Chapel Hill, NC recs
I'm spending one night in Chapel Hill next week. Need recs for dinner, and breakfast. For dinner open to any cuisine. Will be staying downtown so that location is a plus but not essential.
Penang has yo-yo service, but good food - SE Asian, right on west Franklin.
Dead Mule Club is a bar on West Franklin - Local flavor, no you don't have to be a member to check it out, tell them you're a visitor.
Spanky's is an old Chapel Hill institution, they now have antibiotic hormone free burgers that are quite good.
Il Palio at the bottom of the hill in the Siena Hotel is more expensive, but better than 411 West. Otoh, Panzanella is quite decent, and not quite so fancy.
The Carolina Inn downtown is worth a look, if you want to eat somewhere here that is older than dirt.
Red Lotus is good "neo" chinese, and they have an amazing bartender (the owner).
No one here recommends Weathervane at A Southern Season. It's a nice restaurant, with a bar area, and you can shop and wander the store as well (if you've never heard of A Southern Season, it's worth a visit). It's a wee bit chrome & fern as a restaurant, ok, but really the food is surprising.
Breakfast in this town is more difficult, depending on how early you want it. There isn't any place I'd "recommend" except Merritt's Store, which is on South Columbia Street down next to the 15-501/54/Fordham Blvd overpass. It is the only country store remaining in Chapel Hill, and they serve decent breakfast, but killer BLTs. No, they don' t have a sit down area, unless you call a bench outside sit down. Sutton's is the other alternative if you don't want to go the 6 blocks to Merritts.
It beats any chain to death, and the quality at Elmos & and the service/quality at Breadmans have gone down too much over the years for me to recommend anymore.
If downtown, Sutton's is the obvious choice for breakfast. Average food but great local color, esp. if you sit at the counter. Merritt's is good but that is a tricky trip w/o a car if you don't know the area.
For dinner? Any of the dozen CH threads on here should give you an idea of the choices. Any of those above would do you well, I'll add Crook's Corner and The Lantern to the list of obvious choices
Sutton's Drug Store
Chapel Hill, NC, Chapel Hill, NC
Chapel Hill, NC, Chapel Hill, NC
Chicken Biscuit at Sunrise as well as an immaculate cappucino at Driade (both on Franklin not far from downtown heading towards Durham you can walk it but it will take at least 15 minutes both ways) should be on your short list of morning options.
If you want to eat on Franklin, I would vote for either Lantern or Elaines. If you're prepared to venture out a bit, your options open up.
I'll second the Merrit Store for a BLT at lunch. Great sandwich.
Speaking of sandwiches, Sandwhich is right downtown and does a fabulous job. They're right behind Panang (a place that I don't endorse not only because the service can be horrible, but I think the food is average at best).
If you like beer, check out Milltown just towards Carrboro from downtown CH. Nice selection of brews and some tasty pub fare as well.
If you want something on the upscale side (with good food) I'd say Elaines or Lantern. Talullah's is also good, lower-key and fun atmosphere, Turkish food. These are all walking distance, which is always nice (more wine please!).
You didn't mention lunch, but if you have a chance, get yourself a sandwich at Sandwhich (or have I gotten confused on which is the restaurant name and which is the correct spelling?). The place is fantastic. Follow it up with a popsicle from Locopops (in the same building) and you'll have a wonderful lunch.