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:
The town offers valet service ($5)on Franklin Street just steps from our front door. You can also 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

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.2

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (18)
Good for Anniversaries (17)
Local Ingredients (17)
See All
Fit for Foodies (16)
Creative Cuisine (15)
Neighborhood Gem (13)
Good for Birthdays (13)
Cozy (12)
Romantic (11)
Good for a Date (10)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Quiet Conversation (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Tasting Menu (7)
Bar Seating (5)
Business Meals (5)
Handcrafted Cocktails (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Healthy (4)
Hot Spot (4)
Authentic (3)
Casual (3)
Seasonal (3)
Fun (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Tapas (2)
Late-night Find (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
People Watching (1)
Vegan (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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947 reviews
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 (Charlotte)·Dined 6 days ago

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 7 days ago

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 8, 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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 5, 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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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 14, 2017

High quality food. Excellent menu. Highly recommend.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·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

 
·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 24, 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

 
·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 22, 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 9, 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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 8, 2017

I have dined at Elaine's a couple of times over the years and I am always left with the same feeling. The restaurant is fine, but it isn't worth the money. The food is good and the service is decent, but the prices are incredibly high for what you get. The restaurant just doesn't live up to the price.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating
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food3
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on September 8, 2017

Alex our server was great. And the chef was sensitive to Susan's food allergies.
Most grateful.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Late-night Find, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on September 1, 2017

Always predictably great -- creative menu -- great correctively attentive service -- bar people know how to pour a generous drink. Particularly liked the Kennebunkport Meets Dixie - "Lobster Pig".

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 31, 2017

Really enjoyed our impromptu evening out with friends. It was a wonderful evening. Everyone loved the early special with wine pairings. Great service

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 26, 2017

We had a wonderful meal at Elaines. The servers were attentive, the food was delicious and there was even an entree option for my son and daughter who are vegan and vegetarian. Overall, a very good experience.

Tags: Vegan
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on August 24, 2017

My husband wanted to eat at Elaine's for his birthday, though I've never been a fan. We first ordered salads, which I found to be small in size for $10, with limp greens. If you don't like Italian parsley, and I don't, then you're out of luck, because the house salad was mostly parsley and spinach, I believe. I thought the salads were well below average. My husband enjoyed his lobster/pig dish. I ordered the scallops but had to make changes, because I'm gluten and dairy intolerant. I asked for parts of the original dish to be included - oranges and pine nuts - but the pine nuts were not to be found when my dish came out. The chef made vegetables the base for the scallops, and the cut green beans were so tough, I couldn't eat them. The whole dish was bland. Gluten free doesn't haven to mean taste free. A little garlic would have helped. I will not be returning. (Also, the place smells a bit like a dank sewer inside - not appetizing.)

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food2
ambience2
service4
value1

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 19, 2017

Excellent food! Great meal. Friendly helpful wait staff. I was a disappointed that they didn't recognize our anniversary. They put us at a table way at the back. I put the anniversary info on our reservation. Why would they ask for that info, if it didn't matter? You should still go there. It is one of my favorite places to eat in Chapel Hill!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Cozy, Healthy, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Elaine's is an excellent kitchen with really mediocre service. Probably the best food in Chapel Hill, but the service is amateurish and not well trained. My wife's Lobster Pig (lobster and braised pork belly) was an incredible dish, but then I watched the hostess clear tables by stacking dirty plates on the table in front of customers. Our waiter was nice enough but knew nothing about wine and seemed stressed the whole night.
I am sure I will go back to Elaine's, but I hope that when I do the service has improved to keep pace with the kitchen.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Berkshire)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Really wonderful food and very accommodating staff! Would thoroughly recommend!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Great experience as always! Crispy red snapper with spicy peanut sauce was amazing. It was similar to a dish served by Cyprus and Black House, both unfortunately have gone out of business.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on August 12, 2017

It was excellent!!! We will be back. Great value, great food!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 10, 2017

Elaine's is my favorite restaurant in the triangle.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 9, 2017

Elaine's was a great overall experience. We were greeted with a custom menu wishing my husband a happy birthday and a candle trumpeted the dessert. The meal was relaxed and charming. I was particularly impressed by the collaboration amongst the wait staff. It is rare that I feel the employees at a restaurant really dig their job and want to be there. New fav!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 29, 2017

We have not been to Elaine's for several years. It is an upscale restaurant but tables are a bit too close and tables for two are smallish.
our party had the three course tasting menu with wine. Oysters Rockefeller was wonderful 5 oysters was just right.
The duck breast and the Tuna entree were pleasant surprises. Tuna should be ordered rare and the Duck more well done.
Deserts are disappointing. Espresso coffee was perfect.
Value for the money is fair.
Service was attentive but too informal.
Next time we should try the full menu and select from what seems to be an extensive wine list.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on July 27, 2017

This was an unbelievable little gem of a restaurant with a great wine list. Can not beat the $50 price fixe with the wine pairing. beautiful presentation of the food which was delicious. You have to go it is a must to do restaurant

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Romantic, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 25, 2017

We had a wonderful meal. Had the cheese souffle with vegetables and it was DELICIOUS!
My husband had the tuna and he said it was on the the best pieces of fish he has ever had. We need to go to Elaine's more often!

Tags: Good for a Date, Seasonal, Vegan, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Organic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 22, 2017

We went to Elaine's for a birthday celebration! The food was delicious, exceptional, even, including a lovely amuse bouche of cantaloupe curry soup. The service was attentive but not obtrusive. The restaurant is quiet enough to carry on a conversation across the table without having to raise your voice. Our only small complaint was that it was a bit warm and got warmer as the evening wore on and more people arrived. I think that is a small thing and probably due to the fact that it was the hottest day of the year. We thought it was a lovey experience and look forward to our next special meal at Elaine's!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 21, 2017

Elaine's is always excellent. We've been multiple times. It's a special occasion place - this was a birthday. Great atmosphere, casual but classy. Superb and attentive service, but not intrusive. The food is always interesting and not afraid of flavor. The winner at our latest visit was the tuna - delicious! The salmon with black beans was good, but the tuna was better. Desserts were also good. We'll be back - it's a favorite for a reason.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Spicy
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 19, 2017

As always, super food. Great appetizers: gazpacho and heirloom tomato plate. Delicious entrees as well. This is one place we count on to be a great meal. It has never let us down.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 12, 2017

visiting Chapel Hill NC, Elaines was a nice discovery which offered us a pleasant evening and
delicious food.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

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