We’re thrilled to see our favorite restaurants opening again and serving up the plates we’ve been craving for months. Now that we can finally get a reprieve from cooking and doing dishes every night, the big decision is—where to dine out first? If you’ve got a hankering to go out to eat, but are still taking extra safety precautions, we’ve got a list of the best outdoor patios in Chapel Hill so you can have your cake and eat it too.
Start the Day Off Right
Not only is Open Eye Café the go-to spot for made-to-order coffee and tea beverages in Carrboro, they’re now offering butter and chocolate croissants, scones, danishes and muffins from Ninth Street Bakery. Fresh deliveries arrive every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so grab a table out front to enjoy your first meal of the day or pick up breakfast to go.
For a broader range of breakfast fare, head over to Café Carolina & Bakery in Meadowmont. Their menu features everything from breakfast sandwiches, to French toast to the quiche of the day, plus a mouth-watering display of fresh-baked pastries. The patio provides ample shade, so feel free to bring your laptop and stick around for their amazing lunch options too.
Pencil in These Gems for Lunch
Carrburritos Taqueria has added an extra side of creativity to its menu. While its dining room is closed, they’ve turned their parking lot into a patio where tables are spaced six feet apart. The quirky setting feels oddly appropriate for this low-key, albeit delicious, Tex-Mex joint.
When Mediterranean Deli reopened in late May, they anticipated there would be increased demand for outdoor seating. They’ve since added to their outdoor dining capacity and now have more than 70 seats outside, where you can feast on their delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes and enjoy the people watching on Franklin Street.
Kill two birds with one stone at Weaver Street Market. While their food bar is still temporarily closed, the market is offering many of the same items, just pre-packaged from their grab-and-go selection. Their patio offers ample seating with plenty of space for the kids to run around. And while you’re there, you can pick up any groceries you need for later.
Enjoy a Night Out on the Town
Chapel Hill has always offered a great variety of cuisines to choose from. For American fare sourced from local farms, head over to Tandem Restaurant in Carrboro, where every dish is artfully plated, but the real show-stopper is the amazing food. Their romantic patio offers seating under shade sails and is strung with bistro lights—making it the perfect setting for date night and enjoying a bottle of wine.
For a more relaxed dinner, stop by Carolina Brewery on Franklin Street. With tables on either side of the sidewalk, it’s a great spot to enjoy happy hour with friends or a meal with the family. Plus they serve beer—lots and lots of craft beers—and we can all use a cold one right now.
To satiate your craving for fresh seafood, check out the patio at Nantucket Grill on Farrington Road. The restaurant specializes in New England-style cuisine, but be sure to save room for a slice of their legendary seven-layer cakes for dessert.
With ample patio seating, the Brixx Wood Fired Pizza in Meadowmont serves up fresh-from-the oven pizzas and a great array of crowd-pleasing entrees and appetizers. As an added bonus, Brixx offers great food and drink specials throughout the week, including craft drafts for $2.50 on Mondays, a pizza of the day for $10.95 and half-priced wines by the bottle on Sundays.
Inspired by the beach culture of Brazil, Uruguay and Southern California, Bartaco serves upscale street food with a coastal vibe. Its ambiance-filled patio will make you forget you’re in University Place, and the outdoor bar will whet your whistle with craft cocktails and margaritas made from fresh-squeezed juices.
While not every restaurant is able to offer outdoor dining, be sure to check their website for carry out and delivery options to support the local businesses that add so much flavor to our community.