Fondue Makes Dining More Sociable at The Little Dipper

Posted May 21st, 2019 in Foodie Fodder

The Little Dipper restaurant is a classic example of the old adage, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Since 2005, this classic Downtown Wilmington establishment has been creating cheese and chocolate fondues with a multitude of delicious finger-food options for dipping…and it never gets old.

The word, “fondue,” comes from the French word, “fondre,” which means 'to melt' and was first introduced to Americans in the 1950s by a Swiss restaurateur who liked to host communal hot pot dinners. His first creation was a savory bouguignonne fondue. He created chocolate fondue in the 1960s.

One of the owners of The Little Dipper, Kristen Gruodis, first discovered fondue in Charleston, South Carolina, and she has fond memories of fondue dinners with family. As a student at UNCW, she always joked with friends about having a fondue restaurant in Wilmington. She shared this dream with her husband and when the property located on South Front Street came on the market, a friend called her and said, “Let’s do this!” Kristen admits the decision may have been a bit whimsical, but they worked hard and developed a successful business.

Much of the success can be attributed to sticking with what works. The Little Dipper offers 17 different dipping sauces for vegetables, meats, seafood…and, of course, sweet treats for the delicious chocolate dips. The concept relies on people spending time together socially because the dips are meant to be shared. Once your dip has been made at the table, you use long-handled forks to dip your chosen food. You can select individual salads or protein and choose platters of vegetables or sweet treats to share. The restaurant has a limited number of single pots for people with gluten sensitivity.

If it’s your first time, reserve a table for Tuesday’s Locals’ Night or Wednesday’s Ladies’ Night and enjoy the cheese and chocolate special. The most popular savory cheese fondue is the fontina with basil. The favorite chocolate dips include the turtle or the half ‘n’ half peanut butter and chocolate. Check this link for all the weekly specials.

The Little Dipper has a deck at the back of the restaurant for optional outdoor dining and hosts live music Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Any day of the week, you can spend time dining socially with friends and family at The Little Dipper.


Hours: Sun-Thurs, 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Fri and Sat, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

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The Little Dipper
138 S Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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