North Carolina is a wonderful place to live if you enjoy al fresco dining! Especially during the early summer and fall when it’s not too humid. Durham has a lot of options when it comes to outdoor eating, including lawns, patios, rooftop decks, and fire pits. Check out my list of the best places for outdoor dining in Durham below…
American Tobacco Campus
Downtown Durham – 318 Blackwell St.
Outdoor perk: The energy during game nights and being able to listen to live music under the tower during their Back Porch Music on the Lawn Series on Thursday nights. Restaurants include Basan, Mellow Mushroom, Only Burger and more!
Alpaca Peruvian Chicken
Ninth Street – 703A Ninth St.
Outdoor perk: Large side patio area convenient to Duke and all the 9th Street happenings.
Bull City Burger and Brewery
Downtown Durham – 107 E. Parrish St.
Outdoor perk: Patio is tucked in between buildings so it’s quiet and off the street.
Ninth Street- 737 9th St. #220
Outdoor perk: Large screen TVs outside so you’ll never miss a big game.
Downtown Durham – 427 W. Main St.
Outdoor perk: A large grassy lawn for friends and family to hang out; also they’re building a spot for snookball.
Downtown vicinity – 420 W. Geer St. and 2627 Hillsborough Rd.
Outdoor perk: It’s where all the artsy, cool people hang out and you’ll probably always run into someone you know.
Hope Valley Bar and Grill
Woodcraft area- 4810 Hope Valley Rd.
Outdoor perk: Nice large patio with umbrellas for good shade on sunny days.
Downtown Durham- 200 N. Mangum St.
Outdoor perk: Patio tucked between buildings is quiet and off the street.
The Durham Hotel
Downtown Durham – 315 E. Chapel Hill St.
Outdoor perk: The rooftop bar is the best place to see the Bull City from above! Get some of their delicious small plates and drinks while you’re up there.
Bright leaf area – 914 W. Main St.
Outdoor perk: Central location within walking distance to Duke.
15/501- 2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.
Outdoor perk: One reader says her favorite time to go is in the spring when the wisteria is blooming. It’s another little oasis off the main road.
Geer St. Garden
Geer St.- 644 Foster St.
Outdoor perk: Globe lights create a pretty effect on the outdoor patio which is perfect for casual family-style seating.
Gonza Tacos y Tequila
West Village – 604 Fernway Ave.
Outdoor perk: Dog-friendly, large outdoor patio tucked between brick buildings at West Village.
Brightleaf area – 910 W. Main St.
Outdoor perk: Great spot for people-watching on the patio.
West End – 1200 W. Chapel Hill St.
Outdoor perk: Fantastic rooftop patio!
15/501 – 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.
Outdoor perk: Funky sunken patio that’s set back off the main road and feels like its own oasis.
Happy + Hale
Ninth Street – 703 9th St.
Outdoor perk: Open-air style design from the restaurant to the patio where you can sit and people watch.
Southpoint – 8128 Renaissance Pkwy, Suite 114
Outdoor perk: Nice tables and chairs with ample space in front of the restaurant and a good spot after shopping.
Ninth Street – 737 9th St. #210
Outdoor perk: Large elevated and comfortable patio in a central location on 9th St. Fire pits and space heaters are out there too.
Lakewood area – 2022 Chapel Hill Rd.
Outdoor perk: Classy rooftop dining area.
Motorco/Parts & Labor
Geer St. area – 723 Rigsbee Ave.
Outdoor perk: Indoor/outdoor casual dining on picnic tables beneath string lights.
Ninth Street Bakery
Downtown Durham – 136 E. Chapel Hill St.
Outdoor perk: Central downtown location where you can people watch the five points area.
Oval Park Grille
Broad Street – 1116 Broad St.
Outdoor perk: Large covered patio in a part of Durham that’s quieter than downtown.
Parker & Otis
Brightleaf Square area – 112 S. Duke St.
Outdoor perk: Funky layered decks provide plenty of seating and sometimes live music.
The Patio at Unscripted Hotel
Downtown DurhamThe Pit
Geer St. – 321 W. Geer St.
Outdoor perk: Outdoor seating great for people watching around this busy part of town. They also have a roof deck occasionally open to the public.
Hope Valley Commons – NC Highway 54
Outdoor perk: There’s always parking available at this location so you can easily enjoy a pizza under the patio umbrellas.
Downtown Durham – 102 City Hall Plaza
Outdoor perk: Nice central corner patio on a main street.
Saltbox Seafood Joint
Downtown Durham – 608 N. Mangum St.
Outdoor perk: There’s nothing like eating fresh, perfectly fried seafood on outdoor picnic tables (but be warned – most days it’s very busy!)
* Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite outdoor dining spot in Durham!
Photos: Tommie Watson Photography