The Boot: At this Durham eatery, slices of scratch-made sourdough focaccia are ideal for dipping into the accompanying pool of extra virgin olive oil, and the crispy crust’s scattering of salt, fennel seed, and red pepper flakes adds a savory pop. 

Mulino: The dough at Raleigh’s Mulino owes its deep flavor to a long ferment and locally milled sprouted whole grain wheat flour, and the finished loaves’ nutty, toasty notes are further enhanced by a trip through the wood-fired oven.

Sassool: Baskets of warm, pillowy pita accompany every meal at Sassool, which has locations in Raleigh and Cary, and while it’s tailor-made for dipping into hummus and scooping up salads, it’s also supremely satisfying to snack on solo. 

Talullas: Bread at Talullas in Chapel Hill is plentiful and memorable. The fresh Turkish pide—topped with sesame and nigella seeds—is soft, chewy, and a perfect vehicle for mopping up the red pepper dipping sauce. 

Vin Rouge: A panoply of thinly sliced offerings—sourdough baguette, olive-oil-and-rosemary focaccia, harvest cheddar, or rustic wheat—along with really good butter, tricks you into putting away even more than you bargained for at this Durham institution. 

Related: See “What the Hell Happened to Complimentary Bread Service?” Contact us at