50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia
Last updated: September 23, 2018
50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia by Rank
- Hungry Pigeon
- Vernick Food and Drink
- Friday Saturday Sunday
- Vetri Cucina
Washington Square West
- Palizzi Social Club
- Royal Izakaya
- Abe Fisher
- Double Knot
- Res Ipsa
- Noord eetcafé
- The Good King Tavern
- Wm. Mulherin’s Sons
- Little Fish
- South Philly Barbacoa
- V Street
- Helm Rittenhouse
- Saté Kampar
- Royal Boucherie
- Cheu Fishtown
- Kensington Quarters
- High Street on Market
- Bud & Marilyn’s
- Le Virtù
- Poi Dog
- Oyster House
- American Sardine Bar
- The Rooster
- Kanella Grill
Washington Square West
- Mr. Martino’s Trattoria
50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia by Neighborhood
Bella Vista | East Passyunk | Fishtown | Kensington | Chinatown | Midtown Village | North Philly| Old City | Point Breeze | Queen Village | Rittenhouse | Society Hill | South Jersey | Washington Square West | West Chester
- Laurel (#3)
- Palizzi Social Club (#6)
- Townsend (#11)
- Noord eetcafé (#20)
- Will (#25)
- Fond (#24)
- Perla (#32)
- Le Virtù (#40)
- Saté Kampar (#30)
- Stargazy (#38)
- Mr. Martino’s Trattoria (#50)
- Rangoon (#43)
- Kim’s (#46)
- Vernick Food + Drink (#2)
- Friday Saturday Sunday (#4)
- Abe Fisher (#16)
- Res Ipsa (#18)
- V Street (#27)
- Helm Rittenhouse (#29)
- Russet (#41)
- Poi Dog (#42)
- Oyster House (#44)
- The Rooster (#47)
- Zahav (#7)
Washington Square West
- Andiario (#12)
Queen Village | American
743 South 4th Street, 215-278-2736
As Philly gets more experienced with its restaurants, we’re learning more about ourselves as diners — what gets us hungry, what makes us tick. Scott Schroeder and Pat O’Malley figured out some universal truth with Hungry Pigeon, because between breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, nothing here feels put-on or phony. The homey American food is local and light, but never fussy or lazy. Today, that’s exactly how we like it.
Rittenhouse | American
2031 Walnut Street, 267-639-6644
Greg Vernick’s eponymous restaurant has now spent years as both a popular neighborhood restaurant and a destination. This has as much to do with the cozy, easygoing space as it does the consistent food, which hits that perfect balance between comfort and class.
East Passyunk | French
1617 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-271-8299
Nick Elmi’s original Philly restaurant continues to be an avatar of modern fine dining in this city where fine dining is being revived. And he keeps this position for the simplest reason: Even as Elmi expands into multiple concepts and locations, the menu at Laurel still feels handwritten by him every night.
Rittenhouse | New American
261 South 21st Street, 215-546-4232
It’s still surprising to us, too — the way that owners Chad and Hanna Williams took this longtime city institution and so quickly turned it into an indispensable restaurant. But their remodel wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint. This was an up-from-the-dust reimagining of what a Rittenhouse Square restaurant could (and should) be in this day and age.
5. Vetri Cucina
Washington Square West | Italian
1312 Spruce Street, 215-732-3478
Now that he’s left his corporate role at URBN, Marc Vetri is more focused than ever, cooking in his Spruce Street kitchen almost every night, charting the course of modern/traditional, high-end Italian food in Philly.
East Passyunk | Italian
1408 South 12th Street, No Phone
Were you smart enough to get your membership before everyone else learned that this is one of the best restaurants in the country? If so, you’re one of the lucky few who get to experience Joey Baldino’s soulful homage to South Philly Italian cuisine and culture. This remade social club, which had been in operation for nearly a century, wasn’t so much remodeled when it was taken over by Baldino (whose family have been members for decades) as it was recovered — with its multi-colored bar stools, menu full of crab spaghetti and raviolo, and old men in the corner picking out Louie Prima songs on the guitar.
Society Hill | Israeli
237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800
Zahav remains a place where we can taste the moment when our restaurant scene exploded. The fact that it tastes a lot like grilled duck hearts with pumpkin tahini and kebabs over leek goulash owes everything to the modern Israeli tastes of Michael Solomonov, who will be one of our own no matter how many fried-chicken-and-doughnut joints he opens in other places.
Fishtown | Lebanese
1528 Frankford Avenue, 215-302-1900
On paper, Suraya is just a really big Lebanese all-day café: Mornings are for rose-scented French pastries and Stumptown espresso; lunches are for fire-baked manakeesh and kebabs; dinners are for the more serious set chasing after smart arak cocktails or Lebanese wines, and one of the most colorful mezza tables in all of Philly. But when you go — when you rip open your first house-made pita, when you taste the smoke in the baba ganoush, when you see how seriously the kitchen is taking this ultra-traditional cuisine, finessing it only just so — you’ll understand why this restaurant is so special. Why it’s one of the most exciting new destinations on this list.
Bella Vista | American
604 South Street, 215-925-3001
Since opening day, Peter Serpico’s best trick has been showing us a cuisine in progress — never still, never staid, never boring, and always exploring (via dry-aged duck mole and chicken-and-snail lasagna) the boundaries of what regional American cuisine can be.
Midtown Village | Vegetarian
1221 Locust Street, 215-320-7500
Pork belly is easy. Steak is easy. Show us what you can do with an ugly carrot or a funny-looking mushroom; that’s what counts in culinary prowess these days. And nobody — nobody — does vegetables like the crew at Vedge, who take a no-holds-barred approach to our modern, herbivorous tastes.
East Passyunk| French
1623 East Passyunk Avenue, 267-639-3203
From the short, polished bar to the white tablecloths in the dining room to a busy Friday night when everyone is eating foie gras with hazelnuts and poached lobster in carrot-ginger puree, Townsend remains our best answer to the question of whether or not fine dining in Philly is dead.
More about Townsend | Return to ranked list | Return to neighborhood list
West Chester| Italian
106 West Gay Street, 484-887-0919
There’s something very, very remarkable about Anthony Andiario’s Italian restaurant in West Chester, and it’s not easy to put into words. Something about the amount of care and detail and heart he throws onto every plate. Something about it having one of the friendliest dining rooms in the region. The hype behind the restaurant is real. It’s one of the hardest tables to score on this list. Go and you’ll see why.
More about Andiario | Return to ranked list | Return to neighborhood list
Old City | American
306 Market Street, 215-625-9425
No kitchen in Philly is better at balancing the impulses of talented young chefs with a solid grounding in New American classicism, to make a menu that’s both modern and timeless.
14. Royal Izakaya
Queen Village | Japanese
780 South 2nd Street, 267-909-9002
You want to see the bleeding edge of Philly’s restaurant scene? Come here. Elbow your way into a seat at the crowded izakaya in front to drink sake, watch the anime, and eat plates of Japanese sausage and fish jerky. Or make a reservation for a truly transcendent sushi experience in the quiet back bar, where Jesse Ito crafts rolls that will make you regret every other piece of sushi you’ve had before this.
Bella Vista | French
1009 South 8th Street, 215-965-8290
Prix fixe, seven courses, with no substitutions — there’s something very old-school about Bibou. But the charming staff, the BYO policy and the French menu cooked by a deeply schooled crew make dinner here feel very much of the moment.
16. Abe Fisher
Rittenhouse | Jewish
1623 Sansom Street, 215-867-0088
Jewish food is so deeply rooted in tradition that it hasn’t really changed at all in — what, 5,778 years? That’s why it’s so damn cool to see chef Yehuda Sichel at work, ripping the ancient cuisine out of the ground, giving it a good twist, and proving to us that Jewish food can too include schnitzel tacos and Chinatown-style duck with schmaltz rice and steamed pretzel buns.
17. Double Knot
Midtown Village | Japanese
120 South 13th Street, 215-631-3868
Sure, upstairs is a great coffee bar, lunch spot and happy-hour destination. But going down the dark stairs and stepping into the beautiful candlelit basement dining room is still one of the most impressive restaurant experiences you can have in Philly. Actually sitting down and eating dinner? That’s another one.
18. Res Ipsa
Rittenhouse | Italian
2218 Walnut Street, 267-519-0329
By day, a funky little neighborhood coffee shop and lunch spot with excellent breakfast sandwiches. But five nights a week, Res Ipsa turns down the lights and becomes the city’s best modern Italian BYO, with perfect spaghetti and clams, amazing grilled octopus, and specials that are sometimes good enough to make you wish you had a time machine so you could come back and eat them all over again.
Collingswood | Italian
618 Collings Avenue, 856-854-2670
Considering this is a city with a million Italian restaurants, a place has to be pretty special to warrant us actually leaving its limits for a plate of pasta. Zeppoli is that special.
20. Noord eetcafé
East Passyunk | Northern European
1046 Tasker Street, 267-909-9704
We didn’t even know we liked bitterballen, snert and pickled herring before Joncarl Lachman opened Noord. Now, we can’t imagine living without them.
Bella Vista | French
614 South 7th Street, 215-625-3700
In an ideal world, every neighborhood bar would have a kitchen that served a perfect steak frites, shareable socca, and burgers studded with cornichons. While we may not live in a perfect world, we do have the Good King, and some days, that almost feels like enough.
Fishtown | Italian
1355 North Front Street, 215-291-1355
Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is easily one of the prettiest restaurants in the entire city. And, in terms of Italian restaurants — something Philly is very good at — it’s just as easily one of the city’s best, with a kitchen turning out a menu of excellent house-made pasta and creative pizzas, and a bar that takes its wine list and cocktails very seriously.
23. Little Fish
Queen Village | Seafood
746 South 6th Street, 267-455-0172
Little Fish is so little. Being there feels like chef-owner Alex Yoon is cooking your food right at your table, like you’ve hired him for the night. And his cooking is as light as air — as it should be, seafood is often better left untouched. The restaurant itself? Darling, with hand-written menus and chummy, professional service. It’s all just so… adorable.
East Passyunk | American
1537 South 11th Street, 215-551-5000
Where else but in Lee Styer’s kitchen could Korean beef tartare and Spanish octopus rub shoulders with pork belly over cheddar grits and grilled duck hearts — and none of it seem the least bit out of place?
East Passyunk | French
1911 East Passyunk Avenue, East Passyunk, 215-271-7683
What was once one of this city’s most daring modernist kitchens has mellowed over the years, finding a delicate middle ground between the cutting edge and the comforting.
Italian Market | Mexican
1140 South 9th Street, 267-746-7658
South Philly Barbacoa has a brand new space. It’s bigger (so, shorter lines), it’s open four days a week instead of three (so, shorter lines). This matters because — no exaggeration — Cristina Martinez’s lamb tacos are some of the best tacos in the world.
27. V Street
Vegetarian | Rittenhouse
126 South 19th Street, 215-278-7943
It’s one of the coolest bars in the entire city, and its kitchen is dedicated to making delicious, all-vegetable versions of classic global street eats. V Street’s whole thing is so impossibly right, impossibly good, that the fact that it’s all vegan feels like a prank. It’s not — it’s just the real deal.
Point Breeze | Indonesian
1754 South Hicks Street, 215-271-9442
Yeah, one of the best restaurants in the city, and you’ll walk out the door having spent only $20 or so for a filling, satisfying, delicious meal for two. Modeled after Indonesian workingman’s cafes, it’s where to go for beef rendang over rice, served cafeteria-style, with sambal over everything. It’s a place of startling authenticity and deliciousness.
29. Helm Rittenhouse
Rittenhouse | New American
1901 Chestnut Street, 215-982-1671
The original Helm (still bumpin’ up there in Kensington) was the ultimate example of that small, intimate, chef-driven BYO where everything on the ever-changing chalkboard menu is there because the kitchen wants it to be, and you’re friends with half the dining room before you even sit down. Helm Rittenhouse, with its cocktails and wine, its big windows overlooking the bustling streets of Rittenhouse, has that same sort of ethos, but feels just a little more grown up.
30. Saté Kampar
East Passyunk | Malaysian
1837 East Passyunk Avenue, 267-324-3860
There’s only one way to do Saté Kampar: Dive right in. Order as many sticks of saté as you can, get messy with a bowl of snow crabs, drink from a coconut.
31. Royal Boucherie
Old City | French
52 South 2nd Street, (267) 606-6313
Come here for the raw bar, because the seafood tower here is one of the city’s best. Come here for the cured meats and patés and terrines, because they’re all made in-house (and again — some of the city’s best). The entrées are ambitious, the wine list is on point, the cocktails are classic, and the vibe — boisterous and unrestrained — gives new meaning to what upscale French dining means in Philly today.
East Passyunk | Filipino
1535 South 11th Street, 267-273-0008
Turns out an upscale Filipino restaurant that occasionally becomes an eat-with-your-hands, banana-leaves-on-the-table family-style feast is just what we needed.
Fishtown | Southeast Asian
308 East Girard Avenue, no phone
Tyler Akin has poured years of dedication, professional training and research trips to Southeast Asia into his 18-seat BYO. You can tell, because Stock puts out some of the best noodle soups, salads and banh mi in the entire city.
Queen Village | New American
701 South 4th Street, 267-930-8538
A comfortable American bistro complete with a charming backyard patio (for when it’s warm), a bar that cares (but never takes itself too seriously), and a kitchen that really invests in its surrounding community — sourcing locally, keeping the menu light and fun, and holding the doors open late for industry folk.
35. Cheu Fishtown
1416 Frankford Avenue, 267-758-2269
It was Cheu that brought back Asian fusion — that made it intellectual and cool and fun again. With its black garlic chicken wings, falafel buns, brisket ramen and smoked pork dumplings, Cheu gave a new vitality to a cuisine that had been a joke for too long. And with the new, larger Fishtown location, partners Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh have brought to life their best version of the restaurant that changed it all.
Fishtown | American
1310 Frankford Avenue, 267-314-5086
Last year, Kensington Quarters went through a small remodel that focused the space as more restaurant (which was always what it was best at), less custom butcher shop. They followed that up with a series of pop-up dinners, wine dinners, and oddities like aging and serving 100-day rib-eye steaks. The result is a restaurant experience that’s better now than it’s ever been (and it was always pretty good).
Old City | American
308 Market Street, 215-625-0988
During the day, High Street’s sandwiches (breakfast and otherwise) are among the greatest in the city. At night, the kitchen’s let loose to do its thing: novel homemade pastas, gorgeous vegetables, and pasture-raised meats cooked perfectly.
East Passyunk | British
1838 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-309-2761
When Stargazy opened, it was like a proof-of-concept that small, weird, chef-driven restaurants can not just survive in Philly, but thrive. Today, chef Sam Jacobson’s very British pie shop continues to exert an outsize influence on the neighborhood and serve some of the most comforting sausage rolls, meat pies and baked goods in the city.
39. Bud & Marilyn’s
Midtown Village | American
1234 Locust Street, 215-546-2220
Apparently, Philly was craving a 1970s Midwestern-themed restaurant — which is exactly what Bud & Marilyn’s is — serving the meatloaf, fried chicken and cheese curds of your youth in a slick, deliberately tacky space.
40. Le Virtù
East Passyunk | Italian
1927 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-271-5626
Today, the restaurant remains the rustic, traditional Abruzzese restaurant it’s always been. And you can rest easy knowing that Le Virtù’s kitchen is in good hands with Damon Menapace at the helm.
Center City | American
1521 Spruce Street, 215-546-1521
Simple, honest-to-goodness cooking from a small, farm-focused kitchen in Rittenhouse. Rusticity here is timeless, not a played-out trend.
42. Poi Dog
Rittenhouse | Hawaiian
102 South 21st Street, 215-279-7015
Simply put, Poi Dog is the happiest restaurant in Philadelphia, thanks to the brightly colored, delightfully low-rent space, the smiling staff and simple fast-casual ordering, and, mostly, the food — giant plate lunches of nori fried chicken, rice and macaroni salad and Spam musubi, with Okinawan doughnuts for dessert.
Chinatown | Burmese
112 North 9th Street, 215-829-8939
Since the late ’80s, diners have armed themselves with homemade thousand-layer bread to rip and dip their way through the deeply spiced curries and sweet-and-sour heat of the Chinatown landmark’s traditional Burmese kitchen.
44. Oyster House
Center City | Seafood
1516 Sansom Street, 215-567-7683
From the curated gin list and the expert shuckers who love to talk bivalves to tasting dinners, a killer happy hour, and a smart way of balancing nostalgia with modernity, Oyster House never stops trying to be better than it was yesterday.
Point Breeze | Gastropub
1800 Federal Street, 215-334-2337
If nothing else, Philly is really, really good at the gastropub — and there’s no better spot in the city to throw down on excellent sandwiches, grilled sardines (natch) and pints of Nodding Head than at American Sardine Bar — a gastropub for this new era in dining.
Olney | Korean
5955 North 5th Street, 215-927-4550
The banchan are never boring, the staff is friendly and helpful to rookies, and the menu of things to put on the tabletop grills (fired with real hardwood charcoal) is big enough to be interesting but not so big that it’s overwhelming. Kim’s is family-friendly, down-and-dirty Korean BBQ done exactly right. Plus, free ice cream for dessert!
47. The Rooster
Rittenhouse | American
1526 Sansom Street, 215-454-6939
CookNSolo’s diner concept, with its perfect matzoh ball soup and Montreal smoked meat sandwich, its boozy milkshakes and dirty martinis, makes it a fantastic place to dine. But the fact that it exists to generate donations to help the city’s most vulnerable, with 100 percent of profits going to the Broad Street Ministry? That makes it special.
Collingswood | New American
801 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ, 856-240-1164
It’s got all the things a good restaurant — scratch that, a restaurant that hopes to even have a shot of making it today — has. There’s the adept staff, the stones and woods, the open kitchen with a blazing hearth. But Hearthside goes beyond all those checked boxes to deliver an experience that will leave you craving more. Because that vibe isn’t manufactured, it’s truly authentic and the food, with dishes like a carrot-puree filled homemade pasta, a whole branzino that’s meaty and crispy and veggies that are treated with care, are obvious labors of love. The only downside: It’s nearly impossible to score a table.
49. Kanella Grill
Washington Square West | Cypriot-Greek
1001 Spruce Street, 267-928-2085
Kanella Grill is a small, simple BYOB armed with just a grill, some meats, fresh vegetables and a whole lot of herbs. Call it your once-a-week, no-frills street-food spot.
East Passyunk | Italian
1646 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-755-0663
Step inside this weekends-only BYOB on East Passyunk Avenue, and time will literally stop. The Earth won’t spin; the outside world will cease to exist. Mr. Martino’s is transportive — a restaurant where the simplest pleasures, like friendly service and pasta fagioli, strip away all but a perfect evening.