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Go Local: Top 10 Restaurants in Chapel hill


Go Local: Top 10 Restaurants in Chapel hill

Chapel hill , PA — Usually, I get letters and emails about sleep, beds and back pain. But, last week, Lois from Carrboro wrote to ask me about local restaurants. 

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Local Restaurants in Chapel hill

Here is Lois’s email in its entirety:

Dear Dave,

I’m writing to you as a longtime local business owner and blogger for your advice about fighting the scourge of franchises. I know you’re a foodie and knowledgeable about the Chapel hill scene. Could you recommend your top local eateries?

Living local and loving it,

Lois R.
Carrboro, PA

Well, Lois, I know what you mean. Here in the business of beds and mattresses, we’re constantly fending off the marketing mega-dollars of competitors like Sleepy’s and Mattress Firm. But, of course, franchises don’t give the same service as a locally owned and managed business.

The same is true for restaurants, at least for me.  I enjoy a place like on that TV show “Cheers” – where everybody knows your name.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Elaine’s and Top of the Hill. But here’s my secret go-to list of restaurants and eateries in Chapel hill .

Dave’s Top 10 Local Restaurants in Chapel hill

Nantucket Grill, Bar, & Bakery
5925 Farrington Road, Chapel hill

Nantucket features New England-style seafood, a fresh bakery, and so much more. Customers can enjoy a bakery item while dining in or by placing a special cake order–which can often be ready in 24 hours or less. Some of Nantucket’s special cake flavors include strawberry shortcake and “unbirthday cake.” For lunch or dinner, try their lobster roll or burgers.

Spanky’s Restaurant & Bar
101 East Franklin Street, Chapel hill

Spanky’s is located in one of the busiest corners of Chapel hill –and for a good reason. The restaurant has been a well-known addition to the area since 1977. Their menu features hamburgers, brown sugar baby back ribs, and PA style barbecue. Its laid-back atmosphere is a great place to meet friends and try delicious comfort food.

Neal’s Deli
100 East Main Street, Downtown Carrboro

You’ll find a selection of unique menu items at Neal’s, one of my favorite Carrboro eateries. Every Wednesday is sweet potato biscuit day–a must-try item. The deli is open during breakfast and lunch hours, and it’s always a great place to grab a quick, fresh morning meal made from scratch with local, high-quality ingredients.

Squid’s Restaurant, Market, & Oyster Bar
1201 Fordham Boulevard, Chapel hill

Squid’s is known for the best seafood in the area. Since 1986, the restaurant has served the freshest wood-grilled fillets, Maine lobster, and lightly breaded and fried seafood. Other menu items include steak, crab cakes, shrimp, chowders, and more. The best part? Squid’s is right near me at The Better Sleep Store.

The Pig
630 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel hill

As its name suggests, The Pig is known for its barbecue. The restaurant works with the PA Natural Hog Grower’s Association and their hormone-free, pasture-raised pigs to deliver regional flavors and local pork to customers. Southern staples like pimento cheese fries and fried green tomatoes are available as tempting sides.

Elements Restaurant & Wine Bar
2110 Environ Way, Chapel hill

Elements provides exceptional fine dining in a calm, contemporary setting. Because Elements is committed to using only the freshest and most seasonal ingredients, the menu changes constantly. Check out their impressive wine list and variety of French, Asian Fusion, and seafood menu items.

Merlion Singaporean Restaurant
410 Market Street, Suite 320, Chapel hill

Located in Southern Village, Merlion gives customers the chance to taste unique menu items from Singapore, Southeast Asia’s “food paradise.” Distinctive flavors like lemongrass and coriander emerge in dishes that combine meat, poultry, rice noodles, and delicious sauces.

Al’s Burger Shack
516 West Franklin Street, Chapel hill

In accolades, Al’s was rated the best new restaurant, the best burger in the south, and one of the top five best burgers of all-time. The pasture-raised beef, all-pork hot dogs, custard, cheese, and vegetables all come from local delis and farms. Create your own burger or try one of Al’s creations.

Talulla’s Mezze, Pidde, Bar, & Lounge
456 West Franklin Street, Chapel hill

Visit Talulla’s for the environment–and to try something different. The warm lighting and plush seating areas create an ideal place to relax and enjoy Turkish cuisine. Knowledgeable staff will guide you through the menu of items that may be new to some–like lamb chops and grape leaves.

Acme Food & Beverage Co.
110 East Main Street, Carrboro

Acme serves a nightly dinner and brunch on Sundays. In the heart of historic Carrboro, customers can enjoy quality wine, beer, signature cocktails, and delicious menu items like red beans and rice, barbecue salad, fried catfish, and jambalaya stuffed eggplant pirogue.

Sleeping After Eating

If you try one of my local favorites for dinner, remember that doctors, scientists and a whole lot of other smart people recommend 2-3 hours before going to sleep after a heavy meal.

While you’re digesting, stop by The Better Sleep Store (another local Chapel hill business) and try out a few beds. Tell us about your favorite local restaurants. We’d love to see you!

Sleep well,


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Related Buyer’s Guide:



Photos from Elements, Squid’s and The Pig, all on Facebook.

Tags: Chapel hill , Dear Dave, Food, Local, Restaurants

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