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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 13, 2022

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.

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.

Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria

Bocci Trattoria & Pizzeria, an Italian restaurant with an array of tempting Italian cuisine, is located approximately a mile from The Streets of Southpoint Mall on Fayetteville Road. Grab a seat on the patio by the heaters and enjoy the delicious seafood, meat, pasta, and pizza dishes.

The Boot Room

The Boot Room is a sandwich shop, soccer pub, and event space, located next to Beer Study and Starpoint Brewing in Durham. 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 sandwich, sit outside by a heater, and root for your favorite club.

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.

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.

Boxyard RTP provides a platform for emerging entrepreneurs in the food, hospitality, retail and events industries.

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.

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

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 their patio and plenty of outdoor picnic tables on their spacious lawn. Grab a burger and check out their booze-y drinks for fall and winter.

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 which features Durham Distillery's gin, vodka, and liqueur.

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 dirty swag (t-shirts and hats), Durty Bull has something for everyone.

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.

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. At their large outdoor beer garden at RTP, they have 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!

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.


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 that serves contemporary cuisine, has seating available outside on their magical garden patio filled with plants, flowers, and heaters.


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. Order online and pickup or take your food to a table by the large fire pit on their patio.


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.

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.

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 gorgeous outdoor patio.

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.

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.

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.


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 newly renovated patio full of heat lamps.


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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 fire pits for an ultimate winter wonderland adventure.

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.