About Blue Corn Cafe

716 9th St
Durham, NC 27705
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Blue Corn Cafe has been serving the Triangle area for 17 years. We offer a locally sourced twist on Latin American cuisine. Our passion for locally sourced food and beverage has allowed us to offer our unique twist on Latin and South American recipes. Both owners Danielle and Antonio Rios have a passion on bringing their culture to your table with unique quality products.
Our warm atmosphere and kind servers make you feel comfortable upon entering and that is only where it begins. We look forward to serving you. Prevecho!

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Latin American, Mexican / Southwestern, South American

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday-Saturday: 11:30am-4:00pm

Dinner: Monday-Saturday: 4:00pm-9:30pm

Cross Street:
Main St.

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 286-9600

Website:
http://www.bluecorncafedurham.com/

Catering:
We are custom caterers and can design and implement what our client envisions. Both on and off site, we have been entertaining and catering in the Triangle area for 17 years.

Parking Details:
We have both street and lot parking.

Executive Chef:
Antonion Rios

Private Party Facilities:
Looking for a casual upscale private room, Blue Corn offers custom designed menus with a warm smart casual feel. Perfect for corporate events, showers and birthdays.

Private Party Contact:
Danielle Rios: 9192869600

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Blue Corn Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

3.8

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Durham
Best Service
Durham
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fit for foodies (6)
neighborhood gem (6)
great for lunch (4)
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kid-friendly (2)
good for groups (2)
great for outdoor dining (1)
special occasion (1)
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We had the ropa vieja and a salmon entré ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 8, 2016

We had the ropa vieja and a salmon entrée. Both were excellent. Service was friendly and attentive, and we had a nice chat with the owner. We'll be back!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great fresh food! Never disappoints!

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

Great fresh food! Never disappoints!

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food5
ambience5
service5

With so many new restaurants in Durham, ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 13, 2016

With so many new restaurants in Durham, I had neglected Blue Corn for quite awhile. I was so glad to go back and have their beyond delicious tomato avocado salad with grilled chicken...it can only be better once we are in full bloom with homegrown tomatos. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone that wants Mexican food even though this is Latin American. The quality is so much better than any Mexican food I have had around here but still satisfies that taste for those flavors. Was great to see Danielle and her, now 16 year old son, who was working there. I remember him "before" he was born. Can't wait to go back and have some more of their delicious eats!! The Mojitas were FINE!!!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

longtime favorite

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on May 30, 2016

Blue Corn Cafe has been one of our favorite places to eat for a long time. Danielle is a friendly and gracious hostess and they serve great food. What more could we want?

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful service: had water and table a ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on May 13, 2016

Wonderful service: had water and table all set up for our reservation, host was super sweet and our waiter was attentive but not naggy

Incredible food: got the vegetable fajitas......but added chicken :) veggies were delicious; so well spiced

Good atmosphere: local (I assumed - didn't check) artwork all over the walls...loved!

Very happy with everything!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

I really liked the place. The food was g ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on April 9, 2016

I really liked the place. The food was good and was just what I was looking for. I ordered plantains and they were very delicious which isn't always a given when you order plantains. The portions were large, the prices very reasonable.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great food and service.!!

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on April 8, 2016

Servers and staff work well together tending to patrons that dined there. We loved our dishes including the queso, burrito and a bean and rice dip with Cuban rolls.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Good for Vegans

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on March 24, 2016

We have been several times because they offer options for my wife and I who are vegan. The food is consistent, tasty and served by friendly staff. They don't have many outdoor tables but when we have been fortunate enough to get one, it has been a great bonus.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nice place.

 
 (New England)
·Dined on March 18, 2016

This is a nice place with good but not great Mexican food. In three meals over the last three months, the food was good on two occasions and so-so on the third - e.g. an entre served cold that should have been hot, etc. Service is very nice, prices are generally reasonable. In sum, I will be going back from time to time but it is not at the top of my list.

Tags: good for groups
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Excellent Dining Experience

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on February 27, 2016

A longtime favorite item of mine on the menu, a tortilla shell salad containing strips of skirt steak, has recently been unpleasant for me because the meat was consistently tough. When told about this, our server discussed it with me and then asked the chef to make this salad for me with meat that was less "well done." The chef kindly agreed, and the result was the best such salad I can recall ever having. The meat was cooked "medium", with some pink, and was tender and flavorful. I am grateful to our server and to the chef for their great response to my concern.

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great selection of menu items and our en ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on February 14, 2016

Great selection of menu items and our entrees were very good. Spicy salsa too!

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food4
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service5

Great food, except for paella

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on February 14, 2016

2 out of 3 in our dining party were very happy with their food. However, the one who ordered the seafood paella was barely able to take a couple of bites before refusing to eat any more. Luckily, the other two of us had some extra food and appetizers left to share with him. But I was surprised when he sent his plate back virtually untouched why no one asked if there was a problem.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Great, high quality food. The blue corn ...

 
 (Las Vegas)
·Dined on February 13, 2016

Great, high quality food. The blue corn quesadilla was delicious and packed with veggies

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food5
ambience5
service5

Pleasantly surprised

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on February 6, 2016

Went with my wife and another couple. Was very happy with the look and feel of the establishment. Our waitress was great; she explained dishes to us and was very attentive. I could have drank the queso dip it was so good, but it's a nicer restaurant so I abstained. Our meals with tasty with good portions. My wife had the fish tacos and I had a beef and rice dish. The dessert was good as well. Would recommend to anyone who wants a satisfying meal at a reasonable price.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

Interesting and tasty food. Great servic ...

 
 (Greensboro)
·Dined on November 27, 2015

Interesting and tasty food. Great service! We enjoyed our family get-together at this great 9th Street location !

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food4
ambience4
service5

Simply Good

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on October 24, 2015

Blue Corn Cafe offers a very good selection of Latin inspired dishes in a friendly, comfortable setting. This was our second visit, and once again quite satisfying. We started by sharing the Plantain Sampler which was nice and more than the two of us could finish in anticipation of the next course. For entrees, we both had the Picadillo, a delicately seasoned ground beef dish that should please most tastes. Some of this went home as well along with a piece of Tres Leches cake that was a bit on the dry and heavy side. Service was fine, although a bit more time between arrival of the appetizer and the entrees would have been appreciated.

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food4
ambience3
service4

The food was ok not great. But what anno ...

vip
 (Houston)
·Dined on October 12, 2015

The food was ok not great. But what annoyed me was I asked if the Sangria was sweet. I was told it wasn't too sweet. When I got the sangria I took two sips. it gave me a headache and was way too sweet. I sent the sangria back and finished my meal. The sangria was on the bill at the end of the meal. I asked why the terrible sangria was on the bill and I was told it was one of those things. What kind of explanation is that??? Terrible customer service. I will not be going back.

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food4
ambience3
service2

Great Place

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 29, 2015

Blue Corn has a wonderful menu of interesting Latin American food. Some icons (e.g. Fajitas) but also some Cuban and entrees from other Latin American countries. Food is great. People very friendly. Good service.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
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food5
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service5

Varied menu and quality food

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 17, 2015

Our group had vegan and traditional food requirements and Blue Corn's menus covered us all with several options. The special was a Tile Fish which was delicious.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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service5

Not very busy

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 8, 2015

I went to this restaurant on Saturday. I booked a reservation for 6:00, but there was no need. There was only one other table occupied. We ate for an hour and only two additional tables had come in that time.

I have no idea why this might be. It had a great selection of Mexican and South American dishes, the server was very knowledgeable, and the food was delicious.

I will be back for the taco happy hour: $2 tacos between 4 and 5:30 M-F.

Tags: neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

Fantastic, great place

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 8, 2015

We get to Durham every couple of years and this is one of our favorite places to eat We were introduced to it years ago when our daughter was in school there

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food5
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service5

My book club meets here regularly and we ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 25, 2015

My book club meets here regularly and we always enjoy it. The food is good, the location is great and the people are incredibly nice. There are eight of us -- everyone wants a separate check and on top of that we are often splitting apps or wine bottles or margarita pitchers and the kind and competent wait staff never complain and always get it divided up correctly.

Tags: good for groups, neighborhood gem
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food4
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Love the staff at Blue Corn. They are th ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 12, 2015

Love the staff at Blue Corn. They are there when you need them but leave you alone enough so you can have an uninterrupted conversation.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Mondays are for margaritas

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 1, 2015

First time back since the makeover. Looks fabulous inside. We had a party of 8 and our waitress never missed a beat. She was friendly and helpful. Empanada was incredibly yummy. Margaritas are $10/pitcher on Monday evenings. Worth the trip just for those! Love this Ninth Street gem.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

Well-served

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on May 30, 2015

Our dining group of 14 were warmly and ably served on a Saturday night. Emily, our server, was attentive and efficient. All orders were correct and came out together. As usual, the food was superb. Everyone lavishly praised our choice, especially since a full dozen were there for the first time. They will be back.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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service5

I think we will pass

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on May 10, 2015

I selected this restaurant for Mother's Day and was a little bothered that I had to provide a credit card to reserve on Open Table, but did it anyway. It was great for us because we were the only people there when we arrived at 3:15. Our waitress was great and very patient. The food was not bad, but my husband was not able to eat what he order because when he tasted it, he knew it would upset his stomach. I asked if we could trade his entree for another and the waitress said sure and took his order for something simpler. Another lady ( I think the owner/manager) came to get clarity on his order to make sure he would be happy and said she would wrap up his current dish for me since I was having the same thing and did not have a problem. When we received the bill, we were charged for both entrees. We did not question it, but were not happy with being charged for both, especially since I did not want it (I had requested no corn and both were filled with corn). I have never had another restaurant charge for replacing an item, so we will pass on Blue Corn Cafe in the future.

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food3
ambience2
service2

Meh...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on May 10, 2015

I took my parents to Blue Corn for Mother's Day. We got the plantain sampler and 3 main dishes. Dad really liked the quesadilla with beef (asado), I had a cheese and chicken enchiladas, and I forget what Mom had. I thought it was all blah - not bad, just not much flavor. My enchiladas tasted like frozen dinners. The restaurant itself was ok, the service was fine. No better word for it than meh.

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food2
ambience3
service3

Very Standard

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on May 5, 2015

Went to Blue Corn last night. Really nothing special about it. The food is good, the drinks are good. Nothing remarkable at all. I wouldn't go back but not because it was a bad experience, it wasn't. I just wasn't impressed enough to want to return.

Tags: good for groups
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food3
ambience4
service3

Food was outstanding and good quantity. ...

vip
 (New England)
·Dined on April 25, 2015

Food was outstanding and good quantity. They were excellent at handling a dairy allergy without compromising the quality of the food.

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food4
ambience4
service5

Went for lunch, had high quality food an ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on March 13, 2015

Went for lunch, had high quality food and service. Well priced, very tasty, and not too busy. Would do it again.

Tags: kid-friendly, great for lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5

Located on 9th street, the artsy/bohemia ...

vip
 (Richmond)
·Dined on February 28, 2015

Located on 9th street, the artsy/bohemian neighborhood a block off the Duke East Campus.

Limited on-street parking, pay lot across the street.

The atmosphere is spartan - light colors, utilitarian tables without tablecloths.

Service was friendly but slow -- our waitress disappeared and I had to take the check to the bartender to get it rung up.

Food was good. We had the fried scallop taco special, the ropa vieja (steamed shredded beef in a mildly spice red sauce) and the mole chicken, along with beer and a margarita. The food was plentiful and tasty.

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food3
ambience3
service3

A nice lunch with pleasant service

vip
 (Baltimore)
·Dined on December 30, 2014

We enjoyed lunch here while visiting Durham. The service was very good and it was a nice quiet afternoon, though the place filled up as we ate. The menu at lunch was different that what is online, but plenty of choices. The food was good, but can't really say authentic. The fried calamari were excellent, crispy, tender, and tasty with nice sauces. Ropa vieja was good and served with a big roll. Salad with chicken was fresh and chicken was tender. Paella was served piping hot, but was more like a soup than paella. I would try the Mexican menu next visit. We saw many of those platters as they went by and they looked very appealing!

Tags: great for lunch
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food3
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service3

Electic Mexican/Cuban

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on November 15, 2014

Guacamole is great -- Salsas need some updating. Rice and beans are so-so -- could use some added spice and interest. Quesadillas are excellent -- but need more salad/guacamole to go with them.

Although 3 different Margaritas are offered, they all contain a sour mix -- I think Blue Corn should do better and avoid sour mixes. It's not that hard to make a genuine Margaret with real ingredients.

Tags: neighborhood gem
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food3
ambience2
service3

Great food!

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on November 1, 2014

Have enjoyed dinner and lunch at Blue Corn Cafe. The mole is fantastic! Plantains are the best ever. Chicken tinga... everything is amazing! The atmosphere is a nice little find. Love, love, love it. Will definitely be back again and again.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
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service5

Group Lunch

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on October 29, 2014

They accommodated us for a going away lunch for my colleague. They seated us in the back so it was quite private and made it easy for the whole table to join in the conversation. Everyone raved about their meals. I had the Chipotle Chicken Salad (subbed avocado for the feta) and loved every bite! We will be returning!

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5

Cute place, good food

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on October 24, 2014

The guacamole isn't anything special, but the vegan stew and Cuban bread were delicious.

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food4
ambience4
service4

Delicioso

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on October 24, 2014

My date and I ate at the Blue Corn Cafe this past Friday evening. It was her second time there and my first time there. We both loved our dishes and the drinks were delicious as well.

I had the mahi mahi and it was awesome! They have a nice chutney that it goes with along with plantain chips! Very tasty!

My date loved her dish also and I think it was a form of plantain stuffed chicken!

We skipped dessert and opted for coffees, she had the Italian with amaretto and I had the Mexican with Kahlua!

Nice evening!

Tags: special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious!

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on October 23, 2014

We had never been here before, but have had some appointments at Duke and had heard the food was really good. My wife has multiple food allergies, and these were taken seriously the minute we were seated, as we had made notes in the Open table section about special requests. It was great that the server already knew her limitations. The salsas were spectacular, especially the Salsa Verde and smoky Chipotle. The guacamole was vegan and spiced just right. She had the gluten-free/vegan black bean tortas and loved them. The pollo millanese I had was some of the most well-coated, moist chicken breast with a vegetable chutney I have tasted. All-in-all, the knowledgeable server, the great food is a reason we will be coming back again and again.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

A disappointment

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on October 3, 2014

We have been going to the Blue Corn Cafe since it first opened. For many years it was our favorite place at that price point to have dinner, and I often took visitors from Duke there for lunch. In the past year or two, however, the quality of the food itself has gone rapidly and consistently downhill, to the point that I am disinclined to go back again. With no prompting on my part, my family members commented similarly after dinner on Friday night. Even the green salsa seemed "watered down" (huh?!). The black bean "pile" was virtually inedible, and my stuffed poblanos were lackluster. The Mahimahi seemed gamey, almost like it should have been retired the day before. I am grateful to have this opportunity to pass along this information.

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food1
ambience4
service5

Mediocre.

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on September 27, 2014

Food was just okay. Plenty of better options in the area for this type of food.

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food2
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