Where to Drink Really Well in Chapel Hill
Three spots to drink well (and local) in Chapel Hill
Anchored by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill attracts a constant flow of students and travelers alike with its charming architecture, and vibrant food and music scenes. And over the past few years, the city has also experienced an influx of top-notch drinking destinations for those with tastes beyond beer. Here, a handy guide to some of the best places to sip in the area.
Though the most recent renovation of this historic property took place in 2013, it still feels as crisp and fresh as ever. And at Crossroads Chapel Hill, The Carolina Inn’s signature all-day restaurant, the classic cocktails – moscow mules and Manhattans are especially popular – are no slouch, but don’t pass up on the original creations (like the Japanese Whiskey-infused Tokyo Lemonade). And pair it all with a savory bite (think pimiento cheese, vegetarian sliders, and smoked wings) by the new Executive Chef Jeremy Blankeship.
Located in the heart of Chapel Hill’s main strip of Franklin Street, The Crunkleton is a “members-only” bar. But thankfully, the cost is just $10, and worth the price even for a single evening. From the bow-tied bartenders to the Wurlitzer jukebox to owner Gary Crunkleton’s artfully-crafted Prohibition-era cocktails, the bar treats guests to all the comforts of a nostalgic, bygone era.
Owned by Scott Maitland and Esteban McMahan Chapel Hill’s popular Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery, the Distillery is yes, a distillery, but also a tasting room dedicated to three spirits: Carolina whisky (also known as moonshine), wheat-based vodka, and Piedmont gin. All are organic and meticulously made, and a terrific way to sip something truly local.