Best of the Bull is a local blog written by locals about the city of Durham. We only write about businesses, organizations, bands, etc. that were founded here in Durham because we exist to support and promote the homegrown stuff that keeps Durham unique. We cover everything from new developments to nightlife, from restaurants to cool activities, with some neat Bull City history sprinkled in.

Katelyn Belch


I’m an owner of multiple small businesses and a Durhamite with big dreams! Most days, you'll find me chasing our toddler around, snapping photos of my favorite spots around Durham -- or selling a house or two. There was time that Durham didn't have the most stellar reputation, but I fell in love with it immediately! (Around the same time I fell in love with my husband. He's a Durham native!)

So that's how Best of the Bull got its start, I wanted to show my perspective of Durham and use my photography skills to highlight all the amazing businesses, people, and places that make up this community. I filter through all the noise to give you the BEST of the Bull City. These posts are all just opinions, and I’m by no means an expert on most things discussed here (with the exception of chocolate and coffee perhaps).

I hope you enjoy the journey and discover something about the city that is new to you.

Tony Belch


I’m a Durham native and have loved watching this city transform. One of the things I enjoy most about Durham is the diverse population that creates such a wonderful mix of art, culture, and perspectives. I almost feel as if Durham and myself “grew up” together as when I was younger Durham was just beginning to find its niche between Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Over the years with the expansion of the American Tobacco campus and WONDERFUL local business, Durham has become such a wonderful place to work and live. Most days you will find me working at Duke University or doing my best to keep up with my entrepreneurial wife and energetic son! We hope you enjoy BOTB as much as we enjoy doing it. It’s a great place to find things to do around Durham, so when in doubt, check out BOTB!

Tori Partin


Tori Partin is a barista in downtown Durham and freelance social media consultant. She spends most of her free time listening to true crime podcasts, drinking a lot of coffee, and trying to pet all the dogs.

Sarah Lasseter


A Virginia native and a UNC grad, I found my way to Durham in 2013 after returning from two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa. Now I work as a high school science teacher in RTP. Next to running, exploring Durham is my favorite hobby! My husband and I fill our weekends stalking food trucks, bouncing around breweries, and patronizing new eateries.

Nicole Coscolluela


Even though I am a relative newbie to North Carolina (moved to Raleigh in 2014 for AmeriCorps) and to Durham (2016), I have come to greatly appreciate everything the state and the Triangle has to offer! Not only did the friendliness surprise me (I’m from New Jersey where most people are not) but the support for local products and family-owned businesses became something I respected and admired. As an archaeologist and public historian, I eventually became familiar with Durham’s history, which is a large part of how I came to really love the city. It is gritty, a little rough, and very diverse. Durham embraces its past and a large contingent of its population is passionate about keeping its history preserved and remembered in light of rapid development and growth. Because of my archaeology background, I am concerned about cultural resources. Because I am a public historian, I am keen on learning about and highlighting the stories of communities. When I’m not working, you can catch me doing yoga (points to you if you recognize me and can guess where) and eating and drinking my way around town. I have a weakness for pastries and baked goods so there is a good chance you can spot me at one of the local bakeries.

Ashley Adams


I moved to Durham two years ago to continue my Minor League Baseball career with the Durham Bulls. During the off-season or when the Bulls are on the road, I like to spend my time with my boyfriend and Husky! We love exploring Durham - whether its walking on trails, eating at local restaurants or trying craft beer. Looking forward to sharing some of these great spots and more articles!

Melanie Ray


Hi Bull City! @Melny here. I grew up down the road in Cary and graduated from NCSU. After a time or two around the globe, I'm back to my NC roots and am slowly making Durham home. I'm a pediatric nurse and can typically be found with my fluffy dog who looks like a muppet, hiking a trail, or baking and creating in my kitchen. I love whiskey and believe the world needs a whole lot more kindness, humor, and ice cream. Happy to be here!

Kaitlin Martin


Hello hello! My name is Kaitlin and I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in May of 2017. I moved down to Durham this past summer and have enjoyed getting to explore the city and the opportunities here SO much! From the food to the nightlife, Durham never ceases to amaze me. When I’m not scarfing down breakfast food and chocolate, I enjoy spending time outside, reading, and writing. Sometimes you just have to get out of your head and into the world.

Ashley Grimes


After graduating from the College of Charleston in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English, I moved to Bull City to accept a position as a Director of First Impressions at an architecture firm. A year and a half later, I am amazed by the growth of the city and the number of places I still need to explore. My spare time consists of enjoying the local restaurant scene, taking and editing photographs, roaming around Target, and cuddling my two kittens!