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15 Best Bars in Durham NC in 2023

shelf full of hard alcohol at a bar in durham nc

In this article, I’ll list some of the best bars in Durham, North Carolina. There are a huge number to choose from, but I’ve whittled it down to my top 15.

I recently spent 3 months in North Carolina and got to know the Durham bar scene really well. So, whether you’re looking for a dive bar with a great happy hour or a sleek city-center wine bar, rest assured I’ve got you covered in this article.

Durham is home to one of the greatest US colleges – Duke University – as such, you can expect to find a whole host of great bars and restaurants at your fingertips. It’s not just about the college kids though, a strong community environment means that there are also some seriously cool family fun establishments, great live music joints, and romantic cocktail bars.

☞ SEE ALSO: 15 Best Cafes in Durham, NC

Best Bars in Durham

During my time in Durham, I got to know the bar scene well. There are lots of things to do in Durham with bar-hopping being one of the most fun!

Traveling with my husband, we explored pretty much every bar the city has to offer. I’m a fan of discovering great happy hour deals but also like to find nice quiet off-the-beaten-track places that even some of the locals don’t know about.

I’ve put together a list of 15 of the best bars in Durham based on location and setting, value, happy hour deals, as well as my own personal experience. There’s something for everyone, so I’m sure you’ll find plenty worth checking out for yourself.

1. Boxcar Bar + Arcade
(Best Bar in Durham Overall)

an arcade game at a bar

Located in the heart of Downtown, Boxcar is one of the most fun bars in Durham NC. If you like a great choice of drinks, happy hour deals, and retro gaming machines you’re sure to love this place. The arcade features all the classics such as Pac-Man, Street Fighter, and Super Mario, and they have foosball, air hockey, and pool tables too.

Their huge outdoor, partly covered patio is an excellent addition with views over the famous Historic Bulls Athletic Park. Weekly live music events take place here too, sometimes 3 nights in a row over a weekend.

Their happy hour deals are great and vary from Monday to Friday. Wednesday is my favorite night, with its deal being $2 off everything, meaning you can get a beer for under $2!

Boxcar Bar + Arcade Info

Address: 621 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701, United States. Click here for directions.
Phone: +19843772791
Operating Hours: 5 pm-12 am Mon-Thurs,…

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