The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Durham
Photo by kgamelier

The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Durham

By John Huisman
Wednesday, Mar 07 2018

Durham is known for being a foodie town proudly serving up some of the best food and drinks in the South so it should be no surprise that baristas in the Bull City know how to bring strong coffee game. Whether you're just looking for a quiet place to escape and enjoy a latte or are on the hunt for the best donut and coffee combo, the Durham coffee shop scene has it all. Here are the Durham coffee shops every coffee lover should have on their bucket list!  

Have your Cup a Joe from a Jar at Bean Traders at Bean Traders
Photo by @rdubrews

Bean Traders

Bean traders is a fan favorite in Durham and with good reason. This shop has it all with a large seating area, great food options, and a huge drink menu featuring delicious coffee drinks, tea, milkshakes and creative concoctions like their seasonal cascara cold brew and the popular chocolate habanero. They roast their own coffee here and offer baked goods from local vendors and create some of their own like fresh quiche, waffles and pies oh my!. This is a popular hangout so get there early to grab your favorite seat! This shop has a real neighborhoods vibe and more often than not you will find one of the owners on the espresso machine slinging some of the best latte art in the Triangle.

Have your Cup a Joe from a Jar at Bean Traders
$   .  Bean Traders   .  Durham
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[CLOSED] Appreciate the Art of the Latte at Kaffeinate at Kaffeinate
Photo by @kaffeinatenc


Kaffeinate is a welcome recent addition to the Durham Coffee scene and a much needed spot along the Brightleaf area of downtown Durham. Known for its chill vibe, strong wifi and artfully crafted coffee it has quickly become a favorite place for local students to meet up with friends and get work done. They source their beans from Dilworth Coffee but also feature rotating guest roasters. They are also know for getting creative with their drink menu offering unique options like the popular lavender vanilla latte and a purple sweet potato latte. With lots of natural lighting and plenty of tables Kaffeinate is the perfect spot to spend and afternoon meeting with old friends and just pouring over a book while sipping a new drink for inspiration.

[CLOSED] Appreciate the Art of the Latte at Kaffeinate
$   .  Kaffeinate   .  Durham
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Enjoy Signature Roasts & Churros at Cocoa Cinnamon at Cocoa Cinnamon (Lakewood)
Photo by @nutellaisevil

Cocoa Cinnamon +140 fire icon

Cocoa Cinnamon’s Lakewood shop is their third location and serves as the headquarters for 4th Dimension Coffee roasting, the operation that supplies coffee beans for all their shops. No visit to this location is complete without an order of freshly made hot churros to dip in your latte or sipping chocolate. The shop has a spacious community vibe and ample seating for large groups. Keep an eye out for their special coffee cupping events and creative seasonal menu items like their Mayan-inspired hot chocolate and a harvest latte. Make sure you explore all three locations in Durham including the original Geer Street and Hillsborough Road locations. Each has their own cool vibe and creative drink menu.

Enjoy Signature Roasts & Churros at Cocoa Cinnamon
$   .  Cocoa Cinnamon (Lakewood)   .  Durham
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Enjoy Local Brews + Signature Korean Dishes at Namu  at Namu
Photo by @td_fruitislife


Namu is a true hidden gem in Durham. It can be a little hard tucked behind some stores along a service road off Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, but those who seek it out will be rewarded with a coffee lovers paradise. Part coffee shop part Korean restaurant the amazing space at Namu has everything you need for the perfect coffee date. The spacious and beautiful location has an amazing assortment of indoor and outdoor seating featuring an indoor fire-pit and some of the best outdoor seating around. The massive patio even has a zen bamboo garden where you can quitely sip your latte. In addition to a full coffee and espresso menu Namu has an extensive food menu featuring belgian waffles and some of the best Korean street food around.

Enjoy Local Brews + Signature Korean Dishes at Namu
$   .  Namu   .  Durham
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Grab a Caffeine Pick-Me-Up at Joe van Gogh at Joe Van Gogh
Photo by @berahthraben

Joe van Gogh

Joe Van Gogh has three great location across Durham where you can always get the perfect cup of coffee and an expertly made latte using their beans roasted just down the road at the roastery in Hillsborough. All three locations offer a welcoming environment with lots of natural light making them popular spots among students and entrepreneurs looking for a great place to get some work done or enjoying a respite from their busy day and enjoying a book. Each shop offers selection of locally sourced pastries and baked goods. For those looking to grab some beans to brew at home each Joe Van Gogh location has a handy self serve coffee bean display where where can scoop and bag their freshly roasted coffee beans for purchase.

Grab a Caffeine Pick-Me-Up at Joe van Gogh
$   .  Joe Van Gogh   .  Durham
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Enjoy Sweet and Savory Slices at The Pie Hole at The Pie Hole
Photo by @pieholedurham

The Pie Hole

There are few things in life that go together better than coffee and pie. The Pie Hole is the place to go for delicious pies in Durham but did you know they serve up a mean cup of joe to go with those yummy slices of heaven? The pie case here is always full of delicious sweet and savory pies and rotating seasonal offerings. The Cereal Killer and Earl Grey Pies among the most popular and go great with a fresh brewed cup of coffee. You can make it a meal by tring check one of their savory options like the Chicken Pot Pie or Macaroni Pie. If you visit in the evening and want to add a little adventure to your coffee experience try one of their tasty spiked coffee drinks.

Enjoy Sweet and Savory Slices at The Pie Hole
$   .  The Pie Hole   .  Durham
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Pedal Your Way to Monuts Donuts at Monuts Donuts
Photo by @lindaeatsworld

Monuts Donuts

Come for the donuts but stay for the coffee. Monuts Donuts on Ninth Street is a must visit for any donut and coffee fan. Their huge coffee bar set up in the center of the restaurant is the perfect spot to grab a seat and take in all the action. Monuts is a popular spot, but regulars know that you can avoid the long line to order and just grab a seat at the bar and order your donuts and coffee directly from the barista. Using beans from Counter Culture coffee the baristas here know how to pull a great shot of espresso. Somehow the coffee tastes even better when paired with an apple cider or maple bacon donut. They may be famous for their donuts, but they also have an impressive menu of delicious salads and sandwiches with weekly specials making Monuts the perfect place to for a coffee or lunch date.

Pedal Your Way to Monuts Donuts
$   .  Monuts Donuts   .  Durham
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The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Durham
The Complete Guide to the Best Coffee Shops in Durham