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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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Pop's Durham reviews from OpenTable diners
85 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (39)neighborhood gem (35)good for groups (31)special occasion (25)romantic (10)great for lunch (9)hot spot (9)late-night find (8)vibrant bar scene (7)great for outdoor dining (6)notable wine list (6)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (4)great for brunch (2)Show More
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Great dinner out!
    Jaych
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    My wife and I finally got a night out without our son and had a great dinner at Pop's. The food was exceptional and the wine was great. We had a new server who did her best and really provided pretty good service. I have been to Pop's three times now and absolutely enjoyed it every time. Would definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food
    Nenotime
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    The food was excellent! Excellent atmosphere. The hostess tried to put us in a crummy seat - there were very few people in the restaurant. I was upset and ready to leave. Then I saw her seat another couple in a crummy space they asked to move to a comfortable table. I understand if the restaurant is full and you are squeezing guests to be seated. When the restaurant isn't half full - why would you do this? She placed us and the other couple, In very undesirable tables, barely enough space to put plates, silverware, much less a glass and certainly not food.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Review
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    None ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Couzdine
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    We always choose Pop's for our out-of-town guests. The food and service is always great. Great Durham welcome!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Impress with the Chef
    lucky
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    we has a special offer for fathers day and the Chef cooked whatever he wished and it was delicious
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It was ok
    nywoe12
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    The food was pretty good, it it was all rather oily (varied antipasto tray and pepperoni pizza) and the mussels were "squishier" that I'd like. I might be back, but it's not one of my top spots in downtown Durham. I also wish the dipping oil were flavoured with some vinegar and herbs.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • rip off
    justtryingVIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    2 martinis = $21! Bar did not have Beefeaters. Bar did not have any high level gin. Ordered Tanqueray because Seagrams was the well brand.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner was Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    My wife and I went to Pop's when we had to be in Durham on a Friday evening, and though I had not been to the new location or the old for a long time, I was not disappointed. I had the bowl of mussels, they were awesome, you will need extra bread to sop up the tomato garlic broth. For dinner I had the scallop risotto and that was great too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Spring51
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    Took a group of women from various states, in town for a work-meeting, to Pop's Durham -- they all loved it, thought the food & service was wonderful! We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome
    coachmoran
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    My wife just got back from a long train ride and this is just what we needed. A relaxing atmosphere and a very attentive bartender. We'll be back!!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Service was great
    newtodurham
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Our server was fantastic. She had been there for years and knew her stuff. When we needed something and she wasn't around, another waiter was pleased to help us and rushed us what we requested. I really enjoyed pops. The food was a bargain for how delicious it was, and I don't say that lightly. I'll be going back, for sure!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • no ambiance, disappointing food
    Disappointing
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Do not plan to return. Pizza and Mussels not as good as Caraba's.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Kelly was our server. He was appropriately attentive and responded to our questions knowledgeably. Kelly was also quite personable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    Service and food met all expectations. Nice outdoor environment. Relaxing atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 49 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 19, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 91 reviews are from the Pop's Durham reviews archive.
  • Great meal
    JudyVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We went to Pop's - last minute decision - got reservations on a fairly busy Saturday night. Great service; great food. Always count on Pop's to hit the spot!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but not as good as its reviews
    asmamsa
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    The atmosphere was noisy, the place wasn't sparkling clean or polished. It was a nice, casual place and the service was very informal. The food was tasty, but not exciting. Cool place to check out, but I wouldn't go out of my way.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great dinner spot
    cck59
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    We were going to a show at DPAC and have had previous issues trying to dine within walking distance of DPAC so looked up some places within a quick driving distance. Had a great meal, and service was prompt once we told them we were seeing a show. We had a variety of dishes and everyones was excellent! Would certainly go back again based on or first experience there!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a great restaurant!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    The food is fabulous, as is the restaurant itself. The service is excellent, especially Doug, who always greets you with a smile and is helpful in every way! The prices are more than fair and the portions are better than expected everytime. Can't beat the mussels, steak, pizzas and chicken. Wish I could expect this kind of food and service everywhere I go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic