Home » Bakeries, Groceries, Restaurants

Bull Street Gourmet & Market

Posted by DID 29 Dec 2011 19 Comments

Bull Street Gourmet and Market, a gourmet food market and cafe, recently opened in the now always bustling Hope Valley Square. With Only Burger, Tutti Frutti, Rick’s Diner, Pop’s Backdoor and now Bull Street, I’m starting to envy folks who live on this side of town.

Welcoming and warm, Bull Street Gourmet and Market (an off-shoot of a popular market of the same name in Charleston) has a well-curated small selection of wine, candy, local meats, cheeses, eggs, beer, coffee and other gourmet pantry items. Bull Street is also a cafe offering coffee drinks, fancy teas, baked goods, sandwiches, salads and soups. The sandwiches and salads all hover around the $8 range.


When we stopped in for lunch, we went for the Half and Half – your choice of soup, salad or half sandwich for $8.99. For our salads we chose the Chappy (diced green apple, shaved red onion, toasted walnuts and feta on romaine with lemon poppy seed dressing) and the Drunken (prosciutto, drunken goat cheese and toasted pine nuts with a balsamic reduction). I’m a sucker for drunken goat cheese and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it offered on a salad before. Both were outstanding, fresh and generous with the premium ingredients.

For our sandwiches, we tried the Chicken Salad Sandwich and the Mozz, both were served on fresh ciabatta rolls. Bull Street’s chicken salad is studded with cranberries and almonds and finished with a cranberry mayo. The Mozz is fresh mozzarella, marinated and fresh tomatoes, walnut pesto and balsamic reduction. The chicken salad was really good, but for me the Mozz stole the show; bright with lots of lemon (I’m guessing in the pesto), rich with the balsamic and roasted tomatoes, balanced with the large chunk of fresh mozzarella.

Bull Street’s dedication to local sourcing and emphasis on quality ingredients is admirable. We like that you can stop in for a dozen Latta eggs, a hunk of Goat Lady Dairy cheese and an excellent salad and sandwich. Bull Street also offers a breakfast menu that includes pastries, bagels, housemade sausage and eggs. Their bakery case was full of tempting treats including a variety of cakes and cookies. We resisted this visit, but will be sure to check them out in the future.

Bull Street Gourmet & Market
3710 Shannon Rd.
Monday—Friday 7:30 am—7:30 pm
Saturday—Sunday 9 am—3 pm


  • amanda said:

    I was there during the first week it was open. Got the “hot special” of the day, which was a savory bread pudding, and a side of homemade applesauce. Both were delicious, and the service was fantastic. I hope that they have much success!


  • NOK said:

    DID beat me to it! I recently enjoyed two sandwiches from Bull Street that are easily in the top five sandwiches I’ve eaten in 2011 (alongside, perhaps, the tuscan kale at Toast, the surprisingly solid Philly at Randy’s, and the amazing Banh Mi at Pakse in Greensboro). Go to Bull Street and get the boring-sounding but delicious Turkey and Brie, a perfect blend of the namesake ingredients, along with cucumber, lettuce, tomato, and cranberry mayo on a butter-toasted soft ciabatta roll. And then get the Pastrami, which is house-smoked and thin shaved on grilled Guglhupf rye with sweet and sour slaw, pickled hot pepper, and goat cheese. No real gripes this early in the game. It would be great to see this place evolve as it’s sister locations in Charleston appear to have.


  • Ben said:

    Sounds great. Thanks for the review. Don’t forget Tonali is right over there as well.


    Jeffrey replies on January 3rd, 2012 at 7:01 pm:

    Yeah but Tonali has the worst service in Durham.


    georg replies on January 4th, 2012 at 11:02 am:

    Tonali’s service has been slow several times we’ve been there. But I’ve never seen from them the sort of arrogant disregard for service problems that (for me) is the hallmark of “worst.” There’s nothing worse than when things are going wrong and it’s taking, say, an hour for the entrees to come out and the wait staff either pretends like there’s no problems, bustles around the dining room refusing to make eye contact, or just disappears completely.


    Jeffrey replies on January 4th, 2012 at 5:07 pm:

    You pretty much described my Tonali experience. We only saw our waiter once. Anyhow, BSG&M sounds great, can’t wait to go there.

    anne replies on March 1st, 2012 at 11:58 pm:

    We love Tonali. Fresh ingredients, unique entrees. We’ve never had anything but attentive service there.

  • Bill said:

    Makes our A list for lunch in Durham. Great for tasty soups and sandwiches.


  • Allison said:

    This is interesting. I’ve actually been here five times (keep going back because I WANT so much to like it) and had three bad experiences. First visit I found their chicken salad revolting (mostly dark meat in enormous chunks, very oily, minimal flavor). My plate was bused hardly touched and no one bothered to ask if there was a problem. My fault for not speaking up, though. Husband’s scrambled eggs were very undercooked on another visit. Worst visit? Ordered a mocha to go and watched the “barista” prepare it with a sour face and an obvious chip on her shoulder. When whipped cream came out of the drinking hole of the lid, she grabbed a dirty bar mop off the counter and wiped it directly on the area where I would put my mouth! Knowing I had a wet wipe in the car, I said nothing. I wiped off the lid in the car, drove off. Two minutes down the road, I took my first sip. Coffee was room temperature and very bitter. $3+ into the trash can. Four of five times the employees have been less than friendly. Not outright rude, just very cool. I’m a nice girl with manners and I rarely have problems at restaurants. But I can’t waste any more money here :( Oh wait- except on the gooey butter cake. It is fabulous. I would go back, but only for that!


    BobaTea replies on January 23rd, 2012 at 2:15 pm:

    Sadly, I have to agree with Allison. I find the service unfriendly and uninformed. I attempted to buy a bottle of local milk there and no one could find the key on the register for it. I am also sad that they charge $8 for a cold sandwich and expect me to pay $1.50 extra for a bag of chips. With so many choices for lunch in the area, I can’t imagine why anyone would choose Bull Street.


    DID replies on January 23rd, 2012 at 2:46 pm:

    Sad you both have had such horrible experiences – we really had a great experience – I really enjoyed my sandwich and salad and the staff was perfectly nice and efficient when were there.


    Sant replies on January 26th, 2012 at 8:11 pm:

    Especially when Pop’s Backdoor next to them has killer pizza at reasonable prices– and Rick’s Diner has great comfort food for lunch: meat/fish and 2 sides and drink for ~$10.


    C replies on February 7th, 2012 at 6:29 pm:

    if it doesn’t measure up to Pops and Rick’s, that’s really not good. In my opinion, for at least the past year, Pops has been inconsistent and, even at its best, just OK. Loved it when it first opened, but now often get soggy crust and and topping overload so that you can’t even pick up a slice without it falling apart. Don’t think Ricks was ever the same after they moved to the new location – i think the food is often just plain ol’ bad – last time i was there, had really salty meatloaf, green beans that had a hair in them, and mashed potatoes that had the consistency of boxed. And service was slow as molasses. the time before that, we went for brunch on a saturdayand got up and walked out because we couldn’t get anyone to take our order. Maybe Rick and Debbie are not as involved in the day-to-day as they used to be, but for me, the cheap prices don’t make up for the poor food and bad service.

    anne replies on March 1st, 2012 at 11:45 pm:

    I remember you! You were the unfortunate customer who had me (new to the register). I do apologize. I now know where the milk button is!!


    anne replies on March 1st, 2012 at 11:56 pm:

    Fortunately I can assure you your Mocha experience was an isolated incident. That barista is no longer employed at Bull St. for obvious reasons. I would be happy to serve you a proper mocha and a sandwich, if let me know who you are. Come back for more of
    Aunt Madelyn’s Gooey Butter Cake and please leave your contact info. I’ll be in touch!


  • Panski said:

    We had another good lunch at Bull Street yesterday. My husband’s BLT was only $4.99. I had the Kitchen Sink salad which came with a nice roll. Everyone on the staff has always been very nice on our several visit. I enjoy looking at the groceries. I got a very nice low sodium pasta sauce for my daughter who is following a salt-restricted diet.

    We have had similarly priced sandwiches at other restaurants in the area (though a few chips on the plate would be nice).

    We will be back–Bull Street has made our list.


    Rob replies on January 31st, 2012 at 1:25 pm:

    I too noted the lack of sides. I stopped in on Sunday for lunch as I was in the area, and paid $8 for a sandwich that didn’t have a side. It was delicious, yes, but a bag of chips or at least a potato salad to round out the basket would have been nice.

    My girlfriend got a soup-and-sandwich combo ($9 for half a sandwich and a cup of soup) and the lentil soup was under-seasoned. It was better after the addition of salt, but it still just wasn’t all the way there. She liked her sandwich a lot– I think it was Turkey and Brie.

    Overall, it’s a great addition to the area. But I don’t see myself driving out to the area when I have Parker & Otis right down the street.


  • chuck said:

    excellent restaurant . food is very tasty, wine and cheese menu are very nice. great mix of local flavors and imports from europe. owners are incredibly nice and service was quick. definitely look forward to returning to try more.


  • Seth said:

    I went for breakfast this past weekend and everything was excellent. We had the loaded hashbrowns, as well as an order of blueberry pancakes. Service was very friendly, the atmosphere is excellent, and the food was delicious. And just to add, their butter cake is absolutely not to be missed.


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