Hot Restaurants in Philadelphia

The 2008 World Champions, Liberty Bell, brotherly love; all of these things bring to mind the city of Philadelphia, as do historical landmarks, artistry, sports champions, and culinary artistry.  What makes any trip to Philadelphia memorable and worth savoring is the shear variety of activities you can do in one city. And variety also applies to the culinary experience you can have in The Cradle of Liberty.

Try just a few on this list and you’ll get incredible variety in flavors, price, and atmosphere. Come check out Philadelphia’s hot spots for dining and fun.

A brand new restaurant to the city 10 Arts at the Residences at Ritz-Carlton is making quite a splash. Having brought in famous Chef Eric Ripert, the restaurant features American cuisine and follows the latest trend of spotlighting locally raised and grown ingredients. 10 Arts boasts a worldly feel which it somehow delivers with its local flavors. The atmosphere of the Ritz-Carlton lends itself nicely to this upscale eatery and promises a romantic and delightful evening.

On a totally different note, Lolita is a hot and happening Mexican food restaurant that brings in the crowds in droves. Located in the growing B3 neighborhood (Blocks Below Broad) Lolitas is so popular that waiting an hour for a seat is not unusual, what is unusual is the cocktails are on you. That’s right, Lolita’s is a BYOB, so if you want a margarita with your meal or a drink to hold you over while you wait for a seat then you’re going to have to bring your own alcohol.  To add to the inconvenience of the BYOB is the very convenient liquor store down the street and the fact that Lolita’s will make your margarita for you, you simply have to add your own tequila. For reasonably prices Mexican food that’s out of this world, give Lolita’s a try.

How about a steakhouse that is not like a steakhouse? Barclay Prime offers up some of the best beef around, but the atmosphere is sleek and sophisticated with a white-on-white décor that seems the antithesis of traditional steak houses.  The design comes from the historic Barclay Building which houses the restaurant, and the fantastic food comes from owner Stephen Starr and Chef Daniel Kremin. Dress in your best and come with an appetite. The food is pricey but delightfully delicious and the décor is upscale and chic.

Another new entrant in the Philadelphia restaurant circuit, Osteria is making a stir and exciting the masses. Osteria serves traditional Italian meals including homemade pastas, traditional thin crust pizzas, and wood grilled meats and fish. Brilliantly simple and authentic, the cuisine at Osteria changes seasonally to match the Italian wine list. The large open atmosphere doesn’t inspire romance as much as some other Italian restaurants, but instead it encourages a large family atmosphere of excitement and lively conversation. Osteria is bound to become a Philadelphia favorite before its time is through.

For cozy and romantic, no one serves it up quite like Tinto. This Spanish inspired restaurant is based on thirteen different northern Spanish cities visited by Chef and Owner Jose Garces. The Basque-style small plates offer a simple taste or two of each items and are meant to be shared. The meal isn’t entirely filling but will excite taste buds you didn’t even know you had. The atmosphere is also very intimate as it’s designed to feel like a warm and rustic wine cellar.

If your visit to Philadelphia is during one of the warmer months, Table 31 Steakhouse Bistro offers outside dining that can’t be beat. Surrounded by seasonal greenery and water fountains, the atmosphere is divine and the climate is an open friendly one. Steaks are the specialty and the best ones come with the biggest price tags. If you’re not as interested in red meats, Table 31 has a great seafood offering as well and deserves a second glance. Pricey, elegant, and popular, this restaurant is riding the wave of being the new kid on the block, but the success of its sister restaurants proof its here to stay.

If seafood sounded tempting, try The Oceanaire Seafood Room. This is not just a local eatery so if you think you’ve heard of an Oceanaire Seafood Room in another city you’re probably right. And if you’ve had an incredible meal at one of these restaurants then you won’t be disappointed by the Philadelphia offering. Built to resemble a 1930’s luxury ocean liner, the décor is impeccable and guests would feel most comfortable dressed to the nines as well.  If you love seafood, you’ll love the Oceanaire, high class, high quality and the high seas all in one landlocked restaurant.

As mentioned, seasonal cuisine is all the rage and James is a true testament to this dining trend.  Chef Jim Burke gives American cuisine his own twist by pairing courses with wines and using only the finest and freshest local ingredients. Billed as a fine dining establishment, James fills up quickly but you’ll enjoy the time you spend waiting in the well appointed modern bar and lounge, complete with fireplace. Make sure you try all your favorites while they are on the menu because once that growing season is over then that particular meal may be gone as well.

Best in Philly named Zahav the best new restaurant in the city. A unique offering of pan-global cuisine with an emphasis on Israel, Zahav is an interesting addition to the Philadelphia dining scene. The meals are simple, the restaurant is relaxed and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Come with a group for added fun as the meals are served family-style.

Philadelphia is just a winner overall when it comes to tourism attractions and dining extravaganzas. Don’t settle for fast food or the standard chain store when taking a trip to the City of Brotherly Love, go all out and explore the dining options just as you would the history, arts, and culture this city has to offer. If you’re lucky you’ll stumble upon a restaurant that is unlike any one you’ve ever experienced before and you’ll walk away happier and satisfied for the experience.

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