Like any good American in Italy, I fell in love with gelato. (I am sure this is going to be brought up in the new Julia Robert's flick Eat, Pray, Love, too. Because, really, gelato is that good.) And Sugarland on Franklin Street makes fantastic gelato. It was as though I was transported back to vacation in a little tiny shop in Chapel Hill.
Seizing the last few pre-student return moments, Sarah C. and I decided to take the boys downtown. It was a hot day, and Sugarland fit the bill. There are so many gelato flavors here, and it was absolutely delicious. Apparently other folks think this place is great too as it was mentioned in Bon Appetit recently.
But don't be fooled by my "love of gelato" post. This shop has more than just the Italian frozen dish. It is a Land of Sugar, afterall. There were gourmet cupcakes and cakes and sodas. For adults they had beer and wine. They even do frozen martinis at the bar, which also sounded good in this weather.
The eye candy doesn't stop at the dessert cases. Around the store are decorated cakes that are just phenomenal. The different cakes had different themes, and were art. I don't think I could have cut into one of them. Good thing they had plenty of other options to eat! Sugarland does do cakes for events, if you are in the market. If I were to get married again (to my DH of course), I would get a cake from Sugarland.
There is a huge tv inside, but that was not on when we were there.
Inside there are a lot of tables and chairs. But not a toddler friendly space. We had the best luck sitting outside with the boys. There are some tables and chairs on the sidewalk. This meant our gelato melted a little faster and we got to meet some of Chapel Hill's infamous Franklin Street homeless, but it was still a great little stop for us.
This is a gourmet sweets shop so it isn't as cheap as the Ben & Jerry's or Coldstone across the street, but worth it for a special treat.
As with anything in downtown Chapel Hill, parking can be tough so try for a parking garage off of Rosemary or the one at Church St.
Pairs nicely with a stop at Kidzu or the Ackland Art Museum. Or just a day of wandering around UNC's campus as it is right next door.
140 E. Franklin Street