About Coco Bistro & Bar

We designed Coco Espresso, Bistro & Bar from the ground-up, designing all 3,000 square feet from scratch in the beautiful new Gwendolyn Building, recently-constructed and located in the historic Glen Lennox community of Chapel Hill.

Coco is the inspired evolution of Coco Bean, our original award-winning coffee shop & cafe in Chapel Hill, opened in 2016. Our expansion and rebranding to Coco includes our dual concept: coffee shop, breakfast and lunch cafe by day and full-service restaurant and full bar by evening.

We are very proud of our amazing plant-based bistro menu, which we continue to add to as we grow, and we love creating our sustainable and delicious food options!

Whenever you choose to come, we hope you enjoy either one of our outdoor patios, as well as the overall indoor/outdoor feel of our restaurant, with a front wall of windows that opens up completely to the outside, across from a small green park just out front, and plentiful heat lamps to keep you warm and safe this year.

About Coco Bistro and Bar (2)

Plant-Based Menu

Coco is an inclusive and welcoming space, and our menu is deeply rooted in kindness. We offer delicious food and drink in an inviting atmosphere, and our dishes are familiar and unique, refreshingly plant-based and as sustainable as possible. We offer our guests the joyful experience of gathering together to eat great food and indulge in delicious drinks while also practicing care for each other, our planet, and the animals with whom we share it.

We source as many of our foods and drinks as locally as possible. There are many good reasons to do so, but one simple one is that an organic tomato grown down the road tastes better than one trucked in from afar, a coffee bean roasted ten minutes away makes for a fresher espresso - and an award-winning beer brewed by a neighbor certainly deserves to be celebrated right here.

For those offerings not found nearby, we import the best of the foods we’ve sampled for years - from an artisan plant-based creamery in San Francisco, known for its standout truffle brie, to the crispest wine we’d tasted in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. And, of course, the most luscious Italian hazelnut chocolate we’d ever indulged in had to be part of our dessert menu.

Lastly, we believe there is a balance to everything. That is why our menu features a combination of fresh, locally-sourced superfood dishes along with a hearty offering of comfort food favorites and decadent desserts.
At Coco, there are options for every person - and for every mood.

Coco Bean

In September of 2016, we opened Coco Bean. At the time it was simply a coffee shop, and coffee was all we did. So we got really good at it. We partner with Carrboro Coffee Roasters and specifically select their "direct relationship trade" coffees, which means our beans come from farmers who partner closely with our roaster. And they stay partnered with them over the course of years, whether they have a rough crop that year or not. That makes for better human connection, elevated crop care, more ethical commerce - and, we can tell you for sure, notably better-tasting coffee.


Coco Bar

“There cannot be good living where there is not good drinking.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

Enjoying a truly great meal means also indulging in delicious drink. Whatever drink that happens to be is up to you. As part of our intention to be truly inclusive, we offer both a traditional bar menu and a zero-proof menu. Our craft cocktails are custom-created for Coco, designed with a botanical bent to celebrate our plant-based menu, and we’ve curated some wonderful wines and tasty beers, including many brewed right here in North Carolina.

In addition to our spirited menu, we also created a custom Zero-Proof menu, for all who choose to skip the alcohol but still want to enjoy a delicious cocktail, beer or wine. It’s not that easy to find the best-tasting distilled bourbon that also happens to be free of alcohol. We know because we sampled a lot of options! But we found it, along with a number of other compelling options. But whether the decision is to drink with or without alcohol - or simply dial the alcohol content up or down per each beverage - we have an intriguing menu for you.

Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary

Coco’s partnership with Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary is deeply woven into our culture, and we invite you to learn more about this Chapel Hill 501(c)(3)’s commitment to rescuing at-risk animals from shelters or inhumane conditions and creating programs for children in crisis. The owners of Coco, Tamara and Steve Lackey, started this non-profit in 2014, and Coco Bean has given 10% of all proceeds to it since its inception. This will continue. Beautiful Together has evolved over time, and there are now hundreds of volunteers who work to save lives, promote kindness, and make a significant difference in our community.

Beautiful Together connects the vulnerable and the voiceless in purposeful ways that benefit us all. Learn more and follow along the progress of building out an animal sanctuary on 83 acres in Chapel Hill.

BTAS with Sanctuary