Here in Chapel Hill, we are fortunate enough to have mild weather for most days of the year. The summers might get a little hot occasionally when temps hover in the 90s during the day, but on most afternoons or evenings, it’s comfortable enough to dine on the outdoor patio or the deck at one of Chapel Hill’s many dining establishments.

Here are the top seven best outdoor dining options in Chapel Hill which are definitely worth checking out when the weather cooperates:

Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery

Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery is home to one of the best views in town! Dine atop the building on the covered deck and enjoy the sites and sounds of Chapel Hill. Enjoy creative pub fare, locally-made craft beer, and taste of locally made liquors as well. This is a popular spot on sunny days so you may want to make a reservation if you want a seat on the deck.


Brave the elements at Elements!  (See what we did there?) This restaurant features contemporary Asian-inspired cuisine along with a fantastic sushi menu. Enjoy your meal inside the modern indoor space, or on the covered patio!


Enjoy the weather at the Weathervane!  (Couldn’t help myself with that one!) This restaurant is located inside the popular specialty food store, Southern Season. Though this area is usually bustling, the outdoor patio is secluded. This is the perfect spot to catch up with a friend while enjoying some fine southern cuisine.

Babalu Tapas & Tacos

Babalu Tapas & Tacos has locations throughout the south, but the Chapel Hill location is extra special, due to its amazing outdoor patio. This is the perfect spot for a night out with friends. Share a plate of grilled chicken satay and a few glasses of wine on a warm summer night!

Lucha Tigre

There’s something for everyone at Lucha Tigre! This restaurant features Latin-Asian fusion cuisine, along with sake and tequila bar. It’s great for groups and even has a welcoming outdoor patio with plenty of picnic tables for large crowds.

TRU Deli & Wine

TRU Deli & Wine is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine and a made-to-order sandwich. The patio has plenty of comfy seating, so grab your friends, make yourself comfortable and enjoy a leisurely lunch on a beautiful spring day!

Al’s Burger Shack

Located on Franklin Street, Al’s Burger Shack is a local favorite. Its award-winning burgers have been featured in Chapel Hill Magazine and Garden & Gun Magazine. You know you want to get in on this, so head to the shack, order Sean’s Bacon Cheeseburger, grab a seat at a picnic table and get ready to enjoy one of the souther’s best burgers!

Other spots where you can enjoy a gourmet meal al fresco include Elaine’s on Franklin, Vimala’s Curryblosson Cafe, and Lantern, which is listed as one of America’s Top 50 restaurants, according to Gourmet magazine. We’re not quite sure why eating outside makes everything taste better, but we love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

So what are some of your favorite cafes or restaurants to enjoy dining outside in Chapel Hill? 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