Home » Announcements, Reports, Restaurants

Outdoor Dining Spots

Posted by MEZ 23 Mar 2010 24 Comments

Now that the weather’s getting gorgeous, we had a request to put together some names of restaurants and eateries that have outside dining available. I’m not sure why sitting outside while we eat is so gosh-darn appealing—but it is. So without further ado, here is our list of outdoor dining locations, compiled by the oh-so-scientific method of asking contributors to send in some choices and note anything they thought might be helpful in relation to the outside section and that specific spot. If the name is hyperlinked, it goes to the restaurant’s website. If Carpe Durham Review appears, then we have a review up for that spot and click to go to it. Also, feel free to add your own favorite outdoors dining spots in the comments or add notes to any of the ones we’ve listed; we will update the post with your additions.

9th Street/Broad Street

Baba Gannouj, 2200 West Main Street.

Bahn’s, 750 9th St, Carpe Durham Review. Note: A few sidewalk tables.

Blu Seafood and Bar, 2002 Hillsborough Road

Blue Corn Cafe, 716 Ninth Street.

Broad Street Café, 116 Broad Street, Carpe Durham Review. Note: A few tables outside by the entrance.

Charlie’s Pub and Grille, 758 Ninth Street.

Chubby’s Tacos, 748 Ninth Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Cosmic Cantina, 1920 Perry Street. Note: Rooftop dining.

Dain’s Place, 754 Ninth Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Dale’s, 811 Ninth Street.

International Delights, 740 Ninth Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Luther’s Catering and Beyond, 1807 West Markham Ave, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Limited seating.

Mad Hatter Bakeshop and Cafe, 1802 West Main Street.

Metro 8 Steakhouse, 746 Ninth Street.

Parizade, 2200 West Main Street.

Vin Rouge, 2010 Hillsborough Road. Note: Outdoor smoking allowed.

Vita, 2200 West Main Street. Note: A good number of shaded tables.

Watt’s Grocery, 1116 Broad Street, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Only two tables.

Whole Foods, 621 Broad Street.

Brightleaf/Peabody Square

1013 West Main Restaurant and Lounge, 1013 West Main.

Alivia’s, 900 West Main Street, Carpe Durham Review.  Note: Huge patio and outdoor fireplaces.

Amelia Cafe, 905 West Main Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Chamas Churrascaria, 905 West Main Street. Note: Flickering torch appeal.

Devines Restaurant and Sports Bar, 904 West Main Street.

El Rodeo, 905 West Main Street.

The Federal, 914 West Main Street. Carpe Durham Review: We have not reviewed it because words cannot describe how much we love it. Notes: Outdoor smoking allowed.

James Joyce, 912 West Main Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Parker and Otis, 112 South Duke Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Piazza Italia, 905 West Main Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Pop’s Backdoor, 810 West Peabody Street. Note: A couple of plastic chairs and tables are set up in the loading dock area on nice evenings. Great way to eat your takeout!

Central/ Old West Durham

Chai’s Noodle Bar & Bistro, 2816 Erwin Road.

Enzo’s Pizza, 2608 Erwin Road.

Green Tango, 2608 Erwin Road.

Mediterra Grill
, 2608 Erwin Road, Carpe Durham Review.

Nosh, 2812 Erwin Road-Suite 101.

Six Plates Wine Bar, 2812 Erwin Road.

Sushi Love, 2812 Erwin Road-Suite 204, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Nice umbrella-topped tables.

Wimpy’s Grill, 617 Hicks Street, Carpe Durham Review. Note: No seating.

Southwest Durham

Bandidos, 4711 Hope Valley Road. Note: Covered seating. Perfect for a pitcher of margaritas.

Bocci, 5850 Fayetteville Road. Note: Some seating covered, some uncovered. Shares the courtyard with Nantucket Grill. Live music on Friday nights in the summer, lots of green area for kids to roam, a fountain, and metal sculptures of a one man, two-pet band.

Chubby’s Tacos, 4711 Hope Valley Road, Carpe Durham Review. Note: A couple of tables out front.

City Beverage, 4810 Hope Valley Road, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Huge, huge patio with umbrella-topped tables.

Nantucket Grill, 5826 Fayetteville Road and 5925 Farrington Road, Carpe Durham Review. The Sutton Station location (Fayetteville Road) has a nice setup with plants, stone-tiled tables, and both umbrella-topped and shaded tables. It shares the courtyard with Bocci. Live music on Friday nights in the summer, lots of green area for kids to roam, a fountain, and metal sculptures of a one man, two-pet band.

Pulcinella’s Italian Restaurant, 4711 Hope Valley Road. Note: Only a couple of tables.

Shiki Sushi, 207 West Highway 54, Carpe Durham’s Review. Note: The outside dining is much quieter than indoors. Covered seating area.

West 94th Street Pub, 4711 Hope Valley Road, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Weather-proofed porch, with heat lamps in winter and misty fans in summer. Outside TV for watching games. I think you can now smoke on the porch, but don’t quote me on that.

Sunset Grille, 5850 Fayetteville Road.

American Tobacco Campus

Cuban Revolution, 318 Blackwell Street, Carpe Durham Review.

Mellow Mushroom, 410 Blackwell Street.

Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom, 324 Blackwell Street. Note: Great seating out by the bottom of the “river.”

Downtown/Warehouse District

Bull McCabe’s, 427 West Main Street.

Rue Cler, 401 East Chapel Hill Stret, Carpe Durham Review.

Toast Paninoteca, 345 West Main Street, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Only a few outside tables.

Tosca, 604 West Morgan Street.

West End Wine Bar, 601 Main Street, Carpe Durham Review.

South Square/Eastgate

Rick’s Diner, 4015 University Drive, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Outdoor seating under an overhang. They’ll be moving to a new location soon.

Saladelia Café, 4201 University Drive, Carpe Durham Review.

Spartacus Restaurant, 4139 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.

Twisted Noodles, 4201-112 University Drive.


Foster’s Market, 2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard. Note: Plenty of shady options, beautiful overhang when the flowers are in bloom.

Four Square, 2701 Chapel Hill Road.

Guglhupf Cafe, 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, Carpe Durham Review. Gorgeous outdoor seating area with stone waterworks. Shade and sun galore.

The Q Shack, 2510 University Drive.

El Rancherito, 2300 Chapel Hill Road, Carpe Durham Review.

Red Sea Fish and Chicken, 2000 Chapel Hill Road #4, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Usually a few tables available out front.

Taqueria La Vaquita, 2700 Chapel Hill Road, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Only outdoor seating, a few picnic tables. Can be a wind tunnel.

Thai Café, 2501 University Drive, Carpe Durham Review.

Duke Campus

Armadillo Grill, in the Bryan Center, West Campus. Note: Deck is out the backdoor and has a projection screen. Smoking welcome.

Bryan Center Plaza, West Campus. Note: There’s a number of different vendors in this main Duke building to the west of the chapel. The plaza has covered picnic tables that swing back and forth in addition to grassy areas and regular tables. Vendors include Loco Pops, Polly Dogs, Mediterranean Grill, and Joe Van Gogh’s.

Fairview Dining Room at the Washington Duke Inn, Science Drive.

Nasher Museum Café, 2001 Campus Drive, Carpe Durham Review. Really nice space overlooking a large lawn and a sculpture.

The Refectory Cafe at Duke Divinity School, Westbrook building. Note: Local, organic food. Patio with long picnic tables and smaller, umbrella-topped tables.

The Terrace Cafe, Sarah Duke Gardens. Note: Run by the Picnic Basket.


Papa Mojo’s Roadhouse, 5410 NC Highway 55 #Y, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Smoking allowed on the patio.

Serena’s, 5311 South Miami Blvd.

Taqueria 3 Hermanas, 4853 Highway 55, Carpe Durham Review. Note: A few picnic tables out front.

William’s Gourmet Kitchen, 2114 East NC Highway 54, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Umbrella-topped tables.


  • MEZ said:

    I will now shamelessy self-promote my blog, which has reviews of several of these spots that haven’t been done on Carpe Durham as yet. Parizade, Four Square, Bocci, and more.


  • aburtch said:

    In the Brightleaf/Peabody Square area I belive El Rodeo and Alivia’s both have outdoor dining in the spring and summer. Alivia’s usually has lots of outdoor seats.


    MEZ replies on March 24th, 2010 at 12:37 am:

    Alivia’s! I meant to add it in. One of the best patios out there. I’ll be updating the post with all the add-ins in a couple of days.


  • Ed said:

    Banh’s on Ninth Street has sidewalk tables.


  • Megan said:

    We love the outside seating at Chai’s in Central/ Old West Durham on Erwin Rd.


  • Box said:

    Both locations of Chubby’s Tacos have outdoor seating.


  • Jason said:

    A shameless plug of the joint of which I used to be the chef: Rue Cler also has tables set up in the out of doors now that we are through with the ghastliness that has been an actual winter. I think it’s like four 2-tops, but honestly I’m not sure as I’m always in the kitchen trying to keep my head above water (or above eggs as it were; I still sweat it out cooking brunch every weekend).


    MEZ replies on March 24th, 2010 at 12:39 am:

    Ghastly winter, indeed. I’m impressed there’s room for tables in front of your restaurant, but I’m sure they are lovely.


    pgutlon replies on April 3rd, 2010 at 12:53 am:

    and, if I may shamelessly promote my gallery ‘Outsiders,’ I just hung a sampling of art in the bakery at Rue Cler.


  • burgeoningfoodie said:

    How many of these have alfresco dining plus a nice ambiance while outside?


    MEZ replies on April 8th, 2010 at 5:27 pm:

    A good question but highly subjective. My votes for the best outdoor ambiance go to Alivia’s, City Beverage, Cuban Revolution, Tyler’s, Piazza Italia, Nasher, Guglhupf, and Foster’s Market.


  • Katy said:

    The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau did a survey of residents on this topic, and the top picks for outdoor eating were Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom, Vin Rouge, Alivia’s Durham Bistro, and Parker and Otis. I see those on your list but just wanted to point those out as some of the local favorites…


    MEZ replies on April 8th, 2010 at 5:28 pm:

    Thanks for the info, Katy. =)


  • pool furniture said:

    Spending most of the time outdoors around your home, or you have found a great spot to have a party outdoors, then purchasing outdoor dining furniture will be a great addition to that area. This furniture can be used for backyard barbecues, outdoor parties, or family picnics.


  • Britt said:

    You missed some…

    Cuban Revolution
    papa mojo’s roadhouse
    Serena’s (rtp)
    smokey’s shack (rtp)
    william’s gourmet kitchen
    Neomonde (rtp)


    MEZ replies on April 8th, 2010 at 5:29 pm:

    Thanks, Britt. I added the ones I could but alas, Smokey’s Shack and Neomonde are officially in Morrisville.


  • Katy said:

    New at Tyler’s (American Tobacco)…check out the new outdoor bar that serves the patio area as well as outdoor TVs! Stop by after you watch a Bulls Game!


  • Trey Ravalli said:

    Great list! I just wanted to add a few places, thoughts, etc..

    On 9th Street:

    Dale’s – Actually has a decent-sized patio up front. B- on Ambiance
    Charlie’s – Maybe you don’t consider it a restaurant, but it has a nice front patio. Ambiance varies on the by patrons.
    Dain’s, Devil’s Pizza, International Delights, Blue Corn – pretty much the same set-up as Chubby’s/Bahn’s. C for ambiance.
    Metro 8 – has that little nook up front. Never tried, but looks nice. B.
    Vita – Quite a few shaded tables. B.
    Baba Ghanouj – has a few tables. C+.


    Amelia’s Cafe – they serve a full lunch and the crepes are preety good and cheap. B+.
    ??? West Main – more of a bar, but has food and outside seating.

    Central Durham – no love for the Lofts at Lakeview. I know all of you foodies just hate chains, so I will mention the locals:

    Green Tango, MediTerra Grill, Enzo’s Pizza – hard to tell where one restaurant seating begins and ends, but a give the overall set-up a B for abundant lunch time sun.

    Wimpy’s – does standing in the parking lot count as an outdoor eating option? As least Luther’s “catering and beyond” has a bench.

    South Square.

    Spartacus – has a big outdoor area – B-
    Carolina Ale House – ?
    Eden? I haven’t been, but previous restaurants had a nice outdoor area.


    Terrace Cafe at Duke Gardens – A- lovely place to eat.


    MEZ replies on May 12th, 2010 at 4:59 pm:

    I think you doubled the size of the list single-handed. I’ve added them all but Carolina Ale House and Eden’s as I’m not sure if they do have outside seating or not myself. Someone let us know or I must remember to pay attention next time I drive by.


  • justvisiting said:

    Six Plates has an adorable little garden area.


    MEZ replies on May 12th, 2010 at 4:59 pm:



  • TSQ75 said:

    lets not forget Durham parks and Duke gardens. perfect place for a hobo lunch. 1 baguette+deli meat or spread of choice+beverage=meal for 2 under $10…al fresco, with pet lounging next to you not bothering anyone. :)


    apathy replies on May 3rd, 2010 at 2:22 pm:

    I think this is my favorite option.


  • hairstyles said:


    Outdoor Dining Spots | Carpe Durham…

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.