The Very Best Places For Pasta in Philadelphia
If you have had your fill of cheese steaks, check out these restaurants for the best pasta in town.
Up north is still one of the best places to get authentic Italian food. Although Philadelphia is known more for its steak sandwiches and cheese whiz, you can still get expertly-made pasta dishes and other Italian fare without ever leaving the city limits.
Save on the drinks and skip to the food at EATalia BYOB.
While most think that Italian food always means pasta and pizza, Eatalia BYOB shines with its regional cuisine. With a focus on northern Italian food, they put rich cream sauces and a wide variety of proteins on display instead of tomatoes and steamed seafood. Instead of breaking their menu into traditional Italian courses, Eatalia divides theirs into sections based on types of meat and pasta.
While its food is more traditional, that does not mean that Eatalia BYOB skimps on quality. Customers rave about their bruschetta, lobster ravioli, and tiramisu. They also have different specials depending on the day or weekend, so check in to see if one of your favorites is discounted or even complimentary for the evening!
Wondering about the BYOB tacked onto this restaurant's name? Well, it is exactly what you think. In Philadelphia, bringing your own alcohol to restaurants is legal, so many forego the traditional wine and beer menu, letting customers bring their favorites to drink with their meals. Here you won't be paying the same price for a glass of cabernet sauvignon you can get for a bottle at the grocery store. Bring your favorite with you, and save some money.
Get the best four-course meal at Modo Mio.
In Italian, "Modo Mio" translates to "My Way" and that is exactly what Philadelphia-favorite Modo Mio aims to provide for its customers. With an ever-changing menu focused on fresh and seasonal ingredients, you are sure to have an original and authentic meal every time you eat there.
Their menu is set up in the fashion of a traditional Italian meal with antipasti (appetizer), primi (pasta course), and secondi (meat) courses. Modo Mio currently offers several starter courses, succinct six pasta courses, and meat courses to suit everyone's tastes. Have an adventurous meal with a squid antipasti, rabbit ravioli, and a swordfish steak. Go traditional with proscuitto and mozzarella, ricotta gnocchi, and pan-seared salmon.
While Modo Mio offers its courses a la carte, they suggest you order from their Turina Menu which gets you and another person two antipasti, primi, secondi, and dessert courses for only $37. This lets two people sample this entire menu for much cheaper than you ever could trying to buy each course separately. Also, like Eataria BYOB, Modo Mio is BYOB as well, so bring your favorite wine and lucky corkscrew for a great night out.
The only constant suggestion is to make a reservation because without it, you are in for roughly an hour wait on their busier nights. Also be aware that they are a cash-only restaurant, so make sure you have a few twenties in your wallet before heading out. Even with that, many customers still say it is worth the wait.
Stay classic with the old South Philly restaurant, Victor's Cafe.
Opened in 1918, Victor Cafe is one of Philly's oldest restaurants and embodies its history each day. Originally a gramophone shop where locals would come to drink coffee and listen to music, the end of the Prohibition era changed it into the Victor Cafe people know today. Equipped with a beer and wine license, it is now a classic Italian restaurant still offering treats and music to its patrons. Passed down through three generations of the di Stefano family, it feels like home to everyone who visits.
First, look at the food. With traditional antipastis such as burrata, baked clam casino, and fried calamari, Victor Cafe looks to offer the classics properly instead of trying to reinvent an already delicious cuisine. Fresh pasta, chicken, veal, and eggplant dishes are outstanding examples of Italian food at its finest.
But honestly, not everybody goes to Victor Cafe for the food alone. Instead, its return customers visit for the music. After starting as a gramophone shop, the owner never wanted to stop providing music for his customers. With the waitstaff consisting entirely of trained opera singers, patrons can enjoy live quality music throughout the night. Whether you appreciate classical music or want to give your business to a restaurant who employs musicians, the music makes Victor Cafe stand out.
Bonus: Victor Cafe was transformed this past year to be Adrian's for the new Sylvester Stallone movie, Creed, featuring the famous Rocky Balboa.
Italian food has a lot of interpretations, whether it is regional, inventive, or traditional. While most pick New York or New Jersey as the pinnacle states of Italian food, these Philadelphia restaurants are proof that Pennsylvania is right up there with them.
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