The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 2nd

Column: A first-year's guide to restaurants around Franklin Street

Time-Out sits on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill on Thursday, June 10th, 2021.
Buy Photos Time-Out sits on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill on Thursday, June 10th, 2021.

Moving to a new place is difficult, and finding good places to eat is even harder. To help first-years moving onto campus this fall, here is a list of students' favorite restaurants around town.

Sup Dogs

Sup Dogs is the perfect place to grab a meal before or after a game day, with innovative spins on the humble game-day staple, the hot dog. The Franklin Street establishment also serves a large selection of appetizers, such as its delicious bacon cheese fries.

The restaurant has a wide range of hot dogs, all at an affordable price. Its secret Sup Dog Sauce adds a depth of flavor to the creative combinations, such as the Hawaiian combo which unites the secret sauce, honey mustard and pineapple to create a refreshing, tropical flavor.

TRU Deli

From craft-your-own sandwiches and salads to the beautiful outdoor terrace, TRU allows customers to enjoy their favorite flavors while taking in the North Carolina weather.

Located a block away from the edge of campus, TRU is accessible for students between classes when they are looking for a quick bite to eat that's not too pricey either. The perfect combination of delicious and peaceful, TRU is a favorite among students.

"The sandwiches and salads are incredible, and it is always fun to hang out with friends on their outdoor patio," junior Margaret LaMarche said.

Sutton's Drug Store

With a prime location on Franklin Street, Sutton's is almost a century old. It first opened in 1923, and the interior has stayed mostly the same. Pictures of Tar Heel greats line the wall in the store — its owner, Don Pinney, says it’s the only place of its kind.

"Sutton's is a different beast altogether," he told The Daily Tar Heel. "You could be sitting beside a homeless person and Dean Roper. People learn to blend together at Sutton's. We want everybody to be a part of the family."

The old-fashioned diner serves food including burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads and wraps, and no individual item at Sutton's is more than $8. 

Vimala's Curryblossom Café

What began as an underground culinary venture off Vimala Rajendran's front porch has transformed into the Indian and Southern blend of cuisines that is Vimala's Curryblossom Café.

"Vimala's is great because being on West Franklin means you can stay close to campus, but the restaurant itself is tucked away from the main road and feels a bit more private," senior Anna Furlong said.

Along with a unique mix of flavors, Rajendran engages in social justice efforts through her business.

Mediterranean Deli

Located on West Franklin, Med Deli, as it's known by the Chapel Hill community, has more menu options than you could ever sample in full during your four years at UNC and the atmosphere at the restaurant makes the food tastes ten times better there than at their location in the Bottom of Lenoir. 

With a large variety of vegan and vegetarian options, it has served authentic cuisines from the Middle East and the Mediterranean with fresh and healthy ingredients since it was established in 1991.

Time-Out Restaurant

Time-Out serves stick-to-your-ribs food that is emblematic of North Carolina, offering staples such as fried chicken, pork barbecue and buttermilk biscuits. Time-Out is a great restaurant for students wishing for those home-cooked meals.

Plus, the restaurant is open 24/7 and offers delivery, so satisfying those midnight cravings is easy. If you visit Time-Out, make sure to try the chicken and cheddar biscuit, one of its most popular menu items. Adam Richman, a famous food critic, even ate the famous biscuit in his show, Man v. Food, on Travel Channel.

Cosmic Cantina

Open from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m., Cosmic serves classic Mexican food, including burritos, quesadillas, tacos and chimichangas at cheap prices. Tucked in an alley off Franklin Street, it can be packed late at night Thursday through Saturday, but nothing beats Cosmic at 1 a.m.

Hibachi & Company

Located a quick walk from the quad, Hibachi & Company is an affordable, but delicious, option to spice things up from your meal plan. Offering hibachi and teriyaki entrees primarily under $10 apiece, this Franklin Street establishment is perfect for anyone running on a student budget.

"You get a large quantity of food for a good price," junior Ellen Simons said. "It doesn’t matter whether you eat there or get it to go, it’s always gonna taste good."

Noah Robert Houser contributed reporting.

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