You want coffee. I want coffee. But more than that, we want an experience. Durham residents love a good coffee experience and the Bull City offers variety.
This site gives you the vibes and details of different coffee shops in Durham, NC so you can select the experience that is right for you. Some listings here are pure coffee shops or cafes, and some are blended — coffee as well as food, beer, wine, etc. Reviews are not static, but are updated with our experiences each time we visit the shop for a cup of joe (or tea) . Please comment on your experiences and impressions!
For your convenience, the coffee shops are listed below in order of their distance from “Major”, the iconic bronze bull sculpture created by Liberty Arts artists Mike and Leah WallerFoushee, located at the heart of downtown Durham, and each shop is linked to its review.
Jeddah’s Tea – 322 feet from Major
Ninth Street Bakery – 350 feet from Major
The Oak House – 460 feet from Major
Beyú Caffè – 0.2 miles from Major
Foster Street Coffee – 0.3 miles from Major
Kaffeinate – 0.5 miles from Major
Cocoa Cinnamon OND – 0.5 miles from Major
Parker & Otis – 0.6 miles from Major
Nolia – 0.9 miles from Major
Joe Van Gogh Broad Street – 0.9 miles from Major
Joe Van Gogh West End – 0.9 miles from Major
Mad Hatter’s Café & Bakeshop – 1.3 miles from Major
Triangle Coffee House – 1.5 miles from Major
Cloche Coffee – 1.5 miles from Major
East Durham Bake Shop – 1.8 miles from Major
Saint & Co. Bakery & Café – 1.8 miles from Major
Cocoa Cinnamon Lakewood – 2.0 miles from Major
Cocoa Cinnamon Old West Durham – 2.1 miles from Major
Foster’s Market – 2.6 miles from Major
Guglhupf Bakery & Patisserie – 2.7 miles from Major
Saladelia Café – 4.3 miles from Major
Bull and Bean – 5.1 miles from Major
Joe Van Gogh Woodcroft – 6.5 miles from Major
Dulce Café – 6.6 miles from Major
Namu – 6.7 miles from Major
Bean Traders – 8.1 miles from Major
People’s Coffee – 8.2 miles from Major
Your comments and questions are welcomed and encouraged. Enjoy!
The Vibe: European, distinctive, sophisticated, intellectual
2.7 miles from “Major” – the heart of downtown Durham
2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham 27707
Hours: Mon Closed, Tue-Thur 8AM to 9:30PM, Fri-Sat 8AM to 10PM, Sun 9AM to 5PM
Click Here for a full review.
Kaffeinate – Closed Indefinitely
115A N Duke St, Durham 27701
0.5 miles from downtown Durham
Monday April 29, 2019
Kaffeinate is closed indefinitely due to the gas explosion that occurred on April 10th, which resulted in the destruction of the coffee shop and the tragic death of Kaffeinate’s owner, Kong Lee.
A GoFundMe campaign was set up by Callie Brauel, who identified herself as a friend of Diana Lee’s, the daughter of Kong.
Monday, December 18, 2018
It’s a Monday afternoon, the week before Christmas, and I’m at Kaffeinate, a small coffee shop in the Bright Leaf District of Durham.
Ten or 11 people are here, and though the single room coffee house can probably accommodate two or three times this number, it seems crowded. Despite this, today Kaffeinate is quiet. Everyone is working on a computer or reading, minding their own business. When people come in that are more social, they speak in hushed tones, maybe out of respect for the stillness?
The theme is black and white. What appears to be local art work adorns one of the walls. Large glass windows look out onto N. Duke St. The tables are small, nothing larger than a 4-top. Along with coffee and teas, Kaffeinate serves locally baked pastries and waffles.
Bright Leaf is a national historic district that encompasses over 20 buildings from the 1870s to the World War II period, most original warehouses, factories, and offices that supported Durham’s booming tobacco industry. These are massive, two- to four-story brick structures, some of which are fairly unique, including the Italianate style W. Duke Sons and Company Cigarette Factory (1884) and Romanesque Revival style buildings built by The American Tobacco Company. Washington Duke founded American Tobacco, which was one of of the original 12 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, in 1896.
Most of these unique buildings and those surrounding them have been converted to shops, restaurants (seafood, tacos and tequila, BBQ, noodle/dumpling shop), bars (including a pool hall/wine bar), and condos, creating a vibrant area with plenty of shopping, eating and drinking all within walking distance.
341 W Main St, Durham 27701
0.2 miles from downtown Durham
The Vibe: Sophisticated, hip, soulful and happening
Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:45 PM
As it describes itself on its website, Beyù Caffè (pronounced be-you) is a “combination of four business models in downtown Durham – coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and live jazz club.” The live jazz has moved on to Rhythms Live Music Hall (which also showcases other genres) in Durham’s Lakewood district, also home to Cocoa Cinnamon Lakewood, reviewed here. Beyù’s owner, who started Beyù after working at cafes in NYC and realizing his love of European coffee, is now able to focus “the business’ efforts and energy on its original passion and and scope–coffee.” He started out going to house parties with his “Heart and Soul” coffee blend to share his vision for Beyù! Welcome coffee lovers!!!
The coffee house part is what we’re talking about here but over the past ten years the synthesis of the three other elements have given this space its vibe, notably the bar component. Beyù has a sophisticated yet edgy and happening feel, and is more ethnically diverse than other coffee spaces in Durham.
Music is immediately noticeably as it’s playing at a level that causes you to listen to it. R&B, soul and neo soul tunes from Eryka Badu, Raphael Saadiq, and Q-Tip are playing today.
The café is spacious. A half wall separates one side of the café from the other, with the bar and small tables on one side, and the main dining and lounge area on the other. Wooden beams support high ceilings, set with vintage tin tiles. The walls are brick and the floors wooden, characteristic of the building’s mid-19th century lineage. The atmosphere is relaxing and warm, the décor is elegant, soft browns and reds, yet there is an up-beat tone that suggests this is the place to be.
Along with coffee and tea, Beyù has a full bar with signature cocktails, local beer on tap, and wine. So, if you want your experience to be more than coffee, it can be. You can ease into drinks, and if you desire, a full lunch or dinner (Beyù also offers breakfast, and brunch both Saturday and Sundays).
And finally, there’s the jazz component, which lingers…it doesn’t feel like a jazz club during the day, but you can easily see when evening sets, lights dimmed, and table candles lit, how Beyù seamlessly morphed into a club setting.
Beyù Caffè has got it all, whatever you may be looking for. A hip, soulful place located on Main Street in the heart of downtown Durham. If for whatever reason you can’t find what you’re looking for here, it’s probably just a short walk away.
Saint & Co. Bakery & Café
810 9th St Suite 130, Durham, NC 27705
1.8 miles from downtown Durham
Wednesday, May 22 2019
I tried visiting this cafe today after hearing so many good things about it. Unfortunately, I got here too late, as the owners apparently were late paying the rent, and as of 4/3/2019.
Coming soon, reviews of . . .
Parker & Otis
112 S. Duke Street, Durham 27701
0.6 miles from downtown Durham
2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham 27707
2.6 miles from downtown Durham
1004 Morning Glory Ave, Durham 27701
0.9 miles from downtown Durham
123 Market St., Suite A, Durham 27701
322 feet from “Major” the bull – the heart of downtown Durham
Please let us know if we should add others to the list!