaurant for several years. So glad we are able to eat there in person now! I had the lamb stew special - it had complex flavors and was delicious. My husband had his usual Bolognaise that makes him so happy. Ended up splitting a strawberry cake. Two very happy customers went home with left overs for the next meal! Can't wai tto come back.

DH
DianaH
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food to suit very different tastes from vegan to fillet mignon. Relaxed dining with music from our generation.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Seated quickly, food was very good. Service was good although waiter not as friendly as I would expect. He was efficient and did his job well but lacked the personal touch.

We will definitely go back as all other aspects were very good or excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Waitress didn't notice had a new table. Others ended up covering down on us. Slow start but descent service after that

VD
VeganDan
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good restaurant overall. Being a vegan, I'd welcome a few more vegan items. The food is nicely presented and the staff is professional and helpful. The outdoor seating is great! (Many tables.) Love the sweet potato fries. I've only been a couple of times, so can't tell you a lot about the dishes.

K
Kathyv
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Manager gave us a cookie when I asked to order one! Thanks so much. We will be back.

LF
LookingforaFind
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Chose this place to meet friends for lunch to catch up post-COVID and celebrate a birthday. One friend was coming from nearby Duke, the remaining 3 of us drove 45 minutes to meet here. Made reservations since we wanted to ensure a table, but once we entered, realized we didn't need it. The lunch hour had some patrons, but overall only about a 1/3rd was occupied. We chose to sit inside as it was 95 outside. However, there were at least 12 or more tables available outside under the canopy which was quite spacious. We enjoy eclectic menues, and need vegetarian as well as gluten-free, so the menu fit the bill. There was a walk-up counter where all orders had to be placed including a glass of water. Nothing was brought to the table unless it was ordered or requested. After ordering, you rec'd a table-top number, we waited just a short bit for food to arrive. Everything arrrived nicely, warm and aplenty. The Indian chickpea dish was hearty, the lemon ricotta pancakes were dense and tasty with the syrup, but alone did not carry much lemony taste. Unfortunately, the blueberries on the side were not fresh, but canned perhaps? Make sure to order some dressing for the miso-ginger kale salad, it sounded like it would be tasty, but didn't have a hint of either of those flavors. But, it was fresh. We wanted to save room for dessert, because the dessert case was AMAZING! Huge cake and pie slices, cookies, bars, and at least 5 gluten-free, Keto options. We tried the gf chocolate cheesecake and the Greek yogurt cheesecake (it was huge and pretty with a berry on top, a perfect birthday slice to share). The staff brought it out with a lit candle :), but forgot the gf cheesecake, plates and forks. The food was good, but nothing out of this world, and the staff was friendly, however, not attentive. We had to keep our finished plates on the table the entire time we sat and chatted until we finally cleared them ourselves. Maybe would return at some point, but only if in the area.

JR
JocelynR
Oxford
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Friendly and knowledgeable staff, offering great customer service. Menu has many delicious options, making it hard to choose. We had the ham and cheese platter and potato leek soup as starters. For dinner we ordered calamari and crab cakes. Everything was really good and nice portions.

FAQs

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

Refectory Cafe is rated 4.7 stars by 230 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.