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Italian Restaurants in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide

Italian Restaurants in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide

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As a result of if you are going to eat, why not eat the perfect?


Little Nonna’s | Fb

Italian is Philly’s mom delicacies. It’s what we’ve achieved greatest the longest. Whether or not you’re speaking about world-beating vacation spot eating places or little neighborhood temples to pink gravy and veal parm, pasta joints are woven tight into our culinary DNA. And whereas we perceive that everybody who eats in this city already has their favorites for each event, we additionally get that typically it’s good to stretch somewhat. To go someplace totally different and check out one thing new. And as exhausting as it’s to maintain up with all of the historical past and alter in each different a part of Philly’s restaurant scene, preserving monitor of Philly’s greatest Italian meals is nearly inconceivable.

What you want is a information — an inventory of one of the best locations to eat regardless of the place you’re or what you’re in search of — and we’re right here to assist. Under is an inventory of the Italian eating places that matter most in Philly — the brand new, the previous, the beloved and probably the most fascinating. They’re in no specific order, however each single one in every of them is value your time and a spotlight. Let’s begin with…

The Italian Restaurants in Philadelphia You Should Attempt First

best italian in philadelphia vetri

Vetri | Photograph by Michael Persico

Vetri, Market East
The biggest factor about Vetri? It’s among the many greatest Italian eating places in the nation, and it lives proper right here in Philly. Vetri’s huge magic is that the restaurant by no means sits nonetheless, it by no means rests. There’s all the time one thing occurring there — whether or not it’s courses on pasta and pizza-making in the upstairs eating room, dinners downstairs that includes winemakers introduced in from Italy, or simply the truth that the kitchen seems groundbreaking menus and the employees set the usual for hospitality in a metropolis that too typically forgets what the phrase means. 1312 Spruce Road

Andiario, West Chester
If Vetri is one of the best Italian in Philly, then Anthony Andiario is the upstart newcomer doing the most effective Italian simply outdoors the town. His new-ish place Chester County is informal, snug, and welcoming, and the kitchen is so ridiculously gifted that on any given night time they could serve two or three or 4 of the most effective plates you’ll have all yr. 106 West Homosexual Road

Mr. Martino’s Trattoria, East Passyunk
Small, hidden away, darkish and comfy, Mr. Martino’s is a household joint. It’s cash-only, BYO, and open simply three days every week — so Philly it ought to have some type of historic designation. However till that occurs, that is the place you go to fake it’s your personal secret spot — to eat octopus and veal tortelloni and recall what it was like earlier than everybody knew how good Philly eating places might be once they weren’t even actually making an attempt. 1646 East Passyunk Avenue

Zeppoli, Collingswood
The better part about Joey Baldino’s award-winning Sicilian BYO is the meals, palms down. However the second better part? Spending a heat night time on the again patio, consuming spaghetti vongole and consuming some low cost pink. You’d by no means assume that a spot with a view of a parking zone might probably be so romantic, however right here it’s. 618 West Collings Avenue

Ralph’s, Bella Vista
Ralph’s has been a Philly establishment for greater than a century. That’s greater than sufficient time to discover ways to make an honest plate of pasta, proper? Extra importantly, Ralph’s is among the few (or solely) locations in city to get some classics that by no means make the menu anymore in these trendy time — issues like veal French and spaghetti with hen livers. 760 South ninth Road

The Greatest Italian Restaurants in South Philly and East Passyunk

best italian in philadelphia brigantessa

Brigantessa | Fb

Brigantessa
This informal, approachable pizza-and-pasta joint has all the time been a reliable go-to on the Passyunk strip. However just lately, they’ve been upping the stakes with occasions and menu modifications which have stored this spot on the forefront of Philly’s new guard of Italian specialists. 1520 East Passyunk Avenue

Palizzi Social Membership
This place is simply magic, an unimaginable Italian Brigadoon filled with beans and greens, Louis Prima music, martinis, and crab spaghetti. The semi-private, members-only Italian supper membership might have been an entire catastrophe: too unique, too valuable, too rules-bound. However as an alternative, Joey Baldino — whose household had been members of the Palizzi Social Membership for generations earlier than he took it over — and his group walked an virtually impossibly slender line. They’ve created a spot the place time appears to cease and the kitchen creates basic Italian consolation meals so easy and so good that it’s just like the kitchen is run by a group of Italian grandmothers quite than an award-winning chef. 1408 South 12th Road

L’angolo
Hen parm and spaghetti with meat sauce. If that’s what you’re in search of, that is the place to go. 1415 West Porter Road

Victor Cafe
The Victor is a type of locations the place the waiters sing opera at you, whether or not you need them to or not. Personally, I’m horrified by the very concept of singing waiters, however in case you’re not, then that is undoubtedly your home. The meals is surprisingly good, the bar is cozy (when the employees isn’t singing), and it will be an excellent restaurant even with out the arias echoing off the partitions. 1303 Dickinson Road

Le Virtù
Le Virtù has lengthy been some of the rigorous defenders of basic Abruzzo delicacies in Philly. That’s one thing they take very critically in the kitchen and on the ground, and you may style it in each plate that hits the desk. 1927 Passyunk Avenue

Greatest Italian Restaurants in Rittenhouse and Middle Metropolis

best italian in philadelphia res ipsa

Res Ipsa

Res Ipsa
Res Ipsa is technically an all-day cafe. However it’s actually a spare, easy breakfast and lunch place that transforms right into a killer Sicilian BYO 5 nights every week. From chef Michael Vincent Ferreri’s unbelievable grill-charred octopus with squid ink agrodolce to the sensible gnocchi and the egg-filled raviolo that typically hits the specials menu, Purple Ipsa strips all of the pretension from Italian eating (each checked-tablecloth traditionalism and white tablecloth fanciness) and replaces it with a purity of delicacies that’s beautiful to witness. 2218 Walnut Road

Gran Caffe L’Aquila
This place is three tales. It has its personal bakery and in-house gelato lab. It does lunch, dinner, dessert, espresso, glad hour, cocktails — every little thing, actually. What’s exceptional is that it’s all completed rather well. The menus supply a loopy array of small plates and snacks (mozzarella from two totally different areas, seven totally different seasonal greens), plus full-sized plates like wild boar and lengthy scorching meatballs in a tomato sugo or gnocchi with Taleggio cream. After which there’s the internationally acclaimed, award-winning gelato to complete. 1716 Chestnut Road

La Fontana Della Citta
An old style, Previous World BYO that’s served its Rittenhouse neighbors for years. That is Tuesday night time Italian — easy, all the time out there, not overpriced, good for giant events, and BYO as well. 1701 Spruce Road

Amis
Even with out Marc Vetri’s direct involvement, Amis has soldiered on as some of the fascinating, dedicated Italian eating places in Philly. Dinner right here is all the time an occasion, and the kitchen masterfully walks the skinny line between custom and trendy method. 412 South 13th Road

LaScala’s
If a historical past that encompasses penniless Italian immigrants, a secret dough recipe, six neighborhood pizzerias and, lastly, a sit-down Italian joint on Chestnut Road doesn’t outline the Philly model of the American Dream, I don’t know what does. 615 Chestnut Road

Trattoria Carina
The former Fitler Eating Room turned Trattoria Carina when house owners Ed Hackett and Dan Clark determined that the space didn’t want a flowery, destination-worthy New American restaurant as a lot because it did a simple, brilliant, and approachable place to get ziti with squash ragu, hen parm with buffalo mozarella, and an Aperol spritz. A purely neighborhood restaurant, Carina is the sort of place you go to if you’re subsequent door and hungry on a Tuesday night time. A candy, easy, fairly spot that’s all the time higher than you anticipate it to be, regardless of how typically you go. 2201 Spruce Road

Melograno
It’s exhausting to consider that a spot that’s been open for years proper in the center of Rittenhouse can qualify as a hidden neighborhood joint, however that’s actually what Melograno is. There are individuals who’ve been coming right here for years to get chef Gianluca Demontis’s Roman-style Italian meals and there are those that have by no means heard of it — nothing in between. 2012 Sansom Road

The Greatest Italian Restaurants in Fishtown, Fairmount and Spring Backyard

best italian in philadelphia a mano

A Mano | Fb

A Mano
Tod Wentz’s Italian spot is the sort of place that focuses so singularly on the meals popping out of the kitchen that, as soon as the plate hits your desk, nothing else appears to matter. It’s a high-gloss Italian BYO mixing the regional and the hyper-traditional with trendy components to create dishes which are each rustic and upscale. The kitchen turns braised pork shank right into a murals, a easy parsley cavatelli right into a wealthy exploration of intersection of Italian components with French method. It’s additionally small, loud, and sometimes crowded — however completely value a go to if you wish to see the chopping fringe of mental Italian delicacies in Philly. 2244 Fairmount Avenue

Murph’s Bar
Yeah, that’s proper. The Fishtown Irish bar with the (not likely) secret Italian kitchen working out of the again. This place continues to be sort of a thriller to lots of people, however right here’s the way it works. Chef Francesco Bellastelli rents kitchen area at Murph’s and serves dinner six nights every week to a cash-only crowd giant sufficient (and in a eating room sufficiently small) that wait occasions could be so long as 90 minutes. The juxtaposition of Murph’s very Irish bar and its very Italian kitchen is so Philly that it virtually looks like a joke, nevertheless it isn’t. It’s the actual deal. So in the event you’re in the neighborhood, simply search for Murph’s massive shamrock signal, be prepared to attend with a Guinness on the bar, and prepare for what needs to be one of the best Italian restaurant working out of an Irish pub anyplace in the nation. 202 East Girard Avenue

Osteria
Osteria impresses in so some ways, and it typically looks like everybody in this metropolis has a narrative a few time the employees went above and past to make their meal particular. However what it actually comes right down to is that this kitchen has definined trendy Italian in Philly for a whole era of eaters — no small achievement in a scene as aggressive as this one. 640 North Broad Road

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons
Look, in case you haven’t already eaten right here, there’s one thing fallacious with you. As a result of sure, it’s that good. Mulherin’s a type of eating places that turned indispensable virtually the minute it opened, an ideal neighborhood spot that’s additionally vacation spot eating from anyplace in the area. The pastas are extraordinary, the pizzas coming from the large wood-fired oven in the again are among the many greatest in the town, the bar is concurrently informal and funky, and the area even smells higher than anyplace else in the town. Mulherin’s is a type of locations you need to expertise for your self, so in case you haven’t been, go proper now. 1355 North Entrance Road

The Greatest Italian Restaurants in Graduate Hospital, Queen Village and Bella Vista

best italian in philadelphia lanima

L’anima | Photograph by Steve Legato

L’Anima
Melograno’s Giancarlo Demontis needed to do one thing a bit lighter, a bit brighter, and somewhat extra trendy, and this vibrant, glass-walled area on 17th Road is the place he’s doing it. L’Anima gives an off-the-cuff, trendy tackle Italian classics each night time for all of the neighbors in his new ‘hood. 1001 South 17th Road

Dante & Luigi’s
All the newer pink gravy Italian joints that open in Philly? Dante & Luigi’s is what they’re making an attempt to be. 762 South 10th Road

Villa di Roma
White plates, purple gravy, huge meatballs, 9 sorts of spaghetti, and a menu that also options clams on line casino. What else do you want to know? 936 South ninth Road

Saloon
Shrimp Oscar, lobster French, and a New York strip swimming in marsala circumscribe one finish of the menu. Rigatoni sesso and the ravioli of the day outline the opposite different half. It’s a spot the place nearly anybody can discover what they want, plus a pair martinis to scrub it down. 750 South seventh Road

Monsu
Peter McAndrews has made a profession out of translating genuine Italian delicacies for the individuals of Philadelphia. Right here, the seasonal a la carte menu provides a superb model of genuine Sicilian delicacies introduced by means of Philly’s American lens. However the Menu Tourista, a $45 tasting that provides his crew the chance to point out off their expertise, is a good higher expertise. 901 Christian Road

Ambra
A small, darkish, intimate spot delivered to you by the crew at Southwark, which is true subsequent door. Ambra’s employees is devoted to taking good care of its clients’ each whim and providing an end-to-end service expertise that begins with snacks and drinks the minute you’re seated and doesn’t finish till the ultimate course of the tasting menu has been cleared away. 705 South 4th Road

Greatest Italian Restaurants in Midtown Village and Previous Metropolis

best-italian-philadephia-barbuzzo

Barbuzzo | Fb

Little Nonna’s
The Italian spot from Marcie Turney and Val Safran hit massive when it opened in Midtown Village a number of years again, serving modernized red-gravy Italian in an area designed for max consolation (plus a phenomenal outside patio). These days, Nonna’s is again in the information with the addition of chef de delicacies Paul Lyons, previously of Good King in addition to Safran Turney’s Barbuzzo and Jamonera. He’s tweaked the menu and introduced a brand new life to the road, which is strictly what Nonna’s wanted. 1234 Locust Road

Tredici Enoteca
Although Tredici shades extra Mediterranean on most days, I’m together with it right here as a result of I actually prefer it. And since the lasagna verde and crab spaghetti are value a go to all on their very own. 114 South 13th Road

Barbuzzo
One other Turney and Safran spot, this one serving the type of comforting, rustic fare that gave delivery to the fashionable Italian motion. The area is cramped, the negronis are highly effective, the pizzas are wonderful, and the menu of pastas and small plates have stored this place on the prime of everybody’s favorites record for years. 110 South 13th Road

Zavino
There are numerous explanation why individuals love Zavino. Some deal with it like a pizza place, others like a wine bar. However actually, it’s the entire package deal — a strong Italian restaurant that executes every little thing it does very properly. Bonus: the meats and cheeses are like a biggest hits assortment of the previous 20 years of gastronomy. 112 South 13th Road

Panorama
Positive, you in all probability know the identify (or perhaps keep in mind it as Ristorante Panorama), however the Panorama you’re considering of is so 2015. A current chef change — Mathew Gentile, ex of Ela and Lacroix, changed the previous chef, who’d been there for many years —  a million-dollar renovation, and a brand new menu targeted on native sourcing and trendy flavors moderately than drained pasta trios have reinvigorated this venerable spot and turned it right into a restaurant deserving of a return go to. Wine nerds, haven’t any worry: the huge by-the-glass system that stored Ristorante Panorama buzzing even by way of its laziest years continues to be there, providing superb alternatives for many who care as a lot about what’s in their glass as what’s on their plate. 14 North Entrance Road

La Locanda del Ghiottone
Come right here for giant parts of basic Italian dishes served in a close-set, brick-walled area. The menu is type of like a time capsule from some extent in meals historical past earlier than everybody went loopy for authenticity and simply needed to eat issues that tasted good on a regular basis. 130 North third Road