Where To Go That’s Like Parc But Isn’t Actually Parc

You’ve waited an hour to eat Parc's steak frites too many times. Switch it up (before you go back next week).
Where To Go That’s Like Parc But Isn’t Actually Parc image

photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo

Parc is like that sitcom you end up watching after an hour of channel surfing. You try diving into something new, the paradox of choice takes over, and you run back to what’s familiar. That’s not a dig at the dependable Rittenhouse Square French bistro—there’s a reason this is the city’s go-to restaurant for brunch, date night, or watching a pomeranian order a martini. But the fact is Parc is always packed. According to OpenTable, 300 people booked a table there while you finished this sentence. You’ve also read their French menu more times than your favorite book. This is all to say it's time for a Parc dupe—one that won't have a waitlist or pervy photos of French ladies in the men's bathroom. There are plenty of other Philly restaurants that fill the niche of bistro food, a scene, and all-day service. Parc isn’t going anywhere. 


photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo



$$$$Perfect For:Big GroupsBusiness MealsCorporate CardsDinner with the ParentsPeople WatchingSpecial Occasions


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An Old-School Room Without The Wait

Like Parc, this Rittenhouse steakhouse fully commits to the low-lit, vintage theme. You’ll see groups unironically celebrating ladies' night and families sharing oysters Rockefeller while they clap for the piano player. It all adds up to a dining experience that makes you feel like you’re outside of Philadelphia and possibly time itself. 

Good Wine But No Influencers

Good King Tavern has a wine list that will take you to the same horny place as Parc's will, except you get to drink in a much more intimate room. Between the maps on the walls and the handwritten specials on the chalkboard, this casual Bella Vista restaurant may incite a French accent after three chenin blancs. The menu also has bistro hits like a burger, steak frites, and escargot. In terms of the quality of the dishes, Good King edges it out over Parc—hence the higher rating.


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A Night Out With Your Boss

Think of Vernick when you have to survive a fancy business meal with someone who could fire you. This is not the time for a 30-minute wait and three Parc martinis, even if you want it to be. What you need is a painless reservation, one bottle of expensive wine, and some nice roast chicken. The food here is seasonal American and consistently great, but it's also safe. Think crudo, steaks the size of plates, and pasta like tagliatelle bolognese, all of which will appeal to someone who earns more money than you will in your lifetime. 

French Staples & Happy Hour

If a magician took Parc and sawed it in half, you’d be left with Bistrot La Minette. Sidewalk seating? Check. Orb light fixtures? Check. Framed black-and-white photos that look like they were screenshotted from a silent film? Check. It’s just all packaged in a smaller building in Queen Village. And, instead of having dishes that pivot from French to Italian—cough, cough, Parc’s spaghetti bolognese—Bistrot La Minette is purely focused on pâte, boeuf, and gratin. Head here at prime time when Parc is inevitably too crowded or during Happy Hour when glasses of wine cost $7.

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

A Splurgy Rittenhouse Meal

My Loup's French mother sauces could run circles around Parc's. The dishes here change often, so we don’t advise getting too attached to your razor clams with sunchokes or veal sweetbreads. But count on the meal always feeling luxe. Reservations are hard to come by. Though you should be used to this kind of website warfare if you regularly eat on Parc’s patio when the temperature tips above 70 degrees.

A Crowd West Of The Schuylkill

Louie Louie is the only restaurant on this list with brunch, lunch, midday, and dinner menus. So, in a way, it’s an operational clone of Parc. But the all-day set-up is where the similarities end, since you’ll likely hear Brandy playing and the room looks like a Vegas casino restaurant. Expect a crowd that doesn’t care about underwhelming moules frites and Parisian gnocchi. This is a place for people who want more of a clubstaurant than what Rittenhouse Square can ever offer. 

A Quick Lunch In Rittenhouse

K’Far is an Israeli bakery that closes at 5pm, but it shares the same Rittenhouse daytime meal niche as Parc. The two businesses also share city-wide name recognition, as if they're the Beyoncé and Rihanna of Rittenhouse. You can get your borekas and Jerusalem bagel sandwiches to go, or sit down and order food with a server. And we stand by the fact that the food here will be executed more precisely than anything from that big French spot at 18th and Locust. 

Brunch That's Not Just Eggs And Toast

This Northern Liberties cafe is cramped enough that you may bump elbows with a stranger on a busy Saturday, and we love it. Their rotation of French-Lebanese dishes like spicy shakshuka and sugary baklawa pancakes is always worth getting out of bed. The main difference between Cafe La Maude and Parc is that this restaurant closes at 4pm, so it doesn’t work for dinner or martinis. But it's still an excellent choice when you want to get to know someone over eggs and screen them for liking hairless cats. 

A Business Lunch With "Entree People" is located across from Rittenhouse Square. So it’s like you’re in a stadium watching the same game as Parc, but you’re just a section to the left. And if you need a nice place to talk sh*t about the marketing team with three people who want their own lunch entrees, this is it. The daytime menu has everything from a French omelette and chickpea panisse to steak tartare and burgers. They’ll all be crowd-pleasers. If that doesn’t sound like Parc, we don’t know what does. 

A Meal With Someone Who Is Fairly Insufferable

This is also a sceney Starr Restaurant located across from a park. Except, instead of French food, Talula’s Garden serves totally fine seasonal American food, including vegetables in mashed or marinated forms, and the usual suspects of pasta, steak, and seared salmon. Bring a friend who likes plant walls and only occasionally looks up from their phone.

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