It was hard to pick the 10 best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia with so many great restaurants to choose from. The ones below are loved locally and nationally alike.
- La Locanda del Ghiottone This Old City BYO is a favorite among locals. The literal translation of the name is "the place of gluttons" and gluttonous you will feel after a meal here. Reservations aren't accepted, and the restaurant is on the small side so arrive early or be prepared to wait. The food is always good, even if the service can be a little less than desirable at times. La Locanda del Ghiottone: 130 North 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106, (215) 829-1465.
- La Famiglia Opened in 1976, La Famiglia is still a family-run business. They provide excellent service and top-notch food in a beautiful, romantic setting. La Famiglia: 8 South Front St., Philadelphia, PA 19106, (215) 922-2803.
- Bistro Romano Situated in an 18th-century granary, this Society Hill bistro has been a favorite since 1988. What you can expect if you go: great food, over 350 selections of wine from around the world (Bistro Romano received the "Wine Spectator Award of Excellence" for 2005, 2006 & 2007) and mystery dinner theater. Who doesn't love a good mystery along with a great meal? Bistro Romano: 120 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA, 19147, (215) 925-8880.
- L'Angolo Although on the smaller side, this BYO in the heart of South Philly is well worth a visit. L'Angolo serves simple but delicious Italian dishes that will make you anxious to come back for more. L'Angolo: 1415 West Porter St., Philadelphia, PA 19145, (215) 389-4252.
- Ralph's Ralph's has been owned by the Dispigno family for over 100 years, and has been at their current location since 1915. Located in the heart of the Italian Market, Ralph's serves up enormous portions of traditional Italian fare. You won't leave hungry after a meal here! Ralph's: 760 S 9th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19147, (215) 627-6011.
- Tre Scalini This BYOB is in the heart of the very hot East Passyunk Avenue. The portions are more than ample, are prepared from recipes handed down through the family, and focus on freshness and quality. You can’t go wrong with any of the dishes. Tre Scalini: 1915 East Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19148, (215) 551-3870.
- La Viola There are currently two locations of La Voila across the street from one another. This Rittenhouse-area BYOB serves excellent food at a very reasonable price. La Viola: 253 South 16th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19102, (215) 735-8630.
- Cucina Forte Although less well known than some of the other names in it’s Bella Vista neighborhood, Cucina Forte serves up delicious meals in an intimate setting. The gnocchi are a must-try. Cucina Forte: 768 South 8th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19147, (215) 238-0778.
- Mercato This BYOB focuses on market-fresh food that mixes the slow cooking traditions of Old World Italy with bold takes on Italian American cuisine. Mercato: 1216 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA, 19107, (215) 985-2962.
- Vetri This intimate (seating never exceed 35 patrons) has been called “possibly the best Italian restaurant on the east coast” by Mario Batali and “probably the best Italian restaurant in America” by Alan Richman. Enough said. Verti: 595 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville, PA ,18936, (215) 997-1452.
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