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Apr 27, 2009 12:20 PM

Chapel Hill area: dinner reccomendations for weary traveler

New to town-- any dinner recommendations for the weary traveler, heading in the Chapel Hill direction from RDU on a Sunday evening?

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  1. considering the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill metro. area is one of the best foodie regions in the U.S. nowadays, the answer is probably "yes" (*with the caveat that some things are closed on Sunday). What type of cuisine are you looking for?

    2 Replies
    1. re: mikeh

      cuisine does not matter, the key factors are open somewhat late (9pm-ish) on a Sunday, and not too upscale, given that we'll be coming straight from the airport. thanks!

      1. re: rosemerin

        Sunday night is terrible in that many good restaurants are closed. I recently learned this the hard way on an anniversary. A couple options to consider: Sushi at Karuma (I may have misspelled this). Looks like a non-descript Japanese steakhouse, and partly is, but it is the best sushi experience in the triangle. Sit at the bar and explain that you would like traditional Japanese and let them do an omakase. Another good option is Il Palio in the Siena hotel. They've done a good job of updating the room and menu, both feeling more comfortable and less dated. Don't worry about how you're dressed. I ate there recently in shorts, sandals and a baseball cap. The food is excellent. Highlights included oysters, pizzas, every homemade pasta we tried, Cane Creek Pork Chop, and Seafood Cacciuco (Sp.).

    2. You might want to try Merlion (Malaysian food) or Panzanella (Italian). Neither is upscale, although the atmosphere is better at Panzanella. Both are very reasonably price and open on Sunday nights.
      Looks like it might be close on the timing, but here is their website:
      and Panzanella's:

      1. I'm going to suggest you stop in Durham, since you'll be going through there before you get to Chapel Hill (I'm assuming here you will be flying in to Raleigh-Durham).

        Unfortunately a lot of the good places will either not be open on Sunday or will close too early, but here's a few you could try:

        Carmen's Cuban Cafe - in Morrisville by the outlet mall, not far at all from the airport. I believe they are open until 10 pm on Sunday, would be worth it to call and check, I couldn't find their hours on their website!:

        There's Saffron, an Indian place on Davis Drive, also open until 10 on Sundays, but that may be a little fancier than you want:

        Ted's Montana Grill. Yes, it's a chain, but I've always liked what I've had there, it's right off the I-40, so easy for you to get to and it's open until 10pm.

        Ted's is also in an area where there are other restaurants, though nothing to write home about (mostly other chain places).

        1 Reply
        1. re: romansperson

          The onion rings at Ted's Montana Grill are the best you will ever eat in your life.

        2. If you get into Raleigh try the Raleigh Times downtown. Its a great pub with good food and service.

          1. If you have a craving for fresh seafood you might want to consider Kemp's. They are located very close to the airport. We loved Kemp's when we lived in that area.