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Bombolo, Chapel Hill, NC

Bombolo

4.6
4.6
216 Reviews
$31 to $50
Italian
Named 2023 Restaurant of the Year by Eater. Dishes you’ve long loved served alongside dishes you’ve never heard of make our ever-changing menu an adventure you’ll want to embark on often. Our wine list is as varied as our food, and every one of our cocktails has been created just for Bombolo by our mixologist.

Make a booking

2 people

7:00 pm


Booked 15 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Italian, International, Bistro
  • Hours of Operation
    Dinner Mon, Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–8:45 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:30 pm
  • Phone number
    (919) 914-6374
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress Code
    Smart Casual
  • Owned/operated by
    Women
  • Executive Chef
    Garret Fleming
  • Area
    Chapel Hill
  • Cross Street
    MLK and Hillsborough St.
  • Parking Details
    Public Parking
  • Public Transit
    N, NS, T, and A lines
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 216 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

    Innovative

  • Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

    Italian

  • Durham

    Innovative

  • Durham

    Neighbourhood gem

216 Reviews
  1. Delightsinfood

    Raleigh

    30 reviews

    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We attended a wine dinner event. The menu was creative - Octopus Fritters, Oysters Rockefeller (best I’ve ever had!) Striped Bass “Fishwich”. Fried Pizza (the San Marzano tomato sauce tasted so fresh and tomatoey - just like in Italy), finally there were Lamb Sausages. Frankly I was too full by then to thoroughly enjoy it, but it was nevertheless very tasty. The wine pairings, from Hungary and Austria were quite good. We particularly liked the first (a Hungarian Frizante from Tokaj) and last pairings (a Stift Klosterneuburg St Laurent, Tattendorf from Thermenregion Austria). We will certainly look forward to a future wine dinner as well as to just having the occasional dinner at this neighborhood gem.

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  2. BruceB

    Raleigh

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on 12 April 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Very nice ambiance and the food was excellent! We'd come back again.

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  3. AmeliaJ

    Raleigh

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 8 April 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great little restaurant but wonderful ambience but mixed reviews on the food. The Cajun shrimp was hohum but the tuna was zippy and tasty. The “spreads n breads “ was delicious and the bread was homemade, crusty and excellent. The fried chicken was savory but the macaroni and cheese was so salty it was almost inedible.The octopus was cooked perfectly but the sauce it was served with was so spicy you could barely taste it. Maybe they were having an off day? We will have to come back at least once to be sure.

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  4. Umbrella

    Raleigh

    21 reviews

    4.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on 6 April 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Very good service by Patrick, good food. Especially enjoyed the halibut. One of our favorite restaurants in the area.

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  5. OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 6 April 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Just great all around food. What was a little quirky a year ago has matured into a delicious menu! Octopus, halibut and soft shell crab perfectly cooked and seasoned - pasta wonderfully prepared. Puts B at top of my triangle restaurants!

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  6. Karin

    Austin

    20 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on 4 April 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    We were excited to come and had heard so many good things but were pretty disappointed in our experience. Our server was so short with us. We could barely get one or two word answers out of him to any questions about foods or drinks. He rarely checked in and left as quickly as he could. We got the meatballs as our appetizer and the sauce was so salty it was almost inedible. Our pasta dish was supposed to be a mushroom sauce but there were maybe five slices of mushroom in the whole dish and the chili flakes were so intense it overpowered everything. The halibut in curry sauce was delicious and the highlight of our meal, but also seemed lacking creativity as it was most just a filet on top of more pasta with no interesting vegetables or sides. We ordered the custom mocktail and expected we would maybe get a choice or they would ask for our preferred flavors but again our waiter immediately disappeared and showed up with a heavily pineapple flavored drink which my partner does not like. It was just all around not at all what we expected and I don’t think we will be back.

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  7. OpenTable Diner

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 29 March 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Intimate space and expansive menu. Global ingredients engaging all the senses. Listen to the servers. Smart people. My new favorite chapel hill restaurant. Cheers,

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  8. Amytoo

    Raleigh

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on 24 March 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My first time here since Bombolo started. I came on Sunday night with a burger in mind but they did not do a burger last night. Bartender suggested that I try either the pork belly or rolled chicken. I chose the chicken and just loved it. Ended with raspberry bundt cake - also delicious! Bar was fun! Great service and overall environment. Will definitely be back.

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  9. Dick

    Charlotte

    222 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    222 reviews

    Dined on 15 March 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent food. for some reason, I thought it was an Italian restaurant, but when I got there, it was gloriously more than an Italian restaurant.

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  10. penguin74

    Raleigh

    26 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on 11 March 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was excellent, with special kudos for the pasta (tagliolini with crab and lion's mane)!

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  11. PatriciaB

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 5 March 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    I had high expectations for this place but I have to say that I was disappointed with my first trip to Bombolo. The restaurant is uncomfortably small and over-seated for its size and consequently very noisy. The menu was quite limited. There were only 4 entrees none of which seemed particularly appealing (octopus, fried chicken, halibut and short ribs). Unfortunately for me I probably chose the exact wrong one (halibut). The preparation was not to my liking (lots of coconut notes) and the fish was a bit rubbery. The mixed salad was very good. They were out of Prosecco at 7:00 PM. Since it’s a bit off the beaten path for me…I probably wouldn’t go there again.

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  12. RorieC

    New York City

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on 4 March 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a great dinner with our family. It was a wonderful experience

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    Western NC

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on 2 March 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    This was our first time at Bombolo. We were drawn to it because of the reviews. Unfortunately, our server was incredibly pompous. He immediately made us feel like we were a bother to him and a disappointment when we asked questions and when we didn’t order multiple courses and expensive beverages. We overheard him complaining to other staff about the kick off to the evening, I guess not being what he was hopeful of for clientele? He made us feel badly and almost embarrassed that we were not familiar with the menu. Did he tend to our needs? Yes. Was the food amazing? Yes. Will we ever go back? No.

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  14. Familyoffour

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 2 March 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wow! Bombolo was amazing. The staff was welcoming and attentive, and the food was delicious. It had the perfect level of hipness and comfort. We had a great experience dining with our family. Thanks for a wonderful dinner, Bombolo!

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  15. JeffS

    New York City

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 1 March 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food and service in a casually elegant setting!

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  16. StephanieW

    Raleigh

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 26 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing food and quality wine and craft cocktails.

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  17. jass

    Raleigh

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 25 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Bombolo was excellent. It was very busy on a Saturday evening. the receptionist was very frendly and helpful, and the service was great. it was matched by a wonderful menu with dished that offered wonderful sauces and flavors. wine list is very good to compliment the food. Garret has created a gem of a restaurant, and when the weather is wamrer and there is outside seating it will be even better. i highly recommend Bombolo, and will be back.

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  18. Qship

    Raleigh

    18 reviews

    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on 24 February 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Overall Bombolo deserves its recent accolades. My wife and I returned after a year or so (we were there not long after opening) for a Saturday "date night." We decided on an early supper, arriving at 5:00 p.m., to avoid the crowd which indeed developed at the night went on. Service from Patrick was pleasant and professional and, for the most part, the food lived up to its accolades. The only drawback was my veal chop which, despite being the featured (and most expensive) dish was extremely disappointing. So tough that the meat knife originally provided did not even make a dent! Even with a heavily serrated steak knife it was a struggle. Not like any "milk-fed veal" I had previously encountered.

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  19. JennyM

    New Orleans

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 23 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a wonderful experience at Bombolo. Sons had lobster, crab and lion’s mane pasta and the halibut..both were superb! Husband had the truffle pasta…this was the only one I didn’t try but only because he finished every last bite! It looked fantastic! And I had the Maine Lobster Pot and it was every bit as good as it was when we ate there for the last parents weekend we were in town for. I’ve been thinking about since I had it last in October and it did not disappoint!! Bravo, Bombolo!!!

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  20. Francisco

    Raleigh

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 23 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Bombolo is a worthy successor to Kitchen, the previous occupant of this space on MLK Blvd. They probably have one of the best simple mixed garden salads I have ever had. The dishes, while a tad pricey, are generous, well prepared, and full of flavor. It's a great addition to the Chapel Hill culinary scene and, for me, is easily one of the top three restaurants.

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  21. Tarheeltraveler

    Denver

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 19 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Always enjoy dining at Bombolo. I think it is the best restaurant in North Carolina.

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  22. CibeleR

    Raleigh

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on 18 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was good from a to z. The chef has the best sauces in town, and beyond! We have always eaten well there.

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  23. dbsutton

    Raleigh

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on 18 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    First time trying and was blown away at how good everything was. Cannot wait to return to try other things on the menu. Excellent wine choices that went quite well with the food. Our servers were delightful, energetic and very well informed.

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  24. OpenTable Diner

    Raleigh

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on 18 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Bombolo is the 2023 NC Restaurant of the Year by Eater Carolinas, tucked in a quaint shopping center in Chapel Hill! We shared a delicious four-course meal that included chicken oysters, crab and lion’s mane mushroom tagliolini, and a wagyu rendang, and we ate to our heart’s content! We would love to return to try more innovative and delicious dishes from Bombolo’s menu!

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  25. BradB

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 15 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great little gem off the beaten path. For serious food and wine people.

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  26. MRNS

    Raleigh

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 14 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was great and so was the atmosphere. I really liked the decor and music, making it special but not too much. Really enjoyed the evening

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  27. ScottW

    Raleigh

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 11 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    What a gem! I'm hesitant to give it a perfect review, only because I don't want to make it too popular, or I'll never get a table again! This place has a high end menu in a more relaxed and comfortable setting. Chef has worked up an amazing menu and gets super innovative! I'll be here once a month, for sure~!

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  28. BillM

    Seattle

    13 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on 10 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Food and service were awesome. The restaurant itself was a bit of a dive but still a great experience.

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  29. Chemist

    Raleigh

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 6 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was excellent and the atmosphere was divine :)

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  30. VVCC

    Raleigh

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on 5 February 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Good date spot and yummy food. Would recommend both the pasta and other dishes

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  31. bobk

    Raleigh

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 25 January 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 1
    The tables are VERY close together, so much so that I can recite the conversation from the next table verbatim. At the same time, I could barely hear my partner's conversation. The portions are heavy on pasta but light on substance. Mine had four scallops, or should I say four halved scallops. $33. Service was very good. Price/reward not great.

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  32. SingaporeLulu

    Charleston

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on 21 January 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Fabulous return visit to Bombolo, and the food has only improved! We had wagyu beef rendang, scallops, and wonderful green salads. For dessert, we split the Bombolo and the almond pear tart. Both were delicious. Our server, Will, was as welcoming as we had remembered, and we wont wait so long to return next time!

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  33. HenryT

    Raleigh

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 18 January 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 2
    The food was hardly "finger liking good." The room was crowded and noisy and I could not hear my partner speak. Dim lights making it difficult to read the menu. Our waiter was less than impressive. This place is highly overrated and whoever rated it as one of the best new restaurants in the state should be fired.

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  34. Granny12

    New York City

    140 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    140 reviews

    Dined on 15 January 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Food was delicious. Wine pairings terrific and ambience great. All in all Chef Barrow served a fabulous dinner. We truly enjoyed the food and the wine info

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  35. DavidM

    Charlotte

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 14 January 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Nice atmosphere and great service. A small group of us sampled one another's dishes, and I have to say the polpette (meatballs) were the best I've ever had, with interesting hints of sweetness and citrus. The fried chicken with macaroni and cheese was the consensus #2 choice. I had the pappardelle, which had a duck and veal bolognese this time (our server mentioned that the sauce changes according to the season), and it was really good. The only thing I'd point out is that it was quite spicy despite that not being mentioned in the menu description.

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  36. OpenTable Diner

    Raleigh

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 12 January 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful food. Very nice ambience. This is our second time in three weeks of going to eat there. Please come and try. This place is very unique.

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  37. Delightsinfood

    Raleigh

    30 reviews

    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on 11 January 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    A delicious meal and excellent service. Lobster pot was excellent as was the crab ravioli, octopus and the duck and pork bolognese. The salad was perfectly dressed and the toasted walnuts were a perfect complement. The Bombolo desert was yummy. We all enjoyed the meal and vowed to return. We’re familiar with the location from its former incarnation and accept that there’s not much one can do about the noise or the tightness of the tables. On the other hand, we saw three other neighbors there. Bombilo has continued the tradition of Kitchen as a neighborhood treasure.

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  38. SusanK

    New York City

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 9 January 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    We had a reservation but apparently the table wasn't ready for another 1/2 hr after the reserved time. The service was good and the food was also good. Would not give 5 stars-excellent.

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  39. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 8 January 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great meal! Will return! Glad this place has opened.

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  40. MarkW

    Raleigh

    5 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 7 January 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Really great neighborhood gem. Super fun atmosphere, really tasty food and lots of (fun) menu variety!

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FAQs

Bombolo is rated 4.6 stars by 216 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a booking

2 people

7:00 pm


Booked 15 times today
Google Map for Bombolo

764 M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross Street
    MLK and Hillsborough St.
  • Area
    Chapel Hill
  • Hours of Operation
    Dinner Mon, Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–8:45 pm Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:30 pm
  • Price
    $31 to $50
  • Cuisines
    Italian, International, Bistro
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress Code
    Smart Casual
  • Parking Details
    Public Parking
  • Public Transit
    N, NS, T, and A lines
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Owned/operated by
    Women
  • Executive Chef
    Garret Fleming
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Privacy policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Cookie Preferences
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