As a traveling writer, my work often takes me to different coffee shops, and Durham, NC has some of the best. If you’re looking for a place to grab a cup of joe and get some work done, or simply enjoy the vibrant coffee culture of the Bull City, you’re in luck. Here are my top recommendations for the best coffee shops in Durham.
Cocoa Cinnamon: The OG Durham Coffee Shop
Cocoa Cinnamon started as a humble bike cart and has now expanded to three locations. It’s not just about the coffee here; Cocoa Cinnamon is also invested in the community. They even encourage donations towards Community Coffee for those who can’t afford it. The menu offers a wide range of options, with drinks named after inspiring historical figures. From decadent drinking chocolate to handmade churros, Cocoa Cinnamon embodies Durham’s artistic and funky vibe. Please note that Wi-Fi hours are limited at some locations to encourage conversation and community.
Bean Traders: SoDu’s Original Coffee Shop
Bean Traders, opened in 2000, was one of Durham’s first coffee shops to roast its own beans. They prioritize sustainability and offer discounts to customers who bring their own cups. With locally sourced ingredients and a kid-friendly environment, Bean Traders is perfect for both work and socializing. They even have weekly storytime sessions.
Beyu Caffé: A Community Gathering Place
Beyu Caffé is a counter-service cafe known for its signature coffee blend created by the local community. Their unique drinks, like Carver’s Peanut Butter and Runaway Latte, showcase the Bull City’s sweet and spicy flavors. This black-owned establishment also offers catering services and an inviting window seat for cozy coffee conversations.
The Durham Hotel: Where Coffee Meets Mid-Century Modern
For those looking for a coffee experience in a beautiful mid-century modern setting, The Durham Hotel is the place to be. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a rooftop view, it’s a perfect spot for business meetings or an affordable yet fancy coffee experience. Their coffee soda, made with local Counter Culture coffee, is not to be missed.
Joe Van Gogh: A Local Coffee Roaster’s Delight
Joe Van Gogh is a locally-owned coffee roaster that prioritizes sustainability and fair wages. They compost, use compostable items, and run their roasting facility on solar energy. Joe Van Gogh offers a wide variety of delicious coffee options, including nitro cold brew and cappuccinos. Whether you’re an espresso lover or a cold brew enthusiast, Joe Van Gogh has something to satisfy your coffee cravings.
The Oak House: A Cozy Escape in Downtown Durham
The Oak House, located in downtown Durham, is a welcoming and cozy spot to enjoy great coffee. Whether you’re looking for a traditional espresso or a craft beer, this place has you covered. With partnerships with local coworking organizations, The Oak House offers membership perks along with a comfortable and productive workspace.
Foster Street Coffee: A Hidden Gem
Foster Street Coffee has a quiet and unassuming vibe, making it the perfect spot to work without distractions. Located next to the Durham Food Hall, it’s an excellent place to transition from coffee to food. Enjoy the delicious coffee and the proximity to other dining options.
Liturgy Beverage Company: Innovative Drinks and Community
Liturgy Beverage Company is known for its innovative beverages and specialty drinks. While they offer the usual latte options, they also have a fantastic selection of single-origin pour-overs. The owners, Tim and TiLissa, met in a coffee shop, and their love for coffee shines through in every cup. It’s a great place to connect with others or find a cozy spot to work.
Nolia: The Perfect Family-Friendly Coffee Shop
Nolia is a family-centric coffee shop that welcomes parents and children alike. You can relax and sip your coffee while your kids play in a safe and inviting environment. Nolia also sources their coffee ethically, adding a touch of social impact to your caffeine fix.
Cloche Coffee: A Cozy French-Inspired Space
Cloche Coffee derives its name from the French bell-shaped glass that protects plants from frostbite. With its cozy atmosphere, greenery, and outdoor patio, Cloche is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing and productive coffee experience. It’s a hidden gem in Durham’s coffee scene.
People’s Coffee: A South Durham Gem
Located in South Durham, People’s Coffee offers Vietnamese coffee and a bright, inviting space to work. Their exclusive use of Wake Forest’s Black & White Roasters beans ensures a smooth and flavorful cup of coffee. For those looking for healthier options, they also serve kombucha.
Namu: A Taste of South Korea
Namu brings a taste of South Korea to Durham with its Korean street food, snacks, and coffee. The serene courtyard and bamboo forest create a tranquil work environment. Treat yourself to a Chocopie and a Yuzu Tea while you work and transport yourself to East Asia.
Guglhupf: German Pastries and Specialty Lattes
Guglhupf offers more than just great coffee. German pastries, specialty lattes, and a beautifully decorated indoor and outdoor space elevate your coffee experience. Make sure to grab a loaf of bread from their bakery before you leave.
Final Thoughts: Embrace Durham’s Coffee Culture
Working from home or for yourself can sometimes feel isolating. That’s why exploring the vibrant coffee culture in Durham is the perfect way to break up your day and connect with the community. Check out these amazing coffee shops in Durham and let us know your favorites. Grab a cup of joe, enjoy the ambiance, and make the most of Durham’s coffee scene.