Ask the Editor: I Can’t Decide on a Restaurant for Valentine’s Day. Help!

Here's some dining inspiration for one of the worst restaurant holidays of the year.


Valentine’s Day | Getty Images

It’s Valentine’s Day again (slow clap). Where should we eat?

—Kip in West Chester

Philly Mag food editor Alex Tewfik

Like Restaurant Week and New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day is for suckers. I mean, it’s great for restaurants, but for you, educated diner? It’s a bush-league restaurant holiday. Most menus look the same (champagne, oysters, chocolate), service can be spotty (it’s all about the burn-and-turn), and you’re surrounded by newbs who never eat out — well, except on Valentine’s Day.

My advice? There are plenty of fantastic restaurants in Chinatown that provide a good escape from the holiday crowds. There’s Apricot Stone (1040 North American Street), a lovely Armenian/Middle Eastern restaurant tucked away inside Liberties Walk behind the Piazza. Maybe go for some BBQ at South Philly Smökhaus, a meaty oasis far, far away from Center City’s prix fixe menus.

I’ve really enjoyed my meals at Ethiopian Meskerem (255 South 45th Street) in West Philly, which is always a fun date night because you get to eat without utensils and, if you’re up for it, feed your dining companion hand-to-mouth.

Or just buy a candle and get delivery pizza. (Uncle Oogie’s grandma pie pairs really well with a nice lambrusco.)

Whatever you do, just make sure you leave the chocolate lava cake to the amateurs.