Breakfast is the first meal and perhaps the best meal of the day, and Durham has it down pat.
Depending on the person and their schedule and appetite, breakfast can be as small as a granola bar or as big as a buffet with all the fixin’s: eggs served every way imaginable, bacon, sausage, toast, pancakes, you name it.
In order to satisfy all you breakfast lovers on every consumption level, I made it my mission to explore some of the best breakfast spots in Durham, from the simple grab-and-go to the sit-down. What’s even better is that it can all be found throughout the day! Here’s some spots you need to know about.
One word comes to mind when I think of breakfast at Guglhupf…FRESH! You can tell by the photos and yes, it tasted as good as it looks. A German-style bakery serving up breads, pastries, and desserts, they’re an award-winning local favorite. But it’s much more than just a bakery, you can also grab brunch, lunch, and dinner. They do all of them to perfection. We love their outdoor seating that’s accompanied by a water foundation and tons of greenery.
2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707
2. Elmo’s Diner
Elmo’s Diner has been a local Durham favorite for more than twenty years, They’re a family-friendly diner with a hometown feel. The menu consists of traditional morning fare with Southern favorites. There is almost an overwhelming selection of food, but we think that breakfast or brunch is the way to go here. They get extra points for being super kid-friendly!
776 9th St, Durham, NC 27705
3. Rise Biscuits Donuts
Biscuits and donuts…need I say more? 10/10 recommend the Righteous Chicken biscuit. Vegetarian option: Fried Green Tomato biscuit.
401 Foster St. Durham NC, 27701 & 8200 Renaissance Pkwy, Durham, NC 27713
4. True Flavors
If you want a real southern brunch experience, come to True Flavors. Pictured here we have the House Special Biscuits and Gravy. If it was appropriate to lick plates in public I would have. The menu has a variety of breakfast skillets, omelettes & pancakes plus lunch (salads & sandwiches).
5410 N Carolina 55, Durham, NC 27713
Monuts takes a more modern approach to breakfast, staying in tune with the Durham trends. They have donuts, muffins, and bagels as well as a build your own egg sandwich and quiche. With your Shop Durham card, you can get a free donut with the purchase of any espresso drink!
1002 9th St, Durham, NC 27705
6. Early Bird Donuts
Small batch, California- style, made-from-scratch donuts. The donuts come in a variety of flavors, including glazed, chocolate glazed, peanut butter cup, Oreo and many more. You can even personalize your donuts with the fillings! Vanilla and chocolate, along with lemon, cherry and raspberry can be hand-pumped into each donut at the time it’s ordered. Grab some local Joe Van Gogh coffee as well! Do yourself a favor and say YES to the biscuits! Early Bird Donuts is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to noon.
Use your Shop Durham card and get 10% off Tuesday/Wednesday & 5% off Thursday-Sunday
2816 Erwin Rd Suite 101, Durham, NC 27705
7. Loaf Bakery
From sweet Danishes to crème puffs, cinnamon buns, scones, and apple frittatas, there is no wrong choice ever when it comes to items at the Loaf Bakery. It’s more of a walk-in, walk-out establishment, so you’ll probably be taking it to go but you might just devour your pastries before you even get to your car.
111 W Parrish St, Durham, NC 27701
8. Ninth Street Bakery
You really can’t go wrong with this place. The pumpkin bar and the cruffin (a croissant and a muffin…I know!) are absolutely delectable. The bakery itself is a dream come true and you can smell the sweet goodness from a block away. Other things to try: Vegan coconut banana chocolate chip ball or the Sourdough French bread.
136 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
9. Foster’s Market
Foster’s is a Durham staple that is known for their scratch-made soups, salads, sandwiches, and casseroles. What I love about Foster’s Market is how convenient everything is. They make the simplest dishes extravagant and treat you like old-time friends.
2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707
10. Big C Waffles
Calling all chicken and waffle fans! ? And if you’re not, Big C Waffles just may make you one! They have 6 waffle flavors like donut, blueberry, red velvet, pecan, thin mint, and bacon, egg, and cheese. The chicken is incredible! Do yourself a favor and say ‘YES’ to the kool-aid! P.S. You can get 10% off a combo with your Shop Durham card.
Open from 11am-10pm Monday-Saturday and 11am-4pm Sunday for those breakfast cravings anytime! 9201, 2110 Allendown Dr, Durham, NC 27713
11. Bull and Bean
Bull and Bean is a great spot for breakfast, brunch, and lunch any day of the week. (You can’t beat their famous pulled pork hashbrowns!)
It’s also the place to get Bull City local finds from places like Durham Toffee, Feger Furnishings, Bulls of Durham. You can stock up on local honey and Big Spoon roasters peanut butter.
We love that they serve Counter Culture coffee and if you want to grab an iced coffee, the ice cubes are made from coffee so your drink doesn’t get watered down. Score!
You can get a free soup or cookie with the purchase of any full-size sandwich or salad with your Shop Durham card.
Location: 3710 Shannon Rd, Durham, NC 27707
Article and photos by our incredible contributor, Kaitlin Martin. Are you interested in writing for us? Check out this page!