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Rush Franklin Street: The best Instagram Spots on Franklin Street

(Image of the Varsity Movie Theater)

If The Old Well is the heart of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, Franklin Street is the Aorta. The Old Well is the physical heart of campus as it is the geographic center. The Old Well symbolizes a spring of knowledge bursting forth from underneath the Carolina bedrock. If you drive by when it's not raining, you can find students, alumni, tourists, visitors, and locals all taking pictures and appreciating this treasured symbol. As the Aorta takes blood from the heart and into other parts of the body, Franklin Street leads you away from UNC's colonial architecture and into a bustling street full of small businesses, mom and pop shops and great bars. Today I want to show some of the best Instagram spots on Franklin Street and offer up some caption ideas. I used the app HUJI CAM to take the pictures. HUJI CAM is a free app that allows you to take photos on your iPhone and process them to appear to be a disposable camera in no wait time! HUJI CAM did not sponsor this article. I enjoy the aesthetic.

Carolina Coffee Shop

Carolina Coffee Shop is the oldest continually running restaurant in North Carolina (Moore, 2021). Since 1922, this restaurant hybrid offers a warm atmosphere, delicious food, and good posture seating (my mom would be happy to know that I do not hunch over while eating here) (Moore, 2021). My go-to order is an egg-white omelet with tomatoes, feta, and spinach served with a cappuccino with 2% milk and a side of pub fries and sourdough toast.

(Cappuccino with 2% milk and an orange juice mimosa)

Photo Caption Ideas

  1. Maybe (insert personal pronoun) born with it, maybe it caffeine

  2. Pour myself a cup of ambition- Dolly Parton

  3. A cup a day keeps the laziness away.

  4. I know what can make you feel better, a iced venti orange mocha cappuccino- Zoolander

  5. I need coffee in an I.V- Loralei Gilmore

  6. UNC's Central Perk

(Parade of Humanity Mural on the side of Carolina Coffee painted by Michael Brown in 1997)

Epilogue Book Cafe

(books for sale at Epilogue Book Store)

Epilogue Book Cafe is an independent bookstore owned and ran by Miranda and Jamie Sanchez (Sanchez, 2021). When you walk into Epilogue you are transported to a hybrid of a Spanish Chocolatería and Mexican Plazuela (Sanchez, 2021). The outer word of Carolina blue and red brick is transformed into shop of deep reds, warm oranges and vibrant yellows. As you peruse the shop, you can find a wide array of classic literature, womxn writers, and modern. best sellers. It would be enough if it were just an eclectic book store. Epilogue Book Cafe offers delicious coffee, locally sourced ingredients, and conches. My favorite thing to drink is the homemade hot chocolate. When I took my first sip, it transported me to the Chocolatería San Ginés in Madrid. You need to check out this magical place.

(A Frida Khalo Mural painted by Mama y Tia Sanchez in 2019 (left image), Hot Chocolate maker (center image), and coffee mugs and tea cups (right image))

Photo Caption Ideas

  1. This might be the epilogue but it's the beginning of my story.

  2. The rest is still unwritten- Natasha Bedingfield

  3. (If you take a picture with a classic novel)--> Here are two classics.

  4. Hot chocolate warms my heart

  5. Frieda approves

YaYa Tea House

(Spread the Positivitea Sign at YaYa tea Franklin Street)

YaYa Tea allows anyone to travel to Japan. Its excellent teas and food make you feel that you are in the Harajuku neighborhood in Tokyo. The restaurant boosts a COVID-19 friendly environment and employees. I can't wait to try a tea here!

Photo Caption Ideas

  1. Full of PosititviTEA

  2. Here's the tea

  3. Thats the tea

  4. Spilling the tea

  5. Love to sip the tea

  6. Flawless my dear- Queen Charlotte from Bridgerton

He's Not Here

(Greetings from Chapel Hill Mural by Scott Nurkin in 2013)

He's Not Here is probably the most Instagramable spot in Chapel Hill. The moment you walk in, all the troubles of every day life simply melt away. According to the He's Not Here website, the bar has several legends about how it got its moniker.

" The original owner who always avoided calls repeated the phrase “he’s not here” so often, it became the obvious choice for the bar’s name.

In a scene from an old movie featuring Jackie Gleason, a bartender answered the phone and said, “He’s not here.”

“He’s not here” became the bartenders’ refrain for callers in search of a certain famous UNC athlete.

Wives and girlfriends often call the bar, only to hear “he’s not here.”

Due to COVID-19, I only went here once during my graduate school admitted students day in February 2020. While I sat with friends drinking a hard seltzer, I felt that this place has seen this community through triumphs and losses.

( Murals by Scott Nurkin)

Photo Caption Ideas

  1. He's not here, but I am

  2. Ramsey approves

  3. I am Samuel Adams (Boston Lager) and I approve this message

  4. I do love UNC Life

  5. Fresh prince/princess of Chapel Hill

  6. In west Franklin Street born and raised

  7. Beat Duke

  8. TGIF- Katy Perry

Whenever you have the chance to safely travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, please remember to visit these places. All are small business working hard to stay afloat during the pandemic.

(Gif courtesy of


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! Please reach out if you have any ideas for content, partnerships, and more!

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