Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Southern Season is the premier destination for specialty food and gifts. Since its creation in 1975, Southern Season has been known for the breadth and quality of its gourmet foods, wines, housewares, and cookware. A food lover’s paradise with exciting and innovative products from vendors local to international, Southern Season offers over 70,000 items sold in-store and online. With a belief in southern hospitality and a passion for the art of entertaining, Southern Season prides itself upon great tasting and distinct products offered by a knowledgeable and friendly staff ready to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. The store is led by General Manager and VP of Store Operations Jay White, a twenty year veteran of Southern Season and man about town in Chapel Hill.

Known as a “culinary Mecca,” the store features specialty food products, chocolate and candy, wine & beer, coffee & tea, prepared foods, kitchen tools, home items, gifts and much more. Guests, however, don’t come to Southern Season solely for the food. A visit to the store often includes exclusive samplings from featured vendors, a hand-crafted java from the full service coffee & tea bar, an ice cream cone from the old-fashioned soda fountain, a glass of wine from full service wine & beer tasting bar, or a cooking class taught by a celebrity chef. Southern Season also has a full service indoor / outdoor restaurant showcasing a menu of creative, seasonal fare that highlights local ingredients also available in the store.

Southern Season has been featured in publications by Travel + Leisure, Southern Living, Gourmet Retailer, and on the Food Network. It was honored by the National Association for Specialty Food as its Outstanding Retailer of the Year and by Gourmet News with its Retail Achievement Award for its success in the area of food education. The late New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne once described Southern Season as “wall to wall and floor to ceiling…a visual and gustatory delight!

Whether you are a professional chef or burgeoning foodie, a loyal guest or a first time visitor, we invite you to indulge your senses with all of Southern Season’s culinary offerings. Come see us today at our Chapel Hill, NC location.


Southern Season has been serving extraordinary food, wine, gifts, and food education to guests from the North Carolina community and beyond since 1975. Exuding southern hospitality and a passion for the art of entertaining, Southern Season has always prided itself on unique, high-quality products delivered to guests by a cordial staff well versed in the trends and techniques shaping the culinary world.

Southern Season’s initial location was opened with a desire to treat customers to a unique gourmet products shopping experience. Posted hours during the first year were 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., but the shop never closed until the last customer was served, sometimes staying open until midnight. Michael Barefoot, who founded Southern Season, sums it up best with, “It was always about the food. Nothing like this existed at the time. We wanted to provide extraordinary food and service for our customers.”

By 1978, Southern Season had outgrown its initial 800 square foot location and moved to a larger space nearby. In 2003, Southern Season moved again to its current location – a 60,000 square foot retail store in Chapel Hill’s University Mall, just around the corner from the original storefront. In the 39 years since the inspiration took root, Southern Season has continued to specialize in local and international fine food, wine, specialty gifts & cookware.