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Feb 23, 2007 02:13 PM

Need Good Authentic Chinese and Italian Near Convention Center - Philly

Haven't been to Philly in ages so going to the Flower Show. Would someone kindly recommend good Chinese and Italian Restaurants in the Convention Center area? My wife speaks fluent Mandarin so Chinese menus are no problem.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Lee How Fook and Lakeside Deli are my favorites for Chinese (many previous posts about both). THe CC is IN Chinatown, so lots of great Asian opptys exist.

    Italian, not so much. The restaurants that are not Chinese tend to be horrible, overpriced tourist traps in that area (because of the CC, if you kwim) but I'm sure other folks will post about the notable exceptions. Another really great option would be to hit Reading Terminal Market, right across the street. GREAT eating there.

    Have fun! I'm skipping the Flower Show this year, but the Irish theme sounds excellent.

    1. Thanks very much, Mawrter, for your informatve response. I've checked the menus of both places and they read like the real stuff. I note that the Lakeside Deli serves jook, one of my favorite breakfast dishes so we'll be sure to try them both. Your reply is what makes Chowhound so great, Now if we only find a good Italian
      ristorante that's not too far away.

      1. You had two excellent suggestions for Chinese food from Mawrter. Lee How Fook has been a favorite for many years. My husband swears by their hot and sour soup.

        Lakeside, which looks like a little nothing place, has wonderful dim sum. They are not open late; they close at 8pm. Another very good Chinese place is Shiao Lan Kung, at 930 Race St. Interesting menu, too.

        If you are willing to walk, there is a very good Italian BYOB on 17th St., just north of Spruce, called Branzinio. You should make a reservation there, especially if it is for a weekend. There is no great Italian restaurant close by. If you are willing to take a cab, you can get to many - just browse this Board. Some of our favorites are Tre Scalini, Radicchio (no reservations, not too far), L'Angolo . . many more. But Branzino is actually walkable - if you are walkers.
        If you like gelato, be sure to get to 13th and Sansom to Capogiro - expensive, but wonderful! (Close by.)

        2 Replies
        1. re: sylviag

          shiao lan kung is heaven! i am a bit unimpressed with lee how fook, especially their hot and sour soup. but hot and sour soup is one of those things that no one can ever agree upon, i have found. but for shiao lan kung, i have never had anything that i didn't like there and i have been eating there for nearly two decades.

          as for italian, i'm a south philly girl so none of my recommendations would be too close to where you'll be. but philly chinatown has plenty of options, including penang, the two vietnams (restaurant is slightly better in my opinion) and that dern thai place that i am forgetting the name of...

          1. re: mazza3

            Heh, I'm a hardcore LHF lover, and I'm not into their hot & sour either. I do love their chicken asparagus soup.

        2. For good Italian close to the convention center, I recommend Mercato, a BYOB on 12th and Spruce ( My fiance and I went last week for the first time and loved it. However, they only accept reservations from 5-6:30 on Sunday through Thursday, and I've heard that a two-hour wait on the weekend is not unusual. But the food was so good, we are actually considering renting the entire restaurant for our wedding reception!

          If you go, be sure to bring some wine, as well as cash (no credit cards accepted). Enjoy the Flower Show and your trip to Philadelphia!

          1. Thanks very much for your suggestion