Campbell’s Diner

530 N. Main St., Fuquay-Varina • (919) 552-6921

It’s 1:15 p.m. on a Friday, and the gravel parking lot at Campbell’s Diner is jammed with Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150 pickup trucks. Assembled inside the double-wide-mobile-home turned country-cookin’ enclave are contractors, electricians and even the town’s longest practicing family physician.

Several old-timers regularly hold court here. They discuss everything from the new governor’s transition plans to prognostications about how cold it will get this winter.

Ever since Dora Ann Campbell opened the diner in 1971, locals have turned up early and often for impeccable sweet tea, specials such as chicken pastry, turkey and dressing, and homemade banana pudding as good as your grandmother made. Campbell and her husband, Junius, a World War II veteran, no longer handle day-to-day operations but still come in regularly to eat lunch and visit with customers.

The “meat and three” at Campbell’s, including the resplendent stewed tomatoes.

Other patrons show up primarily for a veggie plate filled with choices such as fried okra, stewed tomatoes, fresh cucumbers and turnip greens. Longtime regular and Fuquay-Varina native Tim Beck, 55, visits Campbell’s several days a week.

“I’m partial to the vegetables because they are well-seasoned and delicious, particularly the stewed tomatoes,” Beck explained. “I also enjoy the homemade vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwich.”

“Hushpuppies are served with every meal,” manager Michele Dunn said with a smile while tending a fry basket.

Breakfast is equally rewarding. A popular $5 daily special includes two eggs, bacon or sausage, and a pair of pancakes. Steaming hot coffee, included with the meal, is surprisingly transcendent. It’s poured frequently into ceramic mugs emblazoned with advertisements from the likes of the local collision repair shop, a funeral home and a plumber.

Cash and checks are accepted at Campbell’s, which is open six days a week (closed Sundays).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *