The Little Dipper - Durham

4.3
663 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!
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Fondue
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday, Open at 5pm
Sunday Brunch: 11:30am-2:30pm
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Phone number
(919) 908-1023
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Brightleaf Square has a few lots for the surrounding shopping areas. You can get your parking ticket validated at The Little Dipper so parking is FREE, just ask anyone to help you.
What 663 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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
17 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
12 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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OT
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 4

Very slow. Took 3+ hours. Politely let manager know but didn’t seem to care.

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OT
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food selection and quality were outstanding. Our server made the experience even more fantastic with his personality, information and suggestions, and tips for cooking our own fondue, which we have enjoyed doing for years.

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RS
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Celebrating my son's birthday. Food was fresh. Excellent service. Pricey, but about the same as other fondue places.

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N
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for brunch and we had 1 pescatarian. It’s delicious but you get the same amount of food as a pair versus 4; people were hungry and some couldn’t eat as much as others. Bottomless mimosas are awesome. Great place for a date. Will be going back again.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful. I love The Little Dipper, and our waitress, Laurel was great.

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S
Raleigh
43 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fun and unique experience. Good quality food and excellent service.

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H
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Our kids love fondue and Little Dipper has a great Sunday special that allows the kids to eat free with 1/2 price bottle of wine for mom and dad. Between the casual setting, good food, and great service it makes for a fun family Sunday dinner. We recently did Father's day at Little Dipper and it didn't dissapoint. PS Not all Fondue Restaurants are created equal and I really didn't like it till we came here.

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MH
County Durham
2 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday, fathers day

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SP
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The little dipper had the best wait staff EVER. Our waiter was so nice and helpful and was willing to answer all of our questions about Durham. The bartender was also very nice and seemed very proud of the drinks he made. The food was excellent and fondue is always so fun! We will definitely be back next time we are in Durham!!!

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ME
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 5

Everything was great ambiance and food wise. The server blamed my misplaced credit card on a different person. It was found but to pawn off work when it wasn't busy was irksome to me. Server lacked customer service.

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CA
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious and plentiful. The waitress and hostess were friendly and knowledgeable. They surprised my husband with dessert even though we also ordered chocolate fondue. We will definitely have return!

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FV
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We saw this restaurant on the Triangle Restaurant Week website and thought it would be fun. And it was! Fondue is always a fun experience but the service was great! Our glasses were never empty, the staff worked together to make sure we had everything we wanted. They had great cooking styles and excellent vegetarian options. Special extras with the dessert was also a pleasant surprise. And local ingredients like bread from Loaf Bakery in Durham!

Dinner is at least 2 hours so plan for that if you have other activities happening in the same night. This length of time is not unexpected since part of the the fondue experience is cooking your food at the table. It was cool and unique and a great setting in Downtown Durham. A must try!

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EL
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My first time here and it was beyond amazing!

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d
Raleigh
4 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

I always like to come here because the food is good and fun. However, the past few times we have come, we have planned for 3 hours with a babysitter and have had to rush back home. This time we didn't even have time to get dessert which we were planning. They were running behind a bit and apologized. I don't know if we should plan more time next time or if the service is too slow? I do really like the food and atmosphere, but would like to be able to get in and out in 2 hours, maybe that's not reasonable for fondue?

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EP
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful place with great food and very pleasant staff. We enjoyed it a great deal!

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GW
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Super fun and great food.

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KW
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great date night! Fun and relaxing at the same time! Great to have a cozy dinner and great conversation.

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KC
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Good food. And a cheaper kids meal so adults don't have to break the bank bringing them along.

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TH
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 2

Menu was easy to understand. The booth tables were a little awkward, but they obliged us and let us sit at a table by the window. The fontina cheese fondu was delish! The fresh cut veggies were a little rubbery, the cooked potatoes were better in the cheese than I expected. The cheese got clumpy pretty quick but we added some of the white wine we were drinking and it loosened up nicely. The dark choc/peanut butter was THE BEST! Fruit was fresh and juicy, pretzels and the Oreos were stale, pound cut up in pieces to small to dip with a fork as they fell apart in the pot. Next time we’ll just do the fruit only. All in all, it was nice. We would probably go back again.

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M
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Daughters 16th birthday.
Staff did wonderful job

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OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome place! It was hard to find the entrance, but I liked the weird hallway layout of the restaurant itself. Might not be for everybody, but even so the food was great and the Casual Friday specials made it really affordable to grab a bite to eat before heading out into downtown Durham for a great night!

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c
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

We went for ladies night which is an awesome value. Ordinarily the service is excellent, but it was a bit off for us. The food - as always - was fantastic.

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TG
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This was a wonderful experience. We loved the chocolate course. Our server was covering extra tables, so service was a little slow, but we had a great time.

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C
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

We had a 8:00 pm reservation for a birthday dinner. We arrived a few minutes before and were seated promptly. We waited about 10 minutes before our server came by to fill our water glasses. A couple was seated next to us around 8:15 and had their water and drink orders before our server even came back to take our drink orders. It took another 15 minutes for her to return with our drinks. Our server admitted they were short staffed and she usually worked the bar. It was clear by her comments she wasn't happy about having to serve. We finally got our cheese fondue order placed around 8:30. We were constantly given the excuse they were short staffed, however, when one of us would go to the restroom, our server was always standing around in the bar area. We did not get our final bill until 11:15. I have had fondue before and have never had it take almost 3.5 hours to eat a meal. I understand the server said they were short staffed, but the tables around us were clearly being served more promptly than ours. In the past, Little Dipper has been a good experience. I will have to seriously think about going back.

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D
Indiana
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Although not inexpensive, the dinner became an experience as individuals cooked their own dinners.

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OT
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Out of this world wonderful experience! Delicious food, great atmosphere and fantastic service! What a wonderful treat of a meal!

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M
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service, fondue was delicious, drinks were good. Love the restaurants decor. Intimate for a date or romantic dinner. Price was reasonable.

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