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Late night on Franklin: A guide to finding your next midnight snack


On any given night, it can be hard to tell whether the queues of people lining Franklin Street lead to a bar or a slice of pizza.

The UNC community is known for its liveliness, and late-night food joints help keep the town awake after long study sessions in Davis Library or bar crawls on a Friday night. 

Heavenly Buffaloes

On West Franklin Street, Heavenly Buffaloes is easy to spot. The entrance to the green, blue and orange geometric building reads in bold words: “The Wing Joint You’ve Been Looking For.” 

The restaurant offers 28 different sauces and seasonings for their wings, which are their specialty, but also serves dishes like sandwiches, waffle fries and salads. 

“As students, all of us are studying and we all have degrees that we are going after," server Zachary Lucas, a sophomoresaid. “Since it is one of the only options that’s open that late — like if I’m studying ‘til two in the morning and I’m hungry, what am I going to do?”

Heavenly Buffaloes is open until midnight from Monday to Thursday, until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and until 10 p.m. on Sunday. 

City Bus Burritos and Tacos

A big blue bus parks every evening at Carolina Car Wash and Detail, where West Franklin Street turns into Carrboro's Main Street. City Bus Burritos and Tacos serves classic street tacos, burritos and quesadillas in addition to authentic Mexican recipes such as pupusas and tortas. 

City Bus Burritos and Tacos is open from 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Sup Dogs

With no frills, an atmosphere steeped in UNC sports and thumping music over loud conversation, Sup Dogs is bustling with energy and American fare. Located on the heart of Franklin Street, its classic hot dogs, burgers and specialty drinks often attract students late at night and on weekends.

Sup Dogs is open until midnight on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, until 2:30 a.m. on Monday and until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers

As one of the newest additions to Franklin Street, lines for the simple chicken finger meals at Raising Cane's can extend out the door on weekends. 

Kevin Hernandez, a crew trainer at Cane's, describes working there as busy, tiring and fun. 

He said it is nice that Cane's is open late so students can work at night if they have classes in the morning.

Raising Cane's is open until midnight from Sunday through Wednesday and stays open until 1 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday. 

Grk Yeero

Late at night, the aromas from Grk Yeero falafels and shawarma spill onto Franklin Street. After bars and clubs close, it’s hard to find a seat after you order from their menu of Greek and Mediterranean classics. 

“The people are really nice, it closes at 4 a.m., so we go at 1:00 and then we stay there until like 3:00, and it's really close to my dorm and the food is pretty good,” first-year Fariha Neikar said.

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She said that her go-to order is kebabs and fries. Grk Yeero also has options for vegan, vegetarian, halal and gluten-free restrictions.

Grk Yeero is open until 4 a.m. every day.

Cosmic Cantina

Cosmic Cantina, though hidden at the end of an alley, often has a line out the door. A popular midnight craving, the small corner shop is crowded with hungry people, echoing with chatter that competes with the music playing over the speakers. 

The orange walls of its interior are covered in numerous awards and accolades celebrating its variety of popular burritos, ranging from mini burritos at just $3.09 to giant burritos at $17. Additionally, they serve tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas and other platters — all for affordable prices. 

Cosmic Cantina is open until 4 a.m. every day

I Love New York Pizza

Passing by this shop on Franklin Street, it is hard to resist the stacks of fresh pizza that can be seen through the front window. The garlic knots and varieties of pizza, from buffalo chicken to Pepperoni, are served warm. 

For a late night slice of pizza, I Love New York Pizza is open until 12 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, until 1 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday, and is closed on Sunday and Monday.


A landmark of Chapel Hill, Time-Out has been serving comfort Southern food since 1978 and still is all day, every day. 

According to the website, after opening Time-Out, founder Eddie Williams, a UNC alumnus, quickly made the restaurant open 24-hours a day because he believed Chapel Hill to be "the town that never sleeps.”

While these are a few of the options, the local Chapel Hill-Carrboro area businesses offer numerous options for your next midnight meal. Happy eating!


@dthlifestyle |