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What They Missed In Chapel Hill's '36 Hours'

An image of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill
Creative Commons


It's tough covering everything Chapel Hill and Carrboro have to offer in just 36 hours. The New York Times stopped by a few local spots like Neal’s Deli and the Ackland Art Museum when itrecently visited the area.


But of course, some spots were overlooked, as any visitor is able to see only some of the sights in such a short amount of time.


We asked for feedback on places that didn't get a stop, but deserved a slot on the list. The responses showed that the way to Chapel Hillians' hearts is through their stomachs. Most of the places named are restaurants where you can find Chapel Hill’s exclusive southern cuisine.


Here are some of the more popular places that weren’t included in the New York Times visit:

Merritt’s Store and Grill

Merritt’s is a place for people to step off of Chapel Hill’s bustling South Columbia Street and slow down. Known for its delicious BLT’s, the restaurant's food is local and fresh, and customers can enjoy a variety of sodas, local beer, and live folk and bluegrass music. If the sun is out, enjoy Merritt’s outdoor dining in the back, while you enjoy a Cheerwine and some of the most savory and satisfying sandwiches around.

Here is a video about Merritt's from UNC's Reese News:

Caffe Driade


Tucked away off East Franklin Street, Caffe Driade is a coffeehouse with plenty of culture. Rustic decorations paint the ceiling of the the cafe’s quaint space. Local rich Carrboro Coffee Roasters, beer, wine and pastries abound. But the real treat is outside -- the cafe’s patio nestled in the woods of Bolin Creek Trail, where lanterns and Christmas lights give a soft and soothing vibe.  


Credit Creative Commons / Wikipedia
A front porch adorns the outside of Mama Dip's restaurant.

Mama Dip’s Kitchen


For almost 40 years, Mama Dip’s has served up quality, home-cooked southern cuisine. House specialties include chicken and dumplings, smothered pork chops and chicken fried steak. The recipes are “old-fashioned,” and the the flavors taste just like home. Mama Dip’s represents a traditional southern cooking style. Customers come with watering taste buds and leave with full stomachs.


Cat’s Cradle

The music venueis a staple of Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s entertainment scene and has hosted musicians from Joan Baez to Nirvana. With recent renovations and a new Back Room, Cat’s Cradle is a sure place to see your favorite band or stumble upon some new tunes during a night out.


Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

While Mama Dip’s and Merritt’s offer good food in a homey location, Sunrise Biscuit Kitchenbrings the flavor of the South to visitors' cars. Customers flood onto Franklin Street during the breakfast rush hour as they patiently wait in line at the Drive-Thru only restaurant. Sunrise serves burgers and hot dogs, but don't look much further on the menu than the renowned chicken & cheddar biscuit.

Check out a video of the Travel Channel's visit to Sunrise Biscuits here.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Morehead Planetarium brings science to life for people of all ages. Visitors can learn about planets and constellations under an astounding display of the night sky.

Other fan favorites included Sutton's Drug Store, Crook's Corner, Vimala's Curryblossom Cafe and Johnny's Gone Fishing.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
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