As we continue to open back up, don’t forget to support our community! Locally owned restaurants, now more than ever, need our support. In so many ways, they’re the staple of the charm that Chapel Hill & Carrboro has grown so proud of over the years. Whether you’re looking to enjoy summer on a patio or get your favorite meal that you’ve been missing to-go, these locally-owned restaurants are the best of the best.
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen – A convenient drive-thru serving up the absolute best biscuits you’ll ever have. They’re so good that they were named “best biscuits in the US” by Food and Wine. If you haven’t been to Sunrise yet, get in your car and go! They also ship their biscuits nation-wide, making for the perfect gifts for your family.
Weaver Street Market – This co-op is the definition of community. Opening every morning at 7:00, head over to get mouthwatering, fresh baked goods, and produce from local farmers and artisans. Too hungry to make it home? The hot bar is open until 11:00 and will keep you coming back for more.
The Root Cellar – The perfect location whether you’re wanting to savor every bite or are on the go. With rotating chef specialties and homemade options such as cinnamon vanilla French toast. For those in a hurry, stop into the bakery for a quick muffin or scone made from scratch.
Crook’s Corner – Don’t let this small restaurant fool you, it adds to the charm but certainly not the quality! Their James Beard Award-nominated chef will wow you with his ability to perfect the classic southern breakfast.
Dinner and Fine Dining
City Kitchen – The minute you walk into City Kitchen you’ll feel as if you’ve arrived at the neighborhood go-to. Serving the finest of American fare, they take great pride in their locally sourced ingredients. And don’t forget about the drink menu! One of the biggest you’ll find in all of the Triangle area and the most beautiful, too!
Elaine’s – Upscale southern cuisine paired with the casual comfort of Franklin street. Elaine’s is the perfect spot for a date-night in the heart of the city.
Elements – A large, upscale Asian-inspired restaurant with both poke and sushi to die for. If you’re really hungry, enjoy a roll and one of their unforgettable entrees such as their Walnut Prawns or Chicken Saigon Noodles.
Il Palio – Treat yourself and indulge at Il Palio. This AAA Four-Diamond Italian restaurant just might be the finest and most delicious in the area. From the gnocchi to the clams and even the charred broccoli, everything on the menu will be the best you’ve ever had. With one bight, the authenticity of your meal will transport you to Florence and the Tuscan countryside. Paired with impeccable service, a night at Il Palio will be one to remember and keep you coming back for more.
Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe – Serving local farm-sourced Indian cuisine, Vimala’s Curryblossom Café offers an unforgettable dinner experience but also a late-night bar menu for those looking to end their night in style.
Acme – Located in the heart of Carrboro, this classic southern inspired local favorite will indulge all of your cravings. Pork belly, cornbread from a cast-iron skillet, and Carolina crab cakes will become staples in your restaurant go-to’s. Are you free on a Thursday night? Stop in for half off oysters from 5:30 – 7:30 every week.
Kitchen – Incredible French fare and fine wine. Kitchen is an ideal spot for an intimate date night.
Lantern – Another Franklin street classic with a James Beard award-winning chef. Lantern prides itself on its locally sourced ingredients and had been named one of America’s top 50 restaurants by Gourmet. Don’t forget to take advantage of their gorgeous patio and soak in the North Carolina summer the right way!
Kipos – The ambiance will draw you in and the authenticity of the Grecian entrees will keep you coming back for more!
Lula’s – Lula’s is still fairly new to town but has made a lasting impression. Their biscuit sandwiches are truly something special!
Carrburritos – The best kind of casual. One of the best Mexican restaurants in the area serving up the biggest portions. Make sure you come hungry! And don’t forget to try their award-winning salsa! You can also by it by the jar for your own Mexican night.
Lucha Tigre – A Latin-Asian fusion that ranges from Dad Thai to nachos. It’s become a go-to in Chapel Hill for a quick, affordable lunch.
Merritt’s – A classic BLT but somehow done to perfection. All of Merritt’s sandwiches are exceptional but if you are having trouble deciding, go with their infamous BLT.
The Pig – A staple that is good for the soul. The Pig’s sandwiches are messy, big, and will all leave a smile on your face.
Al’s Burger Shack – The hardest part about eating at Al’s? trying to decide what to order! Trip Advisor has recently named the chili burger the best burger in the US but with over 15 options of specialized burgers, made from local ingredients, the choice isn’t that simple.
Café’s and Baked Goods
Mediterranean Deli – A Staple of Franklin Street. This family-owned deli is continuously adding new sandwiches and treats to their menu. Offering authentic favorites from both the Middle East and the Mediterranean, they have something for everyone including kosher, gluten-free and organic options. If you’re looking to recreate these favorites, visit their market, attached to the deli.
Epilogue – A book café at its finest! Enjoy peace and quiet with a side of chocolate. With a full café menu and an actual bookstore inside, what more could you ask for?
Perennial – Another Franklin St. favorite. If you’re looking for a quality cup of coffee and want to support local, look no further.
Yogurt Pump – Consistently voted as the Best of Chapel Hill, you won’t find better than Yogurt Pump. They have made frozen custard an art and every flavor will leave you wanting more.
La Vita Dolce – They truly have something for everyone. Espresso, gelato, and wine all rolled into one café. Paired with a beautiful patio and live music and La Vita Dolce is the perfect spot to end any night.
The Chapel Hill/Carrboro area has so much to offer when it comes to exceptional local restaurants and the diverse food scene that the Triangle area is known for. Regardless of which you choose, we promise you can’t go wrong! As always, remember to check the website for the most up-to-date information regarding hours for each restaurant. Given the current state of the pandemic, everything is still fluid and changing often.
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