Life in the Triangle and Beyond

Chapel Hill is located in a unique niche settled between the mountains and the coastline of North Carolina that has a small-town feel but very close to our larger neighbors including Durham and Raleigh. The hospital is less than 20 minutes from hiking trails, large recreational lakes and a short drive from downtown Durham and about 45 minutes from Raleigh. We are about 3 hours away from the Blue Ridge Mountains and 2.5 hours away from the nearest beach in Wrightsville.

The area is incredibly family and pet friendly with lots of local restaurants, hiking, breweries and wide open space to enjoy nature and your time off from the hospital. There are tons of young professionals in the area and a diversity of cultures given our proximity to the Research Triangle Park, a large job market and the number of universities in the area including UNC Chapel Hill!

Adventures Inside the Triangle:

  • Chapel Hill- known for the University but lots of great shops and restaurants as well as Bolin Creek Trail!
  • Carrboro- known for its relaxed, small town atmosphere and green-living as well as its artisans and farmer’s market on Wednesday Evening and Saturday Mornings
  • Saxpahaw- small town headed into Alamance County with the Haw River, great music venue and farm-to-table restaurants and kayak rentals available
  • Pittsborough- south of Chapel Hill, small town bordered by suburbs and lots of open space; downtown area with cute shops and great wine bar
  • Hillsborough- oldest city in Orange County, on the banks of the Eno, historic charm and great restaurants
  • Durham- Bull City and home of a variety of eateries and breweries with more of a city vibe
  • Cary/Apex- the suburbs of Raleigh with a great blend of cultures and great restaurants bordered by Jordan lake to East
  • Raleigh- the Capitol! Tall buildings, a great science museum and lots of restaurants; beautiful tree lined streets

ART: The local art culture is vast, but here’s a sample.

MUSEUMS: Some of the ones not already mentioned.

The Great Outdoors at Your Doorstep (less than 30 minutes):

Food: This area has amazing restaurants. With an abundance of farms and ingredients, many of the best restaurants will solely use local products. These are some of the favorites. Also, don’t doubt the Food Trucks.


  • Carrburitos – The local burrito place.
  • Fiesta Grill – A little out of the way down 54 but worth it Mexican food. It’s a local favorite.
  • Gourmet Kingdom – One of the best and most authentic Chinese restaurants you’ll find in the area.
  • Spotted Dog – Can make your favorite bar food vegetarian/vegan friendly. Just all around good.
  • Neal’s Deli - Great deli in Carrboro that only serves lunch. You should go here.
  • Venable Bistro - Just a good all around restaurant with fair prices.
  • Akai Hana - Legit sushi in Carrboro. Not 2 for 1.
  • Glasshalfull - A nice restaurant with a great wine selection in Carrboro.
  • ACME – Just great food and cocktails.
  • Provence – Good French food in Carrboro with a nice outdoor seating area.
  • Rise – Delicious biscuits and donuts.


  • La Farm Bakery - One of the best if not the best bakery in the area.
  • Herons – One of the best restaurants in the area. Highly rated by AAA, Forbes, Conde Nast, etc.
  • Bosphorus - Authentic Turkish cuisine in Cary.
  • Cilantro - A tasty and chill Indian place on the way to Koka Booth.
  • An - An Asian fusion restaurant that has won multiple “Best Of” awards.

Chapel Hill

  • Mediterranean Deli – A resident’s “Hands down favorite.” Mediterranean and Greek Food.
  • Kipos – Popular and pretty Greek restaurant.
  • Talullas - Good Turkish restaurant in downtown Chapel Hill.
  • Elmo’s Diner – A good breakfast!
  • Lantern – Asian fusion that people love. We like it, but other people really love it. Probably the most acclaimed restaurant in Chapel Hill.
  • Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen - A Chapel Hill staple w/ a drive-thru. For that post call calorie bolus.
  • Crook’s Corner - Really good, really pricey southern cuisine. Was featured in Garden and Gun! Kind of credited with rejuvenating the food scene in the area decades ago.
  • Allen & Son BBQ – People take North Carolina BBQ personally. Allen & Son is a favorite.
  • Queen of Sheeba – Delicious Ethiopian cuisine.
  • Jujube – A fusion of Asian foods served in an inventive way. Great and reasonably priced.
  • Bin 54 – The local high-end place for a steak.
  • Bangkok 54 – Thai cuisine with solid flavor that make food as mild or deathly hot as you like
  • Sugarland – For all your dessert and cupcake needs.
  • Weathervane – An establishment in Chapel Hill. Based in Southern Season.
  • Lucha Tigre - A unique Latin-Asian fusion restaurant. They also have unique cocktails.
  • The Kitchen - Delicious and cozy French restaurant in Chapel Hill
  • Buns - Great burger in Chapel Hill
  • Al’s Burger Shack - A great burger place on Franklin. Get your burger and go to Beer Study!
  • Italian Pizzeria III - Essentially a quick slice of pie in Chapel Hill that is also one of the best.
  • Alfredo’s - Also very good pizza in Chapel Hill. Located in University Place.
  • Monterrey - Solid Mexican food in Chapel Hill (it’s our closest Mexican restaurant).
  • Mama Dip’s - Down-home southern cooking in Chapel Hill
  • The Root Cellar - A unique and delicious cafe with a great wine selection and brunch.
  • Bread and Butter Bakery - Good bakery on Rosemary.
  • Mint - Pretty good Indian food. $12 lunch buffet on the weekends with bottomless mimosas…
  • Vimala’s – Very fresh and comforting Indian food. This is a local staple.
  • Cholanad - South Indian cuisine on Franklin Street.
  • Oishii - Very good sushi in Chapel Hill.
  • Merritt’s - One of the best (and oldest) sandwich places. Get your BLT with extra bacon.
  • Sandwhich - Sandwiches! A great selection of options and good spot for a quick bite to eat.
  • Raaga – Kind of expensive but tasty/gourmet Indian food.


  • The Q Shack - Amazing BBQ, sweet tea, and mac & cheese!
  • The Pit - One of the BBQ staples in the area. Next to Fullsteam.
  • Heavenly Buffaloes - You want hot wings? You get hot wings! With a vegan wing option!
  • Rue Cler – A Parisian style bakery well known for a good brunch.
  • Vin Rouge – One of the best French restaurants in the area.
  • Gugulhupf – Awesome brunch and bakery with a cute patio for nice mornings.
  • Fosters Market - A great place for breakfast and brunch with a gourmet food store.
  • Dame’s Chicken and Waffles – Exactly what it says. You can’t go wrong. People love it, we like it.
  • Thai Cafe - The favorite Thai restaurant in the area.
  • Juju - Newly opened asian fusion in Durham.
  • Yamazushi - Legit (legit) Japanese restaurant in Durham. Call ahead.
  • Sake Bomb - Another 2 for 1 that is less well known than Shiki but maybe better.
  • Basan - “Bull City” sushi in Downtown Durham.
  • Dashi - Ramen in Durham!
  • Blu Seafood – Considered one of the best seafood places in the area.
  • Saltbox Seafood Joint - A shack where you get outstandingly simple/delicious seafood.
  • Mateo – Delicious Spanish tapas and Spanish wine.
  • Taberna Tapas - A Spanish tapas and wine restaurant. Also phenomenal.
  • Six Plates - An upscale wine bar with select tapas to pair.
  • Watts Grocery - Really yummy farm to table food in a laid back atmosphere.
  • Goccioloina - A new, and already one of the best, Italian restaurant.
  • Counting House - Regional dishes, “curated drinks,” and all in an art museum.
  • Pizzeria Toro - Great, gourmet pizza in downtown Durham. In our top 5 favorites.
  • The Palace International - Word is the best African cuisine in the area
  • Toast - They make paninis! Mind blowing paninis.
  • Old Havana Sandwich Shop - Cuban sandwiches.
  • Sitar - Great Indian food between Chapel Hill and Durham
  • Lily’s Pizza - A pizza staple in the triangle. Found in Raleigh and Durham.
  • RISE - Amazing biscuits near Southpoint Mall.
  • Monuts Donuts - Outstanding donuts and baked goods.
  • Scratch - Good food but most known for their extensive and changing pie menu.
  • Loaf - Another great Durham bakery.
  • Ninth Street Bakery - One of the older bakeries in Durham w/ lots of vegetarian options.
  • Blue Coffee Cafe - Respected breakfast and comfort food in Durham.
  • Bull City Burger and Brewery - Get a burger and a beer at a Durham favorite.
  • The Federal - Good neighborhood bar/restaurant with a cool vibe.
  • Geer Street Garden - Good food, but the outdoor dining/drinking is what brings you.
  • Parts&Labor - A restaurant attached to Motoro and across from Fullsteam. Decent.
  • Metro 8 Steakhouse - The steak you want and crave with nice ambience and a modern flare.
  • Nanataco – Tacos! Delicious, delicious tacos! And lots of salsas.
  • Dos Perros - Popular Mexican place in downtown.
  • Tonali - Actually really good Mexican food in Durham. Not a very well known spot, but great. Near Chapel Hill
  • El Cuscatleco - Mexican-Salvadorian cuisine with some authenticity.
  • Taqueria La Vaquita - Popular and more authentic than Dos Perros.
  • Gonza Tacos and Tequila - You want everything and in a cool setting.
  • Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop - This is a great meat market that also serves food.
  • Mesa Latin Kitchen - A tapas style Latin eatery in downtown Durham.
  • The Durham Hotel - James Beard winning (Andrea Reusing) chef designs food and drink. The restaurant is supposed to be amazing, but we really love the rooftop.
  • Vegan Flava Cafe - Considered one of the best vegan cafe’s in the areas. It’s all the rage! Super laid back.
  • M Sushi – Probably the best sushi in the entire region.


  • Panciuto - Farm to table food in Hillsborough w/ a James Beard nominated chef. Call ahead.
  • La Place Lousiana - Cajun/Creole with amazing Bloody Mary’s. We love it.


  • The Fearrington – A part of The Fearrington House Inn, which is considered one of the top small hotels in America. This is luxury dining.
  • Oakleaf - Oh man, oh man, oh man. This is good food with a comfortable/classy vibe.



Grab a Drink: This is an amazing beer state with a solid cocktail and wine scene. Also coffee and tea!



  • Open Eye - One of the big coffee places in the area. Gets crowded during final exams
  • Looking Glass - Chill and friendly coffee place in Carrboro with easy parking
  • Steel String Brewery – Local brewery in the heart of Carrboro.
  • Orange County Social Club – Hipster heaven and for good reason. Great cocktails and PBR.
  • Tyler’s Taproom – Multiple sites in the triangle. A good place to watch a game, drink, and eat.
  • B-Side Lounge - Around the corner from Venable. A cozy/classy bar w/ well selected drinks.
  • The Hickory Tavern - Someone put a sports bar in Carrboro. A number of screens and drinks.
  • Bowbarr - A local eclectic and divish-bar that is more tame but with stiff drinks.
  • Yesteryears - Cozy little brewery in Carrboro next to Cat’s Cradle


  • Fortnight Brewing - English style ales that are getting attention. Unique to the area.

Chapel Hill

  • Caffe Driade - Good coffee and wine set back from Franklin Street and in the woods.
  • The Crunkleton – A well-recognized cocktail bar with a relaxed atmosphere.
  • West End Wine Bar – Good selection and comfortable atmosphere with a 2nd floor patio.
  • Beer Study – Small place with rotating North Carolina beers and an impressive bottle selection.
  • Tobacco Road – One of the most popular sports bar franchises in the area with good bar food.
  • Tru – Very pleasant wine and drink place downtown Chapel Hill with a patio. Sandwiches too.
  • The Baxter - Bar and Arcade. Way more fun than should be possible.
  • Zog’s - Board games, pool, and cocktails.



  • Mystery Brewing - Considered the best brewery in Orange County. Great tours!
  • The Wooden Nickel - A great locals bar with equally great bar food. Lots of local beer.

Raleigh - Consider your own brewery tour! Or pay someone to schlep you around!

Other Great Sites to Explore More of North Carolina:

UNC Employee Discounts (intranet link only)