Market in the park: Roam the Durham Farmers’ Market (501 Foster St.; 919-667-3099; durhamfarmersmarket.com), which takes over the pavilion at the recently cleaned-up Durham Central Park (durhamcentralpark.org) on Saturday mornings. From beets to beef, everything sold comes from producers within 70 miles of the market.
For breakfast, try a hearth-baked loaf from Loaf, a stall so popular that it opened a nearby bakery (111 W. Parrish St.; 919-797-1254) in 2011. Or seek out Monuts Donuts (monutsdonuts.com; Twitter: @MonutsDonuts), a trike peddling sublime handmade cake and yeast doughnuts with seasonal flavors like pumpkin chai and maple bacon bourbon.
Art belt: After the market, pop into the neighboring Upfront Gallery at the Bull City Arts Collaborative (401 B1 Foster St.; 919-949-4847; bullcityarts.org), where recent exhibitions included a collection of vintage radios and fine-press books created by the in-house graphic design and letterpress studio Horse & Buggy Press (horseandbuggypress.com).
Piqued your interest in the thriving local arts scene? Then proceed to Golden Belt, a former textile factory with handsome brick buildings that were recently converted into artist studios, lofts and galleries. Admire the sculptures at the Liberty Arts Gallery (923 Franklin St.; 919-260-2931; liberty-arts.org), where you might also spy artists at work molding metal, glass, wood and stone. Then tour the LabourLove Gallery (807 E. Main St.; 919-373-4451; labourlove.com), which opens at noon and showcases paintings, photography and other diverse projects from local artists.
Motor to mortar: A growing trend in town is for food trucks to parlay their street success into brick-and-mortar storefronts. Only Burger (3710 Shannon Rd.; 919-937-9377; onlyburger.com) was the pioneer of this motor-to-mortar route, opening a location in 2010 that serves the same juicy burgers topped with fried green tomato and pimento cheese ($6.75) that made their sought-after truck famous.
For dessert, seek out another mobile food purveyor headed down the same path: the Parlour (theparlourdurham.com; Twitter: @parlourdurham) is in the process of expanding from a kitted-out mini school bus to a permanent ice cream shop (at 117 Market St.). The ice cream sandwiches ($4) made with soft chocolate chip cookies and handmade salted butter caramel ice cream are superb.
Local labels: Trendy brands like A.L.C. share space with local labels at Vert & Vogue (905 W. Main St.; 919-251-8537; vertandvogue.com), a boutique in a renovated former tobacco warehouse. The shop is now the spot to find men’s button-down shirts from the store’s own line, skinny jeans from the cult brand Raleigh Denim and structured Mill & Bird leather bags that are handmade in Durham by a local designer.
Southern comforts: If crispy fried chicken atop pillowy waffles weren’t decadent enough, at Dame’s Chicken & Waffles (317 W. Main St.; 919-682-9235; dameschickenwaffles.com) every plate comes with a flavored butter “shmear” and a side. Order the Quilted Buttercup (fried chicken, sweet potato waffles and a maple-pecan shmear; $10.75) and do not skip a side of the heavenly Triple Mac and Cheese.
For a digestif (you’ll need one) head down the block to Whiskey (347 W. Main St.; 919-682-6191; whiskeydurham.com), a smoky speakeasy-style lounge that opened in 2009. Sink into one of the leather club chairs, order a bourbon and should the mood strike, sample the bar’s own House Stick from Bull City Cigars ($15).