Best of Philly

Best Italian Restaurant

2021 Best Restaurant We Never Got to Fully Celebrate


Joe and Angela Cicala opened their eponymous restaurant, in the lavishly restored Divine Lorraine Hotel, just weeks before the pandemic shuttered the city. It’s time to go (or go back) for house-cured salumi, whole roasted sea bass, and maccheroni alla mugnaia, a hand-pulled single strand of pasta. Every dish is the luxury we deserve after this year. Read More »

699 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA Website

2018 Best Place to Score Cutlets Just Like Mom-Mom’s


Cotoletta offers classic pastas, solid seafood, and a starter of provolone-and-sausage-stuffed hot peppers (the last a must-get), but really, you come here for the namesake cutlets – five varieties, made with chicken, veal or eggplant, each pounded thin and fried to perfection, all slices of pure home-style comfort. Read More »

201 Jefferson Street, Bala Cynwyd, PA | 610-660-5224 | Website

2018 Best Italian Restaurant

Vetri Cucina

Twenty years ago, Marc Vetri came onto the scene with an Italian restaurant for the ages. He taught us about the magic of braised goat, and he spooned puffy clouds of Swiss chard onto our plates and convinced us they were gnocchi. He proved to us that Italian food can look a certain way – a way we weren’t yet acquainted with, but a way we should get used to. Now, practically every restaurant in Philly braises goat and makes homemade pasta. But for whatever reason, none do it quite like Marc. Read More »

1312 Spruce Street, Philadephia, PA | 215-732-3478 | Website

2017 Best Red-Gravy Italian


Tiny Fey loves the pizza—for good reason—but that’s just the start of this stalwart’s appeal. The pastas are all made in-house, the escarole soup cures illness, and the meatballs are as good as any made in South Philly. It’s the plate of roasted peppers the waitress plunks down at the start of every meal, though, that entices you back again and again and again. Read More »

Multiple locations | 610-789-7770 | Website

2017 Best New Italian Restaurant

Res Ipsa

Three Fishtown operators—Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti from ReAnimator Coffee and Tyler Akin of Stock—decided to open an all-day cafe in Center City, because that’s what you do in 2017. And while its daytime thing is all well and good, what really matters is what happens after dark, when it morphs into one of the most innovative and honest Italian BYOs in the city. Don’t miss the pasta specials and charred octopus. Read More »

2218 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA | 267-519-0329 | Website

2016 Best Red-Gravy Italian

Bona Cucina

At this 31-year-old cash-only BYOB, charming Frankie will take your order while her husband Pat cooks in the tiny kitchen — and never emerges. Come for ravioli, shrimp scampi, red-gravy dishes, and a homemade cannoli that we'll gladly put up against anything in the Italian Market. Read More »

66 Sherbrook Boulevard, Upper Darby, PA | 610-623-8811

2016 Best Reason to Venture Into Trenton

Chick & Nello’s Homestead Inn

For decades, you had to rely on the waiters to recite what's available. Now they've finally gotten menus, but don't bother: We'll just tell you that you want linguine with the "primo" sauce (a combination of pork ragu and oil-and-garlic sauces), some baked clams, an antipasti salad, and a veal chop cooked on a real charcoal grill. Or, if it's Wednesday, ask for the whole veal breast special, something we can't even find in Philadelphia. Read More »

800 Kuser Road, Trenton, Trenton, NJ | 609-890-9851 | Website

2016 Best New Italian Restaurant

A Mano

Townsend Wentz and his chef, Michael Millon, want people to think that A Mano is just some little neighborhood Italian restaurant. But don't be fooled. A Mano is really a poor man's Vetri — a place where remarkable precision and care are brought to classic Italian pastas and entrées, resulting in something uniquely modern and uniquely Philadelphian. Read More »

2244 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA | 215-236-1114 | Website

2015 Best Red-Gravy Italian Restaurant


One hundred and 15 years after it moved into its current digs, Ralph's is part restaurant, part museum, and 100 percent genuine Philly -- from the red sauce to the garlic-crazy sauteed escarole. Read More »

760 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-627-6011 | Website

2015 Best New Italian Restaurant


Roasted long hots, wood-grilled artichokes, octopus salad and Portuguese sardines rise up in mounds on a bar that sets a new standard for antipasti. And that's before you get a craft beer and a Dr. Seuss-Goes-to-Naples pizza pie this one shaped like a star, that one like a tennis racket, and all of them at least as tasty as they are whimsical. Read More »

1520 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA | 267-318-7341 | Website