The 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia: 2013

Our definitive list of Philly’s best places to eat, right here, right now.

The 50 Best Restaurants in PhiladelphiaThese are the restaurants we want to eat in right now. Not yesterday. Certainly not last year. Maybe not even tomorrow. But right now. Philadelphia, at this moment, is in a state of flux that mirrors (and in some cases heralds) the changes happening in the restaurant industry at large—a movement toward a new casualness, where the best meal you’ll ever have is one you eat in blue jeans while sitting at a rough wood table in a neighborhood you wouldn’t even have driven through a decade ago. In this brave new world of cuisine, the restaurants our parents and grandparents knew—those temples of white-tablecloth haute cuisine—are struggling to find or recapture relevance. And in many cases, the cooks who trained at them are now the chefs who are taking their trade away. In order to put together this year’s list of Philly’s 50 best, we started with a total of 170 restaurants, then spent three months eating and arguing and researching and arguing and revisiting and arguing over who belonged where. The question was not only who seared the best foie gras, but which restaurants in town had the most weight. The heaviest gravity. We wanted to suss out which mattered most at this contentious moment in time, and then to figure out why. This list is our answer to those questions, compiled with a total disregard for history or nostalgia or debts owed. It’s a snapshot—a frozen instant that, we hope, serves as a window into a changing world of cuisine.

Join the conversation about the 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia with the hashtag #50BestPHL.

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  • Patek

    Love this place Spraga. Been there six times, going back this Friday night. Vetri’s is amazing for special occasions. Proposed to my wife there. If you are going to do it, get the wine pairings.

  • Fred Smerlas

    This place is not for everyone and Im at a loss why everyone raves about it so. Service is great, the place is beautiful, but it doesnt touch many of the others in this list. 50th is about right.

  • Greg

    Will this be done for another round this year?

  • Ryan

    Han Dynasty – My co-workers and I tried to split our bill on 4 cards as we were there for lunch. The waiter told us 2 card max. I asked “Who does that?” and he responded “When you are that good you can do anything you want”. I said, “Well, you weren’t *that* good”, and he said “Then don’t come back”. And I haven’t returned since.

    • big V

      who splits 1 check on 4 cards….what a fleas you guys are lol

    • True

      Han Is that good. And any group splitting a check 4 ways all with different cards need to reassess their lives.

  • Way to do your reserch

    Koo Zee Doo closed….months and months ago.

  • Kayli

    Han Dynasty was hands down the worst restaurant experience I have EVER had. No food is good enough to be treated like dirt- and what’s worse is no one in my party even liked their food! For phoodies- this place doesn’t even cut it for the ‘burbs. Glorified Pei Wei.

  • Jaleh Najafali

    I wasn’t all that impressed with Zama. Nothing about it wowed enough to land in my personal top 50 list.

  • am_man

    Tashan is great…………..

  • David

    Han Dynasty sucks. The Dry Pepper Chicken had more peppers than chicken and my girl ordered the Crispy Rice Style which should be called Gravy Soup.

    • James Merz

      You suck ^

  • Doris

    Why is Federal Donuts on the list? It’s not very good…my donuts taste like fried chicken LOL

  • jaklin badr