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Need Good Authentic Chinese and Italian Near Convention Center - Philly

l
Larry Racies Feb 23, 2007 02:13 PM

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.

  1. Mawrter Feb 23, 2007 03:52 PM

    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. l
      Larry Racies Feb 23, 2007 06:09 PM

      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. s
        sylviag Feb 24, 2007 06:36 AM

        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
          m
          mazza3 Feb 26, 2007 11:16 AM

          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
            Mawrter Feb 26, 2007 01:51 PM

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

        2. m
          mmb72 Feb 24, 2007 09:35 AM

          For good Italian close to the convention center, I recommend Mercato, a BYOB on 12th and Spruce (www.mercatobyob.com). 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. l
            Larry Racies Feb 24, 2007 11:25 AM

            Thanks very much for your suggestion

            1. d
              dougherj Feb 26, 2007 12:31 PM

              I second Lee How Fook--it's terrific. You might also want to consider Vietnam, which is literally next door to Lee How Fook. I have never had anything but spectacular meals there.

              1. s
                suetlim Feb 27, 2007 06:43 PM

                If you are keen on jook (or congee), I do not recommend Lakeside. They have fine dim-sum but their congee is so-so. I recommend Ting-Wong (10th between Arch & Race) for congee. LHF used to be on my list but their cooking seem to have gotten sweeter over the years (my husband considers it Americanization). I strongly recommend Four Rivers if you're looking for authentic non-Cantonese Chinese - it will help that your wife speaks Mandarin. For homestyle Cantonese, I would go for Shiao Lan Kung.
                If you're willing to venture beyond the CC immediate neighborhood, there are great Italians towards Rittenhouse Square. They're usually small, good North Italian BYOBs.

                1. l
                  Larry Racies Mar 2, 2007 07:04 AM

                  Thanks, Suetlim, and all you guys and gals who offered all those great suggestions.
                  I'm sure we'll have a great time thanks to you.

                  1. b
                    brightman Mar 2, 2007 07:17 AM

                    Try Szechuan Tasty House on Arch St at 9th. Great, authentic, fiery Szechuan flavors.

                    1. lippythelion69 Mar 3, 2007 07:55 AM

                      Wow.How about Four Rivers.......great food......alot of students from china claim it reminds them of home.I ate there last Fri. after 10pm. had pork intestines with chiles,it had just the right size slivers ginger and garlic in it ,and crystal wonton (these are the bomb) the intestines were great also. The little lady had sauted bean curd with celery and bamboo shoots ..that was very good also. Had lunch at Lee How Fooks the day after I had ducks feet with mushroom hot pot , i loved it.she had shrimp with cashew nuts which was good.
                      the buddha delight roll is great ..but big 10"s, its an appetizer, but could be a meal for your lady friend. their hot mustard is great.you gotta breath when you eat it or it melts your brain.......Four Rivers will do a Szechuan hot pot on the weekdays ,you must call ahead .

                      1. l
                        Larry Racies Mar 11, 2007 07:16 AM

                        Now that we're back in the Big Apple I'd like to thank all you guys and gals whose
                        suggestions made our all too quick trip to the Philly Flower Show such a pleasant
                        experience.
                        Since we were only there over three days (including travel) we only had time to
                        try 3 restaurants. Lakeside Deli is as good as you said and the staff is pleasant
                        to boot. The jook at Ting Wong is also quite good.

                        Because the bitter cold made us reluctant to travel far we made the grievous
                        error of dining at Maggianos which was across the street from our hotel.
                        This chain is as Italian as Mickey D's and we recommend that it be given a wide berth although it was crowded with clients, probably due to the Flower Show.

                        Thanks again all you guys.

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