The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday December 2nd

Review: Hops Burger Bar offers creative burger selection

We tested out Hops Burger Bar, the new burger joint in town.
Buy Photos We tested out Hops Burger Bar, the new burger joint in town.

My order was a North Carolinian burger with the house-made chips. The burger includes a fried egg, applewood bacon, pimento cheese, a fried green tomato and lettuce. If that sounds good to you, then I promise it will be. That burger rocked. It was cooked perfectly and had a lot of flavor, no extra condiments needed.

The Atmosphere 

Located on Franklin Street, close to Target and Spicy 9, Hops Burger Bar is an exciting addition to Chapel Hill’s dining scene. It’s a casual, trendy spot to get quality, creative American-style food. The space is small, clean, comfortable and bright, with a great view of Chapel Hill’s favorite street. Hops offers outdoor seating too, but without fans, it’s not an ideal option in mid-summer heat.

The Order 

After spending last summer working at a similar burger joint, I feel some confidence in knowing when I have a good burger. Hops didn’t disappoint.

My order was a North Carolinian burger with the house-made chips. The burger includes a fried egg, applewood bacon, pimento cheese, a fried green tomato and lettuce. If that sounds good to you, then I promise it will be. That burger rocked. It was cooked perfectly and had a lot of flavor, no extra condiments needed. 


We tested out Hops Burger Bar, the new burger joint in town.


What seems to set Hops apart from other trendy, American-style restaurants is its selection. Sometimes burger places tend to neglect other parts of their menu. But at Hops, their salads, sandwiches and appetizer picks seemed to have gotten equal care and thought and are worth considering. I think anyone who comes here will be able to find something that sounds good. 

Hop’s burgers of the week and specialty desserts offer additional new choices for customers. I think the only issue here is settling on one order.  

I was able to try two of their main sides, fries and chips. Both weren’t very impressive and somewhat bland. This was surprising given the quality of the burger. But Hops, in addition to appetizers, offers a “Wall of Fries” that likely outshine the generic sides. Choices include poutine, sweet Thai chili and cordon bleu fries.

The serving sizes at Hops are more than generous, and it’s unlikely you’ll leave this place hungry. Given the choice between a six, eight, or 12 oz. patty, six ounces seems like plenty for a hungry college student on a budget.

The Service

From my experiences in food service, I know that quality service can be tricky for a freshly opened, busy restaurant. However, Hops seems to have it together. For 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night, seating and serving was relatively quick. Service was friendly and efficient. 

Granted, I visited with a party of two, so a larger party could very well have a while to wait given the small space and popularity of the restaurant.

Conclusion

Hops Burger Bar is a fun, welcoming place with a really exciting, surprising menu (check out the Hibachi burger, seriously). I’m confident that it will take a couple more trips to try everything on the menu that I wanted to. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur, a foodie or just really hungry for a big, quality meal, it’s not a bad idea to give Hops Burger Bar a try.

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