15 Best Coffee Shops In Durham, North Carolina


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Durham, a city teeming with innovation, culture, and rich history, is also home to a vibrant coffee scene that’s just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a caffeine connoisseur, a casual coffee drinker, or someone in search of cozy nooks to work or unwind, our handpicked list of the best coffee shops in Durham, North Carolina is your gateway to a whole new java journey.

We will embark on a tour of Durham coffee shops showing the most unique, charming and downright delicious places to find great coffee. We’ll take a deep dive into each spot’s standout features, from the aromatic blends and craft roasts that they serve to the inviting atmospheres they’ve cultivated.

Each coffee shop in Durham is different – from quirky, art-filled spaces serving ethically sourced beans, to elegant coffee shops with a side of mouthwatering pastries, to innovative establishments pushing the boundaries of your typical coffee experience.

15 Best Coffee Shops In Durham North Carolina

So, get comfy, grab your current favorite brew, and join us as we spill the beans on the best coffee shops in Durham, North Carolina.

1. Cocoa Cinnamon

Starting out as a bike cart Cocoa Cinnamon now has three locations from which to sell its intriguing coffee flavors. Drinks are named after inspiring historical figures and events. 

This Durham coffee shop exudes an artistic community vibe and has a strong commitment to the area.

They have a lively outdoor space at their Old North Durham location which makes it a great place to hang out. 

Serving Little Waves Coffee, and handmade churros Cocoa Cinnamon is also a fab location to work from. They offer free Wi-Fi, takeout and are wheelchair accessible.

2. Beyu Caffé

Beyu Caffé is a true community coffee shop. Not only do they sell inspired coffee and great food but have a commitment to providing food to those who are less fortunate. 

One of their celebrated offerings is Carver’s Peanut Butter Latte which combines espresso, peanut butter and dark chocolate.

Beyu’s award-winning food includes vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options for those who have medically tailored nutrition needs. 

There is a wonderful atmosphere here, and you can come for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Or stay after hours for a drink. They also have some great live music from time to time.

3. Bean Traders

When Bean Traders opened their doors more than twenty years ago they were one of the first coffee shops in Durham to roast their own beans. 

Today they offer Organic Farms, Fair Trade and Direct Trade coffee beans as part of their commitment to sustainability. Take a cup and fill up with your favorite. 

To go with your coffee try some of their in-house baked goods made with ingredients from South Durham’s Farmers Market. 

This is a very child-friendly coffee shop with lots for kids to do and offers weekly story times. 

4. Joe Van Gogh

There is so much more to Joe Van Gogh than just their coffee. They are serious about sustainability and practice what they preach.

Sourcing, roasting and blending their coffee is done through the lens of sustainable practice. 

They use solar power for their roasting facility, have compostable single-use items and compost via CompostNow in all their establishments.

All employees receive a living wage, and they partner only with farmers who pay a fair wage. 

Oh, and their coffee is great too! If you like what you taste you can take some beans home or get a monthly subscription. 

5. The Durham Hotel

The Durham Hotel is the site of a former bank but now is a very attractive place to stay as well as somewhere to enjoy a coffee. 

This is a great place to have a business meeting if you feel a regular coffee shop is too informal.

You’ll be surrounded by mid-century style and design while enjoying the local Counter Culture coffee. Try the hotel’s own coffee soda while you’re there. 

If you want a 360 view of the city visit the raw bar on the rooftop for nibbles and cocktails. 

6. The Oak House

Following the success of their coffee shop in Elon, NC the owners of the Oak House expanded in Durham.

They now have a craft coffee and wine bar smack in the middle of downtown. 

During the day enjoy your favorite cup of Joe van Gogh espresso or Caballo Roja drip coffee and at night relax with a glass of wine or a beer. Or go wild and have a cocktail. 

The Oak House is a great place to hang out and has also partnered with a local coworking organization. 

Durham Coffee Shops Near me

7. Mad Hatter’s Café & Bakeshop

A perfect blend of homemade pastries with handcrafted beverages, you would be mad not to come to this café!

Locally sourced ingredients and inspired recipes await you in this inviting space. 

The brunch menu is overflowing with delicious treats such as Spicy Chicken Quesadilla or Firsthand Applewood Smoked Bacon.

And for afterward, what about a Blueberry Danish with a cup of locally roasted Counter Culture coffee? 

As you would expect the bakeshop also has an incredible range of cakes and cookies that you can order for any celebration or occasion. 

8. Foster Street Coffee

Foster Street Coffee advertises itself as a great place to study and work appealing to both students and professionals.

They have a meeting room if you have an unexpected Zoom meeting to attend or need a change of scenery for you and your colleagues. 

It has a nice quiet vibe which is the perfect atmosphere to work and study. And if you park in the Liberty Warehouse car park you will get your parking validated. 

Refreshments are simple, but the quality is good, and the staff are friendly. 

9. Cloche Coffee

This is an intimate and cozy coffee shop and may be one of the smallest in Durham. But that doesn’t detract from the great atmosphere.

It is close to the Duke East campus so is perfect for hungry students who need a pick-me-up before classes. 

Unsurprisingly Cloche Coffee is filled with plants and greenery, a cloche is a glass bell-shaped jar that protects plants from frost.

Being surrounded by plants makes it a very relaxing place to be and is my kind of coffee shop. 

They serve Larry’s Coffee which is organic, ethically sourced and fair trade

10. Namu

Namu is an Asian-inspired oasis surrounded by a bamboo forest near I-40 and Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. starting out as a food truck Namu now serves coffee, teas, wine, and Asian influenced food such as Ramen Chicken and Kimchi Fried Rice. 

Their beer hall serves over 120 beers ranging from local craft to international brewery beer and some interesting ciders.

Why not try some while you nibble on some Korean pancakes or dumplings? 

For something different give Namu a try next time you are in Durham, you won’t be disappointed. 

11. People’s Coffee

Located in South Durham or SoDu as the locals like to call it, People’s Coffee is constantly evolving its coffee menu.

Exclusively serving beans roasted at award-winning Black & White Roasters in Wake Forest this coffee shop is supporting local enterprise. 

From Black & White Roasters, People’s Coffee supplies their customers with single-origin or complex blend coffees.

They also have seasonal beverages such as their fall menu which includes Pumpkin Spice or Pecan Pie Lattes. 

They also have an extensive tea menu, and you can buy your favorite coffee beans in bulk. 

coffee shops in Durham NC

12. Guglhopf

You may be forgiven for struggling to pronounce the name of this coffee shop, but don’t let that deter you.

This is an awesome combination of the coffee shop, bakery and beer garden. 

With South German influence and North Carolina flair Guglhopf is a great hang-out space. Try their wonderful pastries and specialty lattes including a Vietnamese special.

If you take your kids you should get them a color-changing butterfly lemonade. 

They have a large selection of coffees, teas and cocktails as well as a brunch and dinner menu. 

13. Triangle Coffee House

Being so close to Duke University, the Triangle Coffee House is unsurprisingly a great place for students. They can relax after classes, study or meet up with friends. 

For those who are studying, a regular supply of crafted coffee may be just what is needed to focus the mind. 

They also have an interesting menu of Barista Specials including African Dream, which is a Roobis tea with vanilla and milk or Bull City Turtle which is espresso with chocolate, caramel, hazelnut and milk.

The coffee is organic and Fair Trade certified. 

14. Dulce Cafe

If you can get past the dessert display in Dulce Cafe then you have our respect.

This has got to be one of the best tests of willpower ever, there are so many delicious treats to choose from! 

They also have a great breakfast and lunch menu filled with panini, and sandwiches, seasonal soups for when it’s cold and salad for warmer days. 

 Top that off with a selection of smooth, rich coffee and espresso drinks, and you have everything you need at the Dulce café. 

15. Nasher Museum Of Art Cafe

The Nasher Museum of Art café is located on Duke University’s central campus.

It serves local seasonal produce for lunch from Tuesday through Friday and has an extensive menu. 

There are brunch, lunch and dinner shareable or individual plates as well as a good selection of entrees. 

It received a Diner’s Choice award in 2017 and was recognized by Food and Wine magazine as one of the best museum restaurants in the US. 

Final Thoughts

No matter where your adventures take you in Durham, rest assured, you’ll always be in close proximity to numerous coffee shops nearby, making your hunt for the perfect brew a breeze.

We hope you will seize the chance to experience at least one or two of our recommended Durham coffee shops within this vibrant city.

The next time you’re poised to pull out your phone and search “best coffee near me” while you’re in Durham, remember to revisit this page instead.

Check out our selection of the best coffee shops in North Carolina in the other places we cover in the state.

Be sure to take advantage of the chance to explore our wide range of coffee shops in Raleigh, and Asheville as well.

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