1500 N Fordham Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC | Directions 2751435.922370 -79.025547
Overpriced, Mediocre Service.
The 501 Diner really doesn't have much business calling itself a diner. They won't serve breakfast entrees after breakfast hours, and they don't really have pie. Their milkshakes are also not worth calling home about. And in keeping with the best of pretentious Chapel Hillians, the servers are a little surly and unattentive. Inexplicably despite this being the 21st century, they don't have a website, and therefore no menu available online.
But the place does some things that merit praise. The Buffalo chicken salad is nearly fantastic! The sauce on the chicken and the chicken itself are very tasty and the veggies involved are always crisp and fresh. Red onion or any onion would really put this salad on the charts. The teriyaki burger is also pretty tasty (though the last time I got it- they left off the pineapple which I was looking forward to). They positively drench it in sauce, but that sauce is quite nice. It could be a better burger if they'd add something else teriyaki-complimentary to it, perhaps some sort of asian slaw or a recommended cheese pairing.
Local treasure but not that great... If you want to say you went to Owens 501 diner then go..You will find bigger portions and better prices at chain restaurants without all the pretense..I have been there several times and I actually live within walking distance, which is good since parking is horrible but the wait and food is not worth it Its really not a bad place but like a stated, if you are a visitor and want local flavor or a local and like the small town feel you will probably enjoy it, but its not for your average joe.
Don't let the lines fool you.... if you want breakfast that's overpriced and samll portions that shouldn't be in a diner, then go here! I never thought breakfast was something that could get messed up, but I guess I was wrong. From a long wait, to unattentive service, to the gut rott feeling I got after eating breakfast, I don't recomend this place to anyone who enjoys breakfast...
great food, best service, clean tables, clean everything, loved the coffee, great value!
my only complaint is that they are closed on mondays; the day my wife and i go out for breakfast.
we are looking forward to lunch there some time.
Very basic food, overpriced for what it is. Service is generally indifferent (as in "indifferent to the fact there's a customer needing attention"), and the times I've been, the tables and counters could have used wiping down.
However, convenient location and hours make it acceptable for a quick meal.
Owens delivers on all the sentimental ideas of a diner and dishes out retro-hip spin on the side..
Why go to Owens? If you're starving and all you want is a plain-old, good meal (like the huge Borg-ship meatloaf). Or if you wake up needing breakfast and coffee. Or if you want a laid-back date over burgers. Since this is Owens' take on the diner idea, you could also order portobello polenta or pan-seared salmon--and a couple of scotches.
I've been here a couple times since moving back to Chapel Hill and I have to say, this is one of the best places I've found to grab a late breakfast/early lunch. I had a smoked salmon omelette one time, and the Eye Opener the next, and both times I was extremely satisfied with my meal. The service was prompt, the staff courteous, and I love the atmosphere. I certainly can't complain.
Both times, it was just my wife and I, but if you have even a little experience with diners, you know that trying to seat a party of 6 in one of these places is going to take some time. I watched as the staff worked to get a family of 7 into the place, and they did everything they could to get the folks a quick and comfortable seat.
not impressed. I got a buffalo chicken salad today with 5 measily pieces of McDonald's sized nuggets for $8. Then the waitress tried to add the price of a sweet tea to the bill when it clearly stated on the menu that the price included beverage. Then there were waiters and waitresses breaking things and joking around, overall very unprofessional.
pretty damned good. really impressed; stopped in on a friend's recommendation, and i found quite a bit more but/in addition to "classic diner fare." the specials all looked very appetizing, and the one i had (grilled quail) made me rather happy. plus, a full bar and polite waitresses in a diner were true bonus. all in all, it was pretty damned good.
Best Burger and Fries EVER!. Absolute best bleu cheese burger, fries and onion rings that I've ever had. If you're low on your fat quotient, this is the meal to get. It makes it all worth it!
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