Review – Buns in Chapel Hill

inside Buns in Chapel Hill

Great burgers at an affordable price

A few weeks ago, my husband came home and told me all about this new place in downtown Chapel Hill called Buns. He said they had really great burgers there. So we decided to eat dinner there the other night. Buns is located on North Columbia Street near Franklin Street. Its small facade may make it a little hard to find, but you will certainly want to seek this place out!

storefront of Buns in Chapel Hill

Buns is a casual style American restaurant. Orders are taken at the counter and then the waiter brings your food out to you. The main feature of this restaurant is their burgers. They have Angus beef burgers, turkey burgers and vegetarian burgers. They also have hot dogs and some seafood dishes, such as Ahi Tuna steak and grilled salmon fillet sandwiches. Since the restaurant is practically on campus, there are swarms of students here, because the food is good and is also quite inexpensive. It is also popular with many of the other local Chapel Hillians. As we walk toward the door, several co-eds are walking out with takeout orders ready to start their Saturday evening fun.

There is a line of people ordering at the counter of Buns

Line up to order your favorite combo at Buns

The décor of the interior is simple, but modern and fun. There are round balls with muted colors of purple, blue, green, yellow and red that line the walls. A couple of flat screen TVs are mounted to the walls so students and Chapel Hill fans can watch sports while dining. There is a large window in the front of the dining area, so you can see all the action happening on Franklin Street. The restaurant also stays open fairly late, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, so you can always end up here after you do some bar hopping and sober up a bit!

people sitting in Buns restaurant in Chapel Hill

Relax and enjoy the food while watching a basketball game

Since this was my first time here, I decided to try one of the beef burgers. I ordered one of the specials, which was a beet and goat cheese burger. We also ordered a side of sweet potato fries. The fries are served with dipping sauces and they have a pretty good selection of sauces to try. I got the Thai sesame sauce and my husband got the Chipotle mayonnaise sauce, both of which were excellent.

My husband built his own burger and had the turkey burger with Pepper Jack cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions and wasabi mayonnaise on a whole wheat bun. The buns are also made from a local bakery called The Bread Shop.

Turkey burger with mushrooms

You can make your own combo of toppings to have on your burger.

My burger had nice thick slices of fresh beets that were sweet and meaty and worked really well with the goat cheese, which was a thick slice of cheese that was tart, but not overpowering. The burger was served with a sherry vinaigrette sauce. I also ordered the whole wheat bun, which was sweet and seemed to compliment the beets and meat very well.

burger with beets and goat cheese

An unusual but tasty combo of beets and goat cheese.

I tried a bite of my husband’s burger. His combo was great for him, but I’m not a wasabi fan, and that’s mainly what I could taste. For those who like wasabi, you will love putting this mayo on your sandwich.

All of the ingredients at Buns are fresh and they purchase what they can locally at a good price.  Need I say this place is popular, especially with UNC students? The workers said that nothing is ever frozen, because, in fact, they do not even have a freezer on the premises, nor do they have a microwave oven.

The sweet potato fries are also very fresh. In fact, boxes of sweet potatoes were located in the front of the restaurant. They peel them, cut them up and throw them in the fryer. These were some of the better sweet potato fries I’ve had in awhile. They were not too soggy, as many sweet potato fries tend to get, nor were they too greasy. These were just right.

We were too full to try any dessert, but I was eying a Red Velvet cake that was on display on top of the counter where people order that looked really delicious. Guess I’ll have to try it next time we go to Buns.

Buns is open from Monday to Thursday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Friday and Saturday, 11:00 am – 3:00 am (so you can recover from that bender by having a burger or a hot dog) (Summer, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm) and Sunday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. It is located on 107 North Columbia Street in Chapel Hill.

Buns on Urbanspoon




Jamie Nunnelly is a communications professional who has worked for companies such as General Motors, Tropicana Products, Inc. and Advantis Corporation and spent over a decade in economic development as the communications director for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the Research Triangle Foundation of NC. She published a quarterly magazine called "The Park Guide." Currently, she is the communications director for the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) and the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI). Jamie considers herself a bit of a "foodie," and loves to try all kinds of cuisine. She has traveled to places such as Colombia, Europe, Costa Rica, Alaska, Canada and Mexico. Jamie and her husband, Scott, have lived in the Research Triangle region since 1995.
Jamie Nunnelly
View all posts by Jamie Nunnelly
Jamies website
Related Posts with Thumbnails

3 Responses to Review – Buns in Chapel Hill

  1. Emily says:

    Have you eaten at Joel Lane’s on Glenwood South in Raleigh? It opened in August and has a really great environment and delicious food.

  2. [...] Hill Bean and Barrel Buns Carmines Maple View Farm Country Store Merlion [...]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: