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“Not your mama's bar food”
Review of Federal

Federal
Ranked #129 of 786 Restaurants in Durham
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch
Reviewed August 28, 2013

A friend and I have been meeting here every month for dinner/drinks for about 3 years now, usually on a Monday or Tuesday night. Sometimes we think about going somewhere else, but then we come to our senses. Here's why.

They make a perfect, very dirty gin martini with olives, the way God intended. They make a most excellent spicy shrimp pad thai and sweet potato gnocchi--try finding those at other pubs. They have a beer from every brewery in the world, seems like, including Utica Club and Brooklyn Brewery lager (yay!). They don't rush you out of the place to get the table back. The servers are all pros. They play good music, but they have sports on TV if you want to track that (we don't, but it's there if you want it). You can sit outside when it's nice, and inside when it's not.

Yes, there are smokers outside--welcome to Durham and North Carolina in general. Sometimes the sun gets a little obnoxious in the late afternoon in the summer. The wooden benches can get a bit uncomfortable on these old bones after awhile. And that's it for the negatives.

It's a good thing I don't live closer to The Federal--I'd be here all the time.

P.S. If you get there before about 6:30, hipsters are thin on the ground. Just saying.

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    • Food
1  Thank Pat F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 - 39 of 82 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2013

The research triangle is packed with fantastic food. Enjoyed dinner at Federal with some friends recently. The nachos were amazing and the fried green tomato sandwich with pimento cheese and garlic fries was out of this world. Beer selection is pretty darn fantastic as well. If you are in Durham. Go there.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank SaltedCarolyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

I've been passing the Federal by for years, without stopping in. Big mistake. Great atmosphere and good food. Made me feel back home in NYC.

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    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank FoodProNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Good prices. Great selection of beer. Great seating options (indoor, outdoor, back room). The grilled cheese (with avocado, cucumber, greens, and tomatoes) is SO GOOD. Garlic fries are to die for. What more can you ask for? I go here at least once a month if not more.

Thank rij9204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Located along West Main st, a Casual and popular place for food and drink. Many excellent beers and amazingly good food at a fair price.

1  Thank Leonard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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