What your choice of Durham coffee shop says about you

Flat White? Please.

If there is one thing Durham does well, it’s cute cafés and Insta-worthy eateries. There are an abundance to choose from, each with their own distinct vibe. This is your ultimate guide to the café cliques of Durham – you can thank us later.

Flat White – Saddler St.

I have three words for you: Basic. Durham. Student. You either come in here so often that you know the perfect time to avoid the queues, or you’ll gladly suffer them for the ‘gram. Make of that what you will.

Flat White – Elvet Bridge

Okay, this is still Flat White, but I give you props for actually knowing it exists. Definitely more lowkey than it’s infamous older sister. You’ve probably tried to study in here but given up after about twenty minutes as the COFFEE BLENDER IS RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR HEAD.


According to many a review site, this is one of Durham’s best, so you have good taste. You also take great joy in explaining the pun to anyone that will listen.

Riverview Kitchen

Another brunch staple of Durham, the cracking views of the river are to die for. I’d call you basic, but honestly we all chose to come to Durham for the pancakes and the Wear.


You spend far too much time at the library. Trust me, it’s not the only café you can cry about your summatives in.


This is the unsung hero among the cafés of Durham. It’s neatly tucked away but still got tons (and I mean, TONS) of space – perfect for studying, or catching up with a mate somewhere you can actually hear them. It’s unpretentious, it’s unique, the food is amazing. I respect you.

Leonard’s Coffee House

Another underdog among Durham cafés, this is a little more out of the way. However, it shows you’re willing to make the effort for things in life: your degree, friendships, great coffee. Keep doing you.


You really like people-watching. Those high tables literally stuck to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows aren’t fooling anyone. I won’t hold it against you though, I rate the coffee and cake selection here.


It goes without saying – you’d take tea over coffee any day. It’s a bold move picking a tea room from a list of coffee shops. Only a person with refined taste would pick a tea room as their go-to, so there’s that. Just don’t go starting a debate about the pronunciation of the word scone.

Any of the mainstream coffee shops

Get in the bin.