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Durham Patios Made for Outdoor Dining

Here's how to eat well, enjoy company and socially distance in Durham.

Posted By Ashley Strahm on Jun 25, 2020

We know you're tired of bringing the goods home, especially when it looks so good outside. Here's a list of some of the places where you can feel safe eating outdoors and savor the flavor while enjoying some elbow room.

Vin Rouge

From oysters and lobster to foie gras, caviar and champagne, this restaurant has both an extensive, delicious menu, and a serene outdoor patio with extensive foliage and string lights. Tables are spread more than six feet apart, and masks and chalkless menus enhance touchless initiatives and sanitary measures.


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 "new normal" vibes you'll need.


Open air fireplaces, a spacious patio, and Asian fusion tapas and cocktails await you at the edge of Durham's lively Ninth Street district.

Cloche Coffee

Cloche Coffee is one of the latest coffee shops to arrive in the Ninth Street district. The beautiful tranquil interior 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. Take your brew onto their patio, or spread out across the street on the grass at Duke's East Campus.

Saltbox Seafood Joint

Head chef and founder Ricky Moore was nominated for a 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 opened a second location. Both restaurants have beautiful outdoor seating options.

Boricua Soul

The 1999 Freightliner MT55 Tool Truck powering this 'Southern soul, Caribbean flair, Euro-African' cuisine possesses a bold, unapologetic moniker: The Soul Patrol. We're so glad it does, because that's exactly what Boriqua Soul gives: food for the soul. Husband and wife team Toriano and Serena Fredericks have been melding their Puerto Rican and African American heritage into delightful bites for locals everywhere, and are enjoying a large permanent space at the American Tobacco Campus under an industrial awning, where folks can practice social distancing while eating a delicious meal.


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. After learning in kitchens in New York, Paris, and the Mediterranean, he proceeded to acquire over 30 years of experience in restaurants, food venues and gourmet markets.

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


Chill out with a cold beer and varied snacks on Ponysaursus' grassy lawn, sheltered patio, or lofted deck. There's no shortage of social distancing options at this forward-thinking, delightful, open-air brewery.

Mediterranean Grill and Grocery

The falafel will melt in your mouth here. Tucked away in the Parkwood neighborhood since 2014, this spot is owned by three men who are committed to made-from-scratch gyros, baklava, and other Mediterranean delicacies. Outdoor seating and a vast parking lot (bring your own chairs!) await you here.


Bull McCabe's

This Irish pub is the place for people and pups to spread out and take in the Durham skyline from picnic benches sprawled across an expansive lawn. It might also have the largest outdoor space in downtown Durham, complete with a wraparound patio that seats nearly 85 guests in addition to its lawn space.

Bull Mccabes

The Rooftop at Unscripted Durham

Take in downtown views while sitting poolside on this colorful, eclectic rooftop, where you can grab refreshing cocktails and delightful bites to enjoy.

About the Author

Ashley Strahm

Jersey roots, Durham fruits. Lover of all things edible, egalitarian and true. Find me clad in Birkenstocks, seeking Bull City Beautiful stories by trail, wheel and spoke.