The Little Dipper - Durham

4.1
690 reviews
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$30 and under
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Fondue
The Little Dipper was established in Wilmington, NC in 2005 and Durham is the second location, opened April 2013. The Little Dipper is a full service fondue restaurant, with a menu that includes cheese fondue, salads and soups, meats, seafood, vegetarian items and chocolate fondue, along with a special Sunday Brunch menu with a twist. We have handmade tables with burners built into them, allowing the guest to cook their own food right at the table. We are known for our specially sauces, all homemade and delicious for dipping cooked meats and seafoods. We offer an extensive wine list and unique cocktails with personality!
What 690 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
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84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AS
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious! We always order AlaCarte so we can get all we want!

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M
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

This place is always fun, it's a bit pricey but it's not a regular meal, there ate 3-4 courses and it's an experience! This time our waiter forgot an entire course... But life happens, I still had a great time it's worth a try at least once!

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FG
Raleigh
24 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

To be fair, I think this was an off night... We were seated immediately when we walked in and given water, but it was over 45 minutes before someone came to our table to greet/take drink orders. We had our 6 year old with us, so that made things more difficult because it was way past his normal dinner time by the time the waiter even came to our table. She looked surprised to see us sitting there. We ordered our cheese course which then took another 20 or so minutes to come out and came out before our drinks. The food was delicious. I think there must have been a disconnect between the wait staff and the host. The manager was nice and comped our dessert which also took a long time to come out. I will say that the scallops on the ala carte menu were fabulous!

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HC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyed our time and the food during our visit. Our waitress was new, but very knowledgeable and a good server. We will be coming back again soon.

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OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed the place. First time very nice

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M
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

We like the melting pot .. but the service is hit or miss, either you have great service or really bad service. This past experience was the worst from a service aspect. It took 3 hours to complete the meal, everytime we asked for something she was gone 15-20 minutes. The waitress didn't communicate as far up charges Were concerned.
As far as the food was concerned. The cheese, salad and main entree were good but dessert was disappointing, they were out of most of the dippers they had listed on the menu .. which wouldn't have been a real issue if they had of let us know before we ordered. She did bring out apples and grapes to make up for the lack of strawberries and bananas. They substituted Rice Krispies with some sort of chewy burnt granola and dried apricots in place of fresh fruit. Not only did they not let us know that they were out of the dippers, they still charged an up charge for the "supreme" dippers. It will be a while before we go back. Hopefully next time it will be a better experience.

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JN
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

It's a really pleasant restaurant. The tables are separated from each other, which makes it comfortable and suitable for a romantic date. They also can easily deal with gluten-free guests.

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OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super fun with family; great service.

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WW
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved our waitress Carly! So nice and helpful in making our experience the best it could be. Thanks Carly!! We will be requesting you again next time we come back!

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AH
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My sister and I stopped in on our way back home from Raleigh airport. We knew we wanted fondue and these prices were nearly half compared to another fondue chain in this area. The experience was lovely and the food was delicious!! Hate there isnt one in our town, but we will be back next time we are anywhere close!

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LB
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Our visit this time was terrible! We have been in the past and have had outstanding service and food.....service was poor and they were out of so many of the items on the menu. It is the holiday’s - but our reservation was at 5:30PM There were 7 of us so this was not an inexpensive meal. We had to ask for refills on drinks and even for water. For most of the night we sat next to a table of dirty dishes. One of our pots never really got warm- so we had warm cheese and chocolate. Took longer for meats and seafood to cook. There is obviously a burner issue as our other burner was fine and each time we asked them look at it- it appeared to be an inconvenience. I shared our experience as we left with the manager on site. She asked if she could call the next day- I said absolutely. Guess what- no call! Maybe it’s back to The Melting Pot.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience

We left full and happy. Our meal was wonderful as was our waitress. We couldn't fit dessert in, but we will be back in the future for our sweets. Thanks for the great experience.

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MR
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

The Little Dipper used to be our favorite date night place. Unfortunately this most recent visit will be our last. The portions have been seriously reduced and most of our sauces were congealed, oily, and gross. The quality of everything was just way below what we’d experienced before and our very special night out was a major disappointment. I hate to say we won’t return but for the prices they charge, it’s not worth a second chance.

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RP
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing server that kept our time enjoyable. The food was great and so was the atmosphere. My whole family enjoyed The Little Dipper.

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K
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love The Little Dipper. The service is always great and the food is delicious!

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OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 3

The restaurant ran out of pretty much everything on the menu and if I had known we would have left.

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T
Raleigh
42 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My granddaughter and I decided to celebrate her 12th birthday at the Little Dipper. We went on a Wednesday and learned that it was Ladies' Night and the dessert was free with our meal! What a great deal! We chose the Havarti Dill Fondue with vegetables and delicious foccaccia bread from the Loaf Bakery here in Durham and topped it off with the Triple Play dessert fondue (dark chocolate, peanut butter and caramel) - yummy! When the waitstaff learned that we were celebrating my granddaughter's birthday, they even gave her a piece of their yummy cheesecake! We dipped that in the Triple Play too!

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NC
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing night celebrating our 10 year anniversary!! Delicious food, great wine, fantastic service!!! Will be returning soon!!!

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L
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Horrible service!! We spent a little over three hours there!!! Hubby wanted to leave soo bad early on because the first course didn't even come until after 45 minutes and then we had to wait for more than 30 minutes for each succeeding course! I insisted to stay so we argued and the night just got worse and worse! Horrible anniversary date night for trying out a new restaurant! The waitress explained that the delay was because she was attending to a bigger table (yes, for a bigger tip!!) Very unacceptable! The food was mediocre, nothing special. I really wanted to like this restaurant because I've been wanting to try the fondue experience. Thought it would be fun and something different but very disappointed so we will not come back for sure.

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MP
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

This place is super cute. The food though, is just okay. We went on a Sunday, cheese fondue was excellent. For the meat, it was only 12 pieces of meat brought out (total for the 2 of us) and these are not large pieces. The cooking broth dried out and completely crusted to the bottom of the pot (as in burning and smoking) before we could even finish cooking the meat (and we didn’t take our time cooking it either). The chocolate fondue was extremely watery (we chose cookies and cream). Service was good. I would recommend going just for cheese fondue and a drink.

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OT
Raleigh
9 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

Absolute slowest service ever - took three hours and told wait staff that our table of 6 had to make it to an event. Asked for check and after 20 minutes had to get up and go find manager to get the bill! Get your act together, Little Dipper! I have heard similar complaints from friends - should have heeded the warning...

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AA
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been to the Little Dipper while on a trip in Wilmington and was itching for it again. I was so happy to learn there was one in Durham! Little Dipper is amazing for date night, GNO, and birthdays. The atmosphere is so chill, great beer selection & amazing menu. I had great service & experience. I would no doubt recommend this to a friend!

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SJ
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Food was delicious, but the service was slow since there were only two people working.

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DB
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

We went for Sunday brunch to celebrate my wife's Birthday, had an 11:30 AM reservation that we made on Saturday night. They must normally never get any business at that time, as they were not ready for our party. First they couldn't open the store front because they had the wrong combination for the lock, so they didn't open up until 11:35 or so. We then had a server who admitted it was their first time serving brunch and that they didn't really know the menu. Other servers stopped by to check on us, reaffirming that it was their first time, but they didn't really offer us any help other than belittling our server and her lack of experience. This was frustrating because we were the ONLY party in the restaurant until about 12:30, so they could have easily helped more proactively to make sure things went well. Then we were told they had no orange juice for their bottomless mimosas, so first round was sans OJ. Then we had some issues with the consistency and taste of the cheese fondue, but luckily we had two pots and the host helped make one of the pots, as it was much better. The tray they brought out for the cheese fondue was also really weird (included grapes, carrots, apples - who puts cheese on those?). Then we got to the 3rd course, and we had ordered one item a la carte, but they brought out a shrimp and grits meal for 3 people with only 4 shrimp, so then we had to wait for another round of shrimp to be made.

In summary, this rating is just based on their brunch service, as we have had a dinner experience here that was much nicer. I never thought about how critical the server is to the fondue service, so the fact that this was the servers first time serving brunch, so they didn't know the menu or how to accomodate for different asks certainly did not help. I have had good experiences here at dinner, but since it seems like they don't do a lot of business at brunch, my advice would be to go somewhere else for brunch and come here for date night.

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TK
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

I always loved the Little Dipper but we just had a horrible experience. We used to live close to this location and go all of the time. We are further away now (45min-1hr) and visit just for my birthday each year. This time we had a horrible waiter who never checked our table. I refilled everyones water at the table 3 separate times. Our reservation was at 5:30pm and at 7:00pm we had only had cheese, our meat had still not arrived. The waiter only came to our table 3 times the entire evening (to take the order, bring cheese, and take it away). We never saw anyone else and no one ever checked in on us. On top of this, Little Dipper staff have always prepare our cheese at the table. One of our two cheeses was brought "from the back" already prepared. It was a mess, it was no longer smooth and dippable and it tasted different from the other cheese we were given. It honestly seemed like another party had walked out and we were given the cheese that was prepared at their table but they decided not to eat it. It would not make sense for one cheese pot to be brought out and the other one to be prepared tableside. I was told that I would receive a call to discuss my experience but I have not heard from anyone. By the time we left it was too late to eat out anywhere else. Thank you for ruining this once a year occasion.

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LC
Raleigh
10 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a 5pm reservation and needed to be at Hamilton at DPAC around 7:15. Our waitress was very conscientious of our time and very helpful and friendly. The food here was amazing! The food is not cheap but it was very delicious and it's all local. The ambiance was warm and friendly. I will definitely be back!

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k
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

Service was very very slow and when pointed out to manager there didn’t seem to be a sense of urgency to correct the service level.

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j
Raleigh
32 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fondue is not something we eat on a regular basis, but it is wonderful for a special occasion. We picked The Little Dipper for our anniversary because we so enjoyed our experience at the sister restaurant in Wilmington a couple of years ago. We were not disappointed. Our server was as attentive as she could be (we could tell she was busy, but she had everything under control), and she made sure that our celebration was special with a glass of complimentary sparkling wine. All in all, it was a very lovely evening.

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ST
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Carla was our waitress and she was phenomenal!! Great service! Loved the atmosphere, perfect for anniversaries or date nights!! First the server makes the cheese fondue, then you cook your own food at the table! A lot of fun and loved every minute of it! Definitely worth the money.

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OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Terrible service. Food appears to have declined in quality as well.

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OT
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Went for our anniversary. Server was inattentive and kept the fondue pots too hot. I was splashed with hot oil and water multiple times because she kept the pots too hot. Drinks never full. Kitchen was out of quite a few things, our server only told us parts of our meal was missing after she brought us the meal/our our order in. They opened the restaurant late. Charged full price for a desert we only got part of because they were out of so much. Horrible experience. Love the Little Dipper in Wilmington but this location is awful. We have come because and the service was terrible, but food was good. This time both were terrible. Will not come back.

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AL
Raleigh
15 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We love the Little Dipper! They offer great quality food, and use mostly local ingredients. We also always have great service. This time we had a negative experience with the half and half dessert (half peanut butter, half chocolate). It looked and tasted like it was mostly peanut butter, and it never melted correctly. It stayed the consistency of a thick frosting. It was very difficult to dip things into it because everything stuck to the chocolate, instead of being coated by it. We ended up leaving most of it in the bowl. Unfortunately, it ended the night on a sour note, but the rest of the meal had been delicious!

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great! Ladies night deal is amazing

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M
Dallas
18 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

The waitress said they were out of all soft drinks except ginger ale, so my daughter ordered ginger ale. Waitress came back to table and said they were out of ginger ale. I ordered scallops, among other meats to cook. Waitress came back and said they were out of scallops. So I paid a $19 upcharge for about three bites of lobster. They were more generous with chocolate than Melting Pot, but next time, we’re going back to Melting Pot.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 1

It was good with pairing wines and fondues. They were out of some of the pairings so we got different ones. Except that, it was a good experience.

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A
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A much better experience and value than Melting Pot.

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ZK
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 4

The decor and ambience were pretty nice. The cheese fondue, salad and dessert were very good. The entrees were a little bit disappointing because the server-recommended peanut oil was heavy and flavorless. The dipping sauces that were served with our entrees were not our favorites, and I wish we had chosen the specific sauces that appealed to us. Our server was a bit forgetful even though the restaurant was not that busy. We might return to do just a cheese fondue with salad and forego the entree fondues.

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LG
Raleigh
13 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to dinner with a friend and had wonderful food and service. I highly recommend it.

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OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

the waiter did the best he could but the few times i have gone, the restaurant seems poorly managed with never enough servers on the floor.

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KS
Wilmington
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I have made a tradition of going to the Little Dipper on our anniversary every year since 2005...first in Wilmington, and now that we live in the Triangle at the Durham location. The service is always friendly and attentive and the food is great. Fondue is a fun way to dine and not only does it make you slow down and savor the food, it encourages conversation whether it's a special meal for two or an outing with a group.

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