It’s been 10 years since Stephen Starr’s flashy Buddakan opened its Chestnut Street doors to a city hungry for glamour, wasabi tuna pizza and “dip sum” doughnuts. Ten years since Starr convinced us that restaurants aren’t all about food; they’re all about fun. Today, the nine-foot gold Buddha statue still sparkles, overlooking a constantly full dining room of Old City revelers. (Want a prime-time Friday-night res? Be prepared to wait a month or more.) Starr has opened a restaurant or 19 since Buddakan, but none—not even the Budd-alikes in NYC and A.C.—have captured diners’ imaginations and appetites the way this Asian-fusion fantasy continues to.
Buddakan | 325 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-574-9440