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Philadelphia is much more than just cheesesteaks, pretzels, and Italian delis (though they’re all musts). The city is also known for innovative cuisine with an international bent, be it Cuban, French, Italian, or Japanese.

Top Restaurants in Philadelphia

Alma de Cuba

Only the scene could upstage the food at this Rittenhouse Square hotspot. The braised oxtail empanada washed down with an El Jefe will have you wishing for a lift on the Cuba-travel-ban.

1623 Walnut St., PA, 215-988-1799,
Tags: expensive | trendy | cuban


Perpetually packed, this intimate BYOB in Old City is worth the wait for New American dishes like honey goat cheese and ricotta ravioli topped with brown sage butter. No reservations; cash only.

232 Arch St., PA, 215-629-2337,
Tags: moderate | new american | byob


You’ll be “Olé”-ing the second you step into this modern interpretation of Mexico City, where spicy salsa, fresh ceviche, and tequila tickle your taste buds – courtesy of owner and Iron Chef TV show winner, Jose Garces. The vibrant food matches the polychromatic décor, complete with pod-shaped booths, a lucha libre mask wall, a porch swing, and if you’re really lucky, you’ll get to dine in the authentic Mexican taxi booth. Distrito cooks the carne asada strip steak to medium-rare perfection and pours a mean fresh-fruit margarita to wash down those yellowtail tacos with pickled red cabbage. On Friday and Saturday nights, Distrito accommodates a younger crowd, who is quite content with sampling the bar offerings and listening to the lively Latin rhythms.

3945 Chestnut St., PA, 215-222-1657,
Tags: moderate | trendy | mexican

Jim's South Street

The cheese steak debate usually centers on Pat’s ( Geno’s (, but the lines at Jim’s are still out the door and around the block. Order with wiz and grilled onions – divine.

400 South St., PA, 215-928-1911,
Tags: budget | cheesesteak


The low-key lovechild of two Philly restauranteurs, Meritage mixes understated, classic décor with stylized, high-quality food at outrageously reasonable prices. An Asian-inspired, seasonal menu, spearheaded by chef Anne Coll, produces dishes like foie gras dumplings with truffle butter, duck confit,  Tobiko caviar, and mussels in Kaffir lime curry with cellophane noodles. Don’t forget apple turnovers with salted caramel at this extremely budget-friendly neighborhood darling, where the most expensive entrée tops out at $24.

500 S. 20th St., PA, 215-985-1922,
Tags: notable chef | notable wine list | asian

Positano Coast

The cool white and blue décor is reminiscent of Italy’s southern coast, as is the seafood-centric menu. The small-plates concept is ideal for sharing from the vast and delightful menu.

212 Walnut St., PA, 215-238-0499,
Tags: seafood | expensive | italian

Reading Terminal

Perhaps the country’s best food court, you’ll find everything from Pennsylvania Dutch specialties and hoagies to Thai food, not to mention fresh produce, fish, meats, and cheeses.

12th and Arch Sts., PA, 215-922-2317,
Tags: budget | food court

Sansom Street Oyster House

Your stop for great raw bar and cooked seafood selections served in an old-school Philly atmosphere.

1516 Sansom St., PA, 215-567-7683
Tags: moderate | seafood

Swann Lounge

Swann Lounge resides on the first floor of the haute Four Seasons, taking elegant-style cues from the luxury hotel, while drawing its fame from the extravagant Sunday brunch – on offer, a dizzying assortment of over 40 gourmet dishes and cocktails. The baby grand piano and plush seating complement sophisticated dinner entrées like braised short rib bourguignon with pearl onions, mushrooms, and carrots, without disenfranchising street-fare favorites like Philly’s namesake hoagie. Grab dinner at the bar for artisanal, small bites or end your evening there for a classy late-night (open until 2 a.m. on the weekends) munchies fix.

1 Logan Sq., PA, 215-963-1500,
Tags: moderate | american | brunch

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