Tru vs. Merritt’s: A Pro/Con List

When it comes down to it, there are two top places to get a delicious, cheap sandwich with a respectable cross-section in Chapel Hill: Tru and Merritt’s.

The two restaurants are unique in their own ways. Some would say even attempting to compare the two is a death mission. But I need to figure this out for myself and for the good of the people.


Tru Pros:

  • Cheap: I never spend more than $6 on anything.
  • Diverse menu: Choose from a wrap, sandwich or salad, and pick all the ingredients.
  • Booze: Tru has a full bar with great drink specials throughout the week.
  • Cheese plates: Great cheese that they put on PLATES.
  • Location: It’s within walking distance from Franklin Street.
  • Lemon water: They have those huge mason-jar style pitchers with delicious nectar from the Gods.
  • Decor/atmosphere: Tru is decked out with natural wood tables, a rooftop patio and hipster twinkle lights.
  • Quality: The quality of meats, vegetables and cheeses is extremely high.

Tru Cons:

  • Ordering: Sometimes, the iPads you order on work, sometimes they don’t.
  • Wait: If it’s busy, you’ll wait sometimes for 45 minutes for a sandwich.
  • Payment options are limited: Tru only accepts credit or debit cards–no cash.
  • Sides are limited to only two types of chips, pickles and pretty basic cookies.
  • Hours: Tru is not open for breakfast.


Merritt’s Pros: 

  • History/legacy: Merritt’s has been around since 1929 AND Dean Smith used to get lunch there!
  • Southern charm: They serve up delicious BLTs (well, my meat-eating friends say they’re delicious), pimento cheese and banana pudding out of what used to be a general store and service station. So charming!
  • Cheap: Although it’s a little pricer than Tru, it’s only by a few dollars.
  • Diverse menu: They serve breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, soups, salads and other specialty sandwiches on nine different local bread options.
  • Sides: At Merritt’s you can get various side items like chips, potato salad, deviled eggs, cookies, cakes and more!
  • Coffee: They serve the liquid gold.
  • Quality: Merritt’s uses local ingredients and meets high standards of excellence.


Merritt’s Cons:

  • Ordering: Placing an order at Merritt’s can be a hot mess when it’s busy. The line goes out the door and the staff gets overwhelmed. Plus, you have to go to three different places to place, pay and pick up your order.
  • Wait: Yeah. The wait at Merritt’s during popular hours can be ridiculous. Sunday around lunch is the worst.
  • Location: So technically, you CAN walk to Merritt’s from campus, but it’s a bit of a hike. Usually, I have to drive there, which makes it a little less convenient.
  • Hours: Merritt’s is not open for dinner.


The Verdict:


These two restaurants have many pros and not many cons. Tru is new school Chapel Hill and Merritt’s is old school. In other words, I can’t make a decision to save my life, I love both places equally, and I’m going to miss both terribly when I graduate.

Do you like one more than the other? Leave it in the comments!



TRU WINE & DELI: 114 Henderson Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, (919) 929-9192, Deli open Mon – Sun 10:30 am – 10 pm; Bar open Mon – Wed 10:30 am – 12 am, Thurs – Sat 10:30 am – 2 am, Sun 12 pm – 12 am. $. Credit/debit cards only.

MERRITT’S STORE & GRILL: 1009 South Columbia Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, (919) 942-4897, Open Mon – Fri 7 am – 4 pm, Sat 8 am – 4 pm, Sun 10 am – 4 pm. $.







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