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“Disappointing”

Kipos Greek Taverna
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Ranked #7 of 293 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
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
238 reviews
158 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We had dinner here last week due to its rating as "best Greek" in the N&O. Oh, my. As others have mentioned, the spanokopita is doughy and way too thick. The fire roasted leg of lamb was so tough that it was hard to cut with a steak knife, and the spices can only be described as "weird". The charcoal roasted lamb chops were tender and tasty, but the meat on the 3 thin chops probably totaled 5-6 ounces; not a good deal for $28.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank glftrvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Helps with the shortage of good ethnic restaurants in Chapel Hill”
Reviewed January 29, 2014

We drove by Kipos all summer and noticed the large crowds eating out on the patio on West Franklin. We recently decided to find out for ourselves what the fuss was about and were glad we did.

It was quite cold and the patio was out of the question when we arrived, but the large restaurant interior is inviting, with dark woods and light wall that suggest a Greek tavern. Like many other posters, we never saw the rumored bell dancer, perhaps we were too early, but sadly, when you've seen one bouncing navel. . .

Service was friendly and more than adequate. There was live mandolin performance that enhanced the Greek tavern feel.

We shared a calamari appetizer that was excellent. Flavorful and not at all chewy. We also shared a spanakotiropita that I liked even better. My wife loved the short ribs. I had the rotisserie lamb and thought it was excellent.

We didn't try the bar. We had stopped across the street at The Crunkleton before dinner (they make a life-changing sazerac).

Despite the numerous high praises for the baklava found in these reviews, I must say I wasn't particularly impressed. They serve a slice approximately the size of your head, which means there is less phyllo than you would find on a smaller piece compared to the massive filling. Compare that to the small baklava at Med Deli down the street, for example, and you will find a small serving with wonderful flavors and lots of phyllo soaked in honey.

There is on-street parking and several public lots nearby, but Kipos doesn't currently participate in the free valet parking offered on West Franklin. Of course, you can always pay the valet.

Kipos Greek Taverna doesn't quite make it onto my list of the top restaurants in the area (Lantern, Elaines and Acme, for example) but I would place it just a notch below. It's prettier and more attractive than the less formal Mediterranean Deli down the street, though the quality of the food is similar. Both are excellent. Kipos is a much nicer dining experience and Med Deli doesn't have a bar.

Chapel Hill is overstuffed with excellent farm-to-fork restaurants but a little low on great ethnic restaurants. Kipos is a step in the right direction. We'll certainly be going back.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
195 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Not recommended by 3 Rosettes!”
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Kipos' positive reviews are a mystery to me. Service was excellent, ambience OK--our concerns were the food. Saganaki should be made with kasseri, and Kipos says they make theirs with kefalograviera, which when flamed results in a tough, leatherlike lump. The shrimp/scallop dish sat under the heat lamp too long, drying out the orzo. The roasted lamb was tough and barely marinated. The salads were obscenely huge and the spanokopita was full of uncooked dough, which though billed as phylo, was in no way phylo. But the absolute worst was the moussaka, with bland beef and eggplant hidden under far too much bechamal, which itself was far from a "souffle"--the flour in it was not cooked. Serving huge portions doesn't make up for inferior food. Even a belly-dancer can't distract someone who knows Greek food from reaching the conclusion that Kipos's was the worst we have ever had.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank ThreeRosettes70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Delicious fish but skip the lamb”
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Our first time visit to Kipos was nice. Loved the decor and the service was great. We did not like the lamb--it came recommended, but was fatty and came with some dull sliced potatoes. The trout was divine. Their baklava looked delicious.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank christineg j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cary, nc
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“my new favorite!”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We have dined there twice. both times it was fantastic. On this trip, it was my birthday and I was treated like royalty. Food was excellent. Wine was perfect. The belly dancing and musician was fun entertainment. We will be back!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank four-from-nc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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