Diversity has always been a strong point for the city of Durham. With its proximity to RTP and it being home to Duke, one of the country’s most prestigious universities, people from all over the world come to Durham for career opportunities and education. This diversity manifests itself in the many ethnic restaurants and markets that exist today in the Bull City.

Check out these top ten restaurants and markets that are defining Durham’s ethnic food scene:


Parizade is a much-celebrated Mediterranean restaurant founded by nationally recognized restaurateur Giorgios Bakatsias. The menu features the familiar flavors of the Mediterranean, alongside with unique items such as the Chargrilled Portuguese Octopus.

Jamaica Jamaica

Jamaica Jamaica is located in an unassuming strip mall off of Highway 55 in Durham. It features Jamaican cuisine served cafeteria-style. Try the jerk chicken and the plantains!


The menu at Guasaca is inspired by Venezuelan cuisine. This quick-serve restaurant serves up yellow corn arepas stuffed with the fillings and toppings of your choosing. Top it off with its fresh, delicious Guasaca sauce for a fantastic meal!

Sitar Indian Cuisine

Sitar Indian Cuisine features Biryani dishes and is known for its large buffer. This restaurant also offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants so all lovers of Indian food will find something to enjoy!

Pomegranate Kitchen

Pomegranate Kitchen features Persian-inspired dishes made with seasonal produce sourced from local farmers. The menu changes frequently, but you can be sure to find a solid variety of vegetarian and vegan options in the mix. Examples of menu items include Fava Bean Rice, Eggplant Patties, and Pirashki.

Durham’s Best Ethnic Markets

Mediterranean Grill & Grocery

Enjoy Chicken Shawarma or a Gyro while you shop at Mediterranean Grill & Grocery! It’s convenient to RTP, and it has everything you need to cook up your own Mediterranean-inspired meal.

Spice Bazaar

As the name indicates, Spice Bazaar has all of the spices and ingredients you need to make Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern meals at home. Not sure what to make? Take a stroll around its 2,400 square foot store, and you are sure to be inspired.

Shilla Oriental Market

Shilla Oriental Market may be small, but it has a lot to offer. It carries products and grocery items from Korea, Japan, and other parts of Asia.

Tortilleria Miguelena

Tortilleria Miguelena is an international grocery store that also features a small prepared foods section. Enjoy a pupusa or a tamale while you shop!

Li Ming’s Global Mart

Li Ming’s Global Mart features a large selection of Asian groceries. You can also find a sizeable food court inside the store in case you get hungry while shopping!

Durham is such a diverse city with an authentic international all-around feel that is always evolving and welcoming newcomers from all over the world. Thus, the landscape of Durham’s ethnic food scene changes frequently.

Goorsha, Durham’s first Ethiopian restaurant recently opened in the historic Brightleaf Square. Copa, a Cuban restaurant, and Khaja’s Kurry are also expected to open in Durham soon. We can’t wait to see what else the new year will bring to Durham’s ethnic food scene in 2018!

So what are some of your favorite local go-to spots to enjoy international flavors and cuisine in Durham? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at FB.com/919Blog and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Downtown Durham Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN