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Mar 24, 2008 02:07 PM

New Yorker working in Chapel Hill for a week


I will be going down to Chapel Hill for a week for work.

What restaurants should I be looking to eat at? Price really isnt an issue(thank you expense account). I will have a rental car, but am looking for places within a 30 min radius.

Also, looking to try some great North Carolina BBQ. Just did a stretch in Kansas City, so it will be nice to compare. Whats your favorite?


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  1. BBQ

    Allen and Sons. It has it's fans and haters alike but it's been around for about forever. They still cook with hickory only.

    BBQ Joint

    The Q Shack-Not really a NC style only but it's still really good.

    For when you're feeling a little more spendy Elaine's, Lantern, Nana's, or Magnolia Grill are winners IMO.

    If you're out late and hapen to have had a few too many a chicken biscuit at Time Out
    while maybe not "good" is somewhat of a traditon. I'm a fan of the Bojangles chicken biscuit and yeah I know it's a chain (NC based at least) but they don't have them in New York at least try one while you're here.

    Check out one of the tacquerias in Durham-Lopez, Los Comales, Superior.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LBD

      Seconding Allen & Son. That place has ruined me for any other BBQ.

      1. re: eliah

        Allen & Son is the best BBQ I've had anywhere. Just make sure you do the (closer and original) Allen & Son that's north of Chapel Hill up MLK Drive/Hwy 86, just a mile or so north of I-40 exit 266, NOT the one 15 miles south of town near Pittsboro.

        Make sure to get the pulled pork there, not the ribs. NC BBQ is all about the pulled pork. I like getting the bbq + brunswick stew combo. platter, which also comes with a side of slaw and hushpuppies. The tastes go together soooo well.

    2. Watts Grocery, Rue Cler in Durham or Lantern right on Franklin Street! and Stop into Locopops for dessert.

      1 Reply
      1. re: powershour

        Hmm, as a former New Yorker, I'm thinking you'd like Crooks Corner, definitely, they serve upscale Southern food, shrimp and grits etc...I'd go to the bar at the Carolina Inn, and then sit outside under the great porch with a drink and maybe food and look at the massive Magnolias, that totally wowed me...
        Southern Rail in Carrboro has incredible upscale food and those railroad cars, and the new bar have tons of atmosphere...

      2. Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill for a dressy meal. Perfect dishes, impeccable service. This is one of my favorite restaurants in the country, and I've been "around the bend" so to speak after living some time in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it stacks up nicely. Get the $25/person additional wine pairing and have a high-flying adventure with Tina, the co-owner and sommalier who will guide your selections with vibrancy and abandon.

        1. Did I read today that Allen and Son was voted #1 BBQ in nation by Esquire magazine? I've never been that much of a fan, but all you guys can't be that wrong!

          1 Reply
          1. re: wintersummer


            "Local BBQ named nation's best
            Allen & Son barbecue restaurant in Chapel Hill has been cited by Esquire magazine in its March 2008 issue as offering the best chopped-pork sandwich in the United States.
            The restaurant, which has been open since 1970, was cited in a 14-page special feature called "Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: The Best Sandwiches in America."

            Allen & Son is on N.C. 86, about a mile north of Interstate 40, at Millhouse Road. "

          2. As a local who was transplanted to NYC for a couple of years, I can attest that there is a sore lack of biscuits in the city, so I second the rec for one breakfast or lunch at Bojangles or at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen on east Franklin Street.

            Other lunch recs: Foster's Market (Martin Luther King, couple of miles from campus), Weaver Street Market in Carrboro in nice weather (organic co-op with great lawn for long slow lunch), Cosmic Cantina (Franklin St). Weaver Street would also be great after work on a nice sunny evening, you can sit outside and enjoy a beer or some wine and whatever snacks your heart desires, while reading the paper or just watching the street life in Carrboro.

            Definitely second the rec for Lantern (west Franklin), which has Asian-inspired cuisine with emphasis on fresh local and organic ingredients. I think this would be especially good because Lantern has a great cozy bar in the back where you can get the full menu - if you are dining alone, this would be an excellent place to do it. Panzanella in Carrboro (Carr Mill Mall) would also be a good choice - Italian-influenced menu, very fresh and simple preparation. Panzanella is good in general, but it also has a friendly Carrboro atmosphere and I think would be a good place for dining alone, either at the bar or not.

            I hope you enjoy yourself - a week in Chapel Hill, with several good relaxing meals, could be a great vacation from the city.