Center City: 94 Restaurants Found
Only a few strides removed from the Forrest Theater in the gentrified neighborhood of Wash West, the Caribou Café corrals a hip mix of city crawlers, theater goers, local and national personalities, and plain old Philly folk. The festive décor in this vibrant slice of France frames the intoxicating upbeat insouciance that replicates the spirit and verve of the real-deal French café. The moderately priced menu focuses on regional everyday French standbys while simultaneously providing a gastronomic tour of France. Diverse delights from Alsace to Provence tempt the palate – all interpreted delectably by Maitre Cuisinier de France, Olivier Desaintmartin.
While a chic center city crowd travels the Avenue of the Arts, diners at Varalli sit back and take in the view. While looking out ceiling-to-floor windows at the corner of Broad & Locust, diners can sample head chef William Carroll's selection of seafood classics fused with flecks of Northern Italy and the Mediterranean. The menu and the restaurant’s playful decor boast a knack for seafood, but that doesn’t mean those not so keen on sea fare should shy away - meats, pastas, salads and fresh vegetables are sure to dazzle carnivores and vegetarians alike. Add an accessible wine list and there is something for everyone to come back to at Varalli.
Nestled into its charming Midtown Village locale, Olivier Desaintmartin’s second Philadelphia feat, Zinc, is the essence of class meets comfort. In a city filled with attempts at the French bistro, Desaintmartin sets this 11th street gem above the rest by offering unfussy bistro classics and an exclusively French wine selection. Zinc offers diners the rare chance to feel right at home with a dining room décor that features exposed brick, dark polished wood, bistro chalkboards and authentic Parisian paintings. Complete with a knowledgeable and friendly staff, Zinc’s quaint, romantic appeal is reminiscent of a true bistro a vins one might find during a spontaneous stroll through Ol’ Paris.
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto brings high end Japanese cuisine, served in a breathtaking environment to Philly’s Washington Square West. The restaurant’s extensive menu features diverse offerings from high quality sushi and sashimi to traditional Japanese entrees (think Ishi Taki Bop) to contemporary cuisine like the Black Cod Miso. The ultramodern atmosphere with its dramatic nautical curves and out of this world lighting provides a stunning setting for anything from a business meeting to a girl’s night out. At Morimoto guests are encouraged to enjoy a uniquely crafted meal, designed by a seasoned master and served amid fantastic decor.
Stephen Starr, Philadelphia’s most creative and successful restaurateur, has mastered the fine art of fun and phenomenal American-Mexican cuisine with his new haunt on 13th Street. Tacos get a facelift, desserts steal the show, fresh and flavorful margaritas keep the bar hopping, and made-to-order guacamole has the Philadelphia masses flocking through the doors all year long, but this isn't your typical Mexican joint. Vibrant, inventive and bursting with flavor, El Vez is an eye-opening experience far from the edible ordinary.
The building that houses Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse was originally Philadelphia's historic Provident Bank building. Today, the building keeps its remarkable architecture, boasting dramatic arched windows that draw in natural lighting, sweeping ceilings and gleaming, polished wood. This Rittenhouse Square locale gives Davio's the ideal setting to serve up a menu that blends prime cuts of Brandt beef with classic pasta and seafood dishes of Northern Italy. All of this is complemented by an award winning wine list and superior service, making Davio’s one of Philadelphia’s premier places to enjoy steak and so much more.
Exuding Zen-like swank and sunny swagger, Buddakan beckons foodies and scene-seekers alike. In 1998, Buddakan added drama and daring dining to Philly's historical district in Old City. Today, this cosmopolitan small-plate emporium is a major player in the scene – a de rigeur stop for celebrities, savvy tourists, and local devotees. The glamorous digs with the iconic 10-foot high gilded Buddha statue, silky walls, soaring ceilings, glamorous décor, and flowing water wall whirls with an irrepressible kinetic vibe, an Asian-centric slate of irresistible dishes, and one of the city's hippest staff of servers.
Alma de Cuba is a Latin vacation, right in the heart of Philadelphia. Located at 1623 Walnut Street, it’s a perfect destination to pop into on the way home from work or for an elegant dinner. The lounge evokes sultry Miami nightlife with a mix of classic Cuban and contemporary elements including traditional drinks such as Caipirinhas and Classic Mojitos, which are always specially priced for Happy Hour. Upstairs, the balcony-style seating and classic décor promise a mellow and sophisticated ambiance. Chef Rodriguez adds novel twists to old world Cuban standards in his "Nuevo Latino" creations, such as Pan Roasted Muscovy Duck, Lobster Sancocho, and Lechon Asado. Plainly put, their just isn't any other place quite like Alma de Cuba.
Located inside the posh Barclay residence on Rittenhouse Square, Barclay Prime is Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr’s steakhouse concept. The upscale steakhouse is both classic and contemporary; while the walls are lined with old-fashioned bookshelves, the chairs are utterly modern, designed in bright green and white leather. The same goes for the menu, which offers traditional signature steaks like dry aged rib eye and New York strip, alongside more creative, fun items like kobe beef sliders and tater tots. With the swanky décor, decadent menu, and first-class service, Barclay Prime is the perfect spot for a special evening.
While Butcher and Singer invites comparisons to the finest steakhouses across America, this Philadelphia eatery is in a class by itself. With plush surroundings and unmatched service, Stephen Starr's newest venture delivers sumptuous dishes along with an unforgettable dining experience. Patrons are treated to a transformative meal in the well-appointed dining room and a wait staff that does more than simply serve; they contribute to the overall atmosphere of indulgence and enjoyment. One glance at Butcher and Singer's menu reveals that Chef Anthony Goodwin has achieved a rare balance between traditional and modern, while never straying from the highest culinary standards.