Philadelphia is a city that loves its Italian cuisine. From creative cocktails like the Dirty Pasta Water Martini to hearty pasta dinners, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you're looking for a cozy spot in Queen Village or a classic Italian restaurant in South Philadelphia, this guide will help you find the perfect spot. Mulherin's Sons looks like a house in the Catskills owned by Martha Stewart.
The hotel, part boutique and part restaurant, in Fishtown has large wooden tables and a fireplace in the center of the dining room. They also have great outdoor seating for groups, whether you're sitting on the sidewalk or in the garden, which looks like something out of a Downtown Abbey scene. In addition to looking really nice, cocktails and Italian food are also great. There are many things to choose from, but what they do best are pasta such as agnolotti with braised veal cheeks and Neapolitan pizzas, especially the double margarita pizza topped with mozzarella and burrata.
A short walk from the Italian market, chef Marc Vetri offers the perfect pasta at Fiorella. The small pasta bar was a butcher for its first 125 years, and Fiorella pays homage to its long history both in its name and in the use of its venerated sausage recipe, which is part of the restaurant's signature dish. Fiorella, a destination restaurant and one of the neighborhood's favorites, has a variety of appetizers and handmade pasta, as well as a cocktail list with hits such as a water martini with dirty pasta and old fashioned whole wheat butter. Tonarelli cacio e pepe and rigatoni with sausage ragout are the main courses, along with charred octopus.
Dinner reservations are a must for indoor and outdoor dining. Located in Fairmount, A Mano comes from a place of deep love for the simple things in life, including old fashioned handmade pasta. With dishes that cover the full range of Italian cuisine, from Piedmont to Calabria, there's something for every taste here. The atmosphere is second only to food.
Led by chef Jeff Michaud, Osteria is undoubtedly one of the best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia. Cry Baby Pasta is a cozy spot in Queen Village that serves homemade pasta, plates to share, and main courses like French chicken. Seasonal ingredients keep the menu fresh, but there are always solid offerings, such as wet meatballs with smoked ricotta and noodles with the restaurant's signature bolognese bolognese. Everyone present feels like regulars and is welcome accordingly.
Reservations are recommended for your indoor and outdoor seating. Vetri isn't just the best Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, it's one of the best restaurants in the city, period. The menu is long and has everything you would expect from an Italian restaurant with red sauce, meatballs with sauce, French veal and countless different pasta options. The oldest Italian restaurant in Philadelphia and one of the oldest in the country, Dante & Luigi's opened in 1899. Located in a former gramophone store on Dickinson Street, the Victor Cafe is Philadelphia's top destination for Italian red sauce and live opera.
Over the years, the city's love affair with these pasta palaces has attracted national attention. Italian food in Philadelphia is that good. Most Italian places in South Philadelphia, even the OGs, seem more like tourist traps than old-school Italian hangouts. And since it opened its doors in 1998, its eponymous cuisine has consistently appeared on the lists of the best restaurants in the Mid-Atlantic (and in the country).
Since 1963, the old Villa di Roma has been one of the favorites of the Italian market to enjoy hearty pasta dinners in a space with brick walls. Visit us to enjoy a glass of wine and other products from the market, or sit at one of the restaurant's indoor or outdoor tables for a complete experience. Philadelphia's fondness for Italian cuisine is deeply ingrained, whether it's in a restaurant with white tablecloths or a local homey with red sauces. Ralph's is another South Philadelphia institution that supposedly originated in 1900 and therefore claims to be the oldest Italian restaurant in the country.
Opened in 1918 as a gramophone store but converted into a restaurant in 1933, Victor Café has always focused as much on music as on food.