Looking for a coffee shop is often difficult -  and with the warm weather finally having arrived in the North East, finding somewhere to enjoy the sun is more important than ever. 

Historic Durham is graced with some amazing coffee shops - and we have picked out seven of the best, with outdoor seating areas, according to reviews from TripAdvisor. 

From coffee shops in the heart of the city's peninsula, to quieter backstreets and venues down by the river, we have managed to find some great places for you to enjoy this weekend.

1. The Neighbourhood, at the Indigo Hotel in Old Elvet, DH1 3HL. 

The Neighbourhood Coffee House is based in the lobby of Hotel Indigo Durham, offering food and drink, and a space for the community.

Also offering takeout, the café is a top pick on TripAdvisor, as one of the only five-star rated venues on there, with 90 people rating it as 'excellent'.

One review, from Soph Draper, says: "I very frequently come here to work or have meet-ups with friends because it genuinely is the best catch-all cafe in Durham with the most friendly and helpful staff! They always make time to chat and accommodate customers, also taking dietary requirements seriously. On nice days, there is also outdoor seating onto Old Elvet!"


2. Cafedral, Owensgate, DH1 3HB. 

As a family-run café in Durham City, this place has an eclectic style and sells a range of homemade food and hot drinks throughout the day.

Located at the top of Saddler Street, just before the Cathedral, it's the location to stop for a bite to eat or a slice of cake. Just look out for the bright blue door and flowers.

A reviewer, from Northallerton, said: "A great spot, upstairs cafe with a couple of outdoor tables on ground level. Staff were so friendly and helpful. Great choice of food, excellent scones - very nice sandwiches and great coffee. Definitely would return."

(Image: Google Maps)

3. Flat White Cafe, Elvet Bridge, DH1 3AA. 

Located in the same venue as their sister restaurant, Flat White Kitchen, the cafe is just seconds away from Durham Cathedral. 

The five-storey 16th-century property has been restored to its original décor of stripped-wood, copper pipes and bare brick alongside opulent French mirrors and fresh flowers.

The coffee offering showcases the owners' talents, who opened their first café after working alongside some of Australia's greatest roasters.

A fan from Winchester said: "There appears to be two Flat Whites in Durhams old town. Flat White Kitchen & Flat White Cafe, both I believe have the same owners.

"This review refers to the Flat White just off the Main Street, you duck under an arch, walk 50 metres downhill and you're there!!

"It is small, quaint and welcoming with both indoor and outdoor seating. The real star is the food, we were there for breakfast, the granola with associated trimmings was great and the peanut butter & banana porridge is legendary."

Vennels Cafe Vennels Cafe

4. Vennels, Saddler Street, Durham, DH1 3NP. 

Vennels, a cafe enveloped in the heart of the city – it is approached by two narrow alleyways that run from Saddler Street and converge on a courtyard in which there are parasols, a patio heater and blankets for those brave enough to dine outside in the typically chilly Durham weather, 

A visitor wrote: "Off the high street, but very popular. Indoor and outdoor seating available. We went there as it is dog-friendly. Sat indoors with the doggie as it was a bit chilly outside. Three floors of seating are available. The queue to order was long, but the coffee was good and the food very good."

Riverview Kitchen. 

5. Riverview Kitchen, Silver Street, Durham, DH1 3RB. 

At Riverview Kitchen, diners can look directly out onto the river view from a spacious conservatory at the back of the venue, or can choose to eat on the riverside itself, only meters away from the water's edge.

A pleased customer wrote: "A friendly cafe on the river close to Framwellgate Bridge. On a warm day it’s really good to sit outside and it’s dog friendly.

"We shared the fluffy American (enough for two each) pancakes with blueberries, the creme fraise was a lovely light vanilla and great syrup.

"There are steps and stairs into this cafe, (while it’s not possible to avoid the steps down to the riverbank and the main entrance without a long walk down from Palace Green), it is possible to enter from the outdoor seating area so don’t be put off by the steps from the bridge, this cafe is worth the effort.

6. Chapters Tea Rooms and Kitchen, Durham, DH1 3AA. 

Chapters is a coffee house & cafe located in a beautiful Grade II listed Building on Elvet Bridge, with two floors of seating meaning there is ample space both inside and out. 

Sarah Leigh, who visits Chapters regularly, writes: "Food menu is simple but mastered - high-quality ingredients cooked extremely well. Great options for all dietary requirements.

"Lovely outdoor seating on a sunny day and picturesque indoor seating when the weather is less nice.

"My favourite spot is in the window - perfect for people watching with a cup of tea and a book or newspaper."

7. Biz-R Coffee House, Millburngate Durham,  DH1 4SJ.  

Another great quick-bites option offering great service, food, value and atmosphere with four-and-a-half stars in all of them.

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Reviewers have praised their “excellent coffee” along with some “delicious muffins” and other sweet treats, all for a reasonable price.

With a deck outside, in view of Durham Cathedral, it is perfect to enjoy the sights of the city from afar. 

A happy customer said: "Excellent outdoor area to sit drinking good coffee and people watch. Watch the river and look up to the Cathedral on a sunny summer day."