Garces Restaurant Group

Philadelphia boasts an enviable food scene, and it can be hard to cross all its destinations off your list during a visit. But now that reservations are open for the wallet-friendly Restaurant Week, happening in August, it's time to plot a trip to the city's top dining rooms. 

July 06, 2015

Reservations are now open for Philadelphia’s first-ever summer Restaurant Week—a chance to make a dent in your bucket list for touring the city's strong dining scene. Happening August 2 through 7, and 9 through 14, more than 120 restaurants in the area are participating, all offering multiple-course meals at $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner.

If you're wondering how to pare that list down, remember the adage about never buying clothing on sale that you wouldn’t consider at full price? Same goes here. Don’t eat somewhere for Restaurant Week that you wouldn’t be interested in otherwise.

We also culled dozens of menus to find the best bets—places that combine quality food and atmosphere with a true deal. These spots made the cut because they’re serving broad menus that expose visitors to the best of their regular menus. Reservations will go quickly, so start booking.

Abe Fisher

One of Philadelphia’s most unique eateries, Abe Fisher serves creative spins on foods of the Jewish diaspora. During Restaurant Week, that means four courses of items like borscht tartare, corned pork belly reuben, matzo brei, duck blintzes, bacon and egg cream, and fluffernutter crullers.

Amada

Philly-based celebrity chef Jose Garces’ flagship offers diners four tapas at lunch and five at dinner. The Andalusian specialties include strawberry gazpacho, serrano ham, garlic shrimp, wild mushroom rice with peas and manchego cheese, dark chocolate tart and traditional Spanish custard.

Barbuzzo Restaurant

Along with complimentary sheep’s milk ricotta and grilled french country bread to start, diners can choose from a menu that includes house meatballs, pan-seared gnocchi with guanciale, capricciosa pizza, salted caramel budino, tiramisu, and olive oil cake with roasted peaches.

Brauhaus Schmitz

With dozens of beers on offer, it’s virtually impossible to leave this German beer hall thirsty. Hunger won’t be a problem either, with menu options like beer and cheese soup, Bavarian pretzels, house-made charcuterie, wiener schnitzel, braised brisket with spätzle, black forest cake, warm pretzel bread pudding and apple strudel.

Garces Trading Co.

Part gourmet market, part dining room, Garces Trading Co. doesn’t skimp during Restaurant Week. Its four-course dinner menu features housemade mozzarella, vichyssoise, goat Bolognese, scallop risotto (pictured) and mascarpone panna cotta. This is one of the only restaurants serving a $20 brunch, too—three courses of options like charcuterie, pumpkin seed granola, buttermilk pancakes, and baked eggs in a spicy tomato stew.

Indeblue Restaurant and Bar

Restaurant Week dinner at Indeblue starts with a choice of crispy spinach, vegetable samosa or spicy chicken in an edible bowl. Three more courses of modern Indian cuisine follow, including tandoori chicken wings, crispy cauliflower, butter chicken, pork vindaloo, lamb saag and cardamom rice pudding.

Jamonera Restaurant

When dinner starts with complimentary papas fritas or manchego cheese with marcona almonds, you know you’re in for a treat. Jamonera’s Restaurant Week menu includes three additional courses with dishes like smoked bacon-wrapped medjool dates, bronzino a la plancha, grilled pork loin and olive oil cake with roasted stone fruit. Many of the items can be made vegetarian or vegan—a highlight is the seared “beet steak” with hazelnut-almond romesco, grilled shishito peppers, grilled oyster mushrooms, and manchego.

Opa

This Greek hotspot offer 5 small plates on its Restaurant Week menu. Go with a couple of friends and share en masse the stuffed grape leaves, fava bean hummus, lamb gyro, octopus, pork souvlaki, baklava and a honey-scented donut with Greek coffee chocolate mousse.

Supper

Offering four courses of upscale farm-to-table picnic food with a southern twang, highlights include deviled eggs, hush puppies, fried green bean pickles, pastrami fried chicken, barbecued pork loin, peach cobbler biscuit pudding and a pie of the week.

The Treemont

Just steps from the Avenue of the Arts, The Treemont is the product of one of Philadelphia’s most acclaimed chefs, Chip Roman. Start with gratis marinated olives and spiced popcorn, then choose among the chickpea fritters with spiced yogurt, brown butter and sage gnudi with golden raisins, short rib with red grits, heirloom carrots and red grape vinaigrette, sour cream panna cotta and beignets.

Xochitl

The four-course Restaurant Week menu at Xochitl begins with custom guacamole for the table. Move on to the tortilla soup, ahi tuna ceviche, chipotle BBQ baby back ribs, spicy seared shrimp over sweet plantain cakes with tomato chile brother and avocado salad, and deep fried apples with sugar, cinnamon and butterscotch caramel sauce.

Zahav

Book early here, because this Israeli fine dining spot is one of Philadelphia’s most creative and delicious. Every dinner starts with the city’s best hummus and “salatim”—a daily selection of salads served with traditional fresh laffa bread. The menu also includes crispy halloumi cheese with dates, duck hearts, fried cauliflower, lamb merguez, bronzino with tzatziki, coffee custard with hibiscus huckleberries, and an ice cream sandwich with labaneh semifreddo, pistachio, rhubarb and rose.

Sarah Maiellano is on the Philadelphia beat for Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter at @SarahMaiellano.

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