Top Five: Chapel Hill

Welcome to our Top Five series, where bomb women show us their city's food scene through their eyes. From speakeasies in Cleveland to roadside spam in Hawaii to whole hog barbecue in Charleston, they're showcasing their local haunts and the places you wouldn't find on your own. 


Curated by Marcie Ferris

Marcie Ferris is a scholar of the American South and American food cultures--largely those in her region! For close to 30 years, she's worked in the field of public history--in museums, historical organizations, and academia---where she's published, talked, and taught using food and material culture as a lens on place. She is the author of The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region and Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South

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Credit:  The Root Cellar

(1) Coffee

The Root Cellar Cafe

750 M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

The Root Cellar (formerly Foster's) is just down the hill from my house, so I can easily 'roll' down for a convenient and friendly place to write and work. I've been going there practically EVERY week for the past 15 years---since we first arrived in Chapel Hill. I love the steady hum of students and others who gather there to work and socialize. The food is always fresh, local, and delicious. The coffee is a great local roast--and always hot (which is important to me!). The staff/owners are progressive and always welcoming! They're happy for you to stay 10 minutes or a good chunk of the day, which I often do when I've got a big project I'm working on but don't want to be isolated at home! 


(2) Breakfast

Weaver Street Market

101 E Weaver St, Carrboro, NC 27510

I love a sweet potato muffin from Weaver Street Market. Favorite ritual--go to the Carrboro Farmers' Market on Sat. morning, followed by coffee, muffin, and newspaper reading on the lawn of Weaver Street. Paper reading usually means people watching. We did this religiously when we first arrived in Chapel Hill, and then preparing for weekly teaching kidnapped my early Saturday mornings. I'm about to retire from teaching, and looking forward to starting up this delicious ritual again!


(3) Lunch

Med Deli

410 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516 (or Lenoir Dining Hall on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus!)

Med Deli was my 'go-to'-I-need-something-green-crunchy-fresh-filling-TASTY-served-from-the nicest-guys-in-the-world' place in the dining hall at UNC-CH.


Credit:  Kitchen

Credit: Kitchen

(4) Dinner 


764 M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

My husband Bill and I have been huge fans of KITCHEN since it first opened in Chapel Hill. It is OUR neighborhood bistro, and we're there most every week for supper (and often for a lunchtime meeting, too). Brilliant, delightful, hospitable staff provide incredible service---and friendship---! We've known many of the servers for at least five years---wow! And the food is ALWAYS creative, delicious, fresh, seasonal, and local---a great mix of French cafe food and southern taste of place. We love the talented and delightful owners/chef--Dick and Sue Barrows!


(5) Drinks

The Crunkleton

320 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Love Gary Crunkleton and his mission/vision for the Crunkleton and its delicious hand-crafted cocktails. Only wish they had bar snacks. Gary--please! bring on the pretzels, ok?!? Marcie needs em'! (and a local cheese plate, puh-leeeeze.)