Our Five Faves

Best view in the Triangle

Posted June 25, 2012
Updated June 29, 2012

Top of the Hill restaurant claims a rooftop perch at Franklin and Columbia streets in Chapel Hill.

No view of a large-screen TV necessary to take in the best view at these Triangle establishments. In no particular order, here are our top picks for Best View in the Triangle:

Top of the Hill (Chapel Hill) - From a run-of-the mill game day to a national championship watch party, Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill often boasts a line around the building for a chance to secure a seat in one of Chapel Hill’s best known restaurant and bar locations. Top of the Hill is located on the third floor of the corner of Columbia and Franklin streets, which becomes a prime seat for safely taking in the insanity that is a national championship celebration, spilling over from the Dean Dome and every bar in town into the streets of Chapel Hill. (Note: I still have blue paint on the black jacket I wore when taking in the sights of the 2005 NCAA basketball tournament celebration. I bet if I had been watching from Top O’, that jacket would still be spotless.) And the Lizard Chips (the clever name for their pickle and jalapeno chip appetizer)? Well, they’re darn tasty, too.

Capital City Club and the Cardinal Club (Raleigh) - It's a toss-up between these two sister venues. Chances are you haven’t just strolled into the Capital City Club or the Cardinal Club for lunch or dinner. These members-only business clubs sit high atop the Progress Energy and the Wells Fargo buildings (respectively) in downtown Raleigh, but if you’re fortunate enough to have membership perks, friends willing to extend an invitation, or have the chance to RSVP to a wedding or social event at either location, it’s certainly worth accepting, if for no other reason than the views alone. Offering a nearly panoramic view of all of downtown Raleigh, it’s not the food that keeps us coming back to these clubs, but rather, the view from the 21st story at the Capital City Club and the 28th and 29th stories at the Cardinal Club.

Boylan Bridge Pub

Boylan Bridge Brewpub (Raleigh) - This is a gimme if you’ve ever driven over the Boylan Street Bridge in downtown Raleigh. There’s not a clear evening that goes by that I haven’t seen photographers, both professional and amateur, setting up to take some of their best shots from this space. And when the weather is right, a seat on the Brewpub’s expansive patio is hard to come by, but worth fitting an extra friend or two in on the picnic bench. Catching a sunset or the downtown Raleigh lights at night are top “to do” action items here. The food has gotten decidedly better since BBB’s early days – my current go to being the “Piedmont,” a classic BLT, with avocado, served on Texas toast. (And as a vegetarian, I always ask them to “hold the B, please”.)

tobacco road in durham view

Tobacco Road (Durham) - Making the Five Faves list before as one of the best patios in town, this prime viewing spot for any baseball game taking place at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is encircled by great views. The ball field, American Tobacco and the neighboring Diamond View buildings, make this a great sight to see in the day or in the evening. Just be sure to keep your eye on the ball on game day - a hard hit can make its way to your table, which could surely spoil the view for you. The Hurricane Tomato & Avocado sandwich is my standard fare here, but the Buffalo Chicken sandwich is also hard to beat!

Bocci (Cary) - While the first four were pretty much well-known standards here in the area, here’s one you might not have known about until now. With two locations in the Triangle (the other by Southpoint in Durham), the Cary location of Bocci brings the Italian menu Durham diners have come to love to Cary and seats it next to a grand view of Lochmere Golf Course. The cheesy garlic bread is baked in house and is one of my favorites. Save room for the Gnocchi Milano, too! During the more comfortable spring, summer and fall months, opt for a table outside enjoying the fountains and view at Lochmere Pavilion.

Where is your favorite view? 


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  • samr Jun 27, 2012

    Not bitter at all just think Tobacco Road is way overrated and don't like that they keep the food trucks off of American Tobacco.

  • ncsuwx Jun 27, 2012

    @ samr. Bitter, Party of 1, we have no table for you!

  • samr Jun 27, 2012

    Once again Five Faves shows their stupid obsession with Tobacco Road.