When I first came to North Carolina, I spent two years in grad school at Carolina and as expected, plenty of time at Top of the Hill restaurant and brewery. With a premium location above Franklin and Columbia Street, we’d visit Top O for school functions, brunches and late night beer runs! Top of the Hill’s personality would change depending on when you would visit and I’m guessing that’s still the case today. But my latest visit showed me that Top of the Hill is still a great spot to hang out, grab a good beer along with some solid pub food….
First of all if you’re not familiar with Top of the Hill, it may be tricky to find the entrance. Located on the Columbia side of the building, just look for the Top of the Hill awning and grab the elevator or stairs to the third floor. Up front you’ll find a hostess kiosk for this very popular spot. The bar sits front and center and gleams in lacquer. To the right you’ll see the brewing equipment behind glass and then the main dining room in back.
But while the dining room at Top of the Hill is quite nice, what makes the place really special is the wrap-around patio overlooking the main intersection below. Covered but sunny, grabbing one of the house beers and sipping on it while chilling out on the patio is one of life’s simple pleasures.
But today I’m here with friends for lunch, we order up some Lizard Chips which are fried pickles and jalapenos with ranch sauce, a great starter! My pulled pork sandwich is upgraded with sweet potato fries which are waffle-cut and excellent. The BLT across the table from me looks great and loaded with bacon along with a fried green tomato!
Service at Top of the Hill is a bit inconsistent, the staff is well-meaning but a bit young overall. No surprise given the university setting here in Chapel Hill! But overall I usually have a good time at Top of the Hill whenever I visit. Just be aware that the place can get pretty rowdy when school’s in session during the weekends. On an early lunch visit the place has a TOTALLY different vibe. But rock on, Top of the Hill! You’ve been doing it all quite well for the 10 years I’ve lived in NC and it looks like you’re keeping it up. Thank you for all the great food, beer and memories over the years…
100 E Franklin Street #3
Chapel Hill, NC 27514