6 Spots to Get Spaghetti and Crabs in Philadelphia
It's Sunday gravy, Shore style.
Even if you’re not a Philly native, you’ve probably heard of Sunday gravy — the Italian-American tradition of bringing family and friends together over a weekly pot of saucy spaghetti. In the summertime, the region’s nonnas swap out their signature beef-pork-veal blend for crabs, simmered all day in a rich San Marzano sauce. Here are our favorite places in the city to score a plate of pasta with crab gravy or a premade quart or three to take home.
Palizzi Social Club, East Passyunk
If you’re lucky enough to have a Palizzi membership (or friends with someone who has one), you can head to the intimate private club for classic Italian-American fare — including spaghetti with blue crabs in a San Marzano tomato sauce.
Stogie Joe’s, East Passyunk
Crab gravy is on the menu every night at this tavern on the Avenue. Get it ladled over linguine or bring home a quart for later.
Bomb Bomb, South Philly
This BBQ and old-school Italian spot at Wolf and Warnock Streets doesn’t just serve spaghetti and crabs when summer comes — they bust out their full Crabfest menu. That includes steamed crabs, white and red cioppino, garlic crabs, and owner Frank Barbato Jr.’s famous crab gravy over spaghetti.
Ippolito’s Seafood, South Philly
The seafood shop and restaurant doesn’t always keep crab gravy on its regular menu, but it is on their slate of prepared foods for summertime. Bring home a few quarts, boil some pasta, and serve your crew Sunday gravy, minus the hours of simmering.
Little Nonna’s, Midtown Village
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s homage to Italian-American home cooking serves a regular Sunday gravy with meatballs year-round. Crab gravy is available in the summertime as a $35 prix fixe menu option on special nights: this season, they’ll be serving it on July 8th and 9th, August 5th and 6th, and September 2nd and 3rd. Reservations are recommended.
Dad’s Stuffings, South Philly
This butcher shop on Ritner Street is known for its chicken meatballs and other prepared soups, sauces, and roast pork. They also do a mean crab gravy, available by the quart.