When visitors come to town or I’m having an extra busy foodie week (or month!), I end up dining out a lot in Durham. Even though I enjoy every second and every last bite, after a week or so of overindulgence I can’t help but crave something super healthy, and that’s exactly the niche that Happy + Hale fulfills in their brand new space on Ninth Street.
Happy + Hale’s origins began in Raleigh in 2014, and in just a couple quick years the owners are bringing the same fresh concept and menu to the Bull City in a convenient location close to Duke and many other delicious Durham spots.
Everything on the Happy + Hale menu is fresh and healthy. It’s reminiscent of smoothie bars you might find on a visit to Southern California and I definitely think there’s a place for this type of food in the South as well.
The sweet, chilled acai berry bowl pictured above is something I’ll be craving on hot summer days (and we have plenty of those coming up). It’s topped with granola, bananas, blueberries, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, chia seeds and honey.
There are also all kinds of fresh made smoothies (all gluten free and vegan) like the Bright Eye above (with orange, mango, banana, lemon, coconut water, turmeric and black pepper). Even the cucumber infused water is a refreshing change of pace.The bowls and salads have a fresh lettuce base from the wall of greens behind the counter and are topped with everything from quinoa, sweet potatoes, roasted red peppers, avocados, and proteins like chicken and shrimp if you choose. You can get your made-to-order meal chopped or tossed.
The avocado toast, pictured below, is everything you’d want and more in a healthy breakfast (or anytime snack, really), with creamy avocado, capers, sunnyside egg (add-on) and siracha on multigrain toast. It tastes as good as it looks!
The restaurant’s atmosphere is as fresh and clean as the food, with white walls and wood accents. Two large sets of double doors open the entire front of the building and overlook the bustling energy of Ninth Street. There’s even a yoga studio (Yoga Off East) opening in back!
This fresh new eatery opened yesterday (April 18, 2016) for dinner and opens regular hours later this week.
I enjoy extravagant meals as much as the next foodie, but it’s also nice to know that a place like Happy + Hale is there to keep us healthy and fueled in a whole different way.Photos: Tommie Watson Photography