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Heaters Gonna Heat

Estimated Read Time:
5 min

The temperature is dropping, so it's time to raise the heat. We fired up a list of restaurants in Durham with outdoor heated patios, heat lamps, and fire pits.

Posted By Natalie Minott on Dec 01, 2023

Table for two...by the heaters, please. It's getting cold out there, so we've rounded up a list of lit spots offering delicious food and 'all you can heat' seating. This list is growing by the minute, so you can skip the scrolling and jump to your chosen category using the links below.

Jump to: Restaurants With Heated Outdoor SeatingJump to: Bars with Heated Outdoor SeatingJump to: Restaurants and Bars with Fire Pits

Restaurants with Heated Outdoor Seating

Alley Twenty Six

Alley Twenty Six is always a reliable destination for upscale food and cocktail pairings. Order a small or large plate and a bourbon hot toddie or a bear hug and dine outside in their dreamy heated alley.

Alpaca Peruvian Chicken – Ninth Street

Craving the most flavorful and tender rotisserie chicken around, plus tostones, yucca fries, beans and rice and more? Dine outside at the Ninth Street location with heaters keeping the space comfy all winter long.

The Boot Room

The Boot Room is a sandwich shop, soccer pub, and event space next to Beer Study and Starpoint Brewing in Durham's Rockwood neighborhood. They serve sandwiches, burgers, big salads, and appetizers for lunch and dinner, and soccer games are always playing on multiple outdoor and indoor TVs. Drift in for a meal, sit outside by a heater, and root for your favorite club.

Boricua Soul

The courtyard seating area in American Tobacco Campus is outfitted with heaters in winter, so you can enjoy your Soul Bowl while enjoying the fresh air and even getting a little Vitamin D.

Boxyard RTP

With standalone gas heaters throughout the complex on both levels, as well as permanent heaters installed in the roof of the covered pavilion, Boxyard RTP provides a unique year-round dining and shopping experience where you can stay warm, meet, eat and connect. Whether you grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee, enjoy craft local beer, bop to live music, or join a pop-up yoga class on the deck, you will be nice and cozy with your family and friends.

Customers sit and socialize as they eat and drink under the pavilion at Boxyard RTP

The Pavilion at Boxyard RTP. Photo: Boxyard RTP

Bull City Burger & Brewery

Patio diners can enjoy delicious food from Bull City Burger & Brewery all on the outdoor cozy patio full of heat lamps and heaters. Access the patio from Mangum Street, find a seat, then place your order.

Bull McCabe's Irish Pub

May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck as you visit this Irish pub in the heart of Durham. Bull McCabe's Irish Pub has a few heat lamps on its patio and plenty of outdoor picnic tables on its spacious lawn. Grab a burger and check out their booze-y drinks for fall and winter.

Burger Bach

Burger Bach's heated outdoor seating allows burger aficionados in the Ninth Street area to get their fill on all the toppings they can imagine between two buns, plus salads, buffalo chicken dip, fries and sides.

Geer Street Garden

Warm vibes are flowin' at Geer Street Garden, even when it's cold. Grab a seat under the heater, sip on a cup of tea or cider, and chow down on wholesome and delicious comfort food like jambalaya, fish tacos, and Italian seafood stew.


Stop by Goorsha's sister cafe, Gojo, to enjoy Ethiopian flavors with a modern twist on the patio where you can dine outside with heaters to keep you warm.


Guglhupf, a German-style café and bakery serving contemporary cuisine, has seating on their magical garden patio filled with plants, flowers, and giant heaters.


Krill is a Southeast Asia-inspired restaurant and bar serving classic dishes with funky twists alongside creative cocktails, sake and wine. A step onto the heated patio will take you to the tropics, even in winter.

Little Bull

Chef Oscar Diaz's Pocho cuisine was an instant hit when Little Bull opened in the summer of 2023, and you can enjoy a seat outdoors all year round with heaters keeping things comfortable. Don't skip the cocktails and save room for a plantain split for dessert.

Luna Rotisserie and Empanadas

Whether you’re going for the arepas, vegan chili-braised jackfruit, or empanadas, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Luna has a variety of South American-inspired dishes, and they are prepared for this fall weather with “a small army of heaters” to keep customers warm and toasty on their outdoor patio.

Mezcalito Grill & Tequila Bar

Mexican cuisine with a Tex-Mex heart and you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it, larger-than-life margaritas, palomas and more. Mezcalito is a year-round party with a heated, enclosed patio.

Mad Hatter Cafe & Bakeshop

Whether you're interested in enjoying a casual lunch salad or sandwich, sharing coffee with a friend or indulging in a tall slice of German chocolate or Black Forest cake, you can do so outside all year round!

Monterrey Mexican Grill

Head to Monterrey Mexican Grill for a fiesta in your mouth! Sit by the heaters and chow down on classic Mexican-inspired cuisine paired with your favorite hand-crafted margaritas, cervezas and more.


In summer, the bamboo-filled courtyard of the Korean street food restaurant and beer garden is an oasis perfect for working, studying, visiting with friends or enjoying a serene moment of zen. In winter, it's a heated oasis perfect for ... well, you get the idea.


With an award-winning wine list to compliment any meal, NanaSteak offers high-energy upscale dining at its finest. Make a reservation and enjoy food and drinks with friends out on the patio full of heat lamps.


Escape to the Greek coast at Nikos, where you can have a meal al fresco on the heated patio all winter.


Durham's original locally-owned burger joint upgraded its side patio with enclosures and heaters to keep the space warm all winter.


Visit Parizade to experience the hospitality and flavors of the Mediterranean. Get coffee and pastries during the day or order dinner in the evening outside on the lovely courtyard complete with lights and heat lamps.

Press Coffee, Cocktails and Crepes

You'll feel like a true European as you enjoy crepes and coffee on the heated sidewalk cafe at Press as you watch the American Tobacco Campus clientele go by.

The Refectory Café

The Refectory Café is a local farm-to-table restaurant with plenty of options for omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, plant-based and gluten-free diets. Let them cater your event, or join them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner outside on their covered and heated patio.


Seraphine's courtyard dining area is heated and decorated with lights and greenery, so you can dine on Cajun cuisine and fresh, in-season oysters throughout the winter.

Saladelia Cafe

This Mediterranean-inspired all-day cafe's menus will satisfy any appetite, from morning golden milk lattes to chicken souvlaki wraps at lunch and Za'atar Almond Roasted Salmon and a glass of wine for dinner. Enjoy it all on their heated, enclosed patio seating.

Vin Rouge

Ready to be transported to a quaint village in the south of France? If you said oui, make sure to stop by Vin Rouge, an authentic French bistro with outdoor seating in their heated garden patio.

Bars with Heated Outdoor Spaces

Corpse Reviver Cocktail Bar

Want to enjoy a wide selection of fancy drinks and light bites outdoors on a heated patio? Make a reservation at Corpse Reviver, a cocktail bar and lounge that features Durham Distillery's gin, vodka and liqueurs.


Devine's is a Durham institution with a loyal following, especially among sports fans. Stop in and enjoy a drink with the regulars on the patio, even when it's cold outside.

Durty Bull

Durty Bull, a brewery that uses old-world brewing techniques to create barrel-aged and sour beers, is heating things up in their large heated tent. With all sorts of brews and swag (t-shirts and hats), Durty Bull is a great place for a good time and a keepsake to take home and remember it by.

Gizmo Brew Works

Gizmo's weekly trivia and other events draw crowds to the UHills brewery, and luckily, heaters on the covered terrace keep the outdoor space comfortable during cooler months.

Glass Jug

Both Glass Jug locations are pretty lit. With a gorgeous, well-heated patio overlooking Durham Central Park, the downtown location serves exclusive Glass Jug beers on draft, plus draft wine and cider. Their large outdoor beer garden at RTP has tabletop heaters and a heated patio with overhead electric heaters. They are serving hot apple cider and hot mulled wine at both spots to heat you up from the inside!

Parts & Labor

Stay cozy while you people-watch under the industrial-strength heaters at Parts & Labor's outdoor seating area on the lively corner of Geer St. and Rigsbee Ave. Parts & Labor is adjacent to Motorco Music Hall where you can check out a show after you've had a drink and a snack.

The patio at Parts & Labor is strung with lights and lit with heaters.

The patio at Parts & Labor. Photo:

Pour Taproom

Who’s ready for a beer and wine festival every day of the week featuring local and regional drinks? Pour your own beer and then grab a seat on the expanded patio with heat lamps right in the heart of downtown Durham.

The Federal

The Federal is the type of pub you could pop into on the regular (and many do) for a pint and a plate of nachos. Luckily, it keeps its patio space up and running with heaters all winter.

The Roof at The Durham

The Roof is a year-round gathering place with yoga classes by morning, a bar and restaurant by night, and the best panoramic views of downtown Durham all day. Heaters and enclosures keep the roof comfortable in all weather.

The Patio at Unscripted

Unscripted has a new pop-up dining experience on the patio featuring private warm igloos! Reserve the igloos or enjoy views of Durham and delicious food around the heaters for an ultimate winter wonderland adventure.

Restaurants and Bars with Fire Pits or Fireplaces

Bull City Solera & Taproom

Looking for a savory and sweet way to make memories? Order one of Bull City Solera’s delicious burritos and a s’mores kit complete with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate, and then get toasty around the fire pit.

Boxcar Bar & Arcade

Boxcar Bar & Arcade is ready for fire season. As they say on their Instagram page, their spacious patio seating is “lit” with a nice fire pit. Kick back with some Neapolitan-style pizza or a soft pretzel and fresh salad from the kitchen and enjoy the cozy atmosphere.

Boxcar Bar + Arcade in downtown Durham has a full bar, arcade games, a heated patio with fire pits and scratch pizza kitchen.

Fire pits at Boxcar Bar & Arcade. Photo: Boxcar Bar & Arcade

Golden Belt Campus

Make the most of the fall weather with pints of beer from Hi-Wire Brewing, ice cream (with toppings of course) from Two Roosters, and much more on the spacious Golden Belt campus. The whole family can relax and gather 'round the huge fire pit adjacent to the live music venue.


Located on Ninth St. near Duke University’s East Campus, Juju is an Asian tapas bar serving up small plates with bold flavors and a variety of drinks. Choose a table by the large fire pit on their patio to stay cozy.

Local 22 Kitchen & Bar

Are you hungry for lamb sausage pizza, shrimp and grits, or deviled eggs? Local 22 is a restaurant and bar that uses fresh ingredients from local farms to create delicious food with a seasonal spin. Order online, dine-in, or enjoy a seat on their spacious patio by the fire pit.

Maverick's Smokehouse

Who doesn't love some classic American barbecue with all the sides and fixins'? Try the smoked pork, ribs, brisket, or fried okra, and sit down with family or friends by the firepits on the large outdoor patio.

Ponysaurus Brewing Co.

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. creates beers that are meant to be savored, appreciated, contemplated, philosophized, studied, nuzzled and mindfully guzzled. Grab a beer and get toasty by the heaters and fire pits or relax with friends out on the heated and covered patios. If you need a salty or sweet snack, order your treat of choice for just a dollar per scoop, or enjoy a full meal by ordering pizzas, garlic knots and salads.

A person enjoys a beer while sitting by a fire pit at Durham's Ponysaurus.

Fire pits at Ponysaurus. Photo: Discover Durham

Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club

The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club welcomes guests to a tranquil retreat on 300 acres surrounded by tall pines on the edge of the Duke Forest. Enjoy a warm cup of tea, fresh scones, sweets, and sandwiches around the fireplace.

Velvet Hippo

This rooftop bar transforms into an aprés ski paradise during winter months. Ski lodge vibes, fire pits and cocktails? Say less.

Zweli's Ekhaya

The patio outside Zweli's Ekhaya in American Tobacco Campus is heated with atmospheric fire pits and standing heaters. It's the perfect spot to get cozy with Bantu small plates and creative cocktails.

Are you or your family looking to stay in Durham over the holidays? Here are a few lodging properties with indoor heated areas to gather around.

About the Author

Natalie Minott - Freelance Writer

A mother and writer who loves celebrating people and telling their stories. Find me rocking colorful headwraps, singing Disney songs, and drinking too much coffee.