Center City Restaurants
PanoramaAddress: 14 North Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
$$ Special Offer
Ristorante Panorama's Italian grace and insouciance reigns throughout its airy, lively formal dining room and classy-casual wine bar within the Penn’s View Hotel. Chef Rosario Romano's unerring renderings and savory interpretations of Italian classic cuisine soar even higher on bacchanal flights paired impeccably by sommelier William Eccleston. The restaurant’s national oenophile pedigree owes to the 120 different wines available daily by the glass and its yearly tally of 800 different wines on the menu. These in combination with the homemade pastas, authentic veal dishes, and fresh seafood specialties create the perfect escape to the Northern Italian Region, no passport necessary.
SerranoAddress: 20 S. Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This restaurant is both eclectic and intimate with a tinge of romance always in the air. Exposed brick and warm wood accented with unusual decor items from the far corners of the globe help to get diners in the mood for the best of authentically prepared international cuisine. "International Home Cooking" has been the Serrano claim to fame, but the unusual selections and the authentic ingredients are only part of the story. Each dish takes the palate on a journey to taste sensations that existed long before the world's taste buds were impaired by fast food enterprises.
ValanniAddress: 1229 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
$$ Special Offer
Valanni fuels night-time revelry with its clever cocktails, scrumptious snacks and lively atmosphere. The menu is an elegant hybrid of Mediterranean and Latin influences,with traditional Spanish-style dishes like Seafood Paella sharing space with more fusion flavors like the Sesame and Pepita Crusted Yellowfin Tuna and the Honey glazed Duck Breast. The stylish dining room blends a rugged industrialism with a polished cosmopolitanism, juxtaposing exposed brick walls and an expansive bar with leather banquettes, modernist accents, and soft, glowing, amber lights. The allure of flavorful beverages like the Mango Mojito and Watermelon-Rita (a muddled watermelon margarita) make happy hours and late …
GiGiAddress: 319 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
GiGi caters to the palates of the world by offering a menu that highlights specialties from Italy, Thailand, and Spain--to name a few. European sidewalk café-style seating and a private outdoor terrace encourage a social experience that carries over into the main dining room, as well. Boasting unique tapas selections to be shared among friends and an impressive array of signature cocktails, GiGi welcomes visitors to stay and mingle. Pass dishes like the Rare Seared Tuna Tequitos and the Jerk Chicken Skewers around the table and marvel at how fast they go.
XochitlAddress: 408 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
$$ Special Offer
While the story behind this restaurant’s name may be tragic, its fine Mexican cuisine and welcoming atmosphere is anything but. La Hora Feliz puts smiles on faces nightly in the bar, and the warmly lit lounge is where many go to welcome the weekend. The restaurant itself hopes to unite diners around a collective passion for Mexican cuisine with authentic dishes that often beg to be shared. The Pescado Entero con Guajes is a whole roasted fish with acacia seed-tomatillo sauce; and the Tostadas de Ceviche is prepared with shrimp, octopus, and Spanish mackerel. And in honor of the Queen …
BindiAddress: 105 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
$$ Special Offer
Celebrating women’s femininity and strength, Bindi is named after the stunning red powder Indian women dab on their foreheads. The two women behind the success of Bindi are Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran – the two forces behind more than one hit in the Center City neighborhood. Chef Turney amps up regional Indian cuisine by using local and seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are as pleasing in flavor and aesthetic. Dishes like the Prawn and Pumpkin Curry, the Chana Masala Chicken, and the Pork Loin Vindaloo are served in traditional kadai copper pots, and offer a unique opportunity …
DolceAddress: 241 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
One of the hippest and hottest places in Philadelphia isn’t exactly a nightclub, but more of a traditional restaurant with a twist. At Dolce, traditional table service and real Italian food are flipped with a very chic, modern, and dimly lit ambiance. When paired together, it’s an Old-World meets New-World match made in heaven. Each dish, crafted by Italian chef Alfonso Valentino, is made with the freshest Italian ingredients and an attention to detail. They also offer options for private parties inside their banquet facilities. Grab a drink and some friends next time you want Italian food, because at Dolce, …
10 ArtsAddress: 10 Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Showcasing the bounty of locally grown produce and organic ingredients, celebrity chef Eric Ripert has dished up yet another success with 10 Art. His mission is simple: to offer the best of contemporary American cuisine. His menu is exemplary: Ripert’s elegantly fine-tuned technique balances the complexity and heartiness of many of his most notable dishes. The Steamed Mussels are served in a chorizo and white wine broth, while the Pork and Beans highlights braised pork belly in a summer bean ragout. Understated and masterful, the Bouillabaisse has market fish and shellfish in a saffron and tomato broth.
MixtoAddress: 1141 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Mixto Restaurant infuses the cuisines of Latin America and the Caribbean, providing an explosive Latin culinary experience. A part of Antique Row Center, the restaurant has brick and wrought-iron wooden decor, and a spicy Latino soundtrack. The incredibly diverse menu offers numerous selections from Mexico, South America, and distant Spain. Start with an appetizer such as the tangy Shrimp Ceviche in lemon sauce, or go straight to the delectable entrees, where the Pollo Champignon—chicken in a rich mushroom sauce with a cheesy baked potato cube—is one of many mouth-watering choices. Private rooms, a Latin-inspired wine list, and a loaded dessert …
Tokyo Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi BarAddress: 1613 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is a fun place to go to enjoy the causality of sushi and with the service of a steak house. With an open grill set as the centerpiece for a diversity of dining options, guests have the choice of an intimate setting on the second level, or a bustling social jamboree downstairs, dining directly at the Chef’s grill. The whole family can be satisfied with the generous variety of selections, a feature Hibachi prides itself on. Alongside gourmet sushi, crisp tempura, noodles and fried rice, scallops, filet mignons, and lobsters give the carte du jour …
MercatoAddress: 1216 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
From the butter yellow walls to the bustling energy of its open kitchen, Mercato embraces diners with an uncommon warmth rarely found in restaurants of this size. Generous portions abound while menu items are a refreshingly eclectic marriage between new American cuisine and creative Italian fare. Executive Chef, Mackenzie Hilton succeeds at combining seasonal ingredients with innovative techniques to create a distinctively unconventional meal for adventurous diners. This BYOB is a standout favorite among Philadelphia's discerning residents and, for those without reservations, even weeknights promise a considerable but worthwhile wait.
The Plough & the StarsAddress: 123 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Located in the historic Corn Exchange Building in Old City, this Irish pub has a recognized reputation for great food, live entertainment, and a bustling atmosphere. French Chef Vincent Fanari has earned national praise for the innovative menu that mixes technique with the Irish appreciation of fresh vegetables and local products.
Dinardo's Famous CrabsAddress: 312 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
DiNardo’s is the place to have your shell-cracking, claw-sucking, crab-eating feast. Steamed Louisiana crabs are served “hot and dirty” (known as Baltimore style), and other seafood specialties such as jumbo shrimp, fresh stuffed flounder, steamed mussels, and clams. Chicken, steaks, and pasta also are served.
TamarindAddress: 117 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Tamarind boasts a calm, intimate setting and offers a wide assortment of delicious Thai cuisine. Focusing on quick cooking techniques and a complex flavor combinations, the menu is filled with tempting meat, seafood and vegeatarian options.
Tír na nÓgAddress: 1600 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Although Tír na nÓg is well-known around Philadelphia for keeping the Irish tradition of drinking and good times alive, it is also recognized for its sophisticated, yet casual, dining atmosphere and great food. The chefs at Tír na nÓg have created a unique menu of new American cuisine with a Celtic influence. Traditional Irish food and local favorites are available for lunch and dinner, as well as the chef's daily specials. Enjoy a pint and order one of Ireland's most popular dishes.
Roberto CaféAddress: 2108 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Roberto Café, an Italian Trattoria in the Graduate Hospital area, provides a variety of seafood and Italian classics in a comfortable, intimate atmosphere. Joining the mix of restaurants and bars along South Street, this cozy BYO offers elegant dining suitable for business trip meals, small groups, and romantic diners alike. The attentive staff, delicious food, and small, homey dining room make for a very pleasant dining experience. Italian food lovers will be pleased to find modern and creative touches added to their traditional favorite dishes, including sautéed chicken, pasta, and crabmeat.
ChloeAddress: 232 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The little storefront dining room charms with its relaxed, almost random decor. Pale walls reflect the glow of paper-wrapped votives. The pressed flowers beneath the glass tabletops, the hanging kilim and shelves filled with tchotchkes are the kind of personal touches you might see in someone's home. It's comfortable, if a bit loud, because the 40-seat room is almost always packed to capacity. Listen closely, and you'll hear among the buzzing conversations the steady interjections of oohs and aahs. This restaurant's hallmark is wholesome and substantial food, served in hearty portions yet executed with the utmost delicacy.
City TavernAddress: 138 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
City Tavern may offer one of the most unique dining experiences possible: one that replicates the customs and foods of 18th-century Colonial America. Located on an historic site, paying homage to the original City Tavern built in 1773, and serving a menu of 18th-century fare, this is one restaurant that will truly transport you in time.
LolitaAddress: 106 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Lolita offers a friendly, casual atmosphere and sophisticated yet tasty Mexican cuisine. Try such dishes as the Puerco, a grilled spice rubbed pork chop with smoked bacon potatoes, rajas, sautéed spinach, and guajillo salsa or one of their scrumptious desserts like the Jericalla Con Calabaza, a pumpkin crème brûlée with canela clove, and pumpkin seed brittle. They also offer seasonal margaritas, but one margarita is featured year round-- the Tradicional, lemon-lime fresh squeezed margarita mix with a salted rim. Don’t miss out on some of these delectable dishes—try Lolita’s today!
MelogranoAddress: 2012 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
With a corner spot in a high-end neighborhood, this bistro's art-free decor allows patrons to focus on the food. Amidst big windows and white walls--one with a row of shelves holding glass vases of monochromatic flowers, loyal neighborhood residents dine on appetizers like homemade ravioli stuffed with potato and pecorino with fried sage. Entrees include fig-and-walnut-stuffed quail, bouillabaisse like shellfish stew and ruby-red herby lamb chops. At Melograno, simplicity is key. Enjoy Italian inspired dishes at this quaint eater, popular for intimate dinners and romantic get-togethers.