Need some fresh air? Here are 15 of the best patios and rooftop bars in Durham.

It took a while, but patio season has finally landed in Durham. Here’s where you’ll find us eating and drinking outside.


They have a gorgeous bamboo garden topped off with a water fountain and koi pond, tons of outdoor seating that is pet and kid friendly. Now for the food. We can’t rave enough about their Korean eats. We 100% recommend the the Bo fries and spicy pork mandoo. Dogs are also allow inside their beer hall.

Location: 5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

Photo: @namudurham


Guglhupf is pure magic. Their German-style bakery, serves up breads, pastries, and desserts, they’re an award-winning local favorite. You can also grab brunch, lunch, and dinner at their cafe and biergarten that features cuisine with southern German roots, emphasizing local and seasonal ingredients. They do all of them to perfection. We love their outdoor seating that’s accompanied by a water foundation and tons of greenery.

Must order: Eggs Benedict, pancakes

Location: 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707


Shop Durham Offers

Cafe + Bakery: Free 12oz drip coffee with a $15 purchase. Valid Tues – Fri, Bakery + Cafe hours only.

Biergarten: Free single Brotzeit w/ purchase of 2 Small Plates or 1 Large Plate. Valid Tues – Thurs.

Guglhupf durham nc bakeries

Eastcut Sandwich Bar

Eastcut is a great, unique spot outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown. Their menu features sandwiches, salads, burgers, and wings. Must-try sandwiches include the Buff Chick and Cheese-Fry Steak Hero. Their greenhouse patio in the back is top notch- heated in the winter and cool in the summer. Pro tip: Use your Shop Durham card to get 25% off wings 5-7pm.

Address: 3211 Old Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707

Geer Street Garden

This renovated former gas station, Geer Street Garden, has an awesome patio for grabbing lunch or soaking up the warm weather with a beer. There’s plenty of picnic tables with a mostly shaded area and fans. You can’t go wrong with the all you can eat Sunday brunch and build your own bloody mary bar.

Location: 644 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701

Tobacco Road Sports Cafe

A prime spot during baseball season, this patio overlooks the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. So you can catch a game or the fireworks on Friday nights during home games. They serve updated American pub grub. If you’re into sports, this is the spot for you- they’ve got TVs galore.

Location: 280 S Mangum St #100, Durham, NC 27701


Named a “Next Level Brewery” by Food & Wine, you’d be hard pressed to find a beer you don’t like at Ponysaurus. Their outdoor area is dog and kiddo friendly so it’s a great spot to bring the family. They don’t serve full meals but they have a great selection of bar snacks and you can usually find a food truck or two parked outside. OR you can bring your own food and fire it up on the grill. 

Location: 219 Hood St, Durham, NC 27701

Photo: Ponysaurus

Gonza Tacos Y Tequila

The overall ambiance of Gonza is amazing. Tucked beside West Village Apartments, you get the feel of those historic Brightleaf buildings, plus the string lights and food. It’s all on point.

Location: 604 Fernway Ave, Durham, NC 27701

gonza tacos y tequila durham date night ideas

Parker and Otis

Life would be much duller without Parker & Otis. I always find something so very ‘Durham’ here and a greeting card that makes me laugh out loud. This is the perfect place for an afternoon pick-me-up. They have a beautiful, large, shaded outdoor seating area.

Location: 112 S Duke St, Durham, NC 27701

parker and otis durham nc
Parker and Otis

The Durham Hotel Rooftop

You’re not a Durhamite until you get a photo from the rooftop of the Durham Hotel, am I right? This mid-century modern hotel in the heart of downtown isn’t just somewhere for out of town guests to stay, it’s also frequented by locals for the coffee bar, restaurant, and rooftop bar. Get some of the best views of Durham and some of the best cocktails. You can even catch a yoga class up here!

Location: 315 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

Unscripted Hotel

Unscripted is the perfect place to soak in the sunset. The former Jack Tar Motor Lodge has a spacious rooftop patio with a pool. You feel like you’re on vacation when you can sit poolside with a cocktail in hand!

Location: 202 Corcoran St, Durham, NC 27701

Unscripted Hotel


Grub was once a full-service, gas station that transformed into a restaurant, and now they’re filling our bellies with food we love. They won us over with their southern breakfast menu and they stole our hearts with Mississippi Mud Pie. (Their lunch, dinner, drinks, and Taco Tuesday’s are amazing as well!) If you’ve been in Durham for any amount of time you know by now that rooftop patios are essential. We like our dinner and drinks with a view. Grub has a great rooftop deck (it’s shaded!)

Location: 3002, 1200 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

Photo: @dawnelizabeth

Parts & Labor

Parts and Labor serves food truck-like fare that you can eat in their garage bar or at the picnic tables on their patio. We love their small plates that are available at affordable prices. So you can get a quick afternoon snack or get several different items like german pretzels, beer battered cheese curds, and cheese burger sliders. They have large outdoor eating area, where you can sit in the sun or in the shade!

Location: 723 Rigsbee Ave, Durham, NC 27701

Photo: @jeffersonross

Bull City Ciderworks

Using apples from a family-owned orchard, Bull City Ciderworks crafts hard ciders in the heart of Downtown Durham. You don’t even have to wait for it to heat up to enjoy their outdoor space. They have an awesome fire pit to keep you warm & cozy. Because what’s better than hanging by the fire with some crisp cider?

Location: 305 S Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27701

Photo: Instagram @bullcityciderworks

Foster’s Market

Foster’s is a Durham staple that is known for their scratch-made soups, salads, sandwiches, and casseroles. Be sure to check out their desserts as well. They have at least a dozen pies, cakes, or baked goods variety on any given day. They have plenty of picnic tables and outdoor seating making it the perfect spot to enjoy that piece of pie.

Location: 2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

Foster’s Market- Photo: Katelyn Belch, Best of the Bull

Cocoa Cinnamon (Geer St)

We may have mentioned a time or two how much we love Cocoa Cinnamon. They have 3 locations and each has it’s own unique vibe. When it warms up we love coming to the Geer Street location for their patio. The inside is cozy with a mix of tables and couches, and the outdoor patio is perfect when the weather warms up. Their outdoor seating consists of plenty tables and benches, and we love that there is a shaded area as well. It’s also walking distance to Motorco, The Mothership, Fullsteam, and King’s Sandwich Shop so you can make an afternoon out of it!

Location: 420 W Geer St, Durham, NC 27701

Photo: Gabriel Guillory

Honorable mention: Tyler’s Taproom in American Tobacco Campus was a part of this list but sadly, they recently announced they are closing in the next couple of weeks. (Update 4/10/19)

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