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True Flavors Diner in Durham, North Carolina

I love trying new places when they open! True Flavors Diner has been open since 2014. The first time I went was in December 2018 because it came to my attention when Carla Hall from the TV cooking Show ‘The Chew’ came to visit North Carolina. She was coming through Durham while on tour for her new book, Carla Hall’s Soul Food, she stopped in to eat at the Diner, then posted about it on Instagram. After I saw her post, it was on my radar.

Bench Seating at True Flavors Hwy 55 Durham Location

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So over the Christmas break, instead of traveling as my family and I have done in the past, we decided to have a staycation this holiday, going to places that we have always wanted to go to; True Flavors Diner was on the list.

True Flavors Diner Has Two Locations

Executive Chef/Founder Sidney Coves of True Flavors Diner went to Johnson & Wales University in Norfolk, VA and started in Durham with his catering company. He then decided to open an unconventional diner near RTP in Southern Durham. Lucky for me, the Diner is located not too far from my home.

True Flavors Diner recently opened a second location that is in the Lakewood neighborhood in Durham, NC, where Scratch Baking previously occupied this historic building. Scratch was owned by founder and James Beard-nominated Chef Phoebe Lawless, and you can still find Scratch baking delicious goods at the Durham Farmers Market downtown.

Desserts of the Day So Yummy

What We Ate On Our First Visit

On our first visit, we had a few dishes that were to die for!

My husband had the Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf doused with Bourbon BBQ Gravy, sprinkled with bacon, and served with mashed potatoes and green beans.

True Flavors Diner Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf
Bourbon Bacon Meatloaf

I had the Fish and Grits. Oh my goodness… off the charts on flavor! I’ve never been a catfish fan, yet this was over the top on my delicious meter.  They take catfish and put it in their seasoned flour, fry it crispy and serve it over four cheese grits and a side of two eggs. You have to try this dish!

Catfish, Cheesy Grits and Eggs True Flavors Diner
Catfish and Four Cheese Cheesy Grits

True Flavors Family is Opening Debbie Lou’s

Sidney Coves plans on opening his third location of the True Flavors family called Debbie Lou’s, named after his daughter and late mother, who share the same name. 

They will serve biscuit sandwiches that look amazing, like grilled lobster on a garlic chipotle cheese biscuit, as well as his unique homemade jams and more. Debbie Lou’s will be located next to True Flavors Diner at Lakewood. 

What We Ate On Our Second Visit

On our second visit to the Hwy 55 location this past week, we took my cousin who was visiting from New York.  As usual, I took him around the Triangle, and for the most part, we ate three meals a day! There are so many great places to eat in the Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill area, so it is hard not to eat so much. Since this is not my usual way of eating, I think I’ll have to fast for a week or two!

We visited the Hwy 55 location of True Flavors to get a taste of Southern food with a twist, and of course, he loved what he ordered!

The staff brings you complimentary biscuits, one per person to start, but if you want more, there is an additional cost. Their homemade jam accompanies their biscuits.  We have had blackberry as well as the apricot, and well…I wanted more! Yes, it’s all delicious, to say the least.

Biscuits and Jam True Flavors Diner
Biscuits and Homemade Jam at True Flavors Diner

My cousin had the Ultimate Biscuits and Gravy with a side of eggs, topped with sausage, tomatoes, and peppers…Yum!

True Flavors Diner Ultimate Biscuits and Gravy
Ultimate Biscuits and Gravy

My husband ordered the Ham and Bacon Omelet with pickled onions, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes served with their skillet potatoes.

Ham and Bacon Omelette and skillet potatoes True Flavors Diner
Ham and Bacon Omelet and Skillet Potatoes

I ordered the True Flavors Chicken and Waffles, but I asked to hold the chicken, served with bacon, and two eggs. I could not eat all of that, but I hear the chicken is delicious. Their portions are plentiful, and if you cannot finish your meal, you can take the rest with you. Perfect for leftovers too!

Chicken and Waffles True Flavors Diner
Waffles, Eggs and Bacon
Waffles and Bacon
I love the Mini not so Mini Waffles

True Flavors Diner Has Two Locations

Seating is limited, which means there is more of an intimate setting at their Hwy 55 location. They do have seats at the counter where they cook; next time, I want to sit there so that I can hopefully find out some of the secrets behind their delightful dishes.

True Flavors Diner Hwy 55 Durham NC
Counter Seating at their Hwy 55 Location
Intimate Seating at their Hwy 55 Location

The Lakewood location is now serving dinner. I love breakfast all day long, and that is what they serve with a twist, along with the usual diner favorites, milkshakes, and cocktails. The Lakewood Diner location, however, has more seating and a rooftop open in the summer.

This photo was taken when it was the Lakewood, now it is True Flavors Diner in the Lakewood Neighborhood

To skip the long lines on the weekend, try to go during the weekdays. We went at 1:30 pm, and we got a table pretty quickly. But if you want to try their delicious brunch, definitely go on the weekend! I want to try their Lobster Eggs Benedict on their brunch menu for sure and a few more dishes!

Both locations do not require reservations. Check out their locations, new hours, and menus with new dishes. Here.

Let me know if you have been to True Flavors Diner in Durham. If not, visit them, then let me know what you think.

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