13 of the Best Pasta Dishes in Philadelphia

Gnocchi sardo at Res Ipsa | Photo by Emily Teel

Forget cheese and chocolate: is any food truly as craveworthy as pasta? No matter the shape or size, we love it smothered in red gravy, dressed with garlicky pesto, served with simple seasonal ingredients or tossed with butter and parmesan till heavenly. Here are some of the city’s standout dishes to seek out the next time you’re in the mood for pasta.

Crabmeat and Spaghetti

Bomb Bomb, South Philly

Bomb Bomb | Facebook

For Sunday gravy with a warm-weather twist, head to the iconic deep South Philly spot for a hearty plate of spaghetti and crabs, served all season long as part of their summertime Crabfest each year.

Raviolo Vasto

Palizzi Social Club, East Passyunk

That’s raviolo — as in one big, beautiful pocket of handmade pasta stuffed with ricotta, spinach, and egg yolk. It’s a must if you’re lucky enough to have snagged a membership or can tag along with someone who did.

Squid ink campanelle

A Mano, Fairmount

 

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Tod Wentz’s Italian BYO serves these deep, dark curls with calamari, celery root, and pink peppercorn.

Tagliatelle al limone

Zeppoli, Collingswood

Get these ribbons of house-made pasta with lemon with either prosciutto or Sicilian bottarga — that’s salted, cured mullet roe.

Spinach gnocchi

Vetri, Midtown Village

 

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Marc Vetri and his crew have been cooking up this outsized, deep green gnocchi, served with nutty browned butter and shavings of punchy ricotta salata, throughout the restaurant’s 20-year history.

Heirloom tomato spaghetti

Southwark, Queen Village

Dreaming of this ultra-simple dish — spaghetti dressed with fresh peak-season heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and lemon — is what keeps us going through January.

Gnocchi sardo

Res Ipsa, Rittenhouse

Simple, comforting, and smothered in red sauce with eggplant and chili, these little pillows of pasta joy are a staple of Res Ipsa’s dinner menu.

Bucatini with almond and jalapeño

Amis, Midtown Village and Bar Amis, Navy Yard

 

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This beloved bucatini, made with almond pesto and jalapeño has a special place on the Amis menu and a surprising origin story: chef Brad Spence was inspired by Han Dynasty’s cold sesame noodles and created an Italian dish that would hit the same creamy, spicy notes.

Chicken liver rigatoni

Osteria, Fairmount
In this rich staple, chicken livers are minced along with sweet cipollini onions and earthy sage, then tossed with butter and hearty tubes of rigatoni.

Corn cappaletti

Friday Saturday Sunday, Rittenhouse

These delicately folded pasta pockets are served in a roasted corn broth with tomatillos, tarragon, and crumbles of Bayley Hazen Blue cheese.

Taccozelle

Le Virtù, East Passyunk

Thin handkerchiefs of pasta get tossed with a pork and mushroom ragu in this umami-rich Abruzzese dish, amplified with touches of black truffle and saffron.

Spaghetti and lobster

The Love, Rittenhouse

 

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The lobster spaghetti — big hunks of meat over pasta enveloped in a creamy bisque — is a standout on an already stellar menu at Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr’s newest spot.

Briganti hats

Brigantessa, East Passyunk

 

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Get these cute pasta trumpets — in the shape of the headwear of Italian fighters from which Brigantessa takes its name — served with lamb ragu, garlicky pesto, and a shower of Parmigiano Reggiano on their regular dinner menu.