Chapel Hill is an amazing city located in the Carolina region of the United States. It is well known for its welcoming community, as well as its warm and temperate weather.
It has an array of activities to keep visitors occupied, from outdoor hikes to dining experiences at some of the best restaurants in the country. For those who are looking for a fun place to visit or live, Chapel Hill has something for everyone.
Chapel Hill is also known for its vibrant city center and delicious restaurants. With an abundance of local eateries to choose from, visitors and residents alike can explore the rich flavors of downtown Chapel Hill. From casual bites to upscale fine dining, Chapel Hill offers something for everyone’s taste buds.
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a memorable meal, the variety of downtown Chapel Hill restaurants is sure to delight you. Here we will present you some of the best downtown Chapel Hill restaurants to make your experience in this city memorable.
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Table of Contents
8 Must-Try Downtown Chapel Hill Restaurants, NC
100 E. Franklin St. #300, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, United States // +19199298676
Welcome to Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, a staple of the Chapel Hill restaurant scene for over twenty years. From its cozy atmosphere indoors to its spacious patio outdoors, Top of the Hill offers something for everyone.
Known locally as one of the best late-night breweries in town, they offer an extensive draft beer selection with something sure to please every palate. The food menu is equally varied and includes bar snacks, sandwiches, salads, entrees, and other American fares.
One of my favorite things on the menu is the Baja Chicken Salad with fresh greens tossed in a house-made creamy Baja dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, gorgonzola, white and yellow cheddar cheese, topped with cornmeal encrusted chicken skewers and Baja tortilla crisps.
Also, I strongly recommend the Buttermilk Fried Chicken dish with locally sourced chicken breast, crispy fried with mushroom cream gravy, topped with diced tomatoes and scallions, served with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a buttermilk biscuit.
If you’re looking for a great place to hang out with friends or just grab some good grub, Top of the Hill should be at the top of your Chapel Hill downtown restaurant list. Enjoy a craft beer and a delicious meal while taking in Chapel Hill’s beautiful skyline from their outdoor patio – it doesn’t get much better than this!
456 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516, United States // +19199331177
Chapel Hill’s Talullas is a cozy Turkish restaurant that brings the vibrant colors of Turkey to North Carolina. The restaurant features an array of delicious dishes as well as colorful hanging rugs, and a warm ambiance. Enjoy traditional Mediterranean food, with options for both meat eaters and vegetarians alike, in a comfortable atmosphere.
The interior décor creates an inviting atmosphere; while large windows fill the room with natural light, colorful hanging rugs add a unique touch to the scene. The menu includes kabobs, hummus, falafel, and more – all made fresh daily with local ingredients whenever possible.
On top of their delicious meals, guests can enjoy great drinks like cocktails, beer, or Turkish coffee. Whether you’re looking for lunch or dinner out on the town or simply want to relax in a cozy setting, Talullas is sure to please!
As a fan of Turkish cuisine, I enjoyed every meal there. From the appetizers, we ordered the Mercimek Soup, which is a traditional Turkish soup made from red lentils. We also tried the red lentil patties, made with bulgur wheat, spicy Antep pepper, scallions, mint, and parsley. The Turkish food is flavorful and strong, with a lot of spices, but I found everything to be well-balanced here.
For lunch, my favorite is the İskender Döner Kebab on a bed of toasted Turkish bread, homemade yogurt, and tomato sauce. I simply love this taste, and I always go back for this dish.
If you are starving, I strongly recommend one more similar specialty called Yoğurtlu Kebablar. That is their house special kebab with your choice of köfte, chicken, lamb, or Adana laid on a bed of toasted cubed Turkish pidde bread, homemade yogurt, and tomato sauce.
If you are visiting this place, they will never let you go home without something sweet and a cup of Turkish coffee in the end. The Künefe dessert is shredded wheat wrapped around Hatay cheese, topped with a mulberry extract, oven baked, and dressed with syrup, and it simply melts in your mouth!
For a taste of Turkey in a downtown Chapel HYill restaurant, Talullas is your place.
460 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516, United States // +19199421800
Founded in 1995, Carolina Brewery’s Chapel Hill location is one of the oldest operating craft breweries in the Triangle. It is the perfect place to get together with friends and enjoy a delicious craft beer.
Carolina Brewery has everything if you’re looking for a classic American meal or something unique and flavorful. With an outdoor patio that overlooks downtown Chapel Hill, it’s the ideal spot to enjoy some fresh air while watching your favorite sports teams on TV.
The menu features comfort food favorites like burgers, wings, tacos, and more, all made with locally sourced ingredients. For eating there, I recommend their Carolina on My Mind burger with house-ground beef, pimento cheese, bacon, iceberg lettuce, tomato, onions, house pickles, Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, and peppercorn mayo. It pairs perfectly with the beer!
If you come earlier in the day, you will find an exciting brunch menu which includes Bloody Marys and Mimosas for a drink, Buffalo chicken wings, chicken and waffles, breakfast burrito, homemade veggie burgers, Baja omelets, blueberry bread pudding French toast, and many more delicious treats for everyone.
Their rotating selection of craft beers ensures there’s always something new to try! With options like Mexican lager and smooth porters, there’s sure to be a beer style that everyone can agree on. Plus, happy hour is Monday-Friday from 3 pm – 6 pm so that everyone can get their favorite drinks at discounted prices!
403 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516, United States // +19193917044
The Northside District is a popular restaurant in Chapel Hill for those looking for good food, good service, and a comfortable seating area. The district has an expansive bar area with plenty of space to socialize or just relax after a long day.
The menu features classic American cuisine with some unique twists on traditional dishes. Whether you are looking for something light like sandwiches or sliders or healthier entrees such as noodles or salad, the Northside District can satisfy your appetite.
I started my night with a glass of my favorite classic Old Fashioned with Bullet Bourbon, Smoked Orange Simple, Angostura Bitters, and cherry and finished it with a Mezcal Mule cocktail with Mezcal, spicy Ginger Beer, lime, and juice. Both the cocktails consisted of quality alcohol, so we didn’t end up with a headache the next day.
We paired our drinks with fried chicken with house-made cut fries, smothered in chorizo gravy and served with pickles, and it was completely enough to share.
The atmosphere here is always pleasant and inviting; the staff is friendly and attentive to your needs. They really strive to make sure that each customer leaves feeling satisfied with their dining experience.
If you decide to stay awhile after your meal, there are several comfortable seating areas where you can kick back and enjoy a few drinks with friends. Also, If you’re looking for a fun evening out with friends, why not try one of the many trivia nights hosted there?
153 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, United States // +19199038428
Hibachi & Company restaurant in downtown Chapel Hill is the perfect spot for an easy, delicious meal. This counter-serve eatery offers Japanese Hibachi fare that is sure to please. All of their dishes are full of flavor and prepared with fresh ingredients.
The atmosphere at Hibachi & Company is casual yet inviting, making it a great spot for a quick bite or leisurely dinner. The staff takes time to explain each dish as they prepare it right in front of customers, allowing them to experience the unique flavors and aromas as they cook.
Customers can choose from an array of options, such as salmon teriyaki and garlic shrimp, all cooked with precision and garnished with local produce.
Their must-try entree is the Chicken Hibachi, which is a Prime cut of white meat chicken from local farms, grilled to perfection, with freshness and tenderness you can taste.
For lunch, I always go with my favorite Chicken Teryaki or Shrimp Teryaki and am always satisfied with my choice. The portions are solid, and the food looks and tastes quality.
203 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, United States // +19199336663
Linda’s Bar and Grill is the best downtown restaurant in Chapel Hill for casual comfort food. With a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, Linda’s has been a local community staple for many years. From juicy burgers to delicious sandwiches and wings, all of their menu items are made with fresh ingredients and served unpretentiously.
If you’re looking for some good eats in a mellow setting, then look no further than Linda’s Bar and Grill. Linda’s brunch is to die for.
They have a pretty small menu, but they always have everything we want. We recommend you the Black Bean Breakfast Burrito with black beans and sausage or bacon served with a black bean patty, jalapeno peppers, onions, tomato sriracha aioli, and cheese in a toasted flour tortilla.
Besides this, there I a nice selection of plates for sharing such as wings, homemade fries, burgers, and an amazing and worth trying Salmon Cake Salad, with two pieces of salmon cakes fried or grilled with Romaine lettuce, tomato, onion, and cucumber. The taste is perfectly refreshing!
Just to mention, not only are their prices affordable, but they also offer daily specials that make it hard to resist stopping by more than once! Whether you’re visiting solo or with friends, this easygoing eatery will not disappoint – just don’t forget to save room for one of their decadent desserts!
410 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516, United States // +19199672666
Every day at Mediterranean Deli, Bakery and Catering is a celebration of family. This father-daughter duo takes great pride in the business that they own together. They offer delicious Mediterranean food made from scratch with fresh ingredients that they source locally whenever possible.
Not only do they serve hot meals, but you can also find an array of pastries and baked goods that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. The bakery items they make themselves, with a lot of love.
Their options are endless, and the portions are huge. If you’re a fan of Mediterranean food, try their Greek Gyro. Among all the downtown Chapel Hill restaurants, you will find the tastiest gyros here. Also, don’t forget to finish your meal with one of their delicious desserts. I love the baklava, but the tiramisu is also light and a must-have!
The family atmosphere inside the deli sets it apart from other restaurants in town. Stop by to taste some of their freshly made dishes and desserts today!
2110 Environ Way, Chapel Hill, NC 27517, United States // +19195378780
Elements Restaurant in downtown Chapel Hill is a premier high-end eatery serving up delicious Asian cuisine. The restaurant boasts a large and diverse menu, as well as an impressive variety of wines from all around the world. Diners can expect to find fresh, creative dishes found nowhere else in the area.
The restaurant’s atmosphere is warm and inviting, with its sleek modern decor creating a cozy yet upscale ambiance.
Guests can look forward to being treated like royalty by the professional waitstaff, who go out of their way to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience. Elements’ expansive wine list will also delight any connoisseur looking to pair their food with some unique blends from across the globe.
From the small bites, my top pick is the Blue Crab and Egg Drop Soup, made from chicken bone broth, with added quail eggs, sesame oil, scallions, and a Chinese cruller. Refreshing, easy, and delicious.
For your main course, I recommend Bo Lu Lac. This is a wok-seared filet mignon with hydro bibb lettuce, buttermilk blue cheese dressing, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, and truffle fries. This is the perfect dish if you are in the mood for an experiment.
Whether you’re looking for something familiar or adventurous, the downtown Chapel Hill restaurant Elements has something for everyone!
Downtown Chapel Hill Restaurants: Conclusion
In conclusion, downtown Chapel Hill is a great destination for anyone looking to experience some of the best restaurants in the area. From classic American eateries to ethnic cuisine, there is something for every taste.
Not only do these eateries offer delicious food, but they also provide an interesting atmosphere that you won’t find anywhere else. With its convenient location, friendly staff, and diverse range of restaurants, downtown Chapel Hill is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
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Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever