Saturday night dinner in Old City
I'm a New York Chowhounder who is frequently in Philadelphia on business for a Saturday night, staying in Old City without a car. I've tried Buddakan, which I liked but found just a bit too self-conscious and trendy for its own good. I'd greatly appreciate any recommendations in the $30 per person (without drinks) ballpark.
You are very close to some very good byob places -- which do not have the slick ambiance of buddakan, but have very good food.
Raddichio -- 4th and Wood.(close to Vine) -- Italian, do not take reservations, byo
kabul -- 2nd and chestnut -- afghani, byo.
mandoline -- 2nd and chestnut -- american cuisine, byo
You can eat like a king for $30 pp at each of these places
Some other restaurants in the area which others will surely pipe up about, but I have (unfortunately) not tried so cannot speak to:
Amada -- 2nd and chestnut -- spanish tapas, full bar available.
Tangerine -- 2nd and market -- another stephen starr restaurant, moroccan.
In other news, you are a short cab ride from practically any place in center city or the northern liberties.
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on a particularly nice night, i'd go to Positano Coast @ 2nd and Walnut for some delicious "crudo" (italian marinated fish, shrimp etc...delicious) and some nice wines, and a cheap (but small) bowl of linguine with clams.
I'd only go to Serrano to say hi to the folks there and be friendly with your other drinkers at the bar -not to eat.
If I was feeling asian-y and not quite like going to Chinatown, i'd go to Anjou on Market tween 2 and 3 for their udon. Like the whole place or not, their udon is unique and satisfying. Drinks are tasty.
And lastly, I'd got to Tangerine, still Starr-full-of-itself but has great great great whole grilled fish
Chloe, at 232 Arch, is very good. BYO. They don't take reservations, however, so best to be there before 6:30.