One of the highest concentrations of Italian-Americans can be found in Philadelphia, and that heritage remains celebrated across the city at dozens of eateries. Neapolitan pizza, homemade pasta, and homestyle meat and fish are in abundance throughout Philly. We’ve narrowed down the pool to some of the best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, creating a list that features contemporary flare with Old World flavors, refined and rustic dining rooms, and the best flavors of the city. Buon appetito.
THE DISH: The finest Italian dining in Philadelphia is only one block away from the Independent Hotel. Situated in our own Washington Square West neighborhood, the eponymous restaurant of James-Beard-winning chef Marc Vetri serves a four-course, prix fixe tasting menu each evening. The pricey gourmet offerings include authentic Northern Italian fare like homemade pasta, salt-baked branzino, and chocolate polenta soufflé. The lush flavors are accompanied by impeccable service and an elegant dining experience. EAT: Swiss chard gnocchi in brown butter, apple cider soaked baba
FIND IT: 1312 Spruce Street, (215) 732-3478
THE DISH: Porchetta, lamb, pasta, sausage ragu—whatever you order, every dish at Le Virtù uses locally sourced ingredients. The fresh cuisine reflects the tastes of Italy’s Abruzzo region, and the restaurant even gets ingredients straight from the area if local resources aren’t up to par. Comfort is a strong theme that runs through the setting and the menu; plates like rustic pastas and charcuterie reflect a blend of both comfort and contemporary food in an inviting dining room. Check out the garden patio when the weather is warm.
EAT: Handkerchief pasta with veal ragù and black truffle, braised eggplant
FIND IT: 1927 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 271-5626
THE DISH: Just a two-block, five-minute walk from the Independent Hotel, Amis is another Marc Vetri endeavor that has been open since 2010. The Roman trattoria provides guests with simple classics that still deliver on flavor and quality. Its versatility is notable too—Amis is stylish enough for a date, while casual enough for a relaxed weekend brunch or a solo drink at the bar. Small plates and larger, shareable plates round out a simple, homestyle menu. Oh, and it’s one of the best places in the country to indulge in pasta. EAT: Baked pecorino with almond honey, swordfish meatballs with polenta
FIND IT: 412 S. 13th Street, (215) 732-2647
THE DISH: Ok, so Marc Vetri really knows what he’s doing. This is his third restaurant on our list, and all of them are well-deserved. Osteria’s open kitchen is anchored by its wood oven where exquisite pizzas are crisped to perfection. Other Tuscan-inspired delights like pastas, salumi, salads, and gelato make it difficult to decide what to order. A romantic, rustic setting with a lengthy bar makes Osteria perfect for a special occasion or an indulgent evening of apps and wine.
EAT: Lombarda baked egg pizza, robiola “francobolli” postage stamp ravioli
FIND IT: 640 N. Broad Street, (215) 763-0920
THE DISH: There’s something for everyone at this bi-level eatery, coffee roastery, and gelateria. The wine bar features by-the-glass options from all over Italy, which pair perfectly with a variety of house-cured meats, small plates, and pastas. A library-esque setting with a skylight lends charm and vibrance to the upstairs dining room, and a relaxed but chic bar area offers a more casual setting to enjoy dishes from around Italy. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a scoop of gelato.
EAT: Arancini with veal and pork, veal saltimboca
FIND IT: 1716 Chestnut Street, (215) 568-5600
Hungry yet? We have a special to satisfy those cravings – Check out our Savor & Stay package including dinner for two!