Home » Bars, Restaurants

Straw Valley Cafe

Posted by DID 10 Dec 2011 20 Comments

Not much needs to be said about Straw Valley Cafe, the pictures will speak for themselves. It is Рto put it simply Рa coffee shop/wine bar, but really Straw Valley Cafe is an artistic, mid-century paradise in the center of the hellish part of town known as New Hope Commons. Hidden beside a self-storage facility on the road that runs parallel to 15-501, Straw Valley Cafe was shamefully empty on a Saturday afternoon.

We ordered a mexican mocha – a rich spicy chocolate drink that was excellent – and strolled around the grounds. Straw Valley feels like a private residence (the private residence of the coolest person you know), public park and art gallery – needless to say it is pretty incredible . The open house and courtyard are filled with art and mid-century modern furnishings, there are even vintage Durham newspapers on the coffee tables. I look forward to spending a lazy saturday there reading, a night drinking wine with a group of friends or catching a band on their stage. Straw Valley would also make a great spot to rent out for a wedding reception or private party.




The shop does offer pastries, macarons, Kismet crackers, a few sandwiches and customers are encouraged to get food from Pomegranite Kitchen next door and bring it over. For a history of the property, check out the Herald Sun’s feature.

Straw Valley Cafe
5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.
Durham, NC 27707
Closed Mondays.
Tuesday-Saturday 9am-9pm
Sunday 10am-5pm


  • Elizabeth said:

    Seriously? It looks like a spa.


  • Suzanne said:

    I really love this place and hope it catches on. The coffee and baked goods are wonderful. It’s a gorgeous setting, with lots of rooms and nooks, indoor and out, for conversation and hanging out. It’d be great if they’d put some heaters in the garden areas.


  • linda said:

    not hope valley commons — new hope commons. or as a commenter from BCR says, ‘no hope commons’


    DID replies on December 12th, 2011 at 12:43 pm:

    Thanks for the tip – updated – no hope commons is completely accurate – just trying to get over to straw valley is hell but the destination is worth it.


  • annie said:

    My husband and I checked this place out last night after reading this Carpe Durham review. The coffee drinks were pretty good, but, as the review said, what makes this place is the atmosphere. What a cool place to hang out and read, or catch up with friends. We loved exploring the different rooms and patio spaces and will definitely be back soon.


  • Dee said:

    This place does look more like a spa than a coffee bar. I’ll definitely check it out, even though requires venturing into No Hope. Honestly, I feel as though I deserve a trophy every time I make it out of there alive.


  • Amber Rupinta said:

    This place is the best hidden gem we’ve uncovered in the Triangle. Well worth it. A place we could let the kids play while we relaxed. LOVE IT!


  • Warren said:

    My family and I went today after reading this post and found it, indeed, to be an amazing place, with a seemingly limitless number of nooks and crannies and interesting potential conversation spaces. We would love to see it flourish . . .


  • Brandon said:

    Wow! I love this place more than my own home.


  • Marilyn said:

    Congratulations and many thanks to whoever is doing this restoration.
    It’s a treasure.


  • Mark H said:

    Gorgeous place! I hope it becomes popular enough to provide a sufficient revenue stream for its owners, but not so much that it becomes over-run and loses its quiet intimacy.


  • NRP said:

    This is the greatest place I’ve ever been to! We stumbled upon it this weekend when we were checking out the consignment shop – it looks completely dilapidated from 15-501 and it’s like a fantasy land inside! We ended up going two days in a row…check it out!


  • Linda C. said:

    Finally made it there this afternoon; spent three hours in the Sanderson House because the heat was out in the Black House. Thanks for the pictures – I’ve been trying to describe it and my attempts were no match for the magnificence of the place. I used to see Sanderson and Black often during planning review of NHC and feel so privileged to have such free rein of their homes.


  • Melissa Scales said:

    Please check this place out! It is so beautiful and the coffee drinks are high quality. Don’t let an amazing place like this close just because nobody knew about it.


  • Thalea L said:

    stumbled upon the coffee and wine courtyard during a vist to the furniture consingment shop next to it. The coffee and snack selections were great, they had gluten free brownies. I loved the open spaces to sit in the sun and exploring all the rooms. Great place to meet friends or small groups.


  • Beth1 said:

    Love this place – well worth the fight to get to it. Love the pics on this review. Great wedding venue for a Saturday evening maybe.


  • Brittney said:

    This place is indescribably fantastic! The coffee is tasty, the people who work there are engaging and personable (and more-than-willing to share the shop’s wonderful history!), and the atmosphere is tranquil and beautiful. It has definitely become my home-away-from-home (never thought I would say that about anywhere so close to “No Hope Commons”) since I discovered it. Go as soon as possible. Really. You won’t be disappointed.


  • Beth1 said:

    Sometimes their food choices are not the best. I worry about the quiches that sit out all day unrefrigerated. The chicken salad sandwich on a croissant is excellent. Also check out Big Bundts next door. They are sold at Straw Valley as well and very yummy.

    I understand that there are future plans to add a full kitchen. Looking forward to that. The space itself is delightful.


  • Taylor said:

    Terrible food. Mediocre coffee.

    The venue more than makes up for it.


  • Dorothy said:

    I love this place. Furthermore, the building is historic having been at one time the house connected to a dairy farm that was on that piece of property now called New Hope Commons. I keep wishing they’s have a bang up acoustic music series. Or do they? Way too quiet for the gem that it is.


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