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a kitchen philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Stillman

Where to eat during Philadelphia Restaurant Week

Local foodies should head to these spots during Restaurant Week in Philadelphia to get the most bang for their buck

By Caroline Coral

Get ready to feast. It’s almost time for Philadelphia Restaurant Week 2018, when local eateries by the dozens offer prix-fixe menus at a discounted set price, allowing local foodies the chance to try some of the best established and new restaurants in Philadelphia for a fraction of the regular cost. The list of participating restaurants can be overwhelming, so we’ve narrowed it down to 16 spots where you’ll get the most for your money—focusing on variety and those places that may typically be out of reach for the everyday budget-conscious diner. For the ultimate cheap date night, pair your dinner with our list of the best free things to do in Philadelphia, or make a night of it by catching a flick at some of the best movie theaters Philadelphia has to offer. Also, keep in mind that during Restaurant Week, Philadelphia eateries get packed—so you’d be smart to make reservations ASAP.

What is Restaurant Week in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia Restaurant Week is an biannual event produced by Center City District, where more than 120 restaurants offer a three-course lunch for $20 or a three-course dinner for $35.

When is Philadelphia Restaurant Week?

Restaurant Week in Philadelphia runs from Sunday, January 14, 2018, through Friday, January 26, 2018. For more information and a full list of participating restaurants, go here.

Where to eat during Philadelphia Restaurant Week

high street on market
Photograph: Courtesy Visit Philadelphia/J. Fusco

1. High Street on Market

Restaurants American Olde City

Fork’s ambitious next-door neighbor’s take on Restaurant Week is made for date nights. Pick a couple of first and second courses (the daily bread and spread plate is a must) and then move on to mains built for two. Your choices are a whole honey-glazed chicken with winter salad and potato rolls or a sharable pork chop served over locally milled polenta and brussels.

2. Abe Fisher

Restaurants Jewish Penn Center

The best way to taste your way through the worldly flavors of the Jewish diaspora is with Abe Fisher’s year-round, sharable prix fixe. During Restaurant Week, the menu is discounted but not abbreviated meaning that all those bubbe-inspired faves like borscht tartare, mushroom blintzes and bacon and egg creams are on offer.

osteria philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Osteria

3. Osteria

Restaurants Italian Avenue of the Arts

An evening at this Marc Vetri spot on North Broad is generally reserved for special occasions and that makes a weeknight visit all the more appealing. The menu lines up all of Osteria’s greatest hits with a rainbow of vegetable antipasti to start, chicken liver rigatoni and a chocolate hazelnut mousse to round out the meal. Consider those extra couple of bucks knocked off the bill an ideal excuse to dig deep into Osteria’s well-stocked wine cellars.

barbuzzo philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Visit Philadelphia/Neal Santos

4. Barbuzzo

Restaurants Mediterranean Center City

This Mediterannean kitchen from Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran doesn’t exactly sell itself as a pizza shop, but it manages to whip up some of the city’s most daring pizza recipes, such as the Fico, with black mission figs and gorgonzola dolce; a white-sauce asparagus pizza with truffled egg; and a zucchini and squash blossoms pizza. Stop by late at night during the week for easy happy hour bar seating to watch a pizza be whipped up right in front of you.

bud and marilyns
Photograph: Courtesy Bud & Marilyn's/Ryan Scott

5. Bud & Marilyn’s

Restaurants American Greater Philadelphia

With décor reminiscent of a mid-century Midwestern rec-room, Bud & Marilyn’s is one of chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s string of successful eateries along the recently renovated 13th Street corridor. Warm up with Marilyn’s fried chicken or crispy Wisconsin cheese curds.

amis philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Amis

6. Amis

Restaurants Italian Greater Philadelphia

Another Vetri family restaurant, Amis Trattoria’s menu is inspired by quinto quarto aka “the Fifth Quarter, which is a Roman culinary practice that centers on using an animal in its entirety. The seasonal menu with daily specials offers items like duck hearts with pomegranate and herb salad and grilled veal tongue with pepper mostarda. Whatever you order, be sure to save room for Mom-Mom’s rice pudding for dessert.

pub and kitchen
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Michelle C.

7. Pub & Kitchen

Restaurants Rittenhouse Square

If you haven’t been to this Graduate Hospital corner in a while, Restaurant Week is the ideal excuse for a revisit. Back in the spring, chef Steve Eckerd took the reigns and has revamped the menu to include lovely late-summer plates like chorizo-stuffed poblanos with sweet corn and fried chicken with summer-pepper ragout.

south gate philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy SouthGate

8. SouthGate

Restaurants Korean Southwest Center City

This Korean gastropub is expanding on Restaurant Week’s traditional three-course model with an five-plus-course menu that includes an amuse, selection of banchan (Korean side dishes), a starter, a main and dessert. In between all of these extras, guests can enjoy twic- fried Korean fried chicken, vegetarian bibimbap and pickl- topped bulgogi burgers.

oyster house happy hour
Photograph: Courtesy Oyster House/Jason Varney

9. Oyster House

Restaurants Seafood Center City

There’s a reason why buck-a-shuck happy hour at this Sansom Street spot is perennially packed: Everyone loves deal on bivalves. Restaurant Week sees an even deeper discount with a menu featuring all sorts of seafood—from freshly shucked oysters to clams casino and crab cakes to lobster rolls.

bistro la minette
Photograph: Courtesy Bistro la Minette

10. Bistrot La Minette

Restaurants French Greater Philadelphia

In France, prix-fixe meals are par for the course, making this Queen Village bistro a natural pick for everyone’s favorite week of fixed-menu dining. The menu here is handpicked straight from the pages of Larousse Gastronomique, packed with classics such as garlicky escargot, foie gras terrine and trout meuniere.

a kitchen philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Stillman


Restaurants Contemporary American Rittenhouse

This buzzy American bistro stays busy from morning to nights thanks to its location near the financial district and just adjacent to Rittenhouse Square. The menu focuses on seasonal small plates and entrees such as steamed mussels when they’re in season, a cured salmon on rye and the popular a.burger at lunch, and a selectin of beef, poultry and seafood dishes for dinner. The bar offers an impressive craft beer menu along with a hefty selection of wine and cocktails. It fills up around happy hour time when’s next-door watering hole fills to capacity.

olde bar philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Garces Group

12. The Olde Bar

Bars Cocktail bars Old City

Jose Garces’s redo of Bookbinder’s boasts a menu that embraces retro classics—from starters like shrimp remoulade and parker house rolls to crisp wedge salads and steak oscar topped with creamy crab hollandaise. 

hawthornes philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Tracy P.

13. Hawthornes

Restaurants American Hawthorne

If you find yourself waiting for a table at Hawthornes Cafe, grab a seat by the wood-burning fireplace and peruse the menu; you’ll need time to decide between sumptuous dishes like the Hot Potato Mess, homefries with scrambled eggs, cheese, garlic hot sauce and your choice of meat, or the House Baked French Toast, which is “nothing like any other French toast you’ve ever had”. The beer selection is just as enticing as the food, with more than 1,000 single bottles, 11 specialty growler fills and 11 rotating varieties on draft.

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Vanny C.

14. IndeBlue

Restaurants Indian Greater Philadelphia

Chef Rakesh Romola has a way of weaving refined techniques with classic Indian spices, giving the menu at his Gayborhood Indian joint plenty of appeal. Vegetarians will appreciate several meatless options including a bright watermelon salad with cumin and masala cashews and paneer in a creamy saffron sauce.

Brauhaus Schmitz
Photograph: Courtesy Brauhaus Schmitz

15. Brauhaus Schmitz

Restaurants Gastropubs Bainbridge St Booksellers Row

Restaurant Week’s heartiest offerings can be found on the menu at this South Street beer hall. Come hungry, thirsty and prepared to knock back a few liters of lager along with a serious selection of schnitzels, shanks, sauerkraut and of course plenty of housemade sausages.

tequilas philadelphia
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Erin H.

16. Tequilas

Restaurants Mexican Rittenhouse

Even though it’s been around for more than 30 years and happens to be home to the city’s best selection of all things agave-related, Tequilas remains an under-the-radar destination for creative Mexican cooking. If you’re looking to work your way through the restaurant’s extensive tequila list, don’t go in on an empty stomach. Instead fortify yourself with three courses of ceviche, cheesy chilis rellenos and tres leches cake.

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