The 25 Best Restaurants In Philadelphia

Meet our 25 highest-rated restaurants.
The 25 Best Restaurants In Philadelphia image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Have you ever woken up and thought, “Gosh, I’d love to eat at a second-rate restaurant today?” Of course you haven’t. Whether you’ve lived here your entire life or are visiting for the first time, it’s human nature to want to experience the best of the best. And that’s exactly why we wrote this guide.

These are the highest-rated restaurants in Philadelphia—the ones we’d sit in an hour of traffic to get to, the ones we pine for when we hear love songs, the ones we seek out on days off. Food and experience are both taken into consideration, and any type of dining establishment is fair game. On this list, you’ll find fancy spots, casual hangouts, walk-up windows, and pizzerias. Every city has its classics and its hot new places, but these are restaurants where greatness is guaranteed.


photo credit: GAB BONGHI


East Passyunk

$$$$Perfect For:Corporate CardsDate NightDinner with the ParentsDrinking Good WineFine DiningImpressing Out of Towners
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What makes this modern French spot in East Passyunk the best restaurant in Philly? Well, it’s like a chameleon. The mirror-lined space works for a big-deal date, but it’s still casual enough to sit at the bar by yourself and blend in. The real reason Laurel is at the top of the list, though, is that we’re always blown away by the originality of the dishes, which are now offered a la carte instead of strictly via tasting menu. Try the mussels hiding under shiso leaves and scallops in an oyster cream that you’ll want to bottle and take home. It'll feel Iike eating the ingredients again for the first time.

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

When we want excellent Thai food, Kalaya is the first place we think of. The Fishtown restaurant's sexy industrial space includes a full bar and lounge area, booths for large groups, and 14-foot Thai palm trees reaching up to an atrium glass ceiling. From their innovative cocktails to excellent dishes like umami-rich wok-fried pork belly, flower-shaped dumplings, and sweet-spicy-sour grilled squid, it's an experience unlike anywhere else in the city.

This Queen Village Japanese restaurant has a walk-in izakaya in front where you can sit in a booth, drink a balanced cocktail, and eat chirashi and fried fish collars like a happy kitten. The room is dark, the bar is bumping, and we rarely spend fewer than three hours loitering here. But if you want to feel like the princess of Philadelphia, try to book the 17-piece sushi omakase in the back. You might get dry-aged mackerel with chive oil or a silky chawanmushi topped with an obscene amount of caviar. Both dining options are memorable in their own ways. Which is nice, considering you probably can't get into the omakase.



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Her Place serves a four-course, $90 tasting menu that changes every two weeks, and to get a reservation, you’ll need to be ready when they drop them on every other Sunday at 6pm. You'll eat lobster ravioli and brown butter profiteroles while harmonizing with the chefs to a Destiny’s Child song, all while they put the finishing touches on a plate of housemade pasta. Energy-wise, a meal here is more like hanging at a chef’s house than dining in a tiny Rittenhouse restaurant. It's a ton of fun.

This two-story American spot in Rittenhouse has an incredible, slightly casual first-floor bar where you can order a la carte, and a tasting-menu only dining space upstairs with candles, leather booths, and stained glass windows. It’s an atmosphere that’s somehow both relaxing and sophisticated, and no matter where you sit you’ll have an unforgettable meal. The eight-course menu is $165 per person, and you can expect things like perfectly executed beef tartare, charred octopus, crudo with caviar, and New York Strip with cinnamon-y yams. When your meal is over, head back downstairs to the bar, order a well-made cocktail, and keep the night going.

Few things in life will train you for the rejection you’ll face when trying to reserve a table at Zahav. Only going to the DMV on a Saturday can come close. But when you do get a chance to eat at this Old City Israeli icon, you’ll get to taste a rotation of small plates like fried carrots, fluffy laffa bread, and silky hummus. Everything on their rotating $75 five-course tasting menu is good, but their tender pomegranate-glazed lamb shoulder and juicy swordfish coated with earthy kale tzatziki are the headliners (when they’re on the menu). They also have a $45 wine pairing featuring all Middle Eastern producers.

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It's wild that one cash-only spot in Bella Vista makes the city's best pizzas and cheesesteaks. But that's Angelo's for you. Come when you want the best of both worlds, like their cheesesteak on seeded crackly bread (that they bake in-house), the signature Upside Down pie that buries a layer of cheese beneath mounds of tomato sauce, and a classic margherita with the creamiest fior di latte in the city. People care a lot about cheesesteaks and pizza in this city, and after you eat at Angelo's, you'll understand why.

River Twice thrives on details. Every table has built-in utensil drawers. Each menu is stamped with the date. Every dish in the $75 four-course tasting incorporates a delicate little sauce or an infused oil that someone probably lost sleep over. These facts would normally point to a boring ass restaurant. But between the inventive food—often made with East Coast seafood and produce, Japanese and French techniques, and some Texas flair—and the handful of cooks scurrying around the open kitchen, you'll be pleasantly locked into your meal. Come for a big-deal dinner and, unless you hate yourself and/or don't eat meat, add on the Mother Rucker burger (our favorite in the city).

Thanks to it's glimmering seafood towers, modern French mains, and caviar-topped everything, this Rittenhouse restaurant works just as well for a martini-fueled group dinner as it does for a romantic night out on the town. Like its sister restaurant, Her Place Supper Club, it’s a tough reservation to get. But a blow-out meal here is worth the hassle. They make technically impressive food and cocktails without any of the self-seriousness that usually comes with it.

photo credit: GAB BONGHI



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This Cambodian noodle shop could only exist in Philly. The small Bella Vista BYOB has walls covered in old rugs, mirrors that the host of Antique Roadshow would drool over, and dishes that we think about more than the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. The menu is heavily influenced by the chef/owner’s Cambodian heritage, but you’ll find soups, noodles, and skewers from all over Southeast Asia. We always get the head-on soft-shell shrimp with fish sauce caramel, and tell everyone we know to do the same.

Fine dining places can, after a while, all start to mesh together. But Vernick Fish isn’t just any fine-dining restaurant—it comes from the team behind Vernick Food & Drink and serves some excellent, creative dishes. Located on the ground floor of the Comcast Tower, the dining room looks like it belongs in a Versace Home catalog. They have an impressive wine list, several crudo options that deserve streets named after them, and an incredible New York strip. Save it for a fancy night out.

Honeysuckle is the only place in Philly where you can eat your favorite hoagie at noon and come back for a tasting menu experience that'll have you arguing about Young Jeezy over truffle and egg toast. This Afrocentric daytime cafe in West Philly recently added a $95 dinner option that highlights Black foodways and supports Black farmers. You'll take trips to the kitchen, eat pickled radishes from last year's garden haul, and maybe talk about the Ghanaian chocolate industry. Like everything else Honeysuckle does, the food isn't just thoughtful and personal—it's really good.

The Center City Italian spot has a tasting menu that includes things like a Dungeness crab budino with a puffy gnocco fritto, a pasta lineup featuring spinach gnocchi and corzetti with pistachio tarragon, and a few mains like poached halibut. It’s the kind of place that starts to feel like home after a few courses, especially since the servers make you feel so at ease that you may end up telling them your life story. While a meal here will run you $165 (and more with the worthwhile $95 wine pairing), a night at the intimate spot is so worth it. Whatever they serve you, you’ll be replaying every bite in your mind all week like a highlight reel.

Vetri's neighborhood pasta shop in the Italian Market is tiny but mighty. Although they serve a few pasta dishes we can’t stop thinking about, like a lemony lobster-stuffed conchiglie or pumpernickel pappardelle with duck ragu, it’s the rigatoni with Fiorella sausage that we’d happily eat once a week. The blend of peppery sausage, chewy rounds of pasta, and a savory tomato sauce will even have your out-of-town friend looking at apartment listings in Bella Vista.

The next time you want to dive into a book, have a memorable breakfast or lunch, and forget the rest of the world exists, come to this Vietnamese coffee shop in Kensington. They even have long tables so you can bring a group of friends here to start your day with things like oniony broken rice porridge, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches on long rolls, cha fries that come covered with salsa roja and fried eggs, or crispy chicken ​​bánh mì that are coated with sweet gochu glaze. Pair any of them with a custard-layered egg coffee (made from beans sourced from Vietnam).

When you can't decide on what type of pizza you're in the mood for, head to Pizza Jawn in Manayunk. They have three kinds of pies—round, Grandma, and Detroit-style—and all three have crusts full of crispy dough bubbles and perfect char rings. You have to buy everything at this takeout-only spot by placing an order online. With 30+ topping options, specialty menu items like lasagna sandwiches, and creative pies, you might be tempted to go wild. Any way you dress up your pie you'll get something unforgettable, but we still think the classic margherita is the way to go. 

Illata, a modern American spot in Fitler Square, strikes the perfect balance between casual neighborhood bistro and sexy, sophisticated BYOB. The candlelit restaurant is definitely intimate—they only have 20 seats, plus a tiny bar area that's reserved for walk-ins. But the laidback atmosphere means you’ll probably get a glimpse of the chefs dancing to Lou Reed in the open kitchen. The small menu of seasonal seafood and produce is full of surprises like lobster hidden inside a squid ink crepe, and the marinated mussels in miso chili oil and the brown butter tart are some of the best bites in the city. Almost every dish costs less than $30, so it’s great to bring a few friends and order all 10-ish dishes. What a feeling.

Attentive service and white tablecloths make this Rittenhouse steakhouse experience feel like you’re living in a real-life version of Billions. But what sets this above any other steakhouse in the city is their $140 cheesesteak that comes with wagyu beef, truffle whiz, and a mini bottle of champagne for the table. The soft and crispy bread and tender beef merge to make a sandwich that we, in no way, were prepared to believe is worth the cost—even though it 100% is. All of their steaks are always cooked to perfection, and lemony jumbo lump crab cakes and creamy mac and cheese make for the perfect accompaniments to your meat centerpiece.

This Fishtown restaurant is in our Best Burgers, Best Brunch, and Last Meal In Philly guides. Okay, the last one was made up, but that’s how much we love Middle Child Clubhouse. The place combines creative cocktails, American comfort food, and pictures of Princess Diana in Eagles gear. And it just keeps getting better with age. Come solo for breakfast and eat some fluffy pancakes and pastrami-and-egg burritos, then bring friends back for dinner and split housemade pasta and peppery brick chicken. It’s that rare fun place that works for everything from a low-key morning to an exciting night out. And that’s why we (and most of the city) keep going back.

This Kensington Israeli grill is from the team behind Zahav, and is slightly easier to get into. You’ll start your meal with a platter of ten rotating vegetable-based salatim like sweet carrots and beets, lemony gigante beans piyaz, and some fluffy pita and hummus. It’s big enough that you could make a meal out of these bites alone, but if you did, you’d miss out on things like charred branzino packed with ginger and tomato or the smoky Bulgarian beef kebab that’s dripping in an Aleppo pepper sauce. Pretty much anything they put over the flame is fantastic. This is one of the best group spots in the city, and thanks to that salatim tray, it’s as good for vegetarians as it is for people who love meat.

This takeout-only Queen Village shop, a warm and friendly bastion of South Philly’s favorite handheld, makes some of the city’s best hoagies and cutlet sandwiches. The owner is obsessive about quality, but he's just as focused on hospitality—the groups of regulars hanging around the shop prove it. Of course there’s a fantastic Italian, but it’s The Papale Special, stacked with pepper turkey, creamy Cooper Sharp, and olive oil that’s the surprisingly simple hoagie standout, while The Damien, a cutlet sandwich packed with hot soppressata, pepper shooters, and fresh mozzarella, is a strong contender for the best sandwich on this side of Broad. Call ahead to order, or prepare to be (extremely) disappointed since they sell out early.

This great Italian Market taqueria only has a few items on the menu, including lamb, veggie, and pancita (made out of lamb and turkey) tacos, a quesadilla, and a tamale. And you may have to wade through a crowd of people also waiting to order one of everything. The corn tortillas are just as memorable as the fillings—they're thick and speckled with mini air pockets.

Unlike the other excellent pizzerias on this list (Angelo's and Pizza Jawn), Pizzeria Beddia is somewhere that you can hang out for hours, drink natural wine, and enjoy some of the best pizza in the city. The space itself looks like a sleek and industrial garage, with a smiling cloud lamp hanging over their u-shaped bar. Get the No. 2, which is topped with calabrian cream, mozzarella, and Old Gold gouda. It sort of tastes like a gooey mac and cheese on top of expertly baked dough. Beddia also has a private "hoagie room" where, for $75 per person, you and five friends can get the omakase experience of every Philadelphian’s dream: stacked hoagies, pizza, and soft serve.

Passyunk Square's El Chingon is a lively all-day Mexican cafe and BYOB restaurant. It's a plant-filled corner spot perfect for grabbing coffee and conchas before work or sharing a bunch of tacos and tostados on a casual date night. The whole menu is worth exploring, but the real specialty here are the Pueblan-style cemita sandwiches. We can't stop thinking about the Clásica, which comes stacked with crisp fried chicken, avocado, chipotle peppers, and stringy, salty quesillo cheese, all on housemade rolls. Chingon's chef/owner started the bread program at Parc, so you know those buns are good.

Suraya is an all-day spot that’s good for pretty much any situation. Whether you want a coffee and pastry on a Monday morning or you're looking for an outdoor space to have a birthday dinner, this Lebanese spot in Fishtown is somewhere you should seek out. They have plenty of large tables, so it’s a great place to bring a group of friends to pass around mezze like baba ganoush, smoky eggplant, and puffy pita. They also have one of the best brunches in the city, so let the smell of chai and cardamom kouign-amann beckon you through the plant-filled space, and try to get a seat in the dreamy back garden.

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