Carrboro is just to the west of Chapel Hill, but it’s so close you can stroll from one to the other in about a half-hour. And it’s important to begin the day at a chill place such as the Weaver Street Market (weaverstreetmarket.coop, 101 E. Weaver St., 919-929-0010) with its hippie atmosphere and live music on Sunday mornings. Weaver Street uses organic flour and makes rolls, bagels and bread daily. Challah is available after 5 p.m. on Thursdays, too. In keeping with the welcoming vibe, you don’t need to belong to the co-op to shop the market. Carrboro once was Chapel Hill’s mill town and train depot, and the old buildings near the market have been renovated into restaurants and shops. In the market, the hot breakfast bar offers items such as a tofu scramble, French toast and breakfast burritos for $7.99 a pound. Add some coffee ($2 for a small cup) and an almond apricot scone ($1.69), or a blueberry Danish ($2.49), and either eat inside the building or on the picnic tables outside and take in the scene. The Carrboro store is the flagship market, but newer branches have recently opened in the southern end of Chapel Hill and in nearby Hillsborough, with a branch set for Raleigh this summer.
Sutton’s Drug Store (suttonsdrugstore.com, 159 E. Franklin St., 919-942-5161) — and yes, it is a drugstore — is a Tar Heel tradition. Basketball jerseys hang on the walls and in the front window (including, of course, Michael Jordan’s No. 23), alongside hundreds of photos of Suttons diners — a tradition that started in 1983, although Suttons itself opened in 1923. On game days, expect to wait in line for the store’s burgers ($6.09 for a single burger with potato chips), egg salad sandwiches ($4.99) or chocolate milkshakes ($3.99). Fans of vintage sodas can indulge in hard-to-find varieties such as buckleberry or sarsaparilla ($1.89). Stay alert for days with hot-dog specials, when two franks and fries cost only $3.89. Yes, the burgers are simple and the soup all comes straight from Campbells, but you certainly know what you’re getting here: Southern hospitality and a reliable lunch counter. On your way out, pick up a box of Chapel Hill Toffee ($6.95 for a five-ounce package).