Finding a good place to remote work requires that perfect combination of ambiance, food & drink, and the more practical considerations (Wi-Fi, electrical outlets, seating, protection from the elements, location, etc). With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite spots in Durham, North Carolina to plug in and work when you need to get out of the house.
This place checks pretty much all the boxes, and has to be our favorite spot in Durham. Namu is a coffee bar, beer hall, and Korean restaurant rolled into one with gorgeous, expansive indoor and outdoor seating. Right between Durham and Chapel Hill, it’s convenient for residents of both cities, as evidenced by the many Duke and UNC students you’ll see studying there.
Maybe the most attractive feature of Namu is its seating options, which include long wooden tables, bars, sofas, and even a unique fire pit room. Outside, you’ll find a beautiful bamboo garden with fountains, covered couches to hang out on, and plenty of nice tables for individuals or larger groups (you can watch this video to fully appreciate the atmosphere). Whether you’re in the mood for food, coffee, or beer, you’ve got plenty of options which – given the place’s fancy décor and massive layout – are surprisingly inexpensive. There’s good Wi-Fi and you’ll rarely have trouble finding a table with an electrical outlet. And whether you want serene quiet with the gentle trickle of flowing water or a livelier atmosphere, you can usually get it somewhere on the premises.
With doors opening to the coffee bar and garden at 9am, you can easily spend most of the day here, then hit any number of places in the nearby strip mall afterwards. If there’s one gripe, it’s that Namu’s options are rather limited for tea drinkers. But coffee and beer guzzlers aren’t likely to have any issues.
Address: 5420 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Durham, NC 27707
Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten also has a food and drink menu that will keep you satisfied the entire day – from its fresh pastries, brunch menu, and coffee selection in the morning, to its German-themed snacks, meals, and brews later in the day.
Guglhupf has a lot going for it seating-wise too, with lots of outdoor semi-covered tables and a cool two-level lantern-lit interior (though as of this writing, only outdoor seating remained open due to covid restrictions). Indoors and out, the place has appealing décor with good Wi-Fi, though finding an electrical outlet can be a challenge. There’s not much else of interest in the area, but with doors opening at 9am, you can make a day out of it, or hop over to the Refectory Café next door mid-day.
Address: 2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd. Durham, NC 27707
3. Triangle Coffee House
For its nice location in the middle of 9th Street, Triangle Coffee House has a decent amount of space and even a few sofas…with delightful coffee, tea, and smoothies to boot. Tables on the ground level each have multiple electrical outlets and the tables themselves are pretty close-quartered, so if you’re looking for a semi-social vibe where you can easily chat up your neighbor, this is a good place for it. If you want it quieter, you can head down to the basement, where the space is greater and outlets are also plentiful, but sunlight is in short supply.
There isn’t much in the way of food besides snacks, so you probably won’t want to spend the whole day here. But being on 9th Street, there are plenty of other food and drink options within a two-minute walk. With the doors opening at 8am, Triangle Coffee House is a good starting point for the day.
Address: 714 9th St. Durham, NC 27705
4. Cloche Coffee
Located just across from Duke’s beautiful east campus, students will often be shuffling in and out throughout the day, giving Cloche a very lively and youthful vibe. There’s limited indoor seating and a mid-sized outdoor patio, so it can get a bit crowded at times – and you’ll need to snag one of a few indoors spots if you need an electrical outlet. But the Wi-Fi is good and if you can get in early (doors open at 7am), you should have no problem securing a good seat. If you’re all charged up, it can be very pleasant to sit outside on the patio and people-watch while you work.
There aren’t full meals served, but there’s usually a good selection of pastries to choose from. And it’s a fantastic find for tea lovers, with its long menu of fancy and exotic selections that you won’t find elsewhere in town. All in all, it’s a very nice place to plop down for a few hours.
Address: 721 Broad St. Durham, NC 27705
5. Beyu Caffé
Right in the middle of downtown Durham on Main Street, Beyu’s location is its best feature. It’s a bit on the fancier side compared to other establishments on this list, and it is a full restaurant, so you might feel a bit awkward remote-working there the entire day through the lunch rush. But it is a great spot for some coffee and brunch to start the day (doors open at 8am), or grab lunch and work through the afternoon. Then you can head off to any number of cafés, restaurants, pubs, and breweries that are walking distance away.
Be sure to nab a table by the wall if you need an electrical outlet. Probably the biggest inconvenience (as with much of downtown) is parking. There’s metered parking on the street if you can find it, or a few parking garages nearby. Be sure to walk around the corner to The Parlour afterwards for some wonderful handmade ice cream.
Address: 341 W. Main Street, Durham NC 27701
Got any other good remote-working location recommendations? Let us know in the comments, or better yet, join our Slack community and chat in one of the discussion groups and plan a meet-up there.