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“Great beer, good service, over-priced average food”

Bull City Burger and Brewery
Ranked #8 of 765 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Kids, Bar scene, Large groups, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Bull City Burger and Brewery is a locally owned, independent restaurant and craft brewery located at 107 East Parrish Street in downtown Durham, NC. We opened March 2011. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner 7 days per week with approximately 90 seats inside plus 60 seats of outside year round patio dining. We offer family friendly dining with a children's play area, as well as a semi-private meeting room for business gatherings, events and presentations all within full view of our own brewery. The restaurant is very much "farm-to-fork," working closely with North Carolina pasture-raised beef farmers supplying beef with no added hormones and antibiotic-free, that we grind daily to make our hamburgers and all-beef hotdogs. We work with other farmers growing vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers for pickles, and lettuce. The menu is streamlined with nearly everything produced on-site including house made buns, sauerkraut and bacon. We use no artificial sweeteners, no high fructose corn syrup, and no hydrogenated oils. We like to say we are like fine dining in a burger joint. We make the mustard, the slaw, the pickles, the mayo, the aioli, the hotdogs, the relish, the...
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great beer, good service, over-priced average food”
Reviewed January 3, 2012

I was really looking forward to trying this place. The did a nice job with the decor and I like how it was set up (order at the counter).

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the beer. We ordered a sampler and tried several different styles. All were very good. The friendly bartender even offered to introduce us to the brewmaster, who came and chatted with us and was very pleasant. I believe the beers were priced $4.50, which is very reasonable.

So now to the negatives... For a place that seems to pride itself on its burgers, they were very average. Also very expensive. Everything added to a burger increases the price so if you want one with the works you're talking $12-13. And that doesn't include fries, etc., which also cost extra. I have no problem paying this much for a huge burger with sides but these just aren't big and aren't anything special (all three in my party had the same thoughts). My bill for a burger with fries plus one beer plus tip was around $22. Kind of steep for lunch.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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528 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
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    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Durham
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful time, amazing duck fries and great beeeeeer”
Reviewed December 22, 2011

Discover this burger place a few months ago, the food is great and like the idea they present, local growers, yes it is a little more expensive but you taste buds will thanks you. Lets don't forget about the beer, they are like potato chips, you can not have only one...... :)

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Surdo2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best burger in the world”
Reviewed November 15, 2011

Seth Gross and his staff do it right. They make everything, buy the best totally pasture-raised grass fed beef available, and brew excellent beer. And it is in lovely downtown Durham.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TeresaEDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kreskin2207
Level Contributor
258 reviews
201 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great beer but not loving the atmosphere”
Reviewed August 18, 2011

Went to grab a beer Saturday afternoon and to check the place out. There weren't many people there, maybe 10 people spread out over various groups, so finding a seat wasn't hard. We sat up at the bar and ordered a Bitter and an IPA. I liked both beers, probably liked the bitter a bit more as the IPA, while tasty, didn't have quite the punch I'm accustomed to. You can also get a sampler of all their brews. We got an order of the pickle chips to snack on and I wasn't too impressed. I kept eating them just to try and find one chip with an actual pickle flavor. The batter, while pretty tasty sporting a mild pretzel flavor, overpowered the pickle. If they cut the pickles a bit thicker, instead of paper thin, it might work out a bit better for balanced flavor.

A couple things I really liked. Obviously the socially conscious take on business is key; recycled materials used in construction, locally sourced ingredients for in-house preparation, NC sourced meat, and overall green technology. They also have a "self serve" wine station with probably 20 bottles of wine by the glass. You fill up your vending card at the bar then insert the card in the wine machine, read the descriptions and select your wine of choice, then fill your glass; just think fast food restaurant but with wine.

The atmosphere is very clean, maybe even too clean. There are two or three large communal tables in the center with a outdoor patio area (that's dog friendly.) One thing I'm not sure I'm a fan of is the counter ordering; you either order at the back counter or at the bar. It makes things difficult when you want to sit, have some food, and order a few beers. I saw a few people that ordered their food, got their beers and table numbers, then got their food and had to go back to the bar and order another beer.

The guy beside me got a burger that looked really tasty and quite juicy, so I look forward to going back and sampling the burgers & dogs. My discerning friends that have eaten here say the burgers are quite good...despite reviews and comments to the contrary.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kreskin2207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
Level Contributor
207 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Could be great, but it missed the mark in a few ways”
Reviewed July 27, 2011

My husband and I went with another couple to Bull City Burger & Brewery last night. None of us had tried it and we were excited to give this local place a chance! Eh, it was ok. I must confess that I'm not a huge meat-fan, but I do enjoy a nice hot dog or burger, but I felt this place fell short. Here's some pluses and minuses:

Positives:
- It's a fun and busy atmosphere, even on a Tuesday night.
- We enjoyed sitting outside behind the restaurant, and got great service even though the waiters had to walk significantly longer to reach us than the customers inside the restaurant.
- The pale ale beer (pitcher) that we had was awesome, and our friend enjoyed one of the signature cocktails.
- I liked the thin fries that came with our friend's burger, just sampled a few.

Negatives:
- My hotdog had great flavor with chili and slaw, but it was pretty fatty.
- The service at the place where you order was a little listless, though it was very busy.
- Probably the most important: My husband said his burger was fine but pretty gristly, and he had enjoyed other local places a lot better for a burger (such as Tyler's Tap Room).

We don't eat out too often but when we do, we prefer to go to a place where the food is great or something we're not as capable of making, otherwise we'd just cook at home. Therefore, I don't think we'll be back for a while to Bull City Burger & Brewery, which is unfortunate because it has the potential to fill a neat niche in downtown Durham.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank laurenpk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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