The Best Italian Restaurants In Philadelphia Right Now

Pizza, pasta and booze at Wm. Mulherin’s Sons in Fishtown | Photograph by Christopher Leaman

It can sometimes be hard for even the most dedicated gastronauts to keep up with all the changes happening in Philly’s restaurant scene. And when it comes to Italian food — where we change so fast and so fundamentally that entire neighborhoods can turn over from one month to the next — it’s almost impossible.

What you need is a guide. A list of places to eat right now. And we’re here to help. Below is a list of the Italian restaurants that matter most in Philly right now — the best, the newest, the most interesting, and those that have recently gone through some major changes. They’re in no particular order, but every single one of them is worth your time and attention.

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Where to Eat and Drink Outside Right Now

nonna's

Little Nonna’s/Facebook

Philadelphia ain’t exactly Miami Beach, but when the sun comes out, we’ve got no shortage of places to eat (and drink) outdoors. As a matter of fact, with the city’s recent beer garden obsession (like a million of them have opened in the past couple years) and projects like Morgan’s Pier (which opens for the season this week), there are now places where the ability to have a snack and a cold beer outside are the primary reason for them existing.

So with so many options available to you, how can you possibly choose? Don’t worry. We’ve assembled a list of new places and old favorites which have never let us down once the sun starts shining.

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Field Guide: 12 Hidden Outdoor Dining Spots in Philadelphia

Outdoor garden at Little Nonna's | Photo by Jason Varney

Outdoor garden at Little Nonna’s | Photo by Jason Varney

The Center City District now counts 412 outdoor dining cafes in just Philadelphia’s downtown area. Many a sidewalk has been turned over to eating al fresco. But if you’re looking to dine in the sunshine without the crowds, out of earshot of the SEPTA bus and away from the peering eyes of passersby, you’ve come to the right place. Here, our picks for the 12 best hidden outdoor dining spots in Philadelphia.

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Field Guide: Best Meatballs in Philadelphia

Sal's meatballs at Amis | Photo via Amis

Sal’s meatballs at Amis | Photo via Amis

Sure, we argue a lot over who has the best cheesesteak, the best pizza or the best cheeseburger in Philly. One argument we’re not having nearly enough? Who has the best meatballs. Because seriously, once we started looking into it, we realized what a ball-shaped bounty exists in this city.

Here, then, are the best of the best. Philadelphia’s best meatballs, in several different categories. Dig in.

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Little Nonna’s Celebrates Sinatra’s 100th Birthday with Special Menu

Frank SinatraAs you probably know, Frank Sinatra and the holiday season go pretty well together if you ever listened to his Christmas classics of the past.

So in honor of what would’ve been his 100th birthday, on December 12 Little Nonna’s is preparing a four-course tasting menu inspired by Ol’ Blue Eyes’ favorite dishes.

Owners Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran of the Italian-American eatery located at 1234 Locust Street in Midtown Village have put together a special menu to celebrate the life of the legendary entertainer.

The menu features Frank’s mother’s signature marinara sauce and other Sinatra family recipes. It will be available during their dinner service starting tonight (Monday, December 7) and running through Sunday, December 13.

And yes, of course we have the menu

Another Weekend of Crabs

Photo by Arthur Etchells

Photo by Arthur Etchells

Since a Sunday hockey post-game barbecue turned into a crab fest a few weeks ago, I’ve had a major hankering for crabs. Last week there were several events to satiate that craving and this Labor Day weekend looks to have several more.

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Rosé Week Coming to 13th Street

Aug15RoseWeek_01For three nights, from Monday, August 24th through Wednesday August 26th, the restaurants of Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney (Barbuzzo, Lolita, Little Nonna’s, Jamonera) are celebrating Rosé Week.

Each of the restaurants will be offering special deals on rosé wine and food for all three nights.

Barbuzzo is offering 23 rosé wines from seven countries. Jamonera is offering a rosé happy hour plus a special Spanish seafood dish with a full bottle of wine for $30 per person. Little Nonna’s has a Calabrian BBQ menu that’s paired with a carafe of gagliopo rosé and Lolita is doing DIY Baja tacos teamed with rosé sangria or margaritas.

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Have Some Of Philly’s Finest Sandwiches Delivered For Free

The Fresh Mozz at Meltkraft.

The Fresh Mozz at Meltkraft.

Hey, did you guys know that its National Sandwich Month? Well it is, and we’re celebrating by bringing you the best sandwich news we can find.

Yesterday, it was an up-close-and-personal look at the Gizmo from Paesano’s. Today, it’s the new Local Deals promotion from Caviar that’s going on right now. In keeping with our theme, we thought we’d do a round-up of all the best sandwiches you could have delivered to you until Friday with no delivery charge.

So get out your stretchy pants, folks. It’s going to be that kind of week.

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Little Nonna’s Offering Pick Up for National Cannoli Day

cannoli-day-little-nonnas-400Little Nonna’s is celebrating National Cannoli Day on Tuesday, June 16th. The red gravy Italian restaurant from Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney is offering four non-traditional cannoli for pickup during the day for $3 each. You can also pre-order eight-packs containing two of each flavor for $20 online.

Cannoli will be available for purchase beginning at 10 a.m. until they are sold out. Pre-orders will be available until 2 p.m.

The flavors include »

Coming Up: Little Nonna’s Spaghetti and Crab Nights

Crab and spaghetti at Little Nonna's

Crab and spaghetti at Little Nonna’s

While the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin plays, Little Nonna’s will be serving up dinner of spaghetti and crabs. The $35 per person menu is being served up on Sunday, June 7th and Monday, June 8th. The dinner kicks off with a summer salad with Italian Romano beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. For the main course, you can choose between red and white sauce for their spaghetti and crabs.

For an additional $20 per carafe, you can accompany your meal with wine, sangria or thyme lemonade with vodka.

Check out the full menu »

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