Loading your recommendations…

Dine Outside at These Durham Patios

Explore Durham's outdoor dining options, full of cozy cafes, unique restaurants and great views.

Posted By Discover Durham Staff

There’s always a picturesque patio waiting for you in Durham. Here’s a list of places where you can eat outdoors, people watch and savor the flavor while you enjoy the sunlight and fresh air.

Downtown Durham

American Tobacco Campus (ATC)

300 Blackwell St.

Head to the restored historic tobacco factory for hours of fun and plenty of outdoor dining options. Parker and Otis and Boricua Soul share a large covered patio where you can people watch and stay cool. Ekhaya serves Bantu tapas and creative cocktails on their patio area adjacent to the water feature. Head to the patio at Seraphine for catfish, crawdads and other excellent Cajun plates.

Blue Note Grill

709 Washington St.

Family-owned and operated, the Blue Note Grill is a live-music venue, complete with a full-service restaurant and bar. The slow-smoked barbecue and ribs are delicious, and their recently expanded patio is open, so head on over for some outdoor music, food and fun.

This mural outside of Blue Note Grill features Blind Boy Fuller, John Dee Holeman, and Reverend Gary Davis.

Enjoy good music and great food on the patio at Blue Note Grill. Photo: Carolyn Scott

Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub

427 W. Main St.

This Irish pub might have the largest outdoor space in downtown Durham. In addition to the massive lawn space, there is a wraparound patio that seats nearly 85 guests. It’s the perfect spot to take in the Durham skyline from picnic benches sprawled across the expansive lawn.

Customers enjoy food and drinks in the sun on Bull McCabe's outdoor patio.

You'll have no problem finding a seat on the patio at Bull McCabe's. Photo: Bull McCabe’s / Discover Durham

Corpse Reviver Cocktail Bar

715 Washington St., Suite B

Relax with fancy drinks and light bites at Corpse Reviver, a cocktail bar and lounge from the folks behind Durham Distillery’s gin, vodka and liqueur.

Geer Street Garden

644 Foster St.

What do you get when you transform a dilapidated brick building and one-time gas station into a casual hub for comfort food, beers and cocktails? Geer Street Garden, of course! Chill out on the covered patio, and enjoy some chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, tamales and more.

Customers enjoy a meal on a long table in the outdoor seating area at Geer Street Garden.

Come for the food, stay for the vibes at Geer Street Garden. Photo: Jessie Gladdek

Golden Belt

Make the most of this warm 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.

Beautiful brick buildings hug the courtyard of Golden Belt.

Whether you're looking for dinner or dessert, Golden Belt will have something to suit your fancy. Photo: Discover Durham

Goorsha and GoJo

910 W. Main St. and 823 W. Morgan St.

Prepare your tastebuds for a taste of Ethiopia in the heart of Durham. Enjoy traditional Ethiopian fare like tibs, meat sautéed in spices, and shiro, chickpea stew, with a modern twist, on Goorsha’s spacious outdoor patio. Goorsha has expanded to a second space called Gojo where you can grab some delicious Ethiopian tea or coffee and a panini, and enjoy lunch outside on the covered patio just behind the restaurant.

A musician plays guitar in front of diners eating on the patio of Goorsha.

Goorsha has plenty of outdoor seating to accommodate you and your group. Photo: Discover Durham

GRUB Durham

1200 W. Chapel Hill St.

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a tasty meal in an old gas station turned hip Southern eatery? GRUB Durham owners Stacey Poston and Wendy Woods combined their passion for community with their love and experience in the restaurant industry to create this full-service restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and catering. With both a patio and rooftop bar, they have plenty of comfortable outdoor seating options.

Kingfisher and Queeny's

321 E. Chapel Hill St.

Enjoy front-row views of downtown Durham from Queeny's comfortable sidewalk patio dining area. Serving up classics with a spin, Queeny's menu will delight both the conservative and adventurous palette. If you're looking for something a bit more low-key, step back to the backyard patio they share with Kingfisher. There, you can enjoy your meal and a craft cocktail in the middle of a lush garden full of plants and peaceful energy.


706 Ramseur St.

If sunny days and fair weather get you craving tacos and margaritas, you'll want to head straight to Mezcalito. You can bask in the rays on their patio or enjoy the outdoor air in the shade of their covered seating area. Serving tacos, burritos, tortas and more, Mezcalito's modern Tex-Mex flavors are delightful.


345 Blackwell St

NanaSteak offers high-energy upscale dining at its finest. With an award-winning wine list to complement any meal and incredible downtown Durham views, this is the perfect backdrop for an extraordinary evening. Make a reservation out on their newly renovated patio.


905 W. Main St. Unit 21B

Paying serious homage to Greek heritage and hospitality, Nikos serves up the perfect flavors for a sunny day patio sit with friends. Enjoy meze, salads, seafood and more authentic Mediterranean plates with your friends in the sunshine.

Parts & Labor at Motorco

723 Rigsbee Ave.

Head on over to Rigsbee Avenue for brews, cocktails, a delicious mix of small plates inspired by global street food, and live music. Hang out with friends outdoors on the spacious Parts & Labor patio and get up close and personal with the bands playing live music.

Guests sit and enjoy drinks and food on the patio at Parts and Labor Motorco at sunset.

Enjoy Parts & Labor’s unique plates on their spacious outdoor patio. Photo: Lissa Gotwals / Discover Durham

Ponysaurus Brewing

219 Hood St.

Chill out with a cold beer and varied snacks on Ponysaursus’ grassy lawn, sheltered patio, or lofted deck. The lawn is dotted with picnic tables, so there’s plenty of space for a beer with a friend or a group. If you start to feel a little peckish, grab a $1 snack scoop at the bar or order a pizza and garlic knots from the on-site pizza kitchen.

The outdoor area at Durham's Ponysaurus Brewery provides a fresh atmosphere for guests with grass and umbrellas.

With two tiers of seating under their pavilion plus a large yard, Ponysaurus can accommodate just about any size group. Photo: Courtesy of Ponysaurus

Pour Taproom

202 Corcoran St. #200

Calling all beer lovers! Pour Taproom supports and showcases local craft beer, so they offer a unique self-serve system that allows you to try a large variety and selection of beer, cider, and wine. Grab a sandwich or a small bite, serve yourself at the bar, and then hang out on the expanded patio and take in downtown Durham vibes.

Customers enjoy drinks and food on the patio at Pour Taproom on a sunny, early fall day.

The patio at Pour Taproom is the perfect spot to enjoy a self-served pint or a small plate. Photo: Discover Durham

The Roof at The Durham Hotel

315 E. Chapel Hill St.

Enjoy one of Durham’s best views from a midcentury marvel. You won’t find a dining patio from a higher vantage point than this one. The Durham Hotel’s rooftop patio is home to drinks, dining, and yoga.

A group of friends hangs out on couches and seating at The Durham Hotel Roof.

Appreciate one of the best top-side views of downtown from The Durham Hotel Roof. Photo: Eric Waters / Discover Durham

The Rooftop at Unscripted Durham

202 Corcoran St.

Take in downtown views from the comfort of this colorful poolside rooftop outfitted with comfortable seating where you can grab refreshing cocktails and delightful bites to enjoy. The patio features a diverse new American small plates menu in a casual, lively environment.

The Velvet Hippo Bar & Lounge

119 Orange St., 3rd Floor

Head up to The Velvet Hippo for a great drink and a light bite with rooftop views. Whether you're looking for just a bag of chips or some sliders to snack on, The Velvet Hippo delivers. Throw their speciality cocktails in the mix, and you've got a rooftop patio experience that's hard to beat.

Vin Rouge

2010 Hillsborough Rd.

From oysters and lobster to foie gras, caviar and champagne, this restaurant has an extensive, delicious menu of French classics and a serene, plant-filled outdoor patio where you can dine under the glow of string lights.

The olive colored storefront of Vin Rogue is tucked away on the street corner on a sunny day.

The patio at Vin Rouge is the perfect place to savor an expertly crafted French meal. Photo: Discover Durham

South Durham

Boxyard RTP

900 Park Offices Dr.

Less than a 15-minute drive from downtown Durham is Boxyard RTP, a 15,000 square-foot shipping container park full of restaurants like Beyu Caffe, Fullsteam, Lawrence Barbecue, Leroy’s Tacos and more. Stop by the Boxyard and enjoy food, drink, and live music in one of the outdoor dining areas.

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

Grab a pint and some barbecue and socialize with friends under the pavilion at Boxyard RTP. Photo: Boxyard RTP / Discover Durham

Mediterranean Grill and Grocery

5114 Revere Rd.

The falafel will melt in your mouth here. Tucked away in the Parkwood neighborhood since 2014, this spot is owned by three friends who are committed to made-from-scratch gyros, baklava, and other Mediterranean delicacies.

Tobacco Wood Brewing Co.

2500 Meridian Pkwy.

Tobacco Wood Brewing Co. features 30+ craft taps and delicious bites like pork belly grilled cheese, BBQ tacos, and flatbreads. Sit at one of the picnic tables with an umbrella to get some shade.

North Durham

Little Bull

810 N. Mangum St.

Located at Old Five Points in North Durham, Little Bull serves comfort food inspired by the owners' Mexican heritage. Whether your looking for dinner or Sunday brunch, Little Bull's outdoor patio is waiting for you. Savor birria dumplings or dig into their tuna bulgogi while you enjoy the weather.

Duke & 9th Street

Cloche Coffee

721 Broad St.

Cloche Coffee is an ideal coffee shop in the Ninth Street district. Their beautiful tranquil interior full of greenery is the perfect place to work, catch up with friends, or recharge. They serve organic, ethically sourced coffee from Larry’s Coffee, so take your brew onto the patio, or spread out across the street on the grass at Duke’s East Campus.

A man and woman enjoy coffee amongst the potted plants on the patio at Cloche Coffee

Feel the cool breeze on the patio at Cloche as you enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage. Photo: Eric Waters / Discover Durham


737 9th St., Suite 210

Open-air fireplaces, a spacious patio, and Asian fusion tapas and cocktails await you at the edge of Durham’s lively Ninth Street district. Juju serves up small plates with bold flavors, each prepared creatively with attention to tradition, whimsy, local integrity, and, of course, deliciousness. In addition to its extensive menu, Juju also features a dynamic beverage program of hand-made cocktails, extensive Sake selections, artisan wines, and craft beers.

Mad Hatter’s Cafe & Bakeshop

1802 W. Main St.

This cafe and bakeshop connects with local farms to create mouthwatering dishes that nourish the body and soul. Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or grab a coffee and pastry.


1002 9th St.

This values-driven spot is best-known for its breakfast and brunch fare: homemade donuts, build-your-own biscuit and bagel sandwiches, seasonal specials and locally-sourced and house-made pantry items. The outdoor dining area is a welcome expansion of the bustling dining room.


2200 W. Main St.

Head chef Giorgios Bakatsias learned to cook at the foot of his mother’s stove in the quiet village of Karista, Greece. He immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of 12, and his parents’ small diner, above which the family lived, was his first introduction to Durham.

Experience the history and talent of this James Beard nominated chef in the intimate outdoor dining space at Parizade.

Lakewood & Rockwood

The Boot Room

2510 University Dr.

Located right next door to Beer Study in Rockwood, The Boot Room is your go-to spot for amazing sandwiches and crispy tots. Doing double duty as a soccer pub and event space, this restaurant almost always has something fun going. You can enjoy a meal while you watch your favorite club play a match on one of their many TVs, whether you choose to sit indoors or on their outdoor patio.

Foster’s Market

2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.

Foster’s Market is a gourmet food market and cafe focused on scratch-made sandwiches, salads and towering slices of layer cake. They have ample seating on their covered patio and lawn.

A plate of grits cools on the calming patio at Foster's Market.

Dig into a plate of grits on the lawn or enjoy a beverage under the covered patio at Foster's Market. Photo: Discover Durham


2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.

This German-style café and bakery serves contemporary cuisine with a nod to its southern German roots, emphasizing local and seasonal ingredients. Their eclectic, architecturally striking building and garden patio filled with plants and flowers is the perfect backdrop for a casual yet unique dining experience with friends and family.

Restaurant goers socialize under the canopy at Guglhupf as they enjoy their meals.

Indulge in some authentic German fare under the canopy on Guglhupf's patio. Photo: Discover Durham

The Refectory Café

2726 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.

Established in 2005, the original goal of the Refectory Café was to be a one-of-a-kind farm-to-table restaurant where every diet classification could delight in delicious, satisfying, creative food from a common menu. Let them cater your event or join them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner outside on their lovely outdoor patio.



3314 Guess Rd.

Sit outside on the covered patio and enjoy delicious Italian dishes, handmade pastas, cocktails, and gelato and cannoli for dessert.

Pure Soul

4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Suite 1

There’s a new vegan restaurant in town and the food is purely delicious to the soul. Located on Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., the restaurant has a huge covered patio that is overflowing with plants and flowers.

Potted plants hang over picnic tables on the patio at Pure Soul.

Surrounded by flowers and plants, the patio at Pure Soul is a perfect spot to savor a vegan dish. Photo: Pure Soul


5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.

What do you get when you combine a coffee shop with a beer hall with a Korean-inspired menu with a zen garden? You get the ever-inspiring Namu. It’s fitting that the restaurant is a combination of wonderful things because it was the result of two food trucks (Bulkogi and Bo’s Kitchen) combining their forces to create a Megazord of culinary delights. Enjoying a meal outside in their zen garden provides all the calming vibes you’ll need.

Saltbox Seafood Joint

2637 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.

Head chef and founder Ricky Moore won the prestigious James Beard award for Best Chef in the Southeast for his fresh catch and scrumptious seafood seasoning. A U.S. Army veteran and author, chef Ricky established Saltbox as a Durham favorite ever since the tiny shack opened on Mangum Street in 2012. People would line up down the block for an hour (or more!) to wait for the delicious fried catch of the day or some trademark Hush-Honeys®. Popularity grew, and he has since moved to a new location that still offers beautiful outdoor seating.

East Durham

Mike D's BBQ Smokehouse & Retail

455 S. Driver St.

Visit Mike D's Smokehouse for some excellent barbecue and savory sides. Enjoy their pulled pork or brisket in their indoor seating area or on the outdoor patio space they share with Congress Social Bar. On your way out, make sure to grab some of Mike D's signature sauces and rubs from their retail space.

A customer waits to dig into a plate of pulled pork, mac n' cheese and potato salad from Mike D's.

It's hard to beat a BBQ sandwich and mac n' cheese from Mike D's. Photo: Discover Durham

Sofia's Pizza

2201 Angier Ave.

Order pizza by the slice or get a whole pie at this East Durham staple. Sofia's Pizza has a robust menu including specialty pies, pasta, salads, wings and subs. Munch on garlic knots while you wait for your pizza and enjoy the breeze under the umbrellas on their patio.

Friends enjoying pizza slices at Sofia's Pizza in Durham, NC.

You can choose your own toppings or order a specialty pizza at Sofia's. Photo: Discover Durham

About the Author

Discover Durham Staff