Durham >Food & Dining > Cosmic Cantina
1920 Perry St, Durham, NC | Directions 2770536.007746 -78.921964
Neighborhoods: Old West Durham
Cosmic Disaster!!!!!!! – The food is bland, they charge a ridiculous fee for avocado and the place is dirty
Cheap, bland food; pleasant atmosphere. – Cosmic Cantina offers cheap, huge burritos. You could split one with a friend, or, if you finish one yourself, be completely stuffed. You can alter yours to be vegetarian or vegan. They taste OK, nothing special. And if you care about authenticity, forget it. But it can be a nice, affordable place to come with friends or provide a cheap and filling meal. The restaurant is on the second floor, and the inside is kind of dark and the music kind of loud. But the outdoor seating is this enclosed balcony space that's very pleasant. It's away from the noise of cars, and there are vines climbing on the brick wall, and you can hear birds and look at the sky. It's a good place for the local high school and college students.
Condemn as a foreign policy gesture – The Cosmic Cantina is a sham, a travesty, an abomination and a crime against humanity. The restaurant (does it earn that title?) should be condemned as a gesture to our neighbors to the south. I've had some terrible imitation Mexican fare in my day; this is the worst, and that's saying something.
The food here is so bad and remarkably unappetizing, I have often wondered how the place manages to stay in business, let alone retain a FIVE STAR RATING (WHAT?) on sites such as these. I then realized that its patrons have never been west of the Mississippi and couldn't discern cochinita pibil from bu?uelos.
If anything, the Cosmic Cantina could be commended for attaining previously intattainble levels of Bland. I mean it, there is not a single ingredient inside those hell-begotten doors above a "Smartee" on the flavor-scale. The Cosmic Cantina would attend a Nickelback concert if it could.
I wish this rating system allowed zero stars.
Better than any chain in the Triangle! – Please don't listen to the reviewer who recommends two *chain* restaurants instead of this kooky, eclectic, awesome restaurant tucked away on 9th street. I can't think of a better place to grab a steak burrito at 1:30 in the morning, when only the perfect food will suffice. If you aren't comfortable with the old historic building appeal of the interior, then get the burrito to go, trust me, you won't be disappointed.
Bland Mexican food, Watered down salsa – Bland, uninteresting flavors catered to an audience unaccustomed to real Mexican food. I grew up in New Mexico and Los Angeles, so I know Mexican food and this place leaves much to be desired. Aside from that, the tables and floors were dirty and you kind of felt dirty being here. Also the bathroom was right out in the dining room. Pretty unappealing. You'll get better flavor/environment at On the Border (yes some chains are better than "holes-in-the-wall") or for something more authentic, try Torero's (on 15-501 in Durham) or El Dorado (on NC55). Also, for excellent flavor and ingredients, and my favorite Mexican food in North Carolina, try Chipotle on Franklin St in Chapel Hill. It beats the pants off this place for flavor and environment.
I'm missing why it's supposed to be so good – We went to Cosmic Cantina for the first time today. I expected it to be kind of a dump and it was, and that's not a "charming, fun" dump, just a plan, dark space, although it was late afternoon and desolate. Staff were not friendly. Burritos were OK, tortillas tasted fresh and beans were pretty good. Salsa was fresh made, but obviously long before we ate it - it was 80% exuded water (from long-ago chopped tomatoes) and nearly flavorless, maybe the worst I've ever had in a restaurant. You get one tiny cup (like a tablespoon) that the nasty chips won't fit in, unless you can convince the guy to give you a second one (after one taste, one cup was more than enough.) I took the family there to convince them that "non-chain" is better than "chain" (Moe's) and left apologizing and longing for Moe's, which I think is better and cheaper (and you can get plenty of salsa, limes, cilantro, guac, etc. without paying extra.) I really wanted to like Cosmic Cantina. I'm glad we've got a place with character where students can eat at 4 in the morning. Still, as much as it pains me to say it, I'd ten times rather go to Moe's or On the Border. Maybe I should try a taqueria.
best burritos in NC – a Durham classic. not to be missed. I think the veggie burritos are the best. don't go for grande unless you're sharing with 3 people.
GREAT Food, but watch out for the flies – GREAT Food-- I recommend getting it to go because the building is a dump and the restaurant is a fly trap. Flies and all, it's still worth it.
FROM TJ ALL THE WAY TO DURHAM – THIS IS A VERY SIMPLE CANTINA, L- BACK. NO NEED TO GET ALL DRESSED UP. CASUAL
APPLYS HERE. THE FOOD IS ALWAYS FRESH. I HAVE EATEN HERE AT LEAST A DOZEN TIMES,
AND NEVER ONCE HAVE I EVER BEEN DISAPPOINTED. THE PORTIONS ARE HARDY, THE STAFF
FRIENDLY. MAKE THE CLIMB OF THE STAIR CASE, AND SEE FOR YOURSELF.
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