Sometimes you just need some fresh air! The food just tastes so much better, and the local craft beer tastes fresher when you are able to enjoy it outdoors. Here in Durham, we are fortunate to have mild weather for most of the year. Sure, there are times during the summer when the blazing sun chases you indoors to bond with your air conditioner, but on most days and nights, you will find Durham-ites enjoying an al fresco meal at a local restaurant or cafe before a show at DPAC or a Durham Bulls game.

Here are our top seven spots for outdoor dining in the Bull City:

Parts & Labor

Parts & Labor is located right next to Motorco, a popular live music venue. When the weather calls for it, the folks at Parts & Labor throw open the garage door, and the patrons spill out into the many picnic tables on the patio. This restaurant has a friendly vibe and offers dishes to satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike!

Parker & Otis

Even if it’s a little too warm outside, you can still enjoy a fresh cup of coffee on the covered deck at Parker & Otis. After you enjoy the outside, check out the inside, where you will find unique gifts and food items to take home.

Guglhupf Bakery & Patisserie

Looking for a different al fresco experience? The outdoor seating area of Guglhupf Bakery & Patisserie is quite whimsical! Enjoy a delicious danish while feasting your eyes on unique outdoor art pieces.

Geer Street Garden

Geer Street Garden is a fantastic place to meet a group of friends for food and drinks. The menu features traditional pub fare, along with unique items such as the Fried Chicken & Sourdough Waffle. The outdoor patio has plenty of picnic tables and is dog-friendly as well.

Grub Durham

Grub Durham is a large, welcoming space that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy your meal on the patio or up top on the popular rooftop. Try the West End Grit Bowl or the Cubano Burger!

Vin Rouge

Vin Rouge is a French Bistro that’s inviting on the inside and the outside. The covered patio is the perfect place to share a plate of NC Oysters paired perfectly with white wine. Is there any better way to spend a summer evening in Durham? Probably not.

Tobacco Road Sports Cafe

Perhaps one of the most unique and popular outdoor dining spaces belongs to Tobacco Road Sports Cafe. Its patio overlooks the Durham Bulls Athletic Park so you can catch a great ballgame while enjoying fresh, local beers and tasty pub fare.

Can’t get a ballpark-side seat at Tobacco Road Sports Cafe? No worries – grab a ticket (they are very affordable) and head to The Bullpen for pre-game beers and bites on the patio. Another option for pre-game eats and outdoor shenanigans is Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom, located right next door in the American Tobacco Historic District. Be sure to check out the cool water features before heading to the Durham Bulls game!

So what are some of your favorite restaurants with outdoor dining in Durham? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Downtown Durham Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN