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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Duke chapter.

Do you have that one friend who seems to have it all? You walk into their closet and can’t image how they possibly have enough space OR money to continue their online shopping obsession. The worst part about having this type of friend is when their birthday rolls around. Stumped for ideas, my friends and I couldn’t think of any material item that she didn’t have already. There’s only one other thing that gets her just as excited as the notification that her online purchase is being delivered: food.

For my friend’s birthday we decided that nothing tangible or materialistic would be adequate. Instead, we took her on a food tour. Promising to pay for all of her food on the day of the tour, my three other friends and I agreed to split the cost of all her meals.

Here are the 4 places we went for her food day:



Pro tip: Though they’re known for their donuts, I love their sandwiches. My personal favorite is the “Apple of My Eye.”

via: NC Triangle Dining


Happy + Hale

If you’re looking to high quality, fresh, and flavorful food, Happy + Hale is the place to go. It can lean on the more expensive side, but if you’re looking to treat yourself, this is the place to go. Happy + Hale is also vegan friendly.

via: Happy + Hale


Mother and Son’s Trattoria

Worth the hour wait, this Italian restaurant features creative and flavorful special, high quality food, and all housemade pastas. They take reservations. You’ll need one.

via: Triangle Restaurant Week


The Parlour

If you and your friends have a sweet tooth, take a walk over to The Parlour to get some creamy ice cream. They also have vegan options. My favorite flavor: Salted Butter Caramel!

via: The Parlour


Ideas for your food tour:

If you ever run into trouble thinking of ideas for your friends birthday, remember you can never go wrong with treating someone to delicious free food, especially if they’re a college student sick and tired of low quality food in high abundance.


Mad Hatter’s

It’s just a short walk from Duke East Campus, so when you realize you’ve overslept on Saturday morning, you can just run there.

Get their eggs Benedict and their mango smoothie. Their coffee will always be amazing.

Be prepared for long lines when it gets to brunch time.


Parker and Otis

Get there early to get good seating, and you can browse the store/market while you wait for your food. If your friend is likes aesthetic things, get them one of the pretty lemonade bottle drinks.



It’s a bit of a drive from Duke but it’s worth it.

Nanataco is casual and requires no reservations, and if you get there for dinner on a Friday night you might have to wait a lot, but it’s worth it!

My personal favorite: The pork belly taco and the duck taco.


Burger Bach

Must gets: The East Coast Burger, fries to share, and one of their many sauces.

If your friend doesn’t like fancy places or you don’t want to dress up, this is the place for you guys. The atmosphere is extreme.


Pine Cone

They serve ice cream, shakes and coffee. Personal Favorite: Butter Pecan Ice Cream.

I am currently a junior at Duke University studying Psychology and Global Health. My interests include martial arts, mentoring, and the law. Through martial arts I have learned self-confidence, respect, and resilience. I hope to use these important traits as a Her Campus writer!
I am a senior at Duke University, majoring in art history and minoring in political science and psychology. Outside of class, I love traveling, watching films and writing. I'm excited to be Duke's campus correspondent this upcoming school year!