Flat White

21 Elvet Bridge Durham DH1 3AA

When it opened back in 2010, this was the coffee house that Durham had been crying out for – the perfect blend of barista knowhow and laidback loveliness. Squished into a hideaway courtyard near Elvet Bridge, the tight-squeeze interior takes 'thrift store chic' as its mantra, with distressed flooring, artfully placed crates and racks, and a jumble of wooden tables and chairs. The shady courtyard is nice at any time of year too, with cushions ranged along the outdoor seats. The coffee? Straight from a Newcastle roastery and majestic, of course, as it would have to be if you're going to name yourself after that most iconic of modern coffee styles. There's breakfast until noon – think salami, rocket and cream cheese bagel or a bacon sourdough sarnie – while sandwiches and salads plough an inventive Mediterranean furrow. Our favourite touch? The thoughtful offer a glass of Sav Blanc or Merlot if coffee doesn't float your boat. You don't get that in Costa, no sirree.

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