Watts Grocery

4.3
2219 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Watts Grocery is located in the historic Watts-Hillandale neighborhood in Durham, NC. Our menu of classic Southern favorites and Carolina tradition is best defined by what is grown locally and seasonally. Using local farmers, fishermen and regionally sourced goods, our menu evolves throughout the changing seasons. Please call us for large party reservations of 10 or more and for any other information. Reservations are recommended on weekend evenings and Saturday and Sunday brunch.
What 2219 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AW
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The service was fast & friendly! Love the location and ambiance. Parking was convenient & easy to navigate (they have their own lot). Portion size was small, but tasty. By far the best grits I've ever tasted!

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C
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 2

When we arrived at 6:30pm, many of the menu items were not available. The bar options were also depleted. The menu is already small so that was disappointing. Haven’t been to Watts in some time and I was frustrated to go back and find how it’s gone downhill in service and food options. Our waiter actually took everyone’s order for dessert and skipped me. Very weird.

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IT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 3

We dined on a special day (Mother's day) for the fixed price of $55 per plate and credit card provided in advance AND 20% included. However I would say the value was very poor. Restaurant "run out" of a popular drink which did not set a good tone for the dinner. Main dishes covered food choices but dishes were very simple and I would call very basic without any fuss. Those dinners are made in one's kitchen by a good cook I would say for a mid week meal. Meat cut in my steak was not very high quality. When we got to desert they run out of my choice again! such a disappointment. I will not be celebrating anything in that restaurant ever again.

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AA
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Easy to reserve. Great service, delicious food.

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J
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Such an easy and casual place with great food and class. The full bar add an element of celebration and fun, and the unique twists on the menu are fabulous. Great place to bring anyone!

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Long waits for cold food.

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SR
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

We made the mistake of dining when there was a limited menu. The lighting of the room we ate in made it difficult to see as well. Despite that, I feel our experience would have been better if we got to experience the full menu, so can't really comment with a full review.

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RG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Mother’s Day brunch was disappointing. Soft shell crab sandwich and quiche were just okay, but felt like a rip off for the price (~$15 per meal). We had similar complaints about the meals: over salted, otherwise pretty bland. We have loved Watt’s in the past for dinner, but wouldn’t go again for brunch.

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P
Raleigh
10 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Service was topnotch! Waiter and a waitress were very friendly and accommodating especially vehement we did not get our entrees for a long time.
The waiter came back several times to let us know that the kitchen staff was running behind and that he would not charge us for an entree.That was so nice and generous of him!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The food was not quite as good as it’s been in the past. Most of the biscuits at our table had burnt bottoms. Service as always was good.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waiter was very nice. $$$ price, but the steak was delicious and you get your money’s worth. A pretty decent date spot!

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CS
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good Southern food with a creative touch, nice atmosphere (though not very quite, but also not as loud as to dump any personal conversation).

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AC
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We've eaten at Watts Grocery since it opened, and they have maintained their excellent cuisine and service impeccably. This weekend's meal was no exception. Both of us had the ribeye which was generous and delicious, as were the sides of fries and creamed greens. I ordered the sweet potato gratin just to see what it'd be like, and it was also fantastic.

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R
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 5

Couple of weird things - Harry Potter was playing at the bar with subtitles and the bartender was at the edge of the bar watching it.

Food took over an hour so we filled up on bread and apps.

They ran out of so many dishes even though we were there around 6:30pm and it wasn’t busy. Hush puppies couldn’t be served because chef said they weren’t good. Duck entree was meh.

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Q
Raleigh
15 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were outstanding! This is my favorite restaurant.

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AC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 2

There is only one vegetarian item on their menu and they are unwilling to accommodate vegetarians at all including not informing diners that their dressing included fish

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o
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kitchen & chef are top-notch. Really great service

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OT
Raleigh
18 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Watts Grocery is consistently good. I would normally rate it a 4.4. However, this particular meal was more like a 3.6. The mussels in coconut broth appetizer -- which two months ago had been amazing -- was not very good this time. (Not sure why. Different, bigger mussels this time -- perhaps it's the time of year. They simply didn't taste great, and there was less coconut broth [at least proportionally].) The rest of our food was delicious and thoughtful. The service -- as usual -- was very good, but it took them over an hour to serve our entrees. The place is a bit noisy, but you can avoid that by coming a bit earlier or later.

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c
Greensboro
3 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dinner with an attentive server. Cocktail and wine was perfect. I ordered the steak and it was delicious.

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SN
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

A great place, fantastic food. The service on the night we went was very slow but great.

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AG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always awesome! Food is great and service is excellent!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

It is with sad feelings that I have to write this poor review of Watt’s Grocery. What was once our favorite local restaurant has become a shameful disgrace. With dinner reservations pre scheduled for a business meeting half of our group arrived early and decided to order drinks at the bar. While we were the only ones at the bar, we waited approximately 15 minutes while the two staff members blatantly walked by us and avoided contact. It was ultimately excused as helping other customers. I have heard rumors that Watts filed for bankruptcy protection but wanted to think that they would uphold their past reputation in the mean time.

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SA
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Took a friend to lunch and she loved her salad with grilled ribeye. Said her steak was seasoned and cooked perfectly. I enjoyed Bill Neal’s shrimp and grits. Delicious!
We had desserts that were fabulous-chocolate cup cake and ice cream pie between 2 fabulous chocolate chip cookies. Our waitress was attentive and gracious.
Great place to catch up with a friend , enjoy a delicious lunch and feel pampered

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A
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Limited menu, but server did not know they were out of some items. Food was tasty, but average fare and pricey for the offering. We may go back someday, but it will be a while.

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BV
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you asked me to describe our entire experience with one word it would be..... AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The food was A+. The server was very professional and did a tremendous job. We love this restaurant.
When I took the first bite of my food, my eyes lit up. SOOOOO GOOOOD!!!!

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MN
Raleigh
10 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

As always, we had a terrific brunch! All 3 of us ordered the Shrimp & Grits, and all 3 of us were delighted! The service was great ... staff were attentive without being intrusive. Watts Grocery is a gem!

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DH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The ambiance was very nice. We were seated right away at a high top table even though we had reserved a low table. One person had the scramble and biscuit and was very happy with their choice. One person had the eggs Benedict which were prepared with bacon that was not cooked enough usually ham would be used. The last person had the quiche which was good but the serving size was a little small. Our server was very good.

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AS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

My first visit. Great Brunch Selections. Both my meal and my guest's were very good. I had the Pancakes and my guest had the Fried Green Tomato BLT.

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SS
Raleigh
15 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, all made in house. Five of us all had different dishes and we were all pleased with our delicious meals. Favorites were; shrimp and grits, pimento cheese sandwich and onion rings. Service was fabulous. I hadn't stopped by here for a while and found out what I had been missing. Will definitely return soon.

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AC
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Absolutely nothing wrong with this place. Food was good but didn't blow my mind. Service was good. Nice looking place. Go find out your self.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

A little underwhelmed by the food and service. Especially given all the amazing reviews for this place on Open Table and Yelp. Fried chicken and biscuit—super small chicken portion that didn’t even fill up the biscuit, and minimal gravy. The Hangover was good in theory, but essentially just a large plate of fries with a fried egg. Nothing to write home about.

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CD
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

This place has really gone down hill. Our service was incredibly slow and the waiter seemed constantly confused. Food is fine but no where near what it was 5 years ago.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our first time any Watts, and we had a great experience for brunch. The server was friendly, and the food and drinks came out very fast. Everything was delicious! We'll be back!

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OT
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I’ve always heard really good things about Watts Grocery but never took the plunge until I was looking for a brunch spot that took reservations. I can say that all my expectations were exceeded and I will definitely be coming again. The restaurant was clean and the wait staff extremely courteous upon arrival. I loved my waiter and he was extremely pleasant with excellent recommendations and a sense of humor. My party of 6 all got different dishes and after tasting a bite of each I was blown away with how delicious everything was despite appearing very simple. I personally had the hangover plate and it was extremely flavorful and varied in texture. I also had a single pancake just to put the chef to the test and was impressed with an overly savory pancake that is perfectly complimented by the accompanying maple syrup. This perfect combination is a result of a chef who cares an enormous amount about how food tastes. Overall the meal felt highly curated and was such a great dining experience. Even the sweet tea was amazing! I will be coming back for sure.

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J
Richmond
20 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great southern comfort food. Wonderfully presented. Menu was fairly limited. Had a great meal

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BT
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It's always a be pleasure to eat at Watts. Both fish dishes were very flavorful, ample, and nicely presented. The pineapple upside down cake was a perfect ending to celebrating mardi gras in Durham. I was delighted with the wine list - especially from Colome vinyards - available by both a glass or bottle. Great value.

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JR
Raleigh
12 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was backed perfectly. It was fresh and delicious. Service was excellent. I would go again.

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LA
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always unique and amazing! It has a variety of healthy and heartier (southern) options!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a wonderful birthday brunch for my grandmother. It was a total surprise and the food was excellent!

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G
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

GREAT pancakes. In inquired about adding Blueberries and was politely told this was not a menu item and difficult to pull off. Imagine my great surprise when my pancakes arrived filled with fresh blueberries. Special thanks to the chef for making my day!!!! What a great surprise indeed. The waiter was super efficient and always there to refill coffee. We never once felt rushed. The pancakes are so enormous and the best value. We always bring the extras home because they re-heat great too for a snack or next-day meal. My one regret is that Watts does not have a marked handicap spot in the parking lot. At least not one that I could see the day that I was there. Being disabled, this is a huge sore point with me and the reason I didn't give them 5 stars.

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