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Storm Chasers ‘23: The ‘Canes fan travel guide to Chapel Hill, NC

If you plan to make the visit to UNC this fall, this is the ‘Canes fan’s guide to Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

This is a summer series for Miami Hurricanes fans who plan on attending away games for the 2023 season. The ‘Canes have five away games in ‘23, taking trips to: Philadelphia, PA; Chapel Hill, NC; Raleigh, NC; Boston, MA; and Tallahassee, FL.

Different contributors from around the country will offer their answers to set up Miami Hurricanes fans for the perfect trip to watch the ‘Canes beat the home team. For Chapel Hill, Andrew Carter of the News & Observer provided his tour of the city for SOTU readers. So if you’ll attend the Miami Hurricanes at UNC Tar Heels game, this is your place for the best food and drinks in the area.

Note: I’ve spent some time in Chapel Hill and will add my own 2c as I go along

Miami @ North Carolina, Saturday, October 14th

What’s the best strip/street/neighborhood to visit that’s away from campus?

Plenty of good eating and drinking in Carrboro. Acme Food & Beverage Co...

and Steel String Brewery are both among my favorite places around there.

What’s the best strip/street/neighborhood to visit that’s close to campus?

For food and general sight-seeing, Franklin Street is still worth spending some time on. Main drag near campus.

Franklin Street celebrates UNC championship

Best place to eat in town?

Top of the Hill is an institution. (Dottavio: can confirm. I love Top of the Hill. You have to eat outside and look out over UNC)

Sutton’s Drug Store is worth a stop (lots of UNC memorabilia).

Lantern Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in the state.

Dottavio: Mama Dips (Only open Wed-Sun 11-7). The fried chicken and sides are amazing. Go in and sit down and enjoy the food.

Best pizza in the city/town?

Dottavio: Coronato Pizza is a little further away from campus, but I thought it was amazing.

Dottavio: It’s also next to the Oasis Cigar Bar, which has liquor, music and of course- cigars. As well as TV’s and comfortable couches and chairs. The owner is a great guy, very helpful.

Best local beer/cocktail type place?

Carolina Brewery Chapel Hill Brewpub

and The Crunkleton is among the best cocktail bars in the state.

Dottavio: Vecino Brewing Co. has craft beers and ciders made in the Saxapahaw / Carrboro area. I really like this place! Great beer, great food and close to Cat’s Cradle.

Hotel recommendations / Breakfast

Dottavio: The Carolina Inn. It’s right off of campus and I actually stayed there for my honeymoon as we did a road trip from Wilmington back down to Orlando.

Dottavio: Which brings me to breakfast spots- their breakfast buffet is the best I’ve ever had. It’s well worth the price and has just about anything you could imagine.

What is the first place you would take someone from out of town to see/eat/visit?

Out of town fans would also probably checking out the UNC basketball museum, which is next to the Smith Center.



Haw River Ballroom- It’s a few minutes off the beaten path but the whole Haw River Ballroom area is really cool. I’ve been there for a concert and they have a brewery as well.

Cat’s Cradle- Cat’s Cradle is the ‘famous’ venue in this area where every up and coming band plays and is really big for the UNC area.

The Wrap

The Chapel Hill - Carrboro area of North Carolina is small but a really cool place to hangout in. If you land at RDU, jump in an Uber and the ride is under a half an hour. If you’re coming in Friday evening- head over to Top of the Hill and grab dinner and drinks.

In the morning hit up the buffet at the Carolina Inn before walking to the game. After the game there’s always tons of options both around campus and out by Cat’s Cradle. If you want something to do on Sunday for brunch hit up Mama Dip’s.

PS. If you want a tattoo while in town, I recommend Lucid Studios in Chapel Hill. Very clean, friendly, welcoming place and they do amazing work (Vanessa is awesome, if you can book work with her).