Foods & Drinks

Durham’s Best Spots for Vegan Desserts

(The Triangle Trend) — Everyone gets a sweet tooth from time to time withoutfeeling like whipping out baking utensils and waiting an hour to have their craving satisfied. Whether you’re a vegan or have simply chosen to prioritize plant-based meals, grabbing a quick pastry, ice cream, or chocolate on-the-go isn’t exactly a simple task. Dessert options at most restaurants are usually prepared using dairy, eggs, or even gelatin, which don’t make the cut in a plant-based lifestyle. Fortunately, over the past few years, vegan desserts are slowly popping up on menus, and Durham eateries are no exception.

Ninth Street Bakery

136 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

One of the best smelling bakeries around with a lovely patio to sit on and enjoy the spring weather. Ninth Street Bakery has plenty of vegan and gluten free offerings. They also serve homemade kombucha and very reasonably priced lunch fare.

Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten

2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

Looking for a hidden gem in Durham featuring food for vegetarians and meat lovers? Then Guglhupf is a great place to start. The food is fresh and service is quick. You may circle the restaurant a few times to find a parking space, but that can be easily overlooked once you sink your teeth into one of their cream puffs (they literally melt in your mouth!). There are several choices for seating and the menu is quite extensive, featuring a morning/lunch time menu and then switching up at 3:00 pm for their dinner service.

Mad Hatter Cafe + Bakeshop

1802 W Main St, Durham, NC 27705

Mad Hatter is a favorite coffee shop in Durham. They have good coffee, food, and pastries. Their baked goods are great and made in-house. You can order cakes from them as well. They have free wifi and their staff is very nice.

The Parlour

117 Market St, Durham, NC 27701

The Parlour is a perfect dessert option for vegans in downtown Durham. Some of their vegan fare includes fruit sorbets, creamy flavors made from coconut milk, and scratch-made vegan baked treats. They create their own flavors (both dairy and vegan) and change them out very often.

Smallcakes Durham

4711 Hope Valley Rd, Durham, NC 27707

Smallcakes is a fabulous spot for a treat. We recommend getting a variety of flavors in the minis so you can try several different combinations. The regular flavors are terrific, and there are special flavors that rotate. They offer Gluten Free and Vegan cupcakes through custom order only.


111 W Parrish St, Durham, NC 27701

Just a short walk from the Marriott, Loaf serves delicious pastries and a rotating variety of eclectic baked goods. Check out the cold case for a delicious cool pastry treat or pick up some fresh-baked artisan bread, just don’t get all the rugelach before I do!

The Refectory Cafe

2726 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

A deliciously unique restaurant “featuring options for all diets”: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, plant-based, raw, and omnivore. You can view all their vegan goods offered here.

Bean Traders

105 W Nc 54 Hwy, Suite 249, Durham, NC 27713

Bean Traders has a great selection of homemade, baked goods and delicious hot bagels and waffles. The ambiance can be best described as cozy and very much “Durham”. The coffee, espresso, pies, baked goods, and bagels are all great.

Soul Good Vegan Cafe

4125 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

Opened only since Feb 2017, this family-owned restaurant is a great addition to the vegan scene in Durham. This cafe prides itself on bringing “down home” and “soul” tastes to vegan goods. Whether or not you stay for dessert, make sure you try their 100% vegan entree menu, consisting of diner favorites like mac & cheese, corn bread, collard greens, and jerk chicken.


2618 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC 27705

LocoPops offers numerous non-dairy pops including their Pomegranate Black Currant pop, Watermelon Ginger Limeade, Mighty Mojito pop, Cherry Lime pop, and Strawberry Lemonade pop.


1002 9th St, Durham, NC 27705

Top-notch bagels and donuts and customer service to match. Prices are what you would expect from a homemade donut shop in the middle of a pandemic, and they’re doing a great job with the setup and service. Some of their mouth-watering donuts include “Chocolate Chai”, “Coconut Freaking Dreamy”, and “Caramel Cheesecake”. Check their menu to see what flavors are in rotation, and maybe grab a gift card to treat a friend!

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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