Center City Restaurants

Maggiano's

Address: 1201 Filbert Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Maggiano's
$$
If you’ve ever been to South Philly's predominately Italian neighborhood, you may know the charming feeling that emanates from a place immersed in such culture and authenticity. Maggiano’s Little Italy, located in Center City, recreates the enchantment of an Italian neighborhood to a tee, with a menu chock-full of hearty Italian dishes that are served in bountiful portions, an extensive wine and drink list, and friendly service from a staff straight from the motherland. Combine all of this with Old Blue Eyes and other rat-pack era musicians supplying the soundtrack, and you are guaranteed to leave floating on a cloud …

Pumpkin

Address: 1713 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Pumpkin
$$
Pumpkin, coined from the pet name of husband and wife co-owners Ian Moroney and Hillary Bor, offers an adventurous menu that changes daily – dishes can include snails, cardoon, and homemade banana gelato. The intimate 28-seat restaurant in the city’s Graduate Hospital area also serves up the sort of comfortable charm that comes of candle lighting, small tables, and attentive service from employees that include members of Moroney’s family. This neighborhood restaurant is well suited for a second date, a second anniversary or a couple of hours catching up with old friends. With an ever changing menu that boasts farm-to-table …

Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge

Address: 1225 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge
$$
Located on Sansom Street, which is well known for its large selection of beloved restaurants, Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge stands out from the neighboring venues. Its simple and enticing façade welcomes diners into a foyer lined with river rocks. Through thick red curtains lies the restaurant, dimly lit by white globes extended low from the ceiling. The relaxed atmosphere allows for slow eating and drinking – multiple rounds of sushi and sake are quite acceptable. The staff is congenial without being pushy, tending to food and drink necessities while giving plenty of space for long conversation and hearty laughter.

Tamarind

Address: 117 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Tamarind
$$
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 nÓg

Address: 1600 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tír na nÓg
$$
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 Café

Address: 2108 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Roberto Café
$$
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.

Chloe

Address: 232 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Chloe
$$
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 Tavern

Address: 138 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
City Tavern
$$
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.

Dinardo's Famous Crabs

Address: 312 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Dinardo's Famous Crabs
$$
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.

Friday Saturday Sunday

Address: 261 S. 21st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Friday Saturday Sunday
$$
Friday Saturday Sunday started on a dare and became a Center City dining establishment known best for its wine list, the Tank Bar (a second-floor bar set before a jumbo fish tank), and its cream of mushroom soup. Located near Rittenhouse Square, the restaurant features dishes including pork chops, crab cakes, duck and butternut squash ravioli. Low-lit dining rooms are cozy enough to be romantic; they are also ideal for getting together with friends for dinner and a bottle of wine. The wine list offers about 70 varieties, all sold only $10 over cost.

Happy Rooster

Address: 118 S. 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Happy Rooster
$$
A Philadelphia mainstay for 40 years, the Happy Rooster is a mixture of old-school refinement and quirky charm, making it a favorite spot among locals and visitors. Opened as Philadelphia's first vodka and caviar bar in 1968, it was famous for its great food and old-boys’ club feel. When new owner Rose Parrota took over in 2000, she made a few changes. What remains offers a refined, but cozy dining experience. The menu is a selection of classic dinner fare with a few contemporary twists, and the bar offers a diverse wine list. On any given night, you can find …

Lolita

Address: 106 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Lolita
$$
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!

Matyson

Address: 37 S. 19th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Matyson
$$$
Matyson is a casual, yet contemporary, bring-your-own establishment, located just a few blocks from Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. Matyson, whose name is derived from the blending of the names of its two co-founders, Matt and Sonjia Spector, offers a sampling of moderately priced bistro fare, which includes new takes on old stand-bys such as seafood, chicken, steak and pork. Diners may also select from a variety of items on Matyson’s tasting menu, which varies from week to week. Reservations are recommended, however there is no need to hit the ATM on your way, as Matyson accepts credit cards.

Melograno

Address: 2012 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Melograno
$$
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.

Serrano

Address: 20 S. Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Serrano
$$
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.

The Plough & the Stars

Address: 123 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The Plough & the Stars
$$ Recommended
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.

Mercato

Address: 1216 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Mercato
$$
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.

Tokyo Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

Address: 1613 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tokyo Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar
$$
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 …

Mixto

Address: 1141 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Mixto
$$
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 …

10 Arts

Address: 10 Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA 19102
10 Arts
$$$
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.