There are a lot of old-school Italian BYOBs in Philadelphia that are filled with tourists, but this one isn’t. It’s a little more under the radar, and it has a lot more South Philly left in it than most other places in the city. There are pictures of customers and their families hung up on the walls, and if you go on a weeknight, most of the people there seem like they’ve been eating pasta here since it opened in the ’60s. The menu is long and has all of the things you’d expect from an Italian spot, including what feels like an unlimited amount of pasta combinations, and it’s the kind of place you’ll want to keep to yourself and tell everyone in the world about at the same time.
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Ralph’s Italian Restaurant
Ralph's is the oldest Italian restaurant in the city, and while there are usually a lot of tourists, the pasta is worth the trip.
Koukouzeli is a Greek spot in the Italian Market that’s good for a take-out gyro or casual lunch during the week.
Bibou is a French, tasting menu-only BYOB in South Philly that’s expensive but good for an important date night.
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Tre Scalini is a small Italian BYOB on East Passyunk with a bunch of sidewalk seating when it’s nice out.
Mercato is an Italian BYOB in Washington Square West that has a ton of outdoor seating in the summer.
Res Ipsa in Rittenhouse is a casual cafe during the day, but turns into a full-service Italian restaurant at night that’s perfect for a date.
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La Locanda Del Ghiottone
La Locada del Ghittone is an Italian BYOB in Old City that serves super solid and affordable pasta.
A Mano is an Italian BYOB in Fairmount that works for everything from a casual weeknight dinner to an anniversary celebration.
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