The 2009 Philly Mag 50: Restaurants 1 to 25

13. Morimoto
13. Morimoto
Washington Square | Japanese | Entrée: $21—$30
Last Year’s Ranking: 10

It’s neither the newest nor the flashiest of ­Stephen Starr’s restaurants, but ­Morimoto remains his best. To be sure, the ­seven-and-a-half-year-old Japanese hot spot is a splurge (since when is a cup of miso worth $7?), but it’s also the biggest fish in Philly’s sea of sushi spots, and rightly so, given its smart Tokyo-mod decor and a toro tartare with caviar that alone is worth the trip. It’s widely known that the restaurant’s namesake, Masaharu Morimoto, is rarely in the Philly flagship; he’s usually at the New York outpost or fulfilling his Iron Chef duties. No matter. The food is beautifully executed, be it tidy little rows of sashimi or more complex dishes like the “Duck, duck, duck”—a trio of mellow roasted duck breast, rich confit risotto and a runny-yolked duck egg. And the ­service—attentive, practiced, confident—is some of the best in the city. Ask for Benjamin. Order: The Morimoto omakase, which at $120 is pricey but worth it. 723 Chestnut Street, 215-413-9070.

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Photograph by Jason Varney


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