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Durham’s Best Brunch, Breakfast & Coffee Shops

Whether you’re a local craving the best brunch in Durham or a visitor looking for a cosy café, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up Durham’s best breakfast, brunch, and coffee haunts – from classic English breakfasts to trendy avocado toast and expertly-brewed coffee. Get ready to discover brunch spots Durham locals and visitors will love!

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Where To Get Breakfast In Durham

Our Top Picks For Coffee, Breakfast & Brunch In Durham

1. Flat White Kitchen

Flat White Kitchen

Flat White Kitchen feels effortlessly trendy, perfect for grabbing a fantastic coffee on-the-go or settling down for a leisurely brunch. Set in a beautiful old townhouse, warm lighting and rustic wooden tables create a cosy yet spacious atmosphere. While their brunch menu features all the classics – think eggs benedict and pancakes – we loved their focus on fresh, local ingredients that elevate familiar dishes. The coffee is superb; expertly made, and with a selection of speciality roasts for the coffee aficionados.

Service here is warm and efficient, without being overbearing. The space can get busy, especially on weekends, but it adds to the vibrant atmosphere. Value-wise, Flat White Kitchen sits comfortably in the mid-range, and the quality of the food justifies the price tag. It’s a clear contender for the best brunch in Durham!

  • Best for: Quality brunch and coffee
  • Dish to Order: Avocado toast with poached eggs 
  • Address: 17 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU, UK 
  • Rating: 4/5 
  • Price: £££ 
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://flatwhitekitchen.com/

2. Cafédral Durham

Cafédral Durham

Stepping into Cafédral feels like discovering a hidden gem. Tucked away above the bustling street, it offers a tranquil, almost sanctuary-like atmosphere with its soft lighting and gentle music. We found the focus here lies squarely on quality coffee and specialty teas, accompanied by a selection of homemade cakes and pastries. Their breakfast and brunch menu leans towards lighter fare – think pastries, fruit bowls, and toast with various toppings. It’s a lovely spot for a relaxing cuppa and a bite.

The service at Cafédral is friendly and unobtrusive. Prices are reasonable for the city centre location. While the food selection is somewhat limited for a full breakfast or brunch, the quality of the beverages and the serene ambience more than make up for it.

  • Best for: Speciality coffee and relaxing atmosphere
  • Dish to Order: Pastry and a cappuccino
  • Address: 1 First Floor, Owengate, Durham DH1 3HB, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://cafedraldurham.co.uk/

3. Riverview Kitchen

Riverview Kitchen

Riverview Kitchen offers a delightful brunch experience with a side of scenic views and is a great spot to refresh for anyone on a riverwalk around Durham. Expect classic breakfast dishes executed well, like fluffy pancakes and a satisfying full English. You’ll find a selection of brunch favourites alongside hearty sandwiches and their excellent coffee. With both indoor and outdoor seating, this welcoming café is perfect for a weekend catch-up – though be prepared for a wait during peak times.

The friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere add to the charm at Riverview Kitchen. Prices are fair considering the portion sizes and quality. If you’re looking for one of the most beautiful brunch places in Durham, Riverview is worth checking out.

  • Best for: Classic brunch with river views
  • Dish to Order: Eggs benedict
  • Address: 20 Silver St, Durham DH1 3RB, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: Facebook Page

4. Leonard’s Coffee House

Leonard’s Coffee House

If you’re serious about your coffee, Leonard’s Coffee House is a must-visit. They offer a thoughtfully curated selection of single-origin beans and expert brewing, making it the perfect spot for coffee enthusiasts. You’ll find a small but satisfying selection of pastries and light breakfast items to accompany your beverage. The atmosphere here is warm and inviting, with a mix of students and locals enjoying their morning cup. Just keep in mind, seating can be limited, especially during peak hours.

Leonard’s stands out for its unpretentious focus on quality coffee. While not a full-fledged brunch destination, their dedication to the craft and cosy setting make it a lovely choice for a coffee-centric morning treat. Without doubt Leonard’s is one of the best coffee shops in Durham.

  • Best for: Speciality coffee and relaxed vibes
  • Dish to Order: Pastry and a pour-over
  • Address: 1 Back Silver St, Durham DH1 3RA, UK
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: They do not take reservations

5. Waffley Good Company

Waffley Good Company

If you’re looking for a fun and quirky brunch experience, Waffley Good Company is the place to go. Their menu is a waffle wonderland, with a huge variety of sweet and savoury topping combinations. Whether you’re craving a breakfast-inspired waffle with bacon and eggs or a dessert-like creation piled with fruit and ice cream, you’re sure to find something tempting. The cheerful atmosphere adds to the experience, though it can get crowded, especially on weekends.

Waffley Good Company sets itself apart with its creative waffle dishes and generous portions. While a bit on the pricey side for brunch, it’s a worthwhile treat for waffle lovers and offers arguably the best brunch in Durham for anyone looking to satisfy a sweet tooth.

  • Best for: Unique waffles and sweet treats
  • Dish to Order: Fruity-Gran (Fresh fruit, granola, and syrup)
  • Address: 95 Elvet Bridge, Durham, DH1 3AG, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://waffleygoodcompany.com/

6. Glady’s Vintage Tea Room

Glady’s Vintage Tea Room

Glady’s Vintage Tea Room offers a delightful escape to a bygone era. Stepping inside feels like stepping onto a 1940s film set, with vintage china, floral tablecloths, and nostalgic music. If you’re looking for a charming spot for a classic afternoon tea experience, this is it. Their selection of sandwiches, cakes, and teas is delightful, and the warm hospitality makes the experience even sweeter.

While primarily known for its afternoon tea, Glady’s does offer a small selection of breakfast dishes. Prices are a little steep, but the unique atmosphere and generous portions help justify the cost. Keep in mind that Glady’s is located in Seaton Carew, not Durham city itself.

  • Best for: Nostalgic afternoon tea experience
  • Dish to Order: Afternoon Tea for Two
  • Address: 6 The Front, Seaton Carew, Hartlepool TS25 1BS, UK
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: Their Facebook page or use a service like OpenTable

7. Chapters of Durham

Chapters of Durham

Step into Chapters of Durham for a classic tea room experience with a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely afternoon tea or a quick coffee and a bite, you’ll find a selection of fresh sandwiches, homemade cakes, and a wide variety of teas to choose from. Their attention to dietary needs is impressive, offering a delightful range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

While the food is consistently tasty, the service at Chapters can be a bit inconsistent, sometimes efficient and sometimes a little slow. Prices are reasonable for the quality and portion sizes. If you’re seeking a traditional tea room experience with a focus on accommodating various dietary needs, Chapters is worth trying out.

  • Best for: Traditional tea with dietary options
  • Dish to Order: Vegan afternoon tea
  • Address: 19a Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU, UK
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: http://www.chapterstearooms.co.uk/

8. Cafe Cenno

Cafe Cenno

Located in the heart of Durham’s Market Hall, Cafe Cenno offers a vibrant setting for breakfast, brunch, or a coffee break. Their menu covers all the classics, from full English breakfasts to lighter options like toast and pastries. We found the coffee well-made and the food fresh and satisfying. Expect a bustling atmosphere, especially during market days – adding to the charm of the experience.

While service at Cafe Cenno can occasionally be slow during peak times, the friendly staff and reasonable prices make up for it. If you’re looking where to get breakfast in Durham and prefer a casual spot with a lively market atmosphere and good hearty fare, Cafe Cenno is worth a try.

  • Best for: Market brunch and quality coffee
  • Dish to Order: Full English breakfast
  • Address: Durham Market Hall, Market Pl, Durham DH1 3NJ, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: They do not take reservations

9. Vennels Cafe

Vennels Cafe

Vennels Cafe offers a unique experience where history meets homestyle flavours. Tucked away near Durham Cathedral, its exposed beams and cosy nooks exude a timeless charm. Expect fresh, light breakfast fare, homemade soups, and delicious baked goods alongside their selection of coffee and teas. The warmth of the staff adds to the welcoming atmosphere.

Be prepared for limited seating, especially during peak hours, as the historic building has its space constraints. Nevertheless, Vennels’ blend of atmosphere, quality homemade food, and central location make it a lovely option for a casual breakfast or coffee break imbued with Durham’s rich history.

  • Best for: Historic setting, homemade food
  • Dish to Order: Soup and a freshly baked roll
  • Address: 54 Saddler St, Durham DH1 3NU, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://vennels.com/

10. Treats Cafe and Tea Room

Treats Cafe and Tea Room

If you’re looking for a classic tea room experience, Treats Cafe is the place to go. They offer a delightful selection of loose-leaf teas, sweet treats, and freshly made sandwiches – perfect for a leisurely brunch or a special occasion. The cosy atmosphere and vintage touches add to the overall charm. While their main focus is afternoon tea, they do offer a smaller breakfast menu with traditional favorites.

Treats Cafe excels in accommodating dietary needs, with thoughtful vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. The warm service and attention to detail make the experience feel even more special. Be aware that prices are on the higher side, but the quality and overall experience justify the cost. If you want the best brunch in Durham, Treats may be your perfect choice.

  • Best for: Afternoon tea with dietary options
  • Dish to Order: Gluten-free afternoon tea
  • Address: 27-28 Silver St, Durham DH1 3RD, UK
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: £££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://treatstearoom.co.uk/

11. The Coffee House Durham

The Coffee House Durham

The Coffee House Durham is a haven for coffee enthusiasts. You’ll find a carefully curated selection of beans, expertly brewed to your preference. While they offer a small selection of pastries and light breakfast items, the focus is squarely on quality coffee and a relaxed atmosphere. The cosy interior makes it a great spot to catch up with a friend or simply savour a well-made cuppa.

The Coffee House stands out with its dedication to coffee excellence. If you’re looking for a satisfying coffee break, this spot is worth checking out. Be prepared for limited seating indoors, especially during peak times. It’s popular because it is one of the best coffee shops in Durham.

  • Best for: Speciality coffee and relaxed vibes
  • Dish to Order: Pastry and a flat white
  • Address: 40 Elvet Bridge, Durham DH1 3AF, UK
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: They do not take reservations

12. Whitechurch

Whitechurch

Whitechurch offers something for everyone when it comes to breakfast/brunch and also features in our list of best places to eat in Durham. Their menu features a tempting mix of classic dishes alongside more adventurous, globally-inspired fare. Expect beautifully presented plates and fresh flavours. We enjoyed their coffee and selection of pastries as a light breakfast. The atmosphere is relaxed, leaning towards a modern bistro vibe.

While the food consistently impresses, service at Whitechurch can be inconsistent. If you’re not in a rush, you’ll enjoy the quality of the cuisine and the variety of options. Prices are fair considering the quality of the ingredients and the central location. It’s a real contender for the best brunch in Durham. It also offers a quality range of burgers too!

  • Best for: Creative brunch dishes, quality ingredients
  • Dish to Order: Eggs Benedict with a twist
  • Address: 29 Church Street Head, Durham, County Durham, DH1 3DN, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://whitechurchdurham.com/

13. Undercroft Restaurant

Undercroft Restaurant

If you are looking for where to get breakfast in Durham that offers a unique experience, step into the Undercroft Restaurant, nestled within historic Durham Cathedral. You’ll find a menu of light breakfast items, freshly baked scones, and quality coffee and tea served amidst the cathedral’s beautiful architecture. While not a traditional brunch spot with extensive offerings, the atmosphere is unmatched, making it a memorable place to start your day.

The friendly staff and relaxed ambiance add to the charm of the Undercroft Restaurant. Prices are reasonable considering the location. If you’re seeking a breakfast or coffee break steeped in history, this is a delightful spot to add to your Durham itinerary. Undercroft is an ideal place to start the day if you are planning a trip around Durham Cathedral.

  • Best for: Breakfast with historical atmosphere
  • Dish to Order: Scone with jam and clotted cream
  • Address: The College, Durham DH1 3EH, UK (within Durham Cathedral)
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: Reservations generally not required, but check the Cathedral’s website for special events or closures: https://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/

14. CoHo

CoHo

CoHo Durham offers a relaxed riverside setting for breakfast and brunch. Their menu features a mix of classic brunch dishes alongside some creative twists. We enjoyed their coffee and the selection of pastries for a light breakfast. The outdoor seating area is particularly lovely on a sunny day, offering views of Durham Castle and the Cathedral.

While the food is satisfying, service at CoHo can sometimes be inconsistent. If you’re not in a rush, you’ll enjoy their riverside location and casual atmosphere. Prices fall in the mid-range for Durham.

  • Best for: Riverside brunch with casual vibes
  • Dish to Order: Avocado toast with poached eggs
  • Address: Freemans Pl, Durham DH1 1SL, UK
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: https://cohodurham.com/

15. The Pancake Cafe

The Pancake Cafe

If you’re a pancake enthusiast, The Pancake Cafe in Durham is a must-visit. Their menu is a pancake lover’s dream, with a huge variety of sweet and savoury options to satisfy every craving. We found our pancakes to be fluffy and flavourful, and the portion sizes were generous. The quirky decor and cosy atmosphere add to the cafe’s charm.

The Pancake Cafe stands out for its commitment to inclusivity, offering an impressive range of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free pancake options. While service can occasionally be slow, the unique menu and generous portions make up for it.

  • Best for: Creative pancakes, dietary options
  • Dish to Order: Buckwheat pancake with savoury toppings
  • Address: 4 Crossgate, Durham DH1 4PR, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: ££
  • For table reservations, please visit: http://www.thegeorgiantownhousedurham.co.uk/cafe/

16. Bagel Break Deli and Cafe

Bagel Break Deli and Cafe

For a satisfying bagel-centric breakfast or brunch, Bagel Break Deli and Cafe is a Durham staple. They offer a variety of fresh bagels with classic fillings – we particularly enjoyed their cream cheese variations and selection of pastries. The coffee is decent, and the atmosphere is unfussy and welcoming – perfect for a casual bite.

Bagel Break stands out for its friendly service and excellent value for money. If you’re looking for a quick, tasty, and affordable breakfast or brunch spot, especially near Durham University, this deli-style cafe is a solid choice. If you want something cheap, quick and delicious, this may be the best brunch in Durham for you.

  • Best for: Bagels and affordable breakfast
  • Dish to Order: Classic bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon
  • Address: 61 N Rd, Durham DH1 4SF, UK
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Price: £
  • For table reservations, please visit: They do not take reservations

17. The Neighbourhood

The Neighbourhood

Located within Hotel Indigo, The Neighbourhood offers a casual, modern spot for coffee and light breakfast fare. They have a selection of pastries, sandwiches, and freshly brewed coffee alongside a range of other beverages. The open, inviting space is perfect if you want a central location to meet a friend or get some work done.

While the food options are somewhat limited for a full brunch, The Neighbourhood’s convenient location and relaxed ambience make it a decent option for a casual coffee break. Be aware that service can be a bit inconsistent during peak times. Prices are in line with other coffee shops in the area. If you are wondering where to get breakfast in Durham, The Neighbourhood is a fantastic option.

18. Broom House Farm

Broom House Farm

Broom House Farm offers a hearty taste of the countryside with its farm-to-table breakfast and brunch dishes. Their menu features classic breakfast favorites with high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. We particularly enjoyed the full English breakfast with their own farm-raised sausages. The coffee shop offers decent coffee and pastries for lighter fare. The setting, with its rustic charm and views of the farm, adds to the overall experience.

If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast and a touch of farm life, Broom House Farm is worth a visit. The relaxed atmosphere is welcoming, though service can be slow during busy periods. Given its popularity, reservations are recommended. Plus there’s always plenty of parking on site.

FAQ

What are the best breakfast places in Durham? 

This depends on your preferences but we recommend Flat White Kitchen as number 1, Riverview Kitchen, and Waffley Good Company are also good for unique and delicious breakfasts. For classic dishes with a farm-fresh twist, check out Broom House Farm.

What is the most expensive coffee in Durham? 

Durham doesn’t have coffee shops known for extremely expensive speciality drinks. However, places like Leonard’s Coffee House and The Coffee House focus on high-quality beans and expert brewing, which might slightly increase the price compared to chain coffee shops.

What is the best coffee shop in Durham? 

The “best” is subjective but we personally love Flat White Kitchen! Leonard’s Coffee House is another great shout for all round coffe quality. For a relaxed vibe, try The Coffee House Durham, and for a historic setting, consider Vennels Cafe.

Where can I get the best brunch in Durham? 

Durham boasts several excellent brunch spots. Riverview Kitchen offers classic dishes with beautiful river views and The Pancake Cafe or CoHo Durham are also great options. For us though, Flat White Kitchen is the best brunch spot in Durham.

Are local coffee shops better?

Local coffee shops often prioritize unique coffee experiences, have close connections to their communities, and support local businesses. However, the definition of “better” depends on your priorities, and chain coffee shops also have their advantages.

Where can I get a quality full English breakfast in Durham?

Try Broom House Farm, Cafe Cenno or Riverview Kitchen for a selection of top quality full English breakfasts.