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Permanently Closed - Vespa Ristorante-Chapel Hill

4.1
396 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem (306)
  • Fit for Foodies (277)
  • Great for Outdoor Dining (247)

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Ciao e benevenuti!

Here at Vespa Ristorante, we pride ourselves in serving the best Italian and Mediterranean food in Chapel Hill. Our beautiful menu, easily accessible downtown location, charming atmosphere and friendly staff make us the ideal spot for a romantic dinner, a family celebration or a night on the town with friends.

Dishes like the Melanzane Al Forno and our perfectly cooked Lamb Shank served over Tumeric Risotto demonstrate that our Chef's creativity and love of experimentation are married perfectly to his knowledge of traditional Italian cooking. The pasta at Vespa is delicious, made in-house and cooked to order, so substitutions are not a problem. Freshness is always guaranteed.

After dining with us, it won't be hard to see why so many of our customers return again and again to savor the dining experience and become members of our Chapel Hill family.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Tuesday - Saturday: Dinner - 4:00 pm -10:00 pm
Sunday: Lunch - 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner - 4:00pm -9:00 pm.



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Phone number
(919) 969-6600
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Catering
Contact Management.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Malette
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Parking details


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Special events & promotions
Every Sunday, all wines, both by the glass and bottle are half off! Feel free to review what we have to offer before you dine with us: http://vespanc.com/wine-and-beer-lists
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 396 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1  based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.1
service
3.9
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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Prabha (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on April 16, 2017

Very good food for a reasonable price. Fast service!

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NellyUNC (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on April 8, 2017

Absolutely delicious and very authentic. Try the scottata appetizer, it was amazing! Great service, lovely ambiance.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
3.0  Dined on April 3, 2017

I'm sure dinner on a "normal" evening would have been a better experience but I went specifically to have a spot to watch the NCAA basketball chapionship game. I made the reservation but it wasn't until I got there did I read on the sign that they had a fixed menu that night for $30. That's the reason for my rating. Vespa ended up not having a crowd. It was probably the only restaurant on Franklin Street that wasn't busy that night.
The hostess was cranky and the whole place had a stressed vibe. But since I knew every other place in Chapel Hill had a wait line, I knew i had to stay. The food was okay. I was told the pasta was made fresh but found it ironic that there were boxes of pasta in the kitchen that could be seen from the dining area.
I've only been to Vespa twice and both were to watch the championship game that the tarheels were in. The first time last year was an open menu and the place was packed, not so much this time. I would recommend not having the expensive fixed plate. I think it hurt you that night. I even observed a group walking out after they were seated. They too were probably surprised by the cost. My dinner with drinks and the included 20% tip cost me over $60. Won't be going back for the next UNC game.

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frenchieinNC (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on March 23, 2017

I enjoy having business lunches at Vespa; it is never too crowded and the food is excellent! Our server was very efficient and also attentive but not too much! Very nice! I also enjoy the lunch menus at a very good price!

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vipPickyeater (Raleigh)
1.0  Dined on March 22, 2017

I love this restaurant because I can always hear what is being said. The food is cooked fresh and everything is homemade & is delicious, seasoned well, without being overbearing. It is a friendly, comfortable place for me to visit.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
3.0  Dined on March 18, 2017

Food was just okay. Little things could be greatly improved. Better bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
2.0  Dined on March 5, 2017

Food took 50 minutes to arrive

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vipFoodfriend99 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on March 2, 2017

We had a wonderful birthday evening and the food was delicious and the service was gracious.

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vipFoodie (Charlotte)
1.0  Dined on February 18, 2017

Poor service. Food served cold. Will not return. Too many other good restaurants to go to.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
2.0  Dined on February 18, 2017

My wife and I have eaten at Vespa's several times but this experience was horrendous. They were obviously short on staff and didn't attempt to hide their frustrations. Our entrees actually arrived BEFORE our drinks. My entree was decent but the potatoes were on the cool side and my beer was on the warm side. I am usually a very generous tipper but barely exceeded 10%. Bottom line, we will not return to Vespa anytime soon.

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OpenTable Diner (Greensboro)
1.0  Dined on February 18, 2017

The bartender seemed like she was drinking. Wait staff was having problems getting a drink out of her. I thought we were in an episode of Restaurant Impossible and Robert Irvine was going to come out.

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Anoutoftownvisitor (Philadelphia)
1.0  Dined on February 18, 2017

Would NOT recommend this restaurant to anyone who might have the unfortunate luck to deal with the horrible waitress that we had. What was happening in the main dining area I have no comment as we were not a part of that seating. However, in the small area where we sat I got to know two other couples very well that were complete strangers to us purely due to the fact that we were experiencing the same problem with the "waitress". It started with not being able to remember out initial drink orders (Diet Coke and ice tea, I know, really difficult to remember!) all the way to waiting at least 20 minutes for our check only to be given someone else's bill. How she remains employed is a mystery to me.

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vipJohnandMargieS (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2017

Vespa is a delightful restaurant that we always enjoy while in Chapel Hill. It's cozy & elegant, the food is incredible, & the owner/chef & staff are wonderful. Don't miss the homemade crab ravioli; the sauce is divine! The chianti is good too! :-)

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lisla (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2017

Always wonderful food. Staff is very friendly. Love Wednesday night deals.

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joshua (Raleigh)
1.0  Dined on February 14, 2017

Terrible service to wait for 1 hour, and saw the wine bar is messy and dirty

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vipOccasionaldnr (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on February 14, 2017

We went to Vespa for Valentines Day. So did a lot of other people. Perhaps too many reservations were accepted. We had to wait past our reservation time for a table, lunes were long, service was slow, we had to wait for flatware after our food was served, and servers seemed stressed and harried. But the food was excellent, and on other nights we anticipate a much better experience.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
1.0  Dined on February 14, 2017

I have never walked out of a restaurant until my experience at Vespa. The service was awful!!! We had our reservation at seven on valentines night. We arrived at seven and seated promptly. Everything was fine until my husband noticed that a couple that was seated about 20 minutes after us was eating their main course. I tried to ask several of the wait staff why our meals were delayed but really didn't get any sincere responses. And I had to flag down a server to refresh my husband's beverage. This was valentines with a set menu of just 2 salads, 4 entrees and 2 desserts, so I don't understand why our food took to long. Finally by 8:30 we decided to tell management that we were leaving since our main course had not been served to us yet and the couple seated after us is paying for their check.

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OpenTable Diner (Richmond)
3.0  Dined on February 14, 2017

The food tasted OK but they were totally overwhelmed by the Valentine Day crowd. If anyone near our table got the food they ordered I would be surprised. They got almost everyone's order wrong.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
3.0  Dined on February 14, 2017

Not recommend for Vallentines Day!!!
Pre-Fix menu was a huge surprise!!!
Over booked and under staffed!

Great value on good wine just disappointed
With the limited menu! I personally feel it was not good because of the menu. I'm gonna try it again if the opportunity arises.
My daughter loved the patio during her visit in the summer!

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vipChipB (Raleigh)
2.0  Dined on February 14, 2017

Fast food for Valentines Day😡

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ChapelHillDon (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on February 11, 2017

I hadn't been back to Vespa in years, since the last time I had been there the food disappointed everyone in my party. But that's changed. I'll come back.

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on February 9, 2017

We enjoyed our evening at Vespa. Matthew, our waiter was attentive to our time constraints.
The food and service was excellent. We look forward to dinner again at Vespa.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on February 5, 2017

My friends and I had the early-bird dinner, and it was great. Our salad was excellent, and my entree, the ravioli, was great. Had hazelnut gelato for dessert, which was very good. We all liked our food. And the wait staff was very good. They also readily accommodated us with a table near the entrance for one friend who has difficulty getting around.

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OpenTable Diner (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on January 21, 2017

$200.+ for 4 adults & 2 kids seems extremely expensive. Don't go here if you are looking for a "deal"!

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vipItzana (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on January 20, 2017

Delicious dishes, generous portions. Great prices

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on January 10, 2017

We enjoyed a delicious dinner in a lovely setting. We will definitely return.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

Great quiet and delicious restaurant with authentic Italian dishes

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Brother43 (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on December 31, 2016

Wonderful restaurant. Vespa Ristorante was the first restaurant my wife and I visited upon moving to Chapel Hill in 2012, and we have returned many times since. Mr. Serafettin Akbay, the owner, is wonderful and delightful, as well as a great chef. We highly recommend a visit. Our most recent visit was for New Year's Eve with our daughters who were visiting for the holiday; however, we have also gone on our anniversary, birthdays, Valentine Day, etc. Enjoy!

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on December 24, 2016

Went for Xmas eve dinner. Special menu had plenty of options. Had vegetarian and gluten free diners who were well taken care of. Kelly our server was conscientious, friendly, and professional. Food served artistically and good portions.

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OpenTable Diner (New Orleans)
2.0  Dined on December 24, 2016

To start, the bread served before the meal was nothing better than a white hamburger bun. The starters- clams and capreze salad were decent, the crostini with avacado was okay. The entrees- eggplant parm (I forget what it's called on the menu but it's eggplant parm) doesn't come with pasta. I had to pay an extra $5 for a small plate of fettuccini. I've never experienced that at any other Italian restaurant in my life. The eggplant dish was mush, the fettuccini came without any marinara or sauce on it. Just plain fettuccini and again I was charged $5. The crab ravioli was inedible. It was overpowered by some sort of pepper to the point you couldn't taste anything else. It was horrible and we told our server. The service- it was Christmas Eve and it seemed like it was every staff member's first night on the job. They were pleasant but not confident. We were first seated right next to the door and when I asked to be moved to one of the empty nearby tables so as not to feel the draft everytime the door opened, the hostess seemed put off. We waited about 40 minutes between apps and entrees and, again, when we inquired the wait person acted as if we were imposing. When we complained about the ravioli entree, instead of the waitresss offering to replace it and taking the plate, she left the dish and said "I'll go tell the chef." The chef never appeared. About 15 min later the waitress reappeared and said the chef offered to make something else. By that time it was too late. We asked for the check. The wait person left without removing any of the dirty plates off the table, and we were obviously finished with them. She left them there, even after bringing the check, and. Had to sit there pushing the dirty plates, etc, around to make enough space on the table to total and sign the check. It was very unpleasant and disappointing. They did take both apps and the ravioli off the check, but our Christmas Eve dinner was already ruined.

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