Graduation Guide: Where to eat in Chapel Hill

Graduation Guide: Where to eat in Chapel Hill

Need help during graduation weekend? College Town has you covered. Here's where to take your parents to eat in Chapel Hill. Congrats, UNC grads!

Above, photo by Juli Leonard for the News & Observer.

All of  sudden, it’s that time of the year again. The warm weather and fully bloomed flowers are here to stay, classes are wrapping up and graduation is fast approaching.

UNC’s graduation is just weeks away.

And in a town known for good food, eating with family on graduation weekend is important. The best part? The family is paying.

So, for what could possibly be the last meal of your College Town life, here are some options for food on Graduation Day (also Mother’s Day) in Chapel Hill.

Graduating elsewhere? Here’s where to eat in Raleigh and Durham.


324 W Rosemary St.

Breadmen’s has breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. They have a variety of sandwiches and burgers, some delicious appetizers and every breakfast item you can imagine–all made with local ingredients. I have to be honest though; none of that matters. If you and the family decide on Breadmen’s for Graduation Day, go right after Commencement, which would put you there around brunch time, and get the French toast.

Get the French toast.

It’s not your normal everyday french toast made with sandwich bread. This french toast is six pieces of light and fluffy French-cut bread. I could throw every single fancy word to describe deliciousness at you, and it still wouldn’t do it justice.

The perfect end to the work week! #burgers #burgerandfries #holidayweekend

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Al’s Burger Shack

516 W Franklin St.

*Closed on Sundays, but still a graduation weekend option.

It only just opened in 2013, but Al’s burgers are already a staple of Chapel Hill. They have a variety of burgers and probably something for the whole family, so it’s a must to stop by here for lunch or dinner the weekend of graduation.

I will recommend the Kenny J burger (complete with a special Cheerwine sauce) and enjoying your burger in Al’s nice outside seating.

411 West Italian Cafe

411 W Franklin St.

411 is definitely the fanciest restaurant option of the bunch. Here you can drink a glass of wine and eat some classic Italian food (or delicious breakfast) with your family. They have Sunday brunch, so if after Commencement you and your family want to sport those fancy dresses and slick ties for a little longer, this Italian cafe is perfect.

Reservations for eight or less are recommended here, and reservations for nine or more require contacting the restaurant.

Linda’s Bar & Grill

203 E Franklin St.

Linda’s normally doesn’t open until 4 p.m. on Sundays, but their special Commencement hours include opening for brunch at 11 a.m. instead.

They have a static menu, which includes the best damn mac&cheese (topped with Frosted Flakes) in Chapel Hill and possibly the Universe, but they also have a rotating menu of specials from owner Chris Carini’s personal cookbook.

Seasonal cocktails, a delicious menu and a friendly atmosphere make Linda’s the perfect celebration spot on Commencement Sunday.

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen

1305 E Franklin St.

Okay, it’s drive-thru only, so maybe not the best place for a huge family to go to in celebration of possibly the biggest day of your life.

With that being said, it opens at 7 a.m., so this is the only restaurant of the bunch that you can go to before Commencement. It’s early, I know, but it’s an option. Why not go through the drive-thru and take the food to have a family picnic under the Bell Tower as a swan song to your UNC experience?

Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is home of the biggest biscuits I have ever seen or ate, and I highly recommend showing your family this Chapel Hill gem.

Austin Goins

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