About Elaine's on Franklin

Chef/owner Bret Jennings brings you authentic regional world cuisine made with only the finest local, organic ingredients, presented in an elegant, but not pretentious environment. With menu changes almost every day, you can expect to find fresh, seasonal meats, cheeses and produce served up all year round in a style that's fun without being fussy. A southern boy at heart, Chef Jennings specializes in wild game and seafood along with traditional southern recipes that would make his granny proud.
Three certified sommeliers on staff will guide you through Elaine's award winning wine list, while a friendly and accommodating service staff provide for your every need.
Come in today, and find out what we mean by "Food for the Soul, Prepared from the Heart."

454 W. Franklin St
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
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Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Global, International, Seafood, Tapas / Small Plates

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Cross Street:
Roberson Street

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 960-2770

Website:
http://www.elainesonfranklin.com/

Parking Details:
You can use free parking on the street after 6 PM or any town lot after 8 PM.

Public Transit:
Elaine's is located less than 50 yards from the nearest Chapel Hill Transit stop. Chapel Hill's buses run free of charge all year round.

Executive Chef:
Bret Jennings

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Elaine's on Franklin Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Local Ingredients (17)
Special Occasion (15)
Fit for Foodies (13)
See All
Romantic (13)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Good for a Date (13)
Creative Cuisine (12)
Neighborhood Gem (11)
Good for Birthdays (11)
Worth the Drive (9)
Notable Wine List (8)
Business Meals (7)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Tasting Menu (6)
Authentic (5)
Cozy (5)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Seasonal (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Fun (3)
Good for Groups (2)
Healthy (2)
Hot Spot (2)
People Watching (2)
Casual (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Organic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Tapas (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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967 reviews
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·Dined 4 days ago

Valentines Day dinner. We ate from the Prix Fixe tasting menu. The food was fantastic and the service was great.

They offered a variety of locally sourced ingredients which I found to be wonderful.

The atmosphere was cozy and friendly. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone in the area.

Further I had questions and reached out to the restaurant via email and phone. They replied in a timely manner with accurate information.

I will be going back in the future.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Tasting Menu, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Romantic, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 7 days ago

We had a great dining experience! The food was delicious and loved the atmosphere for a great date night!

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 9, 2018

We have been dining here since the restaurant started and have never been disappointed. It is excellent for a business dinner to a romantic date night. A long menu with vegetarian options that routine rotates through dishes as the seasons change. Bret is one of the best chefs in Triangle, if not the best.

Tags: Cozy, Business Meals, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Notable Wine List, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on February 8, 2018

Food cold, terrible Monk Fish, dined here before Carolina -Duke game, soup butternut squash bad/ cold, would never recommend

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service4
value1

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Elaine’s never disappoints! Our dinner was delicious, the service is friendly and well executed and the atmosphere is very comfortable. Great job, Elaine’s!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Great! Beat Dook!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Wonderful meal, lovely setting, good service.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 27, 2018

I like Elaine's and chose it for my birthday dinner. My two disappointments were that the lighting in the booths was so bad we needed our phone flashlight to read the menu and that of the 4 choices for entree on the fixed price menu, 3 of them were fish. The 4th was pork tenderloin. No vegetarian, no beef, no chicken, no other seafood. Just...fish. Seems like an easy problem to address. Still, the food was good.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 23, 2018

Excellent meal-My wife had short ribs and I had the grilled trout...both excellent. Service was smooth and they catered to our requests very well. The desserts were to die for: peanut butter ice cream on chocolate. cake and apple crisp w cognac ice cream. Wine list was comprehensive and the choices by the glass were good.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on January 19, 2018

Unfortunately, my experience was not what I expected given the rating that Elaine's has. I was driving in from Greensboro to eat there because I had a business meeting and also was missing some dishes from when I lived in Europe so had called ahead to check that they had what I wanted from the menu on-line. I was told the menu had changed but was assured they did have a different item I chose. When I arrived at the restaurant, I immediately asked to order that item and was told they had sold out. I had a 7:30 reservation so I felt if the restaurant knew they were running short on the dish, they could have asked if I wanted to reserve it ahead of time. Unfortunately, our waiter was not even gracious about it, or particularly friendly in general. Overall, a rather disappointing experience.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Excellent food, service good but not great. Solid as usual

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 28, 2017

Delicious! The Early Bird Special is wonderful. Each of us in our party of 5 enjoyed each course including all the wine pairings. The lentils in the king salmon entree were incredible!

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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Loved our meal at Elaine’s! The four I have us made a point to order appetizers and different entrées so we could each taste the others food. Everything was delicious. The flounder was fabulous the sauce although the salmon was even better. Venison steak was perfect. We all enjoyed our meal immensely and look forward to traveling 45 minutes again to dine in one of our top spots in the triangle!

Tags: Authentic, Romantic, People Watching, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 14, 2017

I've enjoyed Elaine s as a special occasion place in the past, but was quite disappointed this time. The cheese plate had almost laughably minuscule cheeses, the only vegetarian option was a not very interesting huevos rancheros, and there was a great sounding goat cheese in phyllo appetizer where the goat cheese was very minimal. One persons pork was good, and our server, as always, was excellent. The little amuse bouche bisques are likewise very nice. Just not consistent quality this time.

Tags: Business Meals, Romantic
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 6, 2017

This is one of our most favorite local top level restaurants. We bring our foodie out of town guests here - no matter where they are from , they are always impressed.

Tags: Healthy, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Kid-friendly, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Good for Groups, Seasonal, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Elaine's, which I have enjoyed for many special occasions over the years, is sadly slipping in meeting the high standards it set. Service ranged from perfunctory to neglectful: with our reservation beginning at 6pm, we weren't served our mains until 7:30. I saw numerous people craning their necks around looking for their meals to arrive. My wonderful-sounding NC Tuna dish was a bit boring and the fish totally overcooked, after a lengthy discussion of how I wanted it. Elaine's has long been one of the best restaurants in the Triangle, in my view, so I hope they review their kitchen and staff training!

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food2
ambience4
service1
value2

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Wonderful restaurant with great food! It was sophisticated but gracious; ambience felt like NYC infused with Southern charm.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Paleo Friendly, Seasonal, Special Occasion, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 29, 2017

Crab soup was very good. Pork chop was excellent. Service was personal but not officious.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 29, 2017

We had an excellent early dinner before a UNC basketball game this week. Since it was early we had the prix fix option (with wine pairings!). The food was excellent and it was a great value. I look forward to visiting this restaurant again.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Excellent food. Junior staff learning

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Delightful evening with great food. The bench seats along the walls are a bit uncomfortable. Back cushions would help

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 16, 2017

Excellent service and food. Prix fine menu was outstanding and with wine pairing - exceptional

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 7, 2017

Elaine's is my favorite restaurant in Chapel Hill or Durham. I've always had great meals there, and the staff are very friendly. It never disappoints.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 4, 2017

We have been to Elaine's several times, though not recently. The food and service were outstnading

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 3, 2017

We have been to Elaine’s many times and always enjoyed it, but they were decidedly below their standard this time. Service was snail slow, w.ith our empty plates waiting 10 minutes between courses for the waiter. We ordered the selection of three wines, a.nd the waiter never presented the choices, just made the decision for us. Food was uninspired by Elaine’s standards, ok but not superior. Note Elaine’s no longer validates parking.

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food4
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on November 2, 2017

We ate outdoors and the wait staff was friendly and accomodating. Food was delicious ( pork chop and steak) excellently prepared and presented.
Would definitely return and recommend!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 2, 2017

My 2nd time at this place. Both times the food was amazing and presented beautifully.
The service was friendly and professional.
Will definitely visit again when we are back in town

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 25, 2017

A great experience in a great location. I didn't know what to expect as this restaurant was on Franklin Street; but I was surprised. Good food, great wine and good service. The atmosphere was a bit noisy, but I blame that on the patrons, not the staff.

I took a girl here on a date, she was impressed. Would go again.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 19, 2017

An excellent meal served by a knowledgeable and friendly waitress.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 13, 2017

High quality food. Excellent menu. Highly recommend.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 5, 2017

We had another nicely-prepared and well-served meal on this return visit to a local favorite. Our friends had a good time, which was most important. I would have given more stars if there had been more things on the menu I liked, but I did okay with a vegetarian option.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 4, 2017

In my opinion one of the best restaurants in the Triangle. Service and food, both are excellent. Great place to go to when you want to have a wonderful time with your friends and family.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Tapas, Fun, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on September 28, 2017

I have been to Elaine's several times before and it has always been my go-to restaurant when I'm in town. This visit was extremely disappointing. Service was terrible- brought salads quickly an then we waited more than 30 min for our meal. My dinner was so salty it was inedible. Both meals were so bad and the service so poor we went elsewhere so dessert and drinks. Won't go back after that visit.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Elaine's is one of our favorite restaurants in Chapel Hill. We always look forward to eating there. The food is delicious and the service is wonderful. We will continue to return for many years. Thanks!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Tasting menu was a great deal - thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely go back!

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on September 21, 2017

The owner/chef is a wonderful person.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 16, 2017

The worst dining experience I've had in years, by far. Limited menu offerings; high prices ($29 for a pasta entree, please); just okay food (some good, some bland, some just plain bad); and to top it off - slow, inattentive service.

Maybe it was just an off night. Who knows, but I'll never dine at Elaine's again.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 16, 2017

The food here is always creative & fresh. Recently we've found several dishes were too spicy (hot) for our personal taste. The service has always been quite good until our most recent visit. We placed our order. Had drinks & appetizers.....and then had an extrodinarily long wait for dinner (over 1 hour from the time we finished the appetizer). We are rare complainers & we were a bit miffed that when we asked about how long it would be till we got food we were told "The kitchen has just been very very busy". Our thinking is this is why the restaurant deals with reservations..so they can plan the pace of their business. There was no apology, no explanation. This was my husbands birthday and we will not likely spend another special day at Elaine's. We will eat there again but not likely for a special occasion.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 15, 2017

Excellent prix fixe dinner with wine pairings. Superb entree of NC crispy fried whole fish. Excellent service. Will return.

Tags: Romantic, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Love Elaine's on Franklin, especially sitting at the bar for dinner. Brian is a terrific bartender. Food is always good!

Tags: Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Hot Spot, Business Meals, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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