Refectory Cafe


Refectory Cafe is a cumulation of taste and passion.  It was started 14 years ago in a small space at Duke and quickly became a popular spot.  The first on-campus green cafe invited students to dine on fresh, delicious food that offered robust taste and lacked unknown and artificial ingredients.  After moving off-campus several years ago, it is now nestled on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard where they are constantly bustling with patrons.

Their patio is great for large parties, sunny days, and for toting along your furry pal.

Refectory welcomes diets of all kinds, catering particularly to vegans and gluten-intolerant individuals.  They have a signature kale salad, an award-winning vegan chili (that can easily fool meat and veggie lovers alike), a sensational black bean burger, decadent chocolate “cheesecake,” and energy bars, to name a few.

Refectory Cafe invests in the health and wellbeing of their community by slowing down, inviting in, and devoting time and education to the people of Durham – in and outside the restaurant.  Come and grab a bite of this hand-picked, local food. You will feel embraced and welcomed when you walk in, and you will leave as family. Refectory Cafe is happy to host you for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch!

Other Vegan Eats in Durham

Happy + Hale

Hailing from Raleigh and slowly gaining momentum across the triangle (and South Carolina) with locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Greenville, SC.  Juice, smoothies, salads, grain bowls. A breath of fresh air.

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas

While you may not be able to enjoy an empanada if you’re vegan, there’s a delicious jackfruit grain bowl and several small plates and sides to enjoy.


Founded upon bringing people together to engage in Ethiopian culture and flavor.  A quaint space invites and celebrates bold flavors.

Parts & Labor

You may go for the patio and the music, but don’t leave without a taco!  Other options include samosas, scallion pancakes, and hummus, to name a few.

Article and photos by our incredible contributor, Melanie Ray. Interested in writing for us? Visit this page.

Melanie Ray
Author: 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!