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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
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  • 1
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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on August 16, 2017

Too f--king loud!!!!
Server could not hear us order.

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viptmcshu (Raleigh)
2.0  Dined on August 11, 2017

Having been invited to stay with friends in Italy over the summer, my husband and I wanted to take them to a nice Italian restaurant in the area as a thank you. Vespa got good reviews so we decided to take them there. Food was just okay - nothing at all special. Won't go back again.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
1.0  Dined on August 9, 2017

Service was terrible. I had a reservation and was promptly seated. The waitress did not come to take my drink order. I had to go back up front and complain about not being served. The bread was served cold. The food was mediocre

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Foodie (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on July 29, 2017

AC was out inside the restaurant, but fortunately, it was a nice evening and we could dine outside. We've been coming here for decades. Almost always an enjoyable experience and good, if not terribly imaginative, food. The menu hasn't changed in years.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
1.0  Dined on July 21, 2017

Air conditioner was broken so very hot and food was not cooked well

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DPRP (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on July 21, 2017

Thankful there was a back room. The main dining area had a broken air conditioning unit. Food was good although my husband ordered eggplant Parmesan expecting it to come with pasta. No pasta. Restaurant was so hot the red wine he ordered was "hot" so he sent it back. Also, didn't have the cleanest appearance!

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
1.0  Dined on July 19, 2017

This will be quick. Walked in and advised no AC. It's 95 degrees outside. Why didn't we leave? Tried to use the gift card. Was told gift card can't be used on WED Special Nights. Ordered anyway. My Dates Chicken came to us uncooked. Not undercooked...but uncooked. That's just dangerous. Experience was so bad they decided not to charge us for the meal. Good call. Only upside on this one was the poor waitress who did her best to represent her employer well. She got a good tip anyway. Next Tip...Don't go to this restaurant.

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vipFoodfriend99 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on July 15, 2017

Vespa is a Chapel Hill gem and always they have exceeded expectations with food and service.

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on July 14, 2017

First time there and I was impressed. Service was great, food was hot and delicious. Will defiantly return. Our waitress Savanna was exceptional.

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EatLocal (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on July 4, 2017

Our meals were delicious and our waiter was very attentive. Nice atmosphere.

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vipTimB (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on June 30, 2017

Will be missed!

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vipSusanP (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on June 28, 2017

My husband and I have been here on many occasions! Weather permitting, their sidewalk dining is truly lovely. We've never been disappointed in the food or the service but this particular evening the wait staff became incredibly busy and detracted a bit from the overall dining experience. The young lady, Savannah, was doing an awesome job trying to take care of everyone's needs! This was an isolated experience for us, since usually there is plenty of competent and friendly wait staff available.

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lisla (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on June 28, 2017

Wonderful food, friendly staff. Great deal on Wednesday nights. One of my favorites.

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RGreen (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on June 23, 2017

Hearher was our server and she was outstanding. the food was so good, they take pride in using food from their own garden. everything was perfect. authentic Italian, not fake like olive garden.

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foodie8 (Phoenix)
5.0  Dined on June 17, 2017

Wonderful Italian food at Vespa with a friendly server who was very attentive. We had the Veal Scaloppine Piccata and Pork Loin entrees. Both were excellent. Our server made a great recommendation- the chef special dessert - a Peach Panna Cotta that was amazing, just the right balance of sweetness. Bar service requests were accomplished with a dash of clever personality. Really nice evening and I would definitely recommend.

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Angelaosborne (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on June 16, 2017

My husband and I absolutely love this little restaurant and they have a wonderful menu - especially of you love salmon . The wine is good too . Not to mention that we went on a Friday night and the Franklin street area was a good experience . Its very quaint and cozy and I surely like the calmness of it all - totally good for a date night but it also welcomes good behaving kids.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
2.0  Dined on June 9, 2017

The food was rather bland. Glad I had a Groupon because I would have been upset to pay that price for the quality of the food

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vipFoodfriend99 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on June 8, 2017

It is a delight to have such a wonderfully delicious restaurant in our area!

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vipJudd (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on June 3, 2017

Great for sitting outside in the evening--just like Rome!

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OpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on June 3, 2017

New waitress Heather was amazing. Knew menu and made great recommendations. While food good as always, her personality totally sold the experience. We will be coming back and requesting her as our waitress.

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GTom (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on June 2, 2017

Pleasant, relaxing, unpretentious character. Dishes consistently rich and well-executed, from the gazpacho to the main courses. Reasonably priced. We keep coming back.

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vipSpoiledDiners (Raleigh)
4.0  Dined on May 28, 2017

I love Vespa...its excellent food, at a reasonable price, with unpretentious and attentive service...all at a very reasonable price!

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Beth (New England)
1.0  Dined on May 13, 2017

The service here was lackluster and awkward, the server was just weird and disappeared for long periods of time. We waited nearly 10 minutes before someone came to the table and the party beside us actually got up and left. We actually found some comedy in the situation it was so bad. The evening was cold but we were sat outside, no one ever asked if we were comfortable. We ordered from a pre fixe menu and food was mediocre at best; covered in parsley and tasted reheated. My entree had a hair in it and after that I was fed up with this place. Drinks sat empty on the table for a long time, maybe because the servers were also cold when they came outside. We never got our desserts (not that we wanted them). Our server actually disappeared partway through the meal and was replaced by someone else. We paid and left unhappy and would never recommend anyone dine here. I contacted the manager to give him a heads up about the situation and he kindly (and unexpectedly) offered us a gift card....that never showed up. Mismanagement will cause this place to close up fast.

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vipFoodfriend99 (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on May 6, 2017

Vespa is a wonderful restaurant and consistently has terrific service and food!

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

Food fresh, very good. However, waiter completely inattentive and construction work going on the restaurant during lunch.

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vipVictoriaR (Nashville)
5.0  Dined on April 29, 2017

We love Vespa and go there every time we are in Chapel Hill. Fra Diablo sauce is great; also like the clams as an appetizer. Highly recommend!

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OpenTable Diner (Adelaide / SA)
5.0  Dined on April 29, 2017

My date had the crab ravioli and I had the pork shank with the feta and polenta. Both dishes were very good. Portions we're adequate for both.

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ChapelHillFoodie (Raleigh)
5.0  Dined on April 29, 2017

We ate outside, so you have to deal with a bit of street noise. But we've eaten outside here before and it was quite pleasant eating outside. For drinks, my wife had the European Cosmo and I had the Aperol Spritzer. It was like I was back in Venice. We both started with the Insalata Festiva. It was excellent. My wife had the fish special and I went with my menu favorite; Penne Al Fumo. Again, both were excellent. We topped off the meal with the tiramisu. We had some of the best tiramisu on a recent trip to Venice. If this wasn't a tie for the best, it was an extremely close second. We were well attended to by all the staff and the combination of food and service is one reason this is one of our favorite Chapel Hill restaurants.

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CCCW (Portland)
1.0  Dined on April 23, 2017

We ate dinner at this restaurant using a discount coupon for two entrees. We showed the coupon to the server before ordering to make sure she was aware of it. She then recommended wine because it was ½ price that evening, which we ordered. The meal itself was good, but not what followed. After the meal, the server took the coupon, after which the manager came to the table and informed us that we could either pay for the wine at ½ price or use the coupon, but not both. In effect, accepting the ½ price wine cancelled any benefit of the coupon. We acknowledge that the fine print of the coupon stated that it was not to be used with other discounts. Our complaint is with the way the miscommunication was handled. The manager stated that the server should have made us aware that we could not use both discounts, and apologized, but would not adjust the bill. She said she would ask the owner, who then came to our table. He repeated that if we wanted to use the coupon, we must pay full price for the wine, saying that he would lose money if he discounted both. When we asked why the server offered the wine discount after we showed her the coupon, he also acknowledged that she made a mistake, but was unwilling to take responsibility for his employee’s error. As the owner, he could have easily discounted the wine and said he would have a talk with the server, or made some other accommodation for the fact that we were misled, however unintentionally. He said we could use the coupon at a future date if we wanted the wine discount. It is completely unacceptable for the owner of a business to acknowledge the mistake of an employee, then be unwilling to accept any responsibility for that mistake and accommodate a customer for the misunderstanding. This completely spoiled an otherwise nice evening. Instead of absorbing the loss of a few dollars for the good will of a customer, he chose to alienate us. We will not be eating at this restaurant again.

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vipfussyfoodie (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on April 22, 2017

Enjoyable night out with friends. Had three different pasta dishes and all were overly sauced; albiet delicious and a bit overpriced. Excellent ricotta cheesecake and capuchino. Wednesday half price entees are a good value. Won't rush to return but will come back .

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