Restaurant Reviews

This is One of Our Favorite Restaurants Right in the Heart of Durham, NC

During my first few visits to Durham, the main thing that I was concerned about was, where was I going to eat? Between all the fast food places and typical American-style restaurants, there were a few that really stood out to me. One in particular I have been to a few times now and it never ceases to impress! If you travel to Durham frequently, or work in the area, or have even lived in or around the city…Niko’s should sound familiar to you. If not, I highly suggest you check it out.

This gem of a restaurant was recommended to us late last year. I was visiting Durham for the FIRST time to see a show and needed a place to stop at for dinner! I had asked on our Facebook, “What are some of your favorite spots to see and eat at in Durham, NC?”. Out of all the recommendations, Nikos really stood out. If you know me, you know that I LOVE Mediterranean food, and in my opinion, this place really knocked it out of the park.

Now let your eyes eat while I share some pictures from my visits, their Facebook, and Instagram!

The Atmosphere

For me, the atmosphere matters in a restaurant. What I mean by that is, how is the staff morale, is it clean, what’s the seating layout like, do they have music playing, etc.. A big reason why I have been to this spot a few times now is because this restaurant checks all the boxes. The staff are friendly and knowledgable, the place is clean, and they have different seating options! As for the music, I can’t remember if there was any playing. The times I have been it’s been crowded and the air was filled with different conversations.

The Food

I have only been here for dinner, but they also serve brunch on the weekends! I may have to try that soon as it seems like it’s a crowd favorite. Niko’s dinner menu consists of Meze/Mezedes(both meaning small sharable plates), Salads, Large Plates, and Accompaniments.

My go-to is the Tzatziki with the Bazlama flatbread, the crunchy pickled cucumber, the zucchini cakes, and the spanakopita(phyllo, spinach, feta, fennel). If you haven’t tried Greek food before, this is a great spot to get a taste of all of it. Getting a few of the small plates has always been more than enough for me…the leftovers are even delicious the next day. I can’t wait to go with a group of people so I can try one of their big plates along with more of the small plates.

Off of their dessert menu, I’ve tried the fig and feta cheesecake(pictured below) and the Galaktoboureko, which is phyllo with vanilla custard and baklava ice cream on the side.

The Drinks

I have yet to try any of their mixed drinks, wines, or beers. I typically opt for coffee or bottled water! Per their drink menu, you can order a signature cocktail, greek beer, sparkling/rose/white/red/sangria, a dessert cocktail/wine, tea, and they even have some non-alcoholic options! Now I know you’re going to wonder, what is that drink on the right? It was featured on their Instagram, One Fig At A Time. It was a seasonal cocktail during the winter! You can check their social media(linked above) for their current seasonal drinks.

Overall Experience

From their website, “At its core, Nikos celebrates an integral part of Greek culture, deeply cherished and practiced by the Bakatsias family in every aspect of life: philoxenia. Derived from the Greek word meaning hospitality or love of the stranger, it can be traced back to ancient Greek times when the arrival of a ‘xenos’ (stranger) was regarded as a sacred occasion, warranting warm welcome and honor.”

That is exactly what I feel as soon as I walk in, love and passion.

Now, I know that atmosphere isn’t as important as how the food tastes, but when a place has both a great atmosphere and delicious food…you typically will want to go back. And that is exactly why I have been here three different times and I am itching to go back soon! Niko’s is a well-kept restaurant, it’s clean, the staff members are friendly and timely, and the layout is a tight fit but that’s typical for a Greek place. I loved the welcoming feeling as soon as I walked in, from the immediate hellos and welcomes to the close-knit layout that offers a communal but intimate vibe.

Before you make the trip over here, book a reservation! Or else you will most likely be sitting at the bar. This has never been an issue for me as I love chatting with the bartender and fellow solo restaurantgoers! But if you plan to come here with others you will want to secure a table and you can do it all online.

If you check out Niko’s, be sure to let us know how your experience was!