Elmo's Diner

Durham NC


Open Daily MON-FRI 7:00 am-3:00 pm, SAT-SUN 7:00 am-3:30 pm for Dine-in and To-Go

776 9th Street
Durham NC 27705

(Near Duke East Campus)

About Elmo’s Diner

Elmo’s Diner has been a local Durham favorite for more than twenty years, with the vast majority of our business being repeat customers. You are our friends and our neighbors, and we want you to feel good about eating at Elmo’s. We pride ourselves on giving friendly, efficient service and on serving fresh, delicious food – like you would make at home if you had the time! We don’t use mixes or “instant” meals. Desserts and soups are made from scratch too–some folks even call on a regular basis to find out if their favorite cobbler is the special that day!

Like a true family diner, we have comfy booths, but also tables and lots of boosters and high chairs for your little ones. We have raised a lot of our young regular customers (and even some employees) from scratch too! When your family comes to town, we want you to be excited to bring them to YOUR local diner. You don’t have to be “a regular” to eat at Elmo’s, but we will try hard to make you one!


The Indy Weekly

Durham Magazine

2023, 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018

  • Platinum for Best Breakfast/Brunch
  • Platinum for Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

2017, 2016, 2015, 2014

  • Platinum for Best Breakfast/Brunch


  • GOLD for Best Breakfast/Brunch

The Herald-Sun

2017, 2016, 2015, 2011

  • Best Breakfast/Brunch


  • Finalist for Best Breakfast/Brunch


  • 2nd Place in Best/Breakfast Brunch in Durham

First Tuesday is NOW Spirit “Mursday” 4 DPS!

We’re a community restaurant both in the sense that we are a local favorite and in the sense that we strive to be good neighbors and give back to our community. Our previous First Tuesday fundraising program for Durham Public School PTSAs had to be re-envisioned since we are no longer open nights and that was when we saw the majority of our school families. Now we are announcing the start of Spirit “Mursday” 4 Durham Public Schools!

Durham Public School PTSAs can hold a Monday-Thursday (“Mursday”) spirit week at Elmo’s Diner where they encourage their school population and the community-at-large to eat IN HOUSE at Elmo’s. After a school’s Mursday is over, we will donate 4% of our Total Sales minus TO GO sales from the school’s designated M-Th week (Thus, the title: Spirit Mursday 4 DPS!) All customers are encouraged to come out in force on these special spirit Mursdays and help support our schools. Please see our list of upcoming dates.

Typically, all Spirit Mursday applications go to interested schools in April for the following school year; so dates are set in May, before year-round schools begin. If you are volunteering for a local DPS PTA and are interested in applying for a Spirit Mursday, you can use the CONTACT link on this website to let us know of your interest. If you don’t hear back within one week, feel free to call the restaurant during non-meal times (919) 416-3823 and ask to speak to the person in charge of Spirit Mursdays.

What Elmo’s is Doing About Covid-19

We’re all aware of the COVID-19 concerns we’re facing as a community, and we want you to know the precautions we’re taking to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.


Elmo’s is OPEN for Dine-in! (We DON’T take reservations or call-aheads though!)
Restaurants are already very closely monitored for health and cleanliness by the Durham Department of Health, and we are working closely with them to stay up to date with any new developments and/or procedures we need to implement for your Dine-in safety.

We are continuing to follow strict cleaning and sanitizing procedures throughout preparation and service–for example, with regular sanitizing of high touch surfaces like tables. We have never allowed employees to work if sick, but we are especially vigilant about this now. No one will be permitted to work sick and staff with any Covid-like symptoms are required to show a negative Covid test or doctor’s note before returning to work.


Elmo’s offers Take-out, but we no longer do car-side. Increased Dine-in business and staffing shortages means we have to sometimes prioritize in-house customers over to-go and temporarily stop taking to-go orders. You may reach out to us over the phone and not be able to get thru IF we have stopped taking to-gos OR it may be that we are swamped with other to-go calls which block your call. Usually when we stop taking to-go orders for a bit, it is for a very short period. We apologize if you had your heart set on Elmo’s and just couldn’t reach us, but we promise you we are doing our best to meet as much customer demand as we can without over-taxing our fantastic staff!

We are very grateful for all of you who have stopped by through the many iterations of our business since the pandemic started and we hope that we’ll continue to see you!

    Please contact us with your questions, comments, compliments or concerns. (Please note, we have been having difficulty with comments coming through and are working to address this. You can call us at (919) 416-3823 to get email contact info.) If you wish to place a to-go order, please also call us at (919) 416-3823. We do not take to-go orders online.