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“Great restaurant, but bring the noise level down a few notches”

Kipos Greek Taverna
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Ranked #9 of 292 Restaurants in Chapel Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $31
Cuisines: Greek
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Kipos is a place familiar like home, comforting, flavorful, honest and welcoming to all. It's a taverna, where friends and strangers gather every day to share thoughts, a glass of wine or two, raki, beer, and often Ouzo. Mezedes (small plates) keep coming to your table, and the conversation and laughter get better with time. This is something that we all share. Kipos is a reflection of my childhood: fresh and robust village foods cooked in wood-burning ovens, honoring old and modern recipes alike. It's a remembrance of my mother's masterful way with phyllo. It's a celebration of cheese, breads, mousaka and lamb youvetsi. It's a story about pigeon in clay pots, octopus grilled over a fire and perfect dolmas. It's about my love for her youvarelakia, her rabbit stefado and the aroma of lamb roasting over an open fire. It's about her chicken and potatoes, especially when I was the one who had to catch the bird. Kipos is a tale of baked eggplant, the perfect village salad, kakavia and my favorite, zucchini blossoms and fresh cheese. And of course we can't forget the baklava, honey walnut cakes and spoon sweets. But above all, Kipos is a story about the love and joy that my parents shared, working the fields heroically, enduring, so that one day my brothers, my sister and I could realize the American dream. My brothers, sister and I became one with the garden, with the olives, with the grapes. We became one with the fields and the mountains that were covered with wild oregano. We gathered animals, both wild and tamed. Nature nourished us with her abundance, with her goodness. This is what we want to share with you at Kipos: cooking from the memory of my heart. Kalos Oresate (welcome) to our home. Love, Giorgios Bakatsias
Carrboro, North Carolina
Level Contributor
56 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great restaurant, but bring the noise level down a few notches”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

We dropped in at Kipos on a Sunday evening without reservations. We were greeted warmly and seated without hesitation or delay. Our server, Sara, was excellent. She was attentive, she helped us with the Greek pronunciations, and she offered recommendations on choices and quantities. With her guidance, we opted to share a collection of mezedes, including Santorini (vegetable fritters served with yogurt sauce), the Ouzo Cured Salmon (beautiful presentation and delicious) and a roasted beet salad. Everything was excellent, but the salmon was a special treat. The beets were local and very sweet.

For dessert we shared Karithopita, a walnut cake drizzled with a spiced honey glaze and topped with creme fraiche and strawberries. Very tasty and one serving is ample for sharing.

We chose to sit inside, but there is ample outdoor seating as well. The noise level inside Kipos is unpleasantly high. There was music playing, but it was impossible to hear over the noise of the diners. Later in the evening, or in cooler weather, I would opt for outdoor seating where you can actually hear the music and where conversations with your dining companions are not drowned out by the voices of other diners bouncing off the walls and ceilings.

I hope that Kipos addresses the noise issue soon because I really enjoyed the food, the service and the experience. This is a great addition to Chapel Hill's dining choices. I suspect that as Kipos' clientele grows walk-ins w/o reservations will find it more difficult to be seated immediately. We got lucky!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank NC608
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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255 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Triangle Food Tour”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

Loved the spreads that we tasted, with the delicious breads! Also, the baklava was the best I've ever eaten. Enjoyed the layout of the restaurant and look forward to coming back for dinner and entertainment!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Cindy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
50 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Fun, delicious, new”
Reviewed June 3, 2013

Our group of four friends had a wonderful time on our first visit to Kipos, despite some problems with service that I'm sure are attributable to it being a relatively new (and very busy) place. Be aware that the atmosphere inside is extremely loud--the live music is great, and there was a very festive feel to things, but it was hard for us to hear each other. I'm not sure what it would have been like outside. The decor is great; lots of fun things to look at as you await your meal.

Our server was very friendly and fun, but somewhere between him and the kitchen, something went awry--one person was brought the wrong dish, then when the correct one was brought out, it was missing one of the vegetables that was supposed to be included. An item from another person's order was forgotten entirely. But it was worth the wait and confusion--everything was truly delicious, from my husband's roasted vegetable entree to the elusive lamb. I had the moussaka and enjoyed it very much--the portions are quite large. We also ordered dessert; I don't like baklava, but everyone else had a bite and said it was wonderful.

We will definitely return; we'll probably sit outside next time if possible. Do make a reservation if you're going on a weekend; it was very busy even though it's summer and the students are mostly out of town. Once things shake out, I can imagine this becoming one of my favorite restaurants!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Squeakycats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
53 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Outstanding service”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

I've been to Kipos three times now and each time the food is terrific and the service stellar. First of all, the interior is gorgeous, lots of white walls, ceiling and counters, nautical themed light fixtures with thick ropes. Music Thursday through Saturday nights and a belly dancer after 8:30 on Friday and Saturday. Menu has Greek names, so be prepared to ask for help with pronunciation. The salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions and feta is delicious, as is the seafood stew. I left my sunglasses on the table last time we went and Marco, the host, brought them to me at the wellness center where I work and he works out!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KDKfromNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
54 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Better than Chicago”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Having been virtually raised in Chicago's old Greek Town, I nearly have the food in my DNA. Our dinner at Kipos was exceptional and was as good or better than any meal that I ever had back home. The four meze platter was delicious, though too much food for two people. The skordalia was the only downer. Way too much raw garlic that nearly overpowered everything else. Warm, buttery pita wedges kept coming. Our entrees - lamb off the rotisserie with lemony potatoes and boneless short rib with deeply flavored orzo - were stellar. The traditional salad of tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, olives and feta was perfectly seasoned. The small size is plenty for two to share. We enjoyed one of the Santorini white wines. Very crisp and refreshing. We passed on the desserts, but they looked great. Yes, it is noisy as can be, though if you can grab one of the two tables on the far side of the bar, you will be able to hear your dining companion and be a bit cooler. If the weather cooperates, consider sitting at one of the many outdoor tables facing Franklin Street. In the summer, you will need to wait until 8:00PM or a bit later as there is no shade. The service was fantastic. What our server might have lacked in authoritative knowledge, especially in the wine department, was more than made up for in personality and attentiveness. Mr. Bakatsias, we are so glad to have you back in Chapel Hill.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JerryL3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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