In the heart of Durham lies a local spot that embodies what Bull City is all about: Beyù Caffè. It’s not just Beyù’s pronunciation (“be-you”), here—it’s a way of life. This institution welcomes you to come as you are and embrace your love for local. They’re serving up signature sips and inspired bites in an effortlessly cool atmosphere that’s Durham through and through. And, while they’re rooted in history, they’re always evolving with the times—helping them remain one of the city’s most beloved spots year after year.
Whether it’s old or new to you, here are our top five reasons to plan a visit to Beyù ASAP.
[Psst! Beyù Caffè is Offline Premium’s featured February partner, offering all Premium members $25 to spend at their DTD location. Not Premium yet? Join the waitlist or ask one of your cool friends for an invite.]
Beyù serves one of the meanest cup ‘o joes around. Treat yourself to one of their famously indulgent lattes like the Oprah Mocha ($4+), with both white and dark chocolate or the Runaway Latte ($4+), featuring sweet praline syrup, cayenne pepper and cinnamon—they’re the ultimate caffeine fix. Not only are all of their lattes delish, but they. are. GIANT. Not that we’re complaining in the slightest, but these babies def require a two-handed hug hold.
Beyond their extensive coffee offerings, Beyù’s also got a full bar, complete with local brews, vino and mixed drinks. Be sure to check out their cocktail menu, which offers only their most-popular, tried-and-true customer faves like the Bull City Punch ($10), a tropically-inspired concoction made with rum, pineapple and grenadine.
Offering three-squares a day, Beyù serves jazz-inspired, American fare around the clock. There’s all-day breakfast, plenty of gluten-free/vegan options, and their famous Jazzy Shrimp + Grits ($15) are even said to have won over the hearts of Durham’s most discerning NoLa transplants. And for the locals missing DTD’s Chicken and Waffle offerings, Beyù’s serving up their own spin on the southern classic: Chicken + Toast ($16) featuring homemade challah french toast (upgrade yourself to their sweet potato version for an extra couple bucks) and crispy chicken wings tossed in your choice of sauce. And save room for dessert—their Vegan Chocolate Mousse ($7.50) comes with a vegan coconut whipped cream that’ll have you licking the bowl clean.
Beyù has served as one of Durham’s key community gathering spots for nearly 10 years. You’ll find folks from all walks of life inside, and, as anyone will tell you, you’re about as likely to see a visiting DPAC performer as you are to see a local starving artist. It’s basically a big melting pot—and that’s just how owner Dorian Bolden wants it.
The backstory here? Following the loss of his father, Bolden quit his bougie Wall Street gig, returned to Durham, married his college sweetheart from Duke and started to pursue his passion. Bull City began to revitalize itself and, in 2009, Beyù was born. As a proud, Black small business owner and entrepreneur, Bolden’s made it his mission to provide a welcoming place for all, where everyone can be themselves, and enjoy some solid food and drink while they do so.
Despite their status as a Bull City institution, Beyù continues to grow and adapt to the ever-evolving downtown scene. A few years ago, they gave themselves a little facelift, revamping their look, and buying their own spot a couple doors down on Main Street. The address may have changed, but the feeling inside remains—it’s still the warm, intimate, and casually-bohemian cafe Durham has loved for the past 10+ years.
As the song goes, “the times they are a changin'.” So, in order to focus more on their dope coffee menu, Beyù no longer hosts live music on the reg. But don’t think for a second that that’s killed their vibe. The band does indeed play on (it’s just all digital now)—there’s always an on-point playlist running the background that keeps Beyù’s signature style going strong.
Another recent change? They’ve gotten rid of the standard table service, opting for quick and casual counter service. Saddle up to the front register, place your order and have a seat—they’ll still bring your food and bus your table. For longtime Beyù fans, this may take a little getting used to, but we swear it speeds things along and keeps the atmosphere chill.
Grab a coffee on-the-go or sit and stay a while. The WiFi signal is always strong and there’s plenty of space to cozy up with your laptop at get to work. In the evenings, the lights dim, transforming the interior’s exposed brick and rich velvet booths in the perfect date spot. Basically, with everything from dinner to dessert, cappuccinos to cocktails, it’s hard to conjure up a situation where a visit to Beyù wouldn’t be a good call.