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

Living in the Triangle for the past 17 years means I’ve had my fair share of the same restaurants. Within the past two years, my family and I have made it our goal to try at least two new restaurants every month. Since then, I’ve been keeping track of my favorites. So if you too want to become your friend group’s “restaurant girl” who will recommend and take everyone to the best eats, keep reading! Here are some of my favorites!

Cugino Forno: A Slice of Italian Heaven

Located in Durham, Cugino Forno has the Triangle’s best pizza. The location is beautiful, located in an old textile mill, it offers a vibe that is unmatched: a brewery, fire pit, ice cream shop, and more.What truly sets Cugino Forno apart is its dedication to authentic Italian pizza. They use flour imported from Italy and cook their pizzas in a 900 degree oven imported from Naples. As if it can’t get any better, they offer pizza making classes for date night and frozen pizza for a night in! This definitely a casual spot and I recommend the Bianca which is a no sauce pizza and contains fior di latte, ricotta, bufala mozzarella, basil, and garlic! I can never get tired of going to Cugino Forno, it is truly a breath of fresh air with its amazing pizza and dessert.



PRESS Coffee Crêpes Cocktails: A Brunch Paradise

Who doesn’t love brunch with the girls? Located in Durham’s American Tobacco Campus, PRESS is your go-to spot for a brunch experience that’s both delicious and Instagram-worthy. Right when I walked in, I started snapping photos! The aesthetic of PRESS is clean yet chic with a European twist. With a different menu for the weekend and weekdays, you will have a plethora to choose from. Due to its popularity, be sure to arrive early and explore the rest of the American Tobacco Campus! My personal favorite items are the  weekday-exclusive Caprese sandwich, the savory and delicious South By Southwest brunch crepe, and the Purple Rain drink!  It’s time to plan your trip to PRESS – you can thank me later!




Mezcalito: A Latin Flavor Explosion

Mezcalito isn’t as unknown but still deserves to be recognized. With locations in Durham and Apex, this place is truly a gem. The environment is unmatched. Dim lighting gives a cozy vibe, latin music is always playing, and the workers are always having a blast! Due to the popularity, definitely make a reservation! Mezcalito offers amazing food for an affordable price. Since it opened near my hometown, it has become the go-to birthday restaurant where we celebrate our friends and family. They are most known for their showstopping drinks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic! My must try’s are their guacamole, Mezcalita quesadilla, Enchilada Suizas, Chicken ACP, and virgin piña colada! This is definitely going to become your next go-to!



Overall, The Triangle has plenty of hidden gems that you need to uncover! These are just three must try’s that will certainly satiate you, but don’t worry I have many more up my sleeve! Stay tuned for more as I continue to explore the Triangle and be sure to expand your palette; you never know what you will end up loving!

Mahi Patel is a writer at Her Campus NC State University. She is responsible for writing and publishing articles, participating in all meetings, attending events, and participating in events. This is her first year on Her Campus. Before Her Campus, Mahi started a chapter of Junior State of America in high school. During her summers, she would intern at pharmacies and blood banks to figure out what she wanted to continue her higher education in. She is currently a freshman at NC State University and is undecided. She plans on majoring in Statistics. After graduation, she plans to work for one of her favorite brands as a corporate actuary and hopes to pursue her passions of modeling and acting. Mahi was born and raised in Apex, NC, with her younger brother and her parents. During her free time, she loves to hangout with her friends, try different restaurants, listen to music, cook, travel around the world, and watch movies! She is a huge fan of American rapper Post Malone but has yet to go to his concert. Some of her favorite shows and movies that she keeps near and dear to her heart are The Maze Runner movies , The 100, and Hawaii 5-0.