Though Chapel Hill is mostly known for its prestigious university (Go Heels!) and its many winning college sports teams, it is also quickly becoming known as a foodie town all over the country. With so many people moving to Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas for school and career opportunities, it’s no wonder the restaurant scene has exploded over the years! Of course, there are a few standout restaurants that make Chapel Hill a can’t miss destination for foodie adventurers and those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Here are Chapel Hill’s top five most popular restaurants that should definitely be on your list of places to check out and experience:

Mama Dip’s Kitchen

Mama Dip’s Kitchen has been a crucial part of Chapel Hill’s food scene since it opened in 1976. It serves up home-style southern food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Since its opening, owner Mildred Cotton Council has published two cookbooks and offers her own line of gourmet food products.

Bin 54 Steak and Cellar

Bin 54 Steak and Cellar takes fine dining to the next level! This steakhouse serves up the highest quality meats and features a unique wine list that’s been recognized by Wine Spectator year after year. Bin 54 Steak and Cellar has also been recognized by OpenTable as one of the top 100 steakhouses in America!


Lantern serves up Asian-inspired cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. It opened in 2002 and quickly became a local favorite. Since then, it’s been enjoying national recognition. Lantern has been named one of “America’s Top 50 Restaurants” and “best farm-to-table restaurants” by Gourmet Magazine and as one of “America’s 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences” by Food & Wine Magazine. Owner/Chef Andrea Reusing also published her own cookbook in 2011, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes.


Chapel Hill foodies who find themselves at Southern Season picking up ingredients for their own meals often find themselves chillaxing at Weathervane, which is located inside the highly-acclaimed gourmet food store. The restaurant serves up contemporary southern cuisine made with local ingredients for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. It’s been recognized by OpenTable as one of the best brunch spots in America!


With dishes like Spicy Oyster Mushroom Curry Soup and Grilled Faroe Island Salmon, Jujube is one of the most unique Asian fusion restaurants around. It’s lauded by locals, and its Lemongrass Hanger Steak recipe was recently featured in Bon Appetit Magazine.

Other restaurants that have made an impression on the Chapel Hill’s foodie landscape include Crook’s Corner, Al’s Burger Shack, and Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery, which also makes its own beer and liquor products that are beloved by locals and visitors alike. New restaurants frequently open in the area, and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring to Chapel Hill’s restaurant scene in 2018 and beyond!

So what are some of your all-time favorite restaurants in Chapel Hill that are the most well-established? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN