Pop's Durham
Pop's Durham

Pop's Durham

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://pops-durham.com/
  • Phone: 9199567677
  • 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 WinnerItalian
Pop's Durham reviews from OpenTable diners
101 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.2
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (51)neighborhood gem (43)good for groups (33)special occasion (28)hot spot (15)romantic (14)late-night find (9)great for lunch (7)notable wine list (7)scenic view (5)kid-friendly (5)vibrant bar scene (5)great for outdoor dining (4)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • 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.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    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.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
  • Seasonal Menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Pop's always has new items popping up on the menu as the seasons change. This past visit was a wonderful pork tenderloin dish that was out of this world. We always enjoy a nice evening out at Pop's with friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awful service
    CHfoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    We told the waiter we were celebrating two birthdays that night in a party of 4. They then delivered 2 wrong meals--to the birthday boys. Immediately took them away and left the other two of us watching our food get cold for 20 min. Had to ask for bread. They didn't refill the olive oil even though place was uncrowded this weekday night. No adjustment on bill or free appetizer or dessert. Never going there again. Awful celebration.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding!
    Dr411
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Farm to table Italian. The fresh ingredients make the meal unforgettable. Unfortunately, the fresh okra will be out of season soon so unless you hurry you cannot get the fried okra Gorgonzola and tomato salad. Also with the Granny Smith and brie pizza is not to be missed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice vibe with decent food
    FoodfinderVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Nice spot for a casual dinner. They offer some interesting combinations of flat bread pizza which I enjoyed. Skip the more sophisticated entrees, such as the fish offerings. Service was personable and efficient, atmosphere felt very current, good upbeat energy without overwhelming noise. We will go back.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never Again
    AH151VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Over priced for the little you get. Slow service and you would expect the place to be prepared given an event at DPAC and a Baseball game in the area on the same night, which happens often so shouldn't have been a big surprise for them. The bar area is a mess of random bottles scattered across the back counter top.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always good
    lulu
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    One of my favorite spots. Food is fresh, excellently prepared to your request, flavorful and wonderful. Service excellent and atmosphere very comfortable and enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experince
    jazzykat
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Everything we ordered was wonderful and the staff was very friendly and helpful. It is a little noisy though and the tables are very close together making it difficult to tune out the conversations of those around you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • virgin visitor
    ickspick
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    First time, and quite taken by surprise with the overall quality. From atmosphere to concierge , to table, to waiter, to drink, to food, it was a great experience and evening.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Service, Great Food
    Joanne
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We had a show to catch at DPAC and our waitress was VERY accommodating. The specials were delicious. The atmosphere is very nice. I always get a good meal at Pop's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Patio
    DanfromRal
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We have only been inside in Pop's once. The interior is OK, but they fall into the pit of having tables lined up against a wall, where half of the people sitting get to look at the person they are dining with, and a wall. It can also be pretty noisy when it gets busy. Seems like there should be a better option, and there is, but its not inside. We only go to Pops when the weather is good enough to eat on the patio. The back patio is an open quite and very pretty area. The only issue is it is very narrow, so it doesn't work for iffy weather. But when its nice out, the patio at Pops is the place to be. It would be really nice if they would add a canvas awning or something to make it available in poor weather.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • not one of downtown's best
    ritamoreno
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Pop's used to be a nice restaurant experience in its old location with its old menu...now it is just a small step above a pizza place...the food is unexceptional - if you happen to be in the neighborhood it is fine...but I wouldn't go there as a restaurant of choice.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food, lousy service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I'm a long time Pop's patron, and usually dine in the bar area where service is usually great. However, on this occasion with a large party, we were sat in the dining room, where our waiter seemed to feel that every request was an imposition. I ordered the vegetarian lasagna, which is consistently excellent, but I was given the meat lasagna and had to wait for an additional 30 mins for the waiter to finally return with the correct dish. He gave no apology and acted as if it was my fault. Lesson learned. Stay in the bar!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, service, atmosphere
    pgallVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Great pasta dinner before a show at DPAC. Service was impeccable and charming. Great atmosphere. Want to go back and sit at the bar - that looked like fun.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NightoutVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Excellent as always. Delicious daily special. One of our favorites!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Treat, As Always!
    mrsmnc
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Wonderful dinner last Saturday night. No problem getting a reservation 10 days ahead. Food was delicious - as always. We ordered a variety of dishes, starting with the best Caesar Salad around and chilled Cantaloupe Soup. Dinner included Chicken Cooked Under a Brick (including a side dish substitution with no issue), Pesto Ravioli, Fettuccine with Clams & Shrimp and Baked Penne with Sausage & Mushrooms. Everyone loved their entrees. One thing was off - the Pesto Ravioli portion was oddly small for Pop's. I've ordered ravioli there many times and often taken some home but this time it was an appetizer portion at best. Too bad because it was just wonderful! The restaurant was, as usual, lively and friendly. Overall, a great evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, poor service
    Raleighgirl
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    I hate to say it, but Pops has poor service. We've been multiple times and always say "well maybe our server is having a bad day?" But after consistently bad service, we can no longer make excuses for them. Pops is very slow and the server will often neglect you for a long period of time (30 mins while you are out of water). Anytime we substitute a side, it comes out wrong and we have to kindly send the dish back and wait 15 mins. Our waiter didn't come by the table after our food was delivered by the kitchen, so we had to ask another server to help us by correcting the order, filling our glasses, and bringing more bread. Our server still did not come by till we had finished eating, and did not apologize.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A very nice find
    food4life
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    After looking for multiple places near the Performing Arts Center, we made this choice that fit our search. What a great find! Menu was very appealing, food was delicious, service was excellent, dining experience was very satisfying and pleasurable. I am happy to spread the word among the ADF community. Price range was on the up-scale side, but all in all a wonderful place.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.