Pop's Durham
Pop's Durham

Pop's Durham

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://pops-durham.com/
  • Phone: (919) 956-7677
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday - Monday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Chris Stinnett
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We also offer a private room that can accommodate groups from 15 to 45 people.

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Pop's Durham
Pop's Italian Trattoria is situated in the tobacco warehouse district of Brightleaf, alongside Morgan Imports and Fowlers Market. Opened in 1995, Pop's Italian Trattoria has been committed to a single, simple purpose, offering the best that a restaurant of this caliber can offer consistently. Pop's offers lunch and dinner menus as well as an extensive wine list. Choose from salads, pasta, meats and of course, our famous wood fired pizza with delicious toppings like house smoke chicken, pesto or brie, among others.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Pop's Durham reviews from OpenTable diners
125 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.2
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (59)neighborhood gem (51)good for groups (43)special occasion (34)hot spot (23)romantic (15)notable wine list (9)late-night find (7)great for lunch (7)kid-friendly (7)vibrant bar scene (6)great for outdoor dining (4)scenic view (4)Show More
  • Before the Show
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Great place to go before a show at the DPAC just around the corner. Parking may be challenging but if you go early you'll be fine. Open Table reservations suggested!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Romantic Anniversary Dinner
    Scott
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The food was great with a nice presentation, taste and texture. Service was a bitto be desired, waited for water and when it came, the server was a bit pre-ocupied. The soup was not really hot and the salad was on a plate that was warmer than the soup. The chicken under a brick was tasty as was the stuffed pork loin. Never offered another glass of wine. Was offered the dessert, but should have gone through the list to upsell the desert rather than asking if we wanted it. The whole experience seemed rushed after the food arrived and it should not have been that way for that type of dinner and pricepoint. I will return, but the food is what brought me in and will bring me back, not the service. Durham has expanded quickly and the service has not maintaned but has lagged behind. I have been to other restaurants that suffer the same challenges, good food/ OK service. With some training, it could be a fantastic place. I came upon the recommendation of the owner and I will be giving it another chance because of that reason. With the linited menu, it is not difficult to mess up the food. I just had higher hopes....
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pre show
    Traveling
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Nice dinner before a show. Great steak, although ordered med rare, it was very rare. When asked about a bottle of wine, our server referred to the bar tender. He suggested the most expensive wine on the list. Thank goodness our server asked if the price was ok before he opened. Wine list is all Italian, which is fine, but the wines need some description.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very flavorful
    TheFirst
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I had the scallops with asparagus/ brussel sprout/ red pepper rissoto. Which was cooked to perdection. For dessert we had the apple crisp and chocolate pudding cake. Bith were okay, but I would recommend going elsewhere for dessert.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dianne
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Whole family loves eating at Pops whenever possible. We've never had a bad dish there. (especially love the mussels and calamari) Server was extremely pleasant and helpful. Will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Service if Instructed
    ThirdTime
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Good food and service. However, we lingered over the appetizers and the main came well before we were ready. The service and kitchen are timed to their own schedule and not yours. You need to tell them to delay putting in your main order if you want to have a hot meal, or else set your appetizer aside until later. Service that is really on top of things does this for you without being asked.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Took Mom there for birthday dinner. Food was all fabulous. We had my 1 1/2 year old son but because we went when it opened we had most of the restaurant to ourselves until the end and the staff was fabulous.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pop's Durham
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    If you have not gone .. Get there!!. Try the mussels which can't be beat but don't stop there. Always excellent food and great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Howard Spanogle
    FoodieDuo
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    An absolutely exquisite place to take quests when visiting Durham/Duke. The food, the choices, the tastes always reward diners in multiple ways throughout the evening of delights. Competes favorably with the terrific cuisine in Asheville.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Viva Hubba Hubba
    trEAT
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    In support of the Durham Arts Council Viva Hub fundraiser I recently had the pleasure of dining at Pop's seated in my favorite location overlooking Main Street. Three courses, paired with Chef's choice of wines was superb, beautifully presented, and delicious. The salad was fresh, with seasonal ingredients; the mussels always please; the risotto was creamy and savory with perfectly seared succulent scallops. All dishes were memorable, the service by Ashley impeccable and friendly. I look forward to another opportunity to savor the culinary delights characteristic of Pop's talented kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Agonizing slow service. We waited over 30 minutes between our salad and entree. Not enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrible service, adequate food
    JacopoPeriVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We waited 10 minutes for the hostess to greet us, almost 90 minutes for a bowl of olives, and our entrees took another 20 minutes to appear. The food was adequate, but not as good as we remembered it being in the old "Pop's" (near Brightleaf Square). Durham, NC, has a fast-growing restaurant scene, and "Pop's" needs to work much harder to keep up: we won't be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • just ok on a Saturday night
    srr3306
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We were there on one of their busiest nights of the year and it showed. Our dinners took over 30 minutes to arrive after the appetizers were done and when they did, 2 were luke warm and one came 5 minutes after the others. The kitchen was having trouble keeping up. The server was good and comp'd our desserts but we would wait for a quieter time to return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Downtown Durham
    atticus
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Been here twice now on visits to Durham and will go again. Food is excellent as is the service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • long wait for food on a busy night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Seated immediately. Drink orders and salad out quickly. So far so good. We then waited, must have been almost 30 minutes for our food to come out and we had to rush the meal. Budgeted 1 hr 30 mins for dinner + driving to DPAC, but barely made it in time. Food was very good but either they were having a bad night in the kitchen or expect to wait quite a while for entrees on busy nights.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love Pop's
    UnhappyVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We recently returned to Pop's to celebrate our first date (which was at Pop's in 1995). The food and service were fantastic! I really can't say enough about this restaurant. Everything we ordered was delicious. The entire staff helped us celebrate. Can't wait to my next visit to Durham ... we will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will never go back
    Hailey
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Found this restaurant through DPAC website. The atmosphere was nice, but that about all that was good. We ordered our food and 45 minutes later it was still not out. The waiter kept making up excuses as why we didn't have our food and why tables that ordered after use were getting their food and we were not. Our waiter even began avoiding our table and we had to go find him. After waiting 45 min of waiting for our food we got up and left. I will never go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food is excellent
    kanzie
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Nice selection for vegetarians as well as omnivores. The seafood dishes are very tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Millie11
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    A fabulous restaurant. Excellent food and service. Rustic atmosphere with a hint of sophistication. Highly recommend and will definitely return when I'm in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DurhamRocks
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Pop's is a favorite of ours! Great food and drinks. Excellent atmosphere. Can actually have a conversation and it isn't real loud.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent food, lousy service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I have been a faithful patron of Pop's for many years, and the food is consistently excellent. The service, however, is hit or miss, at best. And if you miss, you can have a pretty miserable experience. On our last two visits to Pop's, we had the same rude, surly, abrupt waiter, who slammed our drinks down and who acted as if waiting on us was a terrible inconvenience. We even complained about him to management, and while another server came and took our food order, the same waiter continued to wait on us the rest of the evening with a very disingenuous social affect. It was awkward and uncomfortable. We will be limiting our dining to the bar area from now on!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Must try
    jojof
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We found this restaurant on the DPAC website. We thought we'd give it a try. We were impressed with the food and the service. We definitely plan to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    GraceBarrVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Our waitress, Kate, was very honest and a good server. We were expecting a good Italian restaurant experience. Many of the mussels in the appetizer were neither in the shell nor in the bowl. The potatoes with the scallops were cold and it took an extraordinary amount of time for the entree to return to the table. The sausage in the pasta dish with shrimp was extremely salty and tasted more like breakfast sausage than Italian sausage. All of the red wines were of a mediocre quality.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful evening
    Judy
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Food and ambiance were both great but it was Finn, our waiter, that really made our experience special. He was knowledgable about food and wine, perfect balance of leaving us alone to talk etc. and provide service, easy conversationalist when we engaged him, and all-around terific eaiter.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic food
    RobertsReview
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We went Friday, October 10, 2014 for dinner reservations. Service is not the absolute best, but still good. Attention to detail was lacking. A bowl of olive oil for dipping was immediately placed on the table...but nothing to dip in it. Water was brought to the table immediately. Our waiter came to the table for drink orders but we were having a difficult time being able to read and see tHe menu...ambience lighting. Restaurateurs should take into consideration the lighting where the menu will be read/seen when designing their menu. We eventually chose our cocktails, again detail lacking. I was served their Lemon Drop Martini...in a glass that was chipped...really!?!? I have a photo available. Not business casual as described. Casual.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for an early pre-show dinner
    DNCBLUEDEVIL
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    This trattoria in West Village on Main Street, within walking distance of Brightleaf Square and the American Tobacco Campus (DPAC/DBAP) offers a good casual dining experience with opportunity for a tradition Italian feast of four courses: antipasto, pasta, entreé and dessert. Unless your appetite exceeds the norm, however, you will need to share the four courses or settle for just two courses. In other words, generous portions wih each course makes every meal a tasty feast. The only excuse for not dining here more often is the on-street parking, but a short walk before and after your meal may be just what you need to work up an appetite or walk off a hearty fete!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary Dinner
    anniversary37
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    We used a Viva-Hub coupon that we paid $65 for a three course meal with wine pairings. The food was delicious with a fall theme- butternut squash and pumpkin. Salmon on couscous. The wines were great and the service (by Christian) was just right attentive. It was our 37 year anniversary and we had a wonderful experience for our special day.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • gtb1442
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    The service was excellent. The server thoroughly explained the food as well as his selection of wine pairings. We had the three-course meal and at no time did our server make us feel rushed. He encouraged our enjoyment of the experience. We were taking friends out to dinner. They have a good knowledge of wine. They also approved of and enjoyed the experience.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pretty good
    FoodFan923
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Pop's is a nice place. I went on a Saturday night and it was full, but not so crowded you couldn't hear yourself think. The ambiance was great too. The food was pretty good, not amazing and our waiter did mess up our order, but overall it was a good experience. The prices weren't too bad either.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always enjoyable
    Todd
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The food and service were just as we have come to expect at Pop's. It gets a bit loud, but not too bad. We will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hungry?
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Excellent Food!!! Good service. You won't be disappointed. Good for date night or for hanging out with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pops in Durham
    Commander1
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    A completely satisfying experience at Pops, the service was excellent and the food was outstanding. Very nicely plated and properly prepared with great flavor. Will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too long, mixed-up orders, SO LOUD
    Disappointment
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    It took an eternity to get anything: bread and water, let alone food and wine. Every order was confused with another table's, and/or was wrong. Food was good, but it felt like work! And it was so incredibly loud. And it was a gorgeous evening and the patio was not open. Just plain dumb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not as good as recommended
    Anne
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Atmosphere was rather rustic... It is in a converted factory, but expected a little more ambience. Good was ok, not great. I am a bread lover and Pop's was soft and not flavorful. Waitress named Kate was great!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • DocMuhlbaier
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We had the chef's choice 3 course dinner (a living social fundraiser). On a Friday night, it was less special than the last time we had done so (a 5-star experience). Still, I'll be back, sooner rather than later.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Long-time favorite
    NCFoodie
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Pops has been a favorite for many years -- great food in a relaxed but stylishly urban setting. Love the mussels!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Scrumptious Food; Terrific Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Friends came from Washington, DC to join us at Pop's for dinner. This was the second time that they had been there, and they insisted on going back. Of course, we did not hesitate because Pop's is one of our favorite places. Excellent food, terrific service, relaxed atmosphere! That chef can really cook!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Just ok
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    First time I have been there since they moved. The fish, think it was the red snapper was tough, the ravioli was good. For the price it was disappointing.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    trilerey
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    From beginning to end, our first-time experience was a complete failure. From the noise to the lack of service to the preparation of the food, nothing turned out for us. We are typically generous tippers and we left without leaving any gratuity, we were so put off and disappointed. The best part of our experience was the complimentary valet service. The guys were great and they got our tip. We would never recommend this place or return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Reliable
    RalphVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Very good fare from a not so expansive menu. Mussels appetizer quite good. Valet parking in an area where parking can be somewhat difficult.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.