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Must Try Fine Dining in Philadelphia, PA 

Philadelphia, lovingly referred to as “Philly” or “The Birthplace of America,” is one of the greatest places to be if you’re a food aficionado. 

couple eating at best fine dine in philadelphia pa

But Philly isn’t just cheesesteaks. The vast culinary delights and vibrant culture intertwine to create exquisite dining experiences, which you can take advantage of after exploring the iconic Liberty Bell or strolling in awe-inspiring art museums. 

Whether celebrating a special occasion, impressing a loved one, or simply seeking an extraordinary evening, the best fine dining in Philadelphia can offer you divine flavors, impeccable service, and unmistakable charm, all delivered on a silver platter.

Barclay Prime

237 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 
Phone: 215-732-7560
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Barclay Prime, right by Rittenhouse Square, is a plush steakhouse and cocktail bar with a luxury-chic vibe. 

It’s highly rated and known for its library-inspired decor, which might sound dry and unappealing—but trust me, it creates an exceptionally sophisticated vibe. 

I highly recommend ordering their Wagyu steak, as it always comes out so juicy, hot, and tender. Outside of steak options, you can’t go wrong with their lobster bisque, creamed spinach, or truffle mac & cheese. 

Indulge in the impeccable creations of chef Stephen Starr, but be sure to reserve a table well in advance! 


Vetri Cucina

1312 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 
Phone: 215-732-3478
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Vetri Cucina undoubtedly makes the cut for the best fine dining in Philadelphia due to its supreme Italian tasting menu, extensive selection of wine and quality beer, and intimate, cozy townhouse setting. 

It’s crucial to go for the tasting menu—i.e., the prix fixe menu—at least once, although it’s a nice place to go for one or two plates as well. 

Either way, you’d be silly not to try their sweet onion crepe, a unique and irresistibly profound item that you can’t find anywhere else. 

If you’re in Washington Square West near Philadelphia’s Magic Garden, make a date to visit this upscale restaurant. 


Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse

210 W Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19103 
Phone: 215-790-2533
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Lacroix Restaurant, located within The Rittenhouse Hotel to the west of Rittenhouse Square, is a 3-Michelin-star, pleasantly stylish restaurant serving international options that tantalize the taste buds. 

It’s a relatively intimate and stately place, providing a refuge-like atmosphere that allows you to “get it away from it all.”

Inside, you’ll be met with the kindest, most attentive staff that truly seem like they care about meeting your every need. 

I love coming here for birthday brunches or special date lunches because they have an extensive wine list and the tastiest eggs Benedict I’ve ever tried. And for a real special treat, opt for Chef’s table tasting menu! 


Butcher & Singer

1500 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 
Phone: 215-732-4444
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Also near Rittenhouse Square but on the eastern side of it is Butcher & Singer, a trendy and chic steakhouse inspired by Old Hollywood vibes, which I adore. 

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My friends and I love getting dressed up in our finest attire and treating ourselves to this spot’s delicious surf & turf when we’re feeling fun and fancy. 

There are also times when we go to Butcher & Singer for inventive cocktails alone! But it’s hard not to order at least one thing from the food menu, whether it’s the shrimp cocktail, escargot, or bacon mac & cheese. 

Either way, make sure to leave space for the delectable desserts, such as their pumpkin cheesecake or peanut butter & chocolate tart. 


Laurel

1617 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148 
Phone: 215-271-8299
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If you’re in the mood for divine French and American cuisine in an exceptionally cozy and contemporary space, look no further than Laurel Restaurant in South Philly near Columbus Park.

It offers a fine dining feel in terms of style and food presentation but has more affordable food and drink options than some of the other options on this list. 

I love their creatively-named cocktails, like “Lost Cause” with tequila and habanero, “I Meant Every Word” with gin and elderflower, or ‘Don’t Fault the Reaper” with bourbon and vermouth. 

In addition to their cocktails, I recommend trying their grilled snapper, roasted duck, or 28-day dry-aged beef that comes with black radish and aged vinegar. 


Morimoto

723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 
Phone: 215-413-9070
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Have you ever eaten delicious sushi in a futuristic space with color-changing backlighting? Well, you’ll get the chance to do just that at Morimoto, a popular Japanese restaurant near Washington Square. 

Named after Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, this restaurant features a combination of ancient Japanese culinary techniques and modern twists. 

You can choose from a mix-and-match a la carte menu to a decadent omakase—or tasting menu, which I highly recommend. 

There’s also a long list of quality wines and sake available by the glass, but you’d be remiss not to try one of their Japanese whiskey flights. 


Moshulu

401 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106 
Phone: 215-923-2500
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If you’re hoping to find a fantastic fine dining option right on the Delaware River, check out Moshulu by Spruce Street Harbor Park. 

This seafood and steak restaurant not only offers refined meals in a gorgeous space, but it’s literally on the water as it’s set aboard a historic ship! 

You’ll technically be floating while indulging in tasty appetizers like tempura rock shrimp, elegant main courses like pan-seared sea bass, and decadent desserts like a coffee almond tart. 

Whenever I come here for a special evening out, I never have a tasteless bite. It’s a wonderful place to take someone you care about to show them you love them dearly! 


Volver

300 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 
Phone: 215-670-2302
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Volver, near The Union League of Philadelphia social club and right next to Miller Theater, is a renowned yet exclusive fine dining restaurant by celebrity chef Jose Garces. 

It’s known for its daring-tasting menu, which combines ingredients and flavors that only a true genius could come up with. 

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The meals sound simple on the surface—e.g., lamb chops or crispy chicken with mashed potatoes—but the actual ingredients go above and beyond. 

If you’re up for an adventure and want to treat yourself to an exceptionally delicious evening, try to get a spot at Volver. 


Vedge

1221 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 
Phone: 215-320-7500
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Vedge is a one-of-a-kind vegan and vegetarian restaurant that caters to a wider range of tastes than you might initially assume due to the inventive nature of the dishes.

This restaurant, located near Kahn Park, is praised for the attentive and patient staff, exceptional small plate presentation, and, of course, the resulting taste of the dishes!

My go-to menu items here include the dan dan noodles, smoked portobello carpaccio, and roasted maitake mushrooms that have a wonderful umami flavor. 

I would recommend checking out Vedge if you’re a non-meat eater or just want to try something new. 


Friday Saturday Sunday

261 S 21st St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 
Phone: 215-546-4232
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Friday, Saturday Sunday is a cozy, charming corner eatery with a stylish and bright interior design and gorgeous, tasty cocktails.

Located by The Rosenbach historical place museum in Filter Square, this restaurant is the perfect place to go for inventive craft drinks that are ridiculously good. 

You should try Blurred Line with Nicaraguan rum and grapefruit or Blank Check, which features barrel-rested gin and vermouth. 

In addition to cocktails, they also have a fabulous dinner menu, with recommended items like beef tartare.

Don’t hesitate to be adventurous and go for the tasting menu, especially for a special date or anniversary. 


Royal Sushi & Izakaya

780 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 
Phone: 267-909-9002
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Royal Sushi & Izakaya is a sophisticated yet relaxed Japanese restaurant near Mario Lanza Park. I love hitting up this spot when I’m craving elegant meals in a moody, hip space. 

They offer a chef’s sushi corner in the back, perfect for adventurous eaters who want to try new combinations of tasty fresh fish. 

Additionally, I’m obsessed with the duck and pork belly buns, which are arguably just as good as the sushi! 

Go here if you’re looking to satisfy all your senses on a special night, but note that it’s closed on Sundas and Mondays. 


Vernick Food & Drink

2031 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 
Phone: 267-639-6644
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Vernick Food & Drink, a New American restaurant northeast of Rittenhouse Square, offers a bright, stylish, and upscale space where you can share decadent small plates with close friends. 

This restaurant is enjoyable to go to any day of the week (besides Sundays when it’s closed), but I especially recommend it for intimate gatherings with loved ones. 

You can split the parmesan custard, Maryland crab toast, ginger oysters, and much more. And if you want a plate all to yourself, I recommend getting the Char-grilled swordfish, which comes with braised chickpeas and a decadent Pomodoro sauce. 


Zahav

237 St James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106 
Phone: 215-625-8800
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Zahav, an Israeli restaurant close to Spruce Street Harbor Park, is one of my favorite restaurants in Philly due to its modern, elevated plates combined with its ultra-casual and unpretentious vibes. 

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You can get a range of delicious eats here, from succulent lamb shoulder to a varied mezze platter to warm laffa bread that’ll go with anything else you choose. 

The famous chef Michael Solomonov is responsible for this incredible eatery, and no words can describe just how good everything here is. You simply can’t go wrong! 

Text your foodie friends and make a reservation at Zahav because you won’t regret it. 


Ambra Restaurant

705 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 
Phone: 267-858-9232
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Right by Bainbridge Green, you’ll discover Ambra Restaurant, a small, intimate, exclusive eatery with a stunning prix fixe menu of inventive Italian creations. 

Something I love about Ambra is that their wine pairing suggestions always hit the mark, going so swimmingly with each course of the meal. 

Additionally, the presentation of the dishes is exceptional. Although I don’t usually like keeping my phone on the table, it’s challenging not to want to take a picture of everything that comes out!

It’s hard to choose one recommendation here, so my best advice is to make a reservation, choose the prix fixe, and get ready for a delicious ride. 


Buddakan

325 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 
Phone: 215-574-9440
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Famously mentioned in a line from the popular rap artist Drake’s hit “Popstar,” Buddakan is a mini restaurant chain with spots in NYC, Atlantic City, and this one in Philly. 

It’s a trendy spot known for featuring a 10-foot-tall giant Buddha, which I find appealing upon entering. 

It’s also a fantastic space for larger parties and gatherings due to its long, family dinner-style tables, ensuring that everyone you want can come and have a great time. 

Their edamame dumplings are unique and exquisite, along with the crab fried rice, lobster fried rice, and pork tenderloin dishes. 


Osteria

640 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130 
Phone: 215-763-0920
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Osteria is another mini-chain serving Italian cuisine with fresh, seasonal ingredients. 

Located in the Fairmont area near The Franklin Institute, I tend to crave a meal at Osteria when I’m in the mood for wood-fired meats, thin-crust pizza, or simply relaxing in a gorgeous, rustic-chic space. 

Unlike many of the fine dining restaurants in Philadelphia, Osteria also has a notable happy hour, where you can indulge in high-quality spirits and small plates for a very reasonable price.

My friends and I go to the happy hour and split items like charred broccolini caesar, bucatini cacao e pepe, and rigatoni with chicken liver. 


Fork

306 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 
Phone: 215-625-9425
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I’m a huge fan of Fork, not only because of its swanky digs and five-star service but also simply because I think it’s a great name for a restaurant! 

But beyond the sleek design and straightforward label, this modern restaurant delivers tasty oysters, piled-up charcuterie boards, and soft, creamy polenta. 

The service is also arguably the best I’ve experienced throughout the city. The wait staff is genuinely kind and attentive, and it never seems forced.

It seems like they truly appreciate the restaurant and are happy to be there, which creates a wonderful environment for the guests!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.