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Piper’s Deli

Posted by DNR 19 Dec 2008 8 Comments

Piper’s Deli (3219 Old Chapel Hill Rd.), a self-described “Durham Institution since 1984,” is a surprisingly good lunch/dinner spot that specializes in deli sandwiches and burgers.


As the decor (heavy on Duke/UNC paraphernalia and ESPN on flatscreen TVs) and menu suggest, Piper’s isn’t hip or exciting, but what they do have on offer is great. We got a couple of burgers, some soup and salad, and a buffalo chicken sandwich.


I had heard some good things about their burgers and I wasn’t disappointed. The provolone and bacon helped but the burger itself was super fresh and flavorful. Not as heavenly as Wimpy’s but big and just greasy enough, wrapped in a big poofy Kaiser roll. The buffalo chicken sandwich was pretty amazing too — just spicy enough and not drowning in sauce. Like the burger, it ran about $7. The frozen bag fries were the only disappointment.


Even the soup of the day (Italian wedding soup) was great. The cake of the day, chocolate cake with cream cheese icing, was passable, but honestly it’s hard to compete with the best lunchtime cake ever. They also bake their own cookies daily, which is another incentive to go back.


Most of all I was impressed by how fresh everything tasted, and the burgers are so good they soften the blow of OnlyBurger’s untimely end. And they have $1 Miller High Life every day!

Piper’s Deli
Monday-Friday: 11 am – 9 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 3 pm 


  • Ginny said:

    I love Piper’s deli. I used to go to lunch there all the time when I worked at the Herald-Sun. I believe it’s owned by the same people who own Doyle’s next door. That is one of my favorite Durham bars. They have free shuffleboard, darts, pool, video games and fooseball. What more could a girl need!


  • durhamfood said:

    Meh. I was there a couple of weeks ago and had a burger for lunch. I didn’t think it was anywhere near the quality of Wimpy’s, Dain’s, the Fed, Bull McCabe’s etc. Standard diner stuff – decent, but nothing to write home about. I wouldn’t rate Piper’s much above Elmo’s. There are much better burgers all over the place.


  • sarah said:

    onlyburger’s ended? drat.


  • etselec said:

    I love Piper’s – I eat there all the time. The specials of the day are usually the best thing on the menu.

    What is this about OnlyBurger’s demise?!? I only got to eat their burgers once, but it was the best one I’d had in a long, long time. :(


  • Lindz said:

    Piper’s used to be a staple of mine, before it was sold. It was much better when the original ‘Piper’ was there. If you want to see what she’s cooking up now, check out Nosh in Erwin Rd. in Durham. http://www.noshfood.com


  • Erin said:

    The fries are kind of lame, but the onion rings are quite delicious. Definitely worth the upgrade!


  • tipperary said:

    I had the corn beef Reuben – it was decent, but nothing special. My husband had the Brass Key ( roast beef & turkey) which he didn’t care for; said the combination didn’t work.


  • towerdeli said:

    I love places like these that are known for their burgers and sandwiches. Even fine dining restaurants are following the recent trend towards creating gourmet burgers and sandwiches. It is sad that deli places that have been around for a while are beginning to lose their appeal. One thing that these restaurants can do to reinvent their establishment is to take a long hard look at their menu and see what signature dish they can offer that is not currently served in other restaurants in the area. Just a few tweaks at the menu will drive more traffic to your restaurant. Running a Fort Lauderdale catering myself, I find that concentrating on a few choice dishes that you can market and sell really well is the key to the success of your enterprise.


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