Best Restaurants in Philadelphia | Long Distance USA Movers

Newcomer’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

Is there anything more exciting than relocating to a new city, changing your habits, and accepting a different lifestyle? Whether you’re coming from a bigger place or moving from a small town, it doesn’t change anything. You need to become familiar with the surroundings and find the most exquisite local stores, well-equipped gyms, and some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia.

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The Birthplace of America has a little bit of something for everyone

A great dining scene is something that the so-called Birthplace of America takes pride in. Depending on the neighborhood you choose to reside in, you can pick some of the foodie hubs located along Walnut Street, for instance. These spots have something for everyone, and it doesn’t matter if you just want to relax, sip on a cappuccino, enjoy a croissant, or plan a business dinner with an important client. One thing is for sure – you’ll get much more than the famous cheesesteak or roast pork sandwich if you move to Philadelphia.

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What Are the Features Some of the Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

Philly recently emerged as one of the premier dining places in the country – one can find some of the most extraordinary spots in the US right here, in the “Athens of America.” That’s mostly due to a bunch of energetic, young chefs who decided to build a community of top-notch eateries with specific flavors and great vibes. These places allow everyone, both locals and newcomers, to enjoy a range of international meals, such as Lebanese, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, French, etc. You can find a perfect spot just for you in every corner of the best neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

If you’re moving with kids, you’ll be happy to hear that there are lots of child-friendly eateries. You don’t need to think about where to take the whole family out for lunch or what you should do during leisure periods. Pizza places or old-fashioned colonial-style foodie spots in Old City, such as Max Brenner or Craft Hall, might be a perfect solution. Whatever you choose, you can rest assured that your children will be entertained due to indoor playgrounds and whole wheat pancakes with fruit and chocolate chips, while you enjoy your meal.

However, if you want to choose a perfect setting to have dinner with your spouse or a partner, you have to know what you can expect from a prospective dining place. Are you looking for a delicious and varied menu? Or maybe great red wine? Do you prefer a laid-back, romantic atmosphere? Is it the excellent service that makes the deal for you? A lot of top-rated eateries have a bit of everything. If they want to retain guests and attract new ones, it becomes clear why the food industry has been improving all the time – it is a question of competition. Luckily, in the City of Brotherly Love, there are plenty of unique spots with exceptional menus as well as a clean, shiny, and unique interior.

The proximity of excellent places to eat out, no matter the occasion, is an important factor when choosing some of the best places to live in Philadelphia. For those of you who are new to the city (and those that aren’t), we’ve listed a few of our favorite Philly places to grab a delicious bite.

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Several factors are relevant when ranking eateries among the very top, and one of them is the overall ambiance

In Suraya, You’ll Feel Like You’re on a Holiday

Suraya was voted the most excellent new culinary place in 2018. It is located in the neighborhood of Fishtown, a well-known culinary and artistic hub. You can enjoy Levant-inspired dishes for lunch, dinner, or even brunch every day and night. If you prefer eating outside in the garden oasis, that’s also an option here. A beautiful environment with mouth-watering meals puts this place at the very top of Philly’s prime eateries.

Enjoy a Great Atmosphere

Traditional Lebanese flavors, with the scent of grilled meat and freshly baked pitas with cardamon sugar, make for the specific ambiance which is reminiscent of Beirut and the childhood of co-owners Nathalie Richan and Roland Kassis. Suraya was named after Nathalie’s and Roland’s grandmother, who raised both siblings in their motherland of Lebanon. If you want to taste some kebabs, kibbeh, and lamb meals, this place will embrace and welcome you.

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If the atmosphere is pleasant, it’s more likely your impressions of this place will be positive

Hungry Pigeon – “Not Too Much, Just Enough”

What can you expect from this cozy eatery in the Queen Village area with such a motto? The most simple and precise answer can be – everything that crosses your mind. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in Hungry Pigeon (even though it recently switched to serving only dinner during the week), as well as wine, easygoing cocktails, and coffee. What stands out from the rich menu is organic meat and fruits from farms  – according to locals, you can eat the most delicious turkey, duck, and chicken here. It is definitely worth visiting.

Perfect Timing in One of the Best Restaurants in Philadelphia

People often drop by here just because of masterful baking, such as mouth-watering croissants filled with butter and honey. One more dessert, which is hard to resist, is a pancake ribboned with chocolate and topped with almond cream. However, for those who prefer savory over sweet, they can pick pancakes with ham, cheese, and bechamel. If you’re looking for warm, tasty, and soft pastry scrolls, in Hungry Pigeon, you can find them any time you wish.

Don’t Skip the Eclectic Friday Saturday Sunday in Rittenhouse

If you’re looking for a local neighborhood favorite where you can invite the pickiest person you know, then this is the place to be. In addition to the menu that brims with Philly-style spaghetti, raw specialties, and crunchy pork, you can enjoy drinking cocktails, wine, or beer. In the end, brownies or the upside-down peach cake will be just perfect if you’re craving sweets.

Expect Royal Service

Yes, the food is mouth-watering, the interior makes you feel at home, but Friday Saturday Sunday is unrivaled when it comes to its excellent service. The kitchen team hails from Africa, Dominica, Japan, Mexico, and, due to their culinary skills and efficient setting services, this place has become the mecca for Philadelphians, as well as for tourists from all over the world, who have nothing but words of praise for the chef.

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Excellent service makes you feel unique

Explore Modern American Cuisine in Vernick Food & Drink

With its chef and owner Greg Vernick, a James Beard Award winner for 2017, you can be sure that the dishes made here will please your palate. Although consistent with new American specialties, Vernick Food & Drink‘s menu is overflowed with seasonal meals made from great ingredients. Sitting relaxed in a soft chair, you can order by picking small or large plates or choose to begin with a thick toast with black truffle butter. As time goes by, you’ll realize that this restaurant offers so many full-flavored bites that are hard to resist.

Appealing Food

As a child who grew up in a family of cooks and eatery owners, Greg Vernick developed a great passion for cooking. His version of American most popular and favorite meals can provide you with unusual combinations of flavors that are also pleasing to the eye. These specialties are appealing both to your stomach and eyes. If your home happens to be in Rittenhouse, then you’re in luck, since you and your family can enjoy delicious aromas every weekend.

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Paradise both for eyes and for stomach - who can resist beautifully served meals?

Japan in Philly – Meet Hiroki

You can learn a lot from Hiroki’s interior – its simplicity and uniqueness correlate with the menu. The omakase-only menu (where you let the chef pick the meal for you) comes with a sake pairing, and it consists of zensai, small meals prepared with in-season ingredients. Skillfully rolled sushi slices, geometrically positioned against a shoot of pink-tipped pickled ginger root, are served on a large plate without anything on the side. A lot of soy sauce and fresh wasabi are the main spices in the dishes served by Hiroki.

A Décor That Wows

Everything is designed to evoke Japan’s lifestyle, including custom-scented soap that resembles Japanese forests. With a focus on details, the whole concept is thoroughly planned and projected. The dramatic lighting gives the place a specific charm and sophisticated design. If you want to feel and try non-typical American specialties, Hiroki offers you the chance to immerse yourself into Asia for a couple of hours.

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In Hiroki, you’ll feel as if you were in Japan

Laurel – Try French-Inspired Delicacies

This is a modern, French-influenced restaurant in South Philly run by Nicholas Elmi that boasts refined, inventive and intricate dishes. Every meal is juicy, tasty, creamy, or crispy. Also, it suits every taste, since its seasonal menu offers over a dozen recipes. If you are Laurel’s guest, you can expect friendly service in a simple but elegant setting.

Besides, as a newcomer, you may be experiencing budget problems due to moving expenses. If you are facing financial issues still trying to cope with the cost of living in Philadelphia, you should know Laurel is one of the more affordable culinary hotspots and is often visited by locals.

A Good Wine List and Wine Service

Besides the BYOB option, you can rest assured that Laurel will offer you top-notch vino pairing with dinner. A full wine list and cocktails are available, too, so you can choose what to drink according to your own taste. Chef Elmi takes care of different guests’ preferences and appetites.

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People who prefer vino pairing with lamb or turkey will become regulars in Laurel

Vetri Cucina – a Must-Visit Place in Washington Square West

If your heart belongs to “Cucina Italiana,” this cozy place with rustical ambiance tucked in Washington Square West will easily become your favorite place to eat out. As soon as you step in, you become part of the tight-knit community here. With tastefully decorated interior and details such as hand-blown Murano glass chandeliers and Venetian glassware, Vetri Cucina is a mecca for people who love a good bite. Meals are inspired by both classic Italian recipes and a result of international culinary research.

One of the Backbones in the Cradle of Liberty

As one of the most influential and respected Italian restaurants in the country, it opened its doors to guests in 1998. Over those two decades, locals and tourists have been enjoying handcrafted pasta, delicate Swiss chard gnocchi, and rabbit with fennel sausage.

Still, whatever you try from Vetri Cucina’s tasting menu (which costs $165), it will be guided by your desires. Sometimes, the chef follows the taste of the crowd, choosing to change some ingredients on purpose. But, in spite of age and evolution, this place has retained its original spirit – with the same hospitality, the same tasty bites, merlot, and silver.

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The Italian dining scene in the Birthplace of America offers pasta dishes that are second to none

Res Ipsa – Cafe by Day, Top-Notch Restaurant by Night

The simplest things are usually the best ones, and Res Ipsa proves that. As a place that regularly transforms into a cafe, coffee-shop, bar, brunch spot, or whatever you can imagine, it will meet all customers’ needs. Above all, it serves excellent fares from a fantastic menu. This place in Walnut Street will impress you with the simplest things, like a grilled chicken sandwich and a bowl of fried potatoes. Of course, you can order pasta here in a dozen variations – spaghetti, anellini, orecchiette, gnocchi. What is most crucial is that all dishes have consistent excellency, no matter what.

Consistency Is Key

Thanks to the restaurant’s chef Ferreri, people like to visit this place in the evening and order some interesting meals full of Italian spices. The most suitable day to reserve a table is Sunday evening when the restaurant turns into a BYOB, serving tasty desserts and plates of pasta. If you are looking for a laid-back atmosphere where you can spend quality time with dear people, Res Ipsa will give you a second-to-none Roman-style cuisine.

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In Res Ipsa, you may find everything you need - cafe, fast-food options, or a sophisticated eating house in the evening

Only First-Rate Establishments in the World Qualify for a Michelin Star

You’ve probably heard about Michelin stars that chefs can receive as the highest accolades in the culinary world. Michelin Guide was founded at the beginning of the 20th century, and it provided recommendations for top culinary places and hotels with only one goal in mind – to encourage people to drive to these locations so that they would need to buy more and more tires. Today, the Michelin Guide is a symbol of top-notch restaurants and hotels.

These stars are given out on a scale of one to three, where the number of acquired stars means the following:

  • One star – “a very good restaurant in its category”
  • Two stars – “excellent cooking, worth a detour”
  • Three stars – “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”

One of the requirements to earn a star is related to the location – establishments must be situated in one of the countries in which the company operates.

What do Michelin inspectors evaluate? In fact, all aspects of the restaurant, which includes:

  • The time it takes to be seated
  • The politeness of the serving staff
  • The quality and the creativity of the meals
  • The overall ambiance

Do Eateries in the Birthplace of America Have a Michelin Star

Philly is a metropolis with a lavish dining scene, and it features lots of international cuisines. However, it hasn’t earned any stars yet. You’re probably wondering how this is possible since the food industry is one of the leading ones here. The eateries compete with each other, offering specialties that can be compared to the world-famous ones. So, why can’t the Birthplace of America land some Michelin Stars?

Actually, it’s not that the Cradle of Liberty lacks good restaurants – Michelin Guides are simply not currently evaluating the culinary spots here. In fact, only New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington have been placed onto Michelin’s List.

Michelin Guide List has constantly been expanding, which goes in Philly’s favor. Who knows, perhaps in several months, in 2020, the City of Brotherly Love finally finds its rightful place on the List.

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Chicago is one of the five US cities that has earned Michelin stars

A Beautiful Restaurant Bathroom Affects Your Experience to a Great Extent

For some people, there’s one spot in the restaurant of the same importance as food, service, and ambiance. Believe it or not, it’s the bathroom. Have you ever been to a luxurious foodie spot with extraordinary meals, but once you saw the bathroom, you just wanted to leave? What’s more, a completely fantastic impression you had had a few minutes before was ruined.

Although it’s not the first thing you notice about the eatery, a bathroom can leave a life-long impression. If the chef is skillful enough to make a piece of art in the kitchen, it would be a shame to ruin that impression with an unkempt toilet.

We narrowed down several restaurants in the Cradle of Liberty, whose bathrooms are worth your visit. Of course, their cuisine is perfect too, but there are some people claiming these eateries’ bathrooms might be even cooler than meals:

  • La Calaca Feliz
  • London Grill
  • Little Nonna’s
  • Sampan
  • Barra
  • Cheu Noodle Bar
  • Raw
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Some people’s impression of a restaurant is based on its bathroom

Move to the Most Desirable City to Visit in 2020

According to National Geographic Traveler, the largest city in Pennsylvania is one of the 25 not-to-be-missed destinations in the world in 2020. Besides plenty of amenities that one can find in the City of Brotherly Love, including art, energetic nightlife, history, and architecture, one of the major reasons the center stands out among many other bigger cities in the US are its restaurants and culinary scene.

The metropolis in the state of Pennsylvania is an entertainment mecca, and the things to do in Philadelphia are countless. If you’re planning to relocate to the Cradle of Liberty, you should know that besides excellent dining options, it also offers cultural and educational opportunities, both for you and your family. That being said, if you are looking for the most exceptional educational institution for your child, this is the place where you can find it. Philadelphia public schools are considered some of the top-ranked educational institutions in the state.

You’re just one step away from moving to Philly now. If you want to speed up the process and settle into this city as quickly as possible, think about employing professional Philly movers with moving services. In addition to transporting your household, they can offer you expert packing services, as well as auto shipping and storage.

While movers go about their business, you should start creating your Philly must-visit list. But before you decide on how to move, add to your bucket list all the fancy eateries for gourmets, especially those what didn’t make it to our list but are expected to open in 2020, such as Laser Wolf with Israeli cuisine, or Loveluck, conceived as a bar and eatery.

Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

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