Philadelphia Theater Restaurants

Spring is the perfect time to explore the city: The weather’s warm and you’re not (yet) itching to get down the Shore. We suggest you make a day or night of it — so we’ve put together this guide of spots where you can get your eat and drink on within walking distance of our city’s most beloved attractions.

[sidebar]AVENUE OF THE ARTS / THEATER DISTRICT
Headed to a play at the Wilma? A musical at the Prince Music Theater? A symphony at the Kimmel Center? Make an evening of it with our pre- and post- (in walking distance!) showtime food and drink guide.

Prix-Fixe Offerings
Estia: At this Greek seafood-focused restaurant, a $30 three-course meal is offered from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 1405 Locust Street; 215-735-7700

Girasole: This new spot, located in the Symphony House, offers three courses of Italian classics from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday through Friday. 440 South Broad Street; 215-732-2728

Nineteen: Enjoy the views and the $30 three-course Café dinner at the Bellevue. It’s offered from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 200 South Broad Street; 215-790-1919

Valanni: At Valanni, you can get an appetizer or desert plus an entrée and a glass of sangria for $30. 1229 Spruce Street; 215-790-9494

BYOBs
(Forgot the bottle on the kitchen table? No sweat! There’s a liquor store at 12th and Chestnut.)

Bindi: Bring your own rum or vodka and mix it with one of the ready-to-go cocktail mixers at this modern Indian restaurant. 105 South 13th Street; 215-922-6061

Lolita: Mix your tequila in a pitcher of their housemade Margartia mix and feast on mouth-watering Mexican. 106 South 13th Street; 215-546-7100

Mercato: Italian-inspired Mercato has great outdoor seating, an addictive artichoke starter, and a four-course chef tasting menu for $45. 1216 Spruce Street; 215-985-2962

Post Show Drinks (and Late-Night Eats)

Caribou Café: Chef Olivier Desaintmartin cooks up classic French comfort food, and the bar features retro cocktails. 1126 Walnut Street; 215-625-9535

Monk’s Café: Head to this Belgian beer emporium late night for awesome ales and frites (with heavenly bourbon mayo) and avoid the hour-long waits that are common during normal business hours. 626 South 16th Street; 215-545-7005

Tria: The Wash West locale of this beer, wine and cheese spot has affordable wines by the glass and artisinal snacks. 123 South 18th Street; 215-972-8742

NEXT: EAST OF BROAD / HISTORIC DISTRICT

 

EAST OF BROAD / HISTORIC DISTRICT
Taking the kids to a show at the Walnut Street Theater, hitting up Independence Hall and the Constitution Center, or checking out the National Liberty Museum? We’ve got some kid-friendly and grown-up-only eats.

With the Kids

Jones: They might not have crayons and coloring menus, but the retro vibe is enough fun to make up for it. For the kids there’s tomato soup and grilled cheese, burgers, or “Thanksgiving Dinner,” and for you there’s pistachio-crusted tilapia, crabcakes, and creative cocktails. 700 Chestnut Street; 215-223-5663

LaScala’s:
There’s crowd-pleasing pizza, big salads, and gooey Italian classics. Sit at the bar to catch the game on TV or outside for tourist-watching. 615 Chestnut Street; 215-928-0900

Farmicia: Local, healthy ingredients make up most of the brunch-lunch-dinner menus — but prices are fair and drinks are good. 15 South 3rd Street; 215-627-6274

City Tavern: Stay on the history kick at this authentic tavern housed in a 200-year-old building. Dig into crabcakes and salads and order grilled cheese and potpie for the tykes. 138 South 2nd Street; 215-413-1443

Grown-Ups Only

Chifa: The latest in the growing Garces empire, this restaurant has delish food (Asian and Latin) and great drinks — truly cool fun. 707 Chestnut Street; 215-925-5555

Union Trust Steakhouse: Plush booths, romantic lighting, and high ceilings make the space seem like both a great date spot and a cathedral to steak (while offering great non-beef items, too). 717 Chestnut Street; 215-925-6000

Morimoto: Grab a seat at the upstairs bar or score a reservation at one of the Day-Glo tables for truly memorable sushi and otherworldly Japanese fusion fare. 723 Chestnut Street; 215-413-9070

Fork: The romantic room and bar that’s great to eat at makes this a choice for a casual night out with rock-solid food. 306 Market Street; 215-625-9425

 

NEXT: WEST PHILLY / UNIVERSITY CITY

 

WEST PHILLY / UNIVERSITY CITY
Seeing a show at World Café Live? Getting your modern fix at the Institute of Contemporary Art? Check out these local spots for a casual bite.

White Dog Café: This classic — and our Chez Panisse — won’t disappoint with Black Run Farm steak burgers and good beers on tap. 3420 Sansom Street; 215-386-9224

Las Tarascas En Zocalo: Zocalo features authentic Mexican (think ceviche, roasted pumpkin seed salsa, shredded pork, and mole chicken) in a festive, brightly colored dining room. Sample a flight of their carefully chosen tequilas. 3600 Lancaster Avenue; 215-895-0139

Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar: Chef Roberta Adamo hand-makes all the pasta that’s served here and gives as much attention to meatier dishes like seared sea scallops, a local pork chop, and roasted veal loin. 3611 Walnut Street; 215-823-6222

Post-Show Drinks and Nibbles
Distrito: This fun restaurant has a menu of seriously good Mexican small plates and a long tequila list. 3945 Chestnut Street; 215-222-1657

Pod: Strong drinks, a conveyer belt carrying sushi, and color-changing plastic booths keep all the guests in a happy-go-lucky mood. 3636 Sansom Street; 215-387-1803

New Deck Tavern: A laid-back bar with that college-campus feel where you can have a pint, watch a game, and maybe even stumble upon a round of Quizzo. 3408 Sansom Street; 215-386-4600

 

NEXT: PARKWAY MUSEUMS

PARKWAY MUSEUMS
Whether you are getting some highbrow culture at the Rodin or the Art Museum or smartening up the kids with a trip to the Academy of Natural Sciences or the Franklin Institute, there are plenty of options around. Walk a few blocks south to the awesome but “eww gross!” Mütter Museum.

Four Seasons
: Sip a chardonnay at the Swann Lounge (don’t miss live music on Fridays and Saturdays), indulge in a fancy-pants dinner at the Fountain Restaurant, or take high tea with the girls at Swann Café. 1 Logan Square; 215-963-1500

Capogiro Gelato: If a flavor at Capogiro sounds good to you, it is. If it sounds weird to you, it’s even better. The gelatos, locally made, feature flavors like Rosemary Honey Goat Milk, Champagne Mango and Single Malt Scotch — all amazing. And gelato isn’t the only thing Capogiro does well — they have sandwiches, coffee and espresso as well. 117 South 20th Street; 215-351-0900

Matyson: Matyson is a creative, casual, and comfortable BYO. They offer a four-course weekly tasting menu for $45 on a variety of themes — we liked the recent “Tribute to Our Regulars.” 37 South 19th Street; 215-564-2925

Porcini: This teensy, tiny, tucked-away BYO is transporting, thanks to classic décor and well-executed Italian comfort food. 2048 Sansom Street; 215-751-1175

Tinto: Just as good for a drink and snack at the bar as a full tapas meal at a table. 114 South 20th Street; 215-665-9150

El Fuego: El Fuego features huge, fresh burritos, cheesy quesadillas, plenty of vegetarian options, and a lively vibe. 2104 Chestnut Street; 215-751-1435

Water Works Restaurant and Lounge: Stop by for a pre-dinner drink and a view that inspired a museum’s worth of paintings. 640 Water Works Drive; 215-236-9000

Kite & Key: Looking for a pint? Kite & Key has a casual atmosphere, pub fare, and an excellent beer list. 1836 Callowhill Street; 215-568-1818

Darlings Café & Famous Cheesecake: Need a recharging snack? Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of either the Philly Classic or the Bananas Foster cheesecakes. 2100 Spring Street; 215-496-9611

NEXT
: FAIRMOUNT
FAIRMOUNT
After escaping the confines of Eastern State Penitentary, we’d kill for strong beers and rich, comforting food. Here are a few places just a few steps from the old jailhouse.

The Belgian Café: Frites, mussels ,and rich Belgian comfort food sit along side a reasonably sized selection of craft beers. There’s plenty of vegan options, too. 2047 Green Street; 215-235-3500

London Grill:
A solid beer list and a locally sourced menu make this neighborhood cornerstone a destination. 2301 Fairmount Avenue; 215-978-4545

L’oca: This refined Italian BYO is also a neighborhood favorite. 2025 Fairmount Avenue; 215-769-0316

 

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