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Ninth Street Bakery

Posted by DID 6 Apr 2013 2 Comments

We’ve covered the Wednesday special before here, but Ninth Street Bakery has never gotten the full review that it deserves. It’s both a hidden gem and a long-time Durham treasure. A wholesale bakery and cafe, Ninth Street’s baked goods can be found on shelves around town. The cafe offers daily soup specials, custom sandwiches, pizza and some excellent daily vegan specials thanks to chef Matt Props.

Around since 1981, Ninth Street Bakery focused on local sourcing, sustainability, organic and vegetarian eats long before it was trendy. The bakery made the move from its Ninth Street location (now Elmo’s) to its current spot downtown in 1996. Since the move, owner Frank FerrillĀ has slowly renovated the space adding a nice bar with taps (including local brews and housemade kombucha – Bull City Booch) and a large outdoor patio. On most weekends, there’s live music inside or on the patio depending on the weather. During summer months, Ninth Street Bakery hosts a weekly farm stand in its parking lot. Frank also operates Durham’s only bio bus and regularly dedicates portions of the daily proceeds to various local charities. In recent months, Ninth Street Bakery has teamed up with the folks at Berenbaum’s to host themed pop-up dinners.

In addition to all of the extracurricular activities, Ninth Street Bakery is serving up some quality grub. The daily soups are always excellent and an affordable downtown lunch option (I’m a huge fan of their Thai Peanut soup and black bean chili). Ninth Street also offers what is oddly a rarity in Durham – made-to-order sandwiches. With locally-sourced ingredients on house-made bread you can’t go wrong.

In recents weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to catch the tofu bbq slider and vegan biscuit and gravy specials. Both were outstanding and both were served with equally excellent kale salads. I’m also a huge fan of Ninth Street’s Friday falafel special – house-made falafel with tahini on a pita served with roasted fries and house-made ketchup.

Ninth Street Bakery has been downtown long before most of its neighbors. It’s a welcoming community space and a great place to grab a beer. It’s an enduring Durham tradition that we hope continues to endure.

Ninth Street Bakery
136 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701


  • Sant said:

    Nice write-up but it’s missing a key piece of info. NSB also offers tasty pastries and treats like cookies (the chocolate chocolate chip is killer!), bear claws, cinnamon buns, etc. I like how their treats are not cloyingly sweet (same can’t be said about most of the other treat purveyors in downtown Durham). It’s a great option for picking up a pastry and some coffee for breakfast or an afternoon treat break.


  • Dean said:

    It’s hard to believe Durham was named the tastiest town without a mention of Matt’s/NSB’s vegetarian dishes. What a hidden gem. Surely, given the proper store front/location/etc. they could pack a restaurant setting on a regular basis. I suppose that is one of the facets that make it so good…you have to be in the know to know. Keep up the great work Matt, Frank, et al. Given the limited offerings that D’ham has for vegetarian fare and your outstanding dishes, you have a great future ahead. All this said, I am not a vegetarian…I just appreciate great food (and Kombucha)…especially, NSB. Cheers!


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