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Quick lunch in Chapel Hill

Any recommendations for a quick solo lunch in Chapel Hill? No pizza/Italian.

I had thought of going to Allen and Son, but I have to be at a meeting on the other side of Chapel Hill at noon, and it seemed too far to be able to eat and drive, assuming they open around 11-11:30am.

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  1. Chopsticks & More on Franklin St. downtown (two doors from Sutton's). Nice selection of Korean items. I have been there once and got a very tasty sandwich to go. While I was waiting I observed some good looking plates and bowls.

    1 Reply
    1. re: boaviagem

      I second Chopstick & More, had really nice bimibop the other day there.

    2. I'm almost positive they open at 10:30 if that helps.

      1. What day of the week? A fair number of places are closed on Mondays....

        Pastrami at Neals is really delicious, but closed Mondays.


        1 Reply
        1. re: meatn3

          It's later in the week, so I didn't figure much of anyone would be closed.

        2. I'll add in Mixed and Vimala's (the added bonus to both is that you can park at them).

          9 Replies
          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

            Vimala's is an excellent suggestion. I haven't been, but how about that Korean fried chicken place - has it worked out to be good? And that new falafel place on Franklin - someone was saying great things about it not long ago.

            1. re: LulusMom

              Totally agree on Vimala's -always delicious, parking and if the weather's nice you can sit outside in the courtyard. Do you mean Korchirpi which is now Chopsticks?

              Oh gosh and in the same courtyard is Kalamaki, Kipos' fast Greek food.

              1. re: Rory

                See, I'm not keeping up! Didn't realize the Korean place had changed names. Is it still Korean fried chicken?

                I haven't tried Kalamaki yet, but would love to. I know that I'd recommend Kipos, but not sure how quick it would be.

                eta: Oops, just read boaviagem's post about chopsticks which answers my questions.

              2. re: LulusMom

                That was me singing the praises of Hummus Cafe. I haven't been back there yet, as I usually avoid Franklin St. if possible when school is in session. I'm surprised no one else has chimed in on it either way, but based on my experience, highly recommended if you like Middle Eastern.

                1. re: Remsleep

                  I really want to try it - thanks for chiming in Remsleep. School will be out before we know it. Assume it is best as a carry-out place?

                  1. re: LulusMom

                    I sat down there. The ambiance is basically zero, but I didn't have any expectations in that regard. They had ESPN and CNN on the big screen. I was eating by myself, so I was fine with it. Wouldn't recommend it for a romantic occasion.

                    1. re: Remsleep

                      And I'm guessing no booze? (sorry, I repeat myself wayyyy too often on this topic)

                      1. re: LulusMom

                        I'm not a big drinker, especially at lunch, so it wasn't exactly on my radar. I don't recall seeing any beer bottles on display.

                        1. re: Remsleep

                          Totally understand. My guess is they are more of a carry-out type place. Really want a good falafel; maybe during T-giving break Lulu and I will make our way there. Thanks so much for the tip.

            2. I like Southern Comfort in the Europa Ctr

              I'm still a fan of Jujube.

              2 Replies
              1. re: AreBe

                I have been there recently and did not even realize it was no longer called Crook's Atrium Cafe. I agree it is an excellent lunch spot.

                1. re: boaviagem

                  Is it that Crook's Atrium Cafe just changed their name or is Southern Comfort Cafe really a different restaurant? The menu at Crook's Atrium Cafe menu used to be similar to Crook's Corner and it was a solid choice for lunch on a weekday.

                  From a quick look at Southern Comfort Cafe menu, it doesn't look like anything has changed from when it went by the name of Crook's Atrium Cafe:


              2. Naco-

                Lots of good recommendations here. Vimala's is a unique experience with their homestyle Indian cooking. I loved how they do Indian food without the cream. I know you're a fan of tacos, so you may want to look near Al's Garage & Crook's Corner for a taco truck.

                  1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                    Haven't gone yet; it's going to be tomorrow. I think I'm going to try for Allen and Son. If I do Korean or Indian I'm going to be tempted to order some spicy/aromatic concoction that will be coming out of my pores all day.

                    1. re: Naco

                      Give The Pig a buzz and see if they have their Pastrami sandwich on the specials board. If they have it pick one up on the way to or from Allen & Son-- The Pig is about a mile down Weaver Dairy Rd. from MLK/86 going towards Allen & Son. Eat it for dinner later. I'm tellin' ya, you won't regret it. Oh, and I like to stick the homemade sweet pickles it comes with in the sandwich.

                      1. re: bbqme

                        Well, this came too late for me to see, so perhaps next time.

                        I did, however, make it to Allen and Son, which was great. I wasn't incredibly hungry, so I just had a barbecue sandwich with slaw. Probably the heaviest smoke flavor of any eastern-style barbecue I've had. If I had to make a complaint about it, it would be that the smoke taste was a touch on the heavy side. On the whole though, great stuff that holds it own with any of the great barbecue places in eastern NC.

                        They even manage to have a setting that doesn't provoke a crippling amount of cognitive dissonance stemming from the fact that you're getting excellent wood-cooked barbecue in Chapel Hill.

                        1. re: Naco

                          The added smoke probably stems directly from their use of shoulders instead of whole hog. A shoulder has an exponentially higher meat surface area than a whole hog...which has relatively little exposed meat.

                          1. re: JayL

                            Yeah, I thought of that. I cook shoulders on the grill at home, and they come out really smoky if you don't do a partial foil wrap at some point, or finish them in the oven.

                            On the other hand, the Lexington places only use shoulders, and in my experience don't produce an unusually smoky barbecue. Certainly not as strong as what I had at A&S. Maybe the ketchupy sauce tamps it down.

                  2. Okay, mostly the same deal as in the OP. I'm going to have a parking spot that I'll be loathe to give up. Is there anything decent within walking distance of Davis/Student Stores/the Pit, that general area? Or should I just give up the death grip on the spot?

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Naco

                      How far of a walking distance? I mean in Lenoir is a basic out post of Sitar which isn't bad. But unless you want to walk to Franklin... not to my humble knowledge.

                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                        Any more than a mile and a half roundtrip, and I think I'd rather drive.

                      2. re: Naco

                        You can check this list to see if there are any retail dining options on campus that you might be interested in:


                        Personally, if I were going to eat on campus I'd choose Med Deli or Sitar at Lenoir Mainstreet.

                        But, if you're not interested in these, then I'm afraid you're going to have to give up the death grip unless you want to walk to Franklin St.

                        1. re: ToothTooth

                          quick walk to Franklin, if anything there is interesting to you. And don't forget that the bus system around Chapel Hill is free and there are tons of buses that go through campus.

                          1. re: ToothTooth

                            Good public transit and Indian food in the dining halls; it's like a trip abroad!

                            I guess my worry about the on-campus places is the noise level. I hate eating in loud environments.

                            1. re: Naco

                              Taking it in a carton. The trouble is finding a nice place to sit if it is too cold. Now I don't think there is any good food unless you count prepackaged med deli, but I like the atrium cafe in the Gillings School of Public Health. Another building I like is the Global Fed Ex building also not far from central campus.

                              Though I'd have to say that if weather is conducive walk to Franklin. Maybe give Chopsticks and More a try. I'm sure someone on here has been.

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                I've been to Chopsticks, it's a nice brisk walk, I do it all the time when I go from Franklin St to Davis library. So keep your spot, and walk across the campus and have a nice bowl of soup, korean bbq or bimibop.

                                1. re: Rory

                                  Yeah, I'd walk to Chopsticks & More-- I'm guessing it's 1/3 of a mile walk at most to Franklin St. from The Pit area-- and get their bulgogi sandwich. It's a bit messy but it's killer and a good deal.