There’s no need to wine when you can make a quick trip over to the Bull City for a glass of vino and some delectable desserts. More than a hundred labels await, so perfect chance to nosh on a chocolate tart, munch on a macaron (or two!) or lighten your mood with a lemon custard in a made-from-scratch shortbread crust while you mull it over. NTM the craft cocktails, cold brews, shareable desserts and small plates—the perf recipe for your next glam GNO or date night. Because some things are too sweet not to share. aperitifnc.com
2. Jetplane Coffee
This self-proclaimed “restaurant disguised as a coffee shop” made the move from pop-ups around town—where coffee was served from a portable coffee cart fashioned from an airline service cart—into its first brick-and-mortar location with a vision to be a safe space for people to come enjoy some good ol’ java. With a menu of modern diner-style comfort food (plus an incredible banh mi that may just be the best in Durham), fan-favorite baked goodies (cinnamon stacks, anyone?) and coffee brewed with local beans, this approachable cafe operates based on a simple statement: quality, dignity, service. So jet on over to the Bull City for your next lunch date or unwind with a gluten-free muffin and a cuppa joe on a slow Saturday morning. Sounds fa-brew-lous to us. jetplanecoffee.com
3. Carpenter Wine Cellar
Hey, brew. Get ready to go beer-serk over Carpenter Wine Cellar’s extensive assortment of vino and brew selections. With pro tips from its team of dedicated wine and beer specialists, patrons can uncork an array of choices fit for any budget, including limited-editions and seasonal offerings. Did we mention there are over a dozen drinks on tap? Pale ales, IPAs, sour beers, pilsners and stouts—oh, my! BRB, we’re going to work on our six-pack. carpenterwinecellar.com
Introducing Atlas, your new friendly neighborhood bar—a place that you’d be happy to go to regularly… whether after work, on the weekend or for any occasion in between. Stocked with a bevy of books, curated art and an assemblage of items from all over the world, Atlas’ atmosphere will remind you of your cool—somewhat crazy—aunt’s house, minus all the family drama, says owner Kevin Callaghan. This worldly and aesthetic bar invites patrons to connect—and then keep coming back again and again—via a heavy emphasis on creative cocktails, a curated wine and beer menu, and expert employees. So, navigate yourself over to a seat at Atlas—no passport required. atlascarrboro.com
Ooh la la. You’ll want to say oui to everything on acclaimed chef and UNC alumnus Brandon Sharp’s (of Hawthorne & Wood fame) new French-inspired menu at Bluebird, opening this spring. Located in Meadowmont Village, the French-bistro style restaurant features classic dishes like salade lyonnaise, sole Véronique, and roast chicken with black truffle—plus a variety of French wines, ciders and cocktails. The outdoor veranda is the perfect perch for brunch, lunch or dinner (or just a glass of vino!) a la Emily in Paris. Bon appetit! bluebirdnc.com
Looking for more sip spots? Check out our recent Five Outside: Bar Edition.