Philadelphia

Restaurants in Philadelphia

Philadelphia restaurants combine both the buzziest names in the food world alongside some of its greasiest traditions. Many celebrity chef-fronted Philadelphia restaurants, like Stephen Starr's Buddakan, Morimoto and El Vez have opened up second locations in New York City. The Philadelphia-based La Colombe Torrefaction coffee chain now runs a shop in South Korea.

For spicy Mexican dishes in a colorful setting, visit Jose Garces' Distrito. It has earned its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia with upscale takes on south-of-the-border street food, such as Kobe beef tacos, and a bar boasting more than 100 tequilas.

Some of the most iconic restaurants in Philadelphia are its cheesesteak purveyors. Visit the home of the beloved fried onion and Cheese Wiz-topped sandwich at the Pat's King of Steaks takeout window, or visit Geno's Steaks at East Passyunk Crossing, whose bright neon lights attract crowds of late-night fans and a worldwide reputation.

It would be hard to miss this Old City restaurant, with its colorful name-bearing banners running down the building. The relaxed 122-seater, which is co-owned by the Metropolitan Bakery team, is well loved for its contemporary American fare.

In an Old City neighborhood dominated by hoagie joints, this Market Street ice cream parlor is, by design, old school.

At this restored 1960's stainless-steel-clad diner in the Old City, patrons sit in vintage vinyl booths under lamps fashioned like cocktail olives, or on the street-side patio.

Considered one of the best Italian restaurants in the nation, this fine-dining landmark is usually booked two months in advance.

Cavernous Greek

Steven Starr's vastly expanding dining empire includes some two-dozen restaurants, and though Buddakan opened back in 1998, this Old City temple to Asian cuisine remains one of the hottest tickets in town.

Xochitl (pronounced “so-cheet”), a tequila bar/restaurant at the foot of Pine Street in Society Hill, serves Pre-Hispanic Mexican dishes like red snapper ceviche, braised beef short rib, and a mushroom tamale.

From Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr, Alma de Cuba has a minimalist style with glass walls, clean-lined furniture, and portraits of Cubans on the walls. The crowd that gathers here, just a block east of Rittenhouse Square, tends to be casually dressed and happy to sip on mojitos.

This British-style pub in the Art Museum District offers indoor and (in season) outdoor seating.

With locations now in Atlantic City, Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Cuba Libre's original Philadelphia branch is situated in a nightlife-heavy strip of Old City. Its interior resembles an old Havana street scene.

Pod

Restaurateur Stephen Starr opened this pan-Asian restaurant, designing the interior with futuristic neon-lights and cylinder-shaped dining booths called pods that seat six to 12 and illuminate with bright colors that can be changed with an inside switch.

Southwark’s owners source their ingredients from local farmers, co-ops, and often even from their own gardens, supporting the sustainable Slow Food movement. Small plates include artisan cheeses and house-made sausage, while locally caught quail and trout can be found on the entrée menu.