Welcome to Chapel Hill, site of the oldest state university in the United States! Tar Heel pride runs deep throughout this town where even fire engines are painted the beloved Carolina blue. Beyond that, though, Chapel Hill has tons of amazing restaurants and has even been called one of America’s Foodiest Small Towns by Bon Appetit.
Al's Burger Shack
Al’s Burger Shack is a must if you’re in the mood for burgers — you’ll find yourself eating the best burger in Chapel Hill (Daily Tar Heel, 2020) and even the best burger in America (TripAdvisor, 2018). They also serve hot dogs, shakes (made from Maple View Farms ice cream), and rosemary crinkle cut fries. Seating is mainly outdoors and is a little tight so expect to wait a few minutes for a table — definitely worth the wait!
Located on Franklin Street, Carolina Brewery serves great food, such as the Carolina on My Mind Burger, and beers brewed in-house. Their menu emphasizes fresh and local ingredients. The space itself is also very impressive as you can see the brewing tanks they use to make the beer.
Carrburritos is a Mexican taqueria featuring fresh and sophisticated flavors served in generous portions and made daily on location. Enjoy a variety of incredible salsas and award winning margaritas in an atmosphere with a funky vibe.
Located on Franklin Street, CholaNad brings authentic, contemporary South Indian food to Chapel Hill by serving food in the Tamil tradition. Their wonderfully flavorful food includes chicken tikka, street fried rice, and the “big bad tiger” (a table-length dosa for four, stuffed with lamb and chicken).
Discover delicious food in a casual setting at a restaurant the New York Times calls “sacred ground for Southern foodies.” Also named an “American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation, Crooks Corner is open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday as well as Sunday brunch.
Crossroads Chapel Hill
Crossroads crafts a dining experience unique to Chapel Hill. With its distinctly Southern soul and North Carolina spirit, this award winning restaurant infuses your experience with energy, great food and a comforting sense of place.
Italian Pizzeria III
Italian Pizzeria III is a counter-serve pizza shop run by brothers Angelo and Vincenzo Marrone who were born and raised in Naples, Italy. While the pizza is amazing (named the best pizza in Chapel Hill by the Daily Tar Heel in 2020), don’t miss out on their other specialties like manicotti, ravioli alla Napoli, and their award-winning cheesesteak. As they always say, IP3 is the place to be!
Lula’s, located on the corner of Franklin Street and Columbia Street, is the place to go if you’re looking for some Southern comfort food. They are famous for their incredible fried chicken and biscuits, but their menu also includes amazing lemonade, short ribs, and fried okra.
Located on Rosemary Street, Mama Dip’s is a Chapel Hill favorite that has been around since 1976. They are known for their Southern country cooking — for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch — and favorites include the sweet potato pancakes, chicken and dumplings, and Brunswick stew.
Mediterranean Deli on Franklin Street is the best place in Chapel Hill to get fresh, authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. They have over 63 items in their large deli case, a fully operational bakery, and a market that sells many products used in their dishes. Med Deli is also proud to offer organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.
Monterrey has all the Mexican favorites for an affordable price in a fun atmosphere. Their extensive menu features classics like arroz con pollo and house favorites like the Burrito Pepe. Monterrey was chosen as the best Mexican food in Chapel Hill for 2020 by the Daily Tar Heel. There are two locations:
Chapel Hill: 1722 Fordham Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Carrboro: 104 NC 54 Suite FF, Carrborro, NC 27510
Ms. Mong is a casual Asian spot that serves build-your-own stir fry bowls, burritos, banh mi sandwiches, and Mongolian barbecue. It is conveniently located right on Franklin Street and is an easy place to grab a meal to-go if you’d like to enjoy a nice day at McCorkle Place.
Spicy 9 is an Asian fusion restaurant on Franklin Street that has something for everyone — sushi, bento boxes, fried rice, ramen, Korean barbecue, you name it! Their buy one get one deal on specialty rolls any day of the week is extremely popular. Spicy 9 was also named the best Asian food in Chapel Hill in 2020 by the Daily Tar Heel.
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen
Sunrise Biscuit’s award winning Chapel Hill location is a drive-thru only restaurant offering breakfast biscuits and so much more! Enjoy chicken biscuits, ham biscuits and cinnamon rolls or lunch items like barbeque, sandwiches and hot dogs.
Sutton's Drug Store
A Chapel Hill institution, Sutton’s takes diners back to a simpler time in their old-fashioned operating pharmacy complete with soda fountain and diner food. Local memorabilia on the walls and ceiling complete the trip down memory lane.
The Purple Bowl
The Purple Bowl is a health-focused spot, serving acai bowls and toasts. Their build-your-own bowls feature fun ingredients like bee pollen, goji berries, and chia seeds. The atmosphere is simple and modern, and the small patio is a great place to enjoy Franklin Street. The owner is also very involved on campus and loves to see new faces!
Vecino Brewing Co.
Located in the heart of Carrboro, Vecino Brewing Co. offers incredible house-brewed beers, “farm-to-bar” food, and phenomenal service. They greatly value their community, and every day a portion of the proceeds from at least one of their beers is donated to a local charity.