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Durham's Best Coffee Spots

Estimated Read Time:
3 minutes

Durham's boldness is brewed fresh at these gems, and all are approved and raved about by locals.

You're probably wondering how we made this list, and we don't blame you. With so many places on main strips and tucked away in Durham's most populated streets, we polled locals on social media to suggest favorites to add to the list of the best coffee shops to enjoy year-round.

Please check with each coffee spot directly prior to visiting to find out which safety measures are in place and if hours have temporarily changed.

Pair a cup of joe with a freshly baked good

Mad Hatter's Cafe and Bakeshop

Mad Hatter's Cafe and Bakeshop invites you to slow down, and yes, smell the coffee and eye-catching baked goods displayed in their long glass case. Morning, noon and night are all beautiful times to "clear your mind, indulge your senses and treat yourself." Their house-made cookies, pastries, and brownies pair perfectly with their hand-crafted beverages.

Ninth Street Bakery

This beloved staple has been serving those beautiful bread and pastry smells in downtown Durham since 1981, but that's not all. Let those wisps of caffeinated vapor waft over you on their cozy patio or in their quaint indoor spaces.

Dulce Cafe

Sweet doesn't even scratch the surface. Drink your warm beverage with a side of dessert at this hidden gem. Located in South Durham at Sutton Station, this delectable spot earned this Yelp review: "Oh. My. God. So delicious. Why did I wait so long?? Their BLAT (bacon lettuce AVOCADO sandwich) is to die for. Their cobb salad? Perfection. All of their breakfast items also look amazing. And their portion sizes are VERY generous. Nothing to complain about here."

Grab a bite with your brew

Beyù Caffè and Beyù Blue are owned by Dorian Bolden, a 2002 Duke alum. Upon receiving his diploma, he left the Bull City for the Big Apple to begin work as a Wall Street stockbroker. After returning home in 2005, he opened Beyù Caffè in the heart of downtown Durham. “I am a firm believer that what has always separated Durham from any other place, and the reason that we call it Dirty Durham, is diversity,” Bolden said. “... I am hoping new companies coming to Durham like it for its authenticity and its grit, and work to maintain diversity in the workforce."

Cloche Coffee

Cloche Coffee is one of the latest coffee shops to arrive in the Ninth Street District across from Duke East Campus. The beautiful tranquil interior filled with plants is the perfect place to work, catch up with friends, or recharge. They serve organic, ethically sourced and fair trade coffee from Larry’s Coffee.


Cocoa Cinnamon

When Areli Barrera de Grodski and Leon Grodski de Barrera opened their third Cocoa Cinnamon location in Lakewood (featuring very delicious homemade churros and drinking chocolate), they were intentional about hiring locals to craft their bold beverages for students, visitors and residents alike. You’ll find the original bike they outfitted to grind and serve coffee around town on display, as well as vibrant colors and details in the design inspired by Areli’s family-owned churreria in Mexico. What's more, Cocoa Cinnamon recently changed its coffee-roasting company name and branding to Little Waves Coffee Roasters, and the brand is already making big waves nationally.

Durham Co-op Market

We know what you're thinking — so many urban places have a co-op market. But you've never been to one like this. The Durham co-op invites you to shop your values; their offerings are responsibly sourced and many of their warm beverages are handmade on-site. The shop feels more like a slightly fluorescent living room, with families, free samples, and plenty of areas to cozy up with a warm mug.

Foster Street Coffee

Foster Street Coffee is situated between the Durham Food Hall and a few steps up from chicken and waffles at Dame's. It is half of a block from acres of park pleasantries at Durham Central Park, making for a perfect stop after the Durham Farmers' Market or as you wind your way through the Geer Street corridor.

Liturgy Beverage Company

Located in the Durham Food Hall, Liturgy Beverage Company is a specialty coffee shop that is focused on connecting the work of farmers with the habits and rituals of their community in Durham. They specialize in single-origin tea, coffee, and chocolate beverages designed to highlight the unique flavors of their regions. Grab a coffee and check out the food options at the Durham Food Hall.

Joe Van Gogh

Study vibes. Beverages. Warmth and sweet sips. Find it all at their two Durham locations on Broad Street and Woodcroft.

Triangle Coffee House

Triangle Coffee House is nestled between storefronts frequented by students, locals, and visitors alike. You’ll find this glass-front brick and mortar on the bustling Ninth Street, and it’s exactly what you picture when you think of a cute, small coffee shop.

Oak House Durham

The original location of The Oak House in Elon, NC, was such a success that its owners decided to expand. Their craft coffee/wine bar concept is now in the heart of downtown Durham on the ground floor of One City Center. Stop by in the morning and sip on a cup of joe from Caballo Rojo’s in-house roastery. At night, cozy up at the bar or table with a great glass of wine. Oak House prides itself on having the best of both worlds.

Saladelia

Gourmet coffee all day, folks — from a place that's been catering in and around the Triangle since 1988. In addition to coffee, they offer a diverse and delicious menu. You can find them at several locations around Durham.

Parker and Otis

Gifts. Goods. Grub... and it's all great. Jennings Brody has created an oasis of delightful food with fresh, local ingredients and wares that are perfect for any occasion. Parker and Otis is open seven days a week, serving breakfast and lunch with an amazing array of gifts, gourmet food, cheese, wine, and candy to go along with that cup of coffee.

Coffee Shops Off the beaten path

Bean Traders

Flannel, Birkenstocks, mismatched mugs, plates, and cutlery ... it's all a part of the charm of this south Durham gem, where high-grade, delicious coffee is brewed with lots of study space and house-made treats to enjoy.

Esmeralda's Cafe

A hidden gem on North Pointe Drive, Esmeralda's Cafe offers a diverse selection of tea, coffee, fresh pastries, and fresh fruit. This family-owned and operated location also has a full breakfast menu. “We are passionate about what we do because we have a love for food, drink, music, and great service.”

Namu

There is much, much more to be discovered betwixt the bamboo shoots and long grasses in this private oasis off 15-501. @namudurham is tucked away and is perfect for delicious coffee, intimate conversation, or solo relaxation.

People's Coffee

Mmmmhmmm — coffee for the people. People's coffee is intent on providing the best in roasted and brewed beans for visitors. They have been proudly serving Black & White Coffee since 2018.

Counter Culture

Counter Culture is brewing beauty from beans, and folks are taking notice. There certainly is a distinct culture to their coffee! Although their brick and mortar is only open to the public at their training room on Fridays at 10 a.m., this Durham-based coffee roasting company has training locations throughout the country and delivers blends directly to your doorstep.

New to Durham's Coffee Scene

Press

If you want to visit France without planning an entire vacation, we can help. Press is a new European-inspired coffeehouse offering quality coffee and a variety of sweet and savory crepes, located in the American Tobacco Campus. Grab a coffee from their beverage menu and enjoy a crepe outside on their covered outdoor patio.

EverLou Coffee Co.

If you love that tasty, slightly sweet, cereal milk at the bottom of your cereal bowl, head to the newly opened EverLou Coffee Co. With creative menu items like the Fruity Pebbles latte or Cinnamon Toast Crunch latte, your tastebuds will never be bored. EverLou aims to provide a safe space with great coffee for everyone to enjoy, and they serve a variety of treats from local bakeries, including JP's Pastry and Junie B's Cookies.

Gojo by Goorsha

Guess what panini, tea, and coffee fans? There’s a new cafe in town brought to you by the wonderful people at Goorsha, bringing that same Ethiopian flavor into bowls, salads, and sandwiches for lunch!

Rofhiwa Book Cafe

Offering titles by Black writers across the globe and a wide selection of coffee brews, Rofhiwa recently opened in the old East Durham Bake Shop space. Stop by for books, coffee, and more books!

Warmth on wheels

Caffe Bellezza Mobile Coffee Bar

The inspiration behind his Italian-inspired mobile coffee bar began when owner Tim Morris took an unforgettable trip to Rome, Florence, and the Cinque Terre, Italy in 2012. The name Bellezza is Italian for 'beauty,' which is how he describes Caffee Bellezza coffee — as both a beverage and a personal work of art.

Caffe Bellezza Mobile Coffee Bar

The Corner Mobile Coffee

Stop by the colossal coffee-slinging sprinter van known as The Corner Mobile Coffee to experience the incredible aesthetic and innovation found in Seoul’s vibrant cafe culture. Owners Chloe and James aim to share Seoul-cafe ethics on the streets of Durham and beyond.

Bonus: warm libations

A short walk across CCB plaza will bring you right to the door of the newly open and breathtakingly beautiful Jeddah's Tea, where you can sip both hot and iced beverages sweetened with handcrafted simple syrups and decadent honey. The sweet treats are locally created too and are delightful accompaniments to each perfectly steeped cup.



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