HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >


1st anniversary restaurant suggestion?


Will be celebrating first anniversary with my lover next weekend somewhere in Philly. I am from NYC and do not know the area super well, but we have a car and can travel around the region. Could anyone recommend a great, romantic restaurant for two people who don't want to spend too much money (not more than $40/person)? It would be a Saturday or Sunday night. It must be delicious and maybe even scenic. Please help!

Thank you,

Edit: would be particularly interested in a place near the beach!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There's no beach in philly....

    Try Waterworks restaurant by the art museum.

    Bistro St. Tropez in the design center

    1 Reply
    1. re: lawslaw

      Haha! Yes, I am aware. I mentioned the beach because I have a car, you see, so I can venture outward. I am not always satisfied with restaurants that are too by the book in terms of menu and decor. I prefer hidden, quaint gems, and I hoped I might hear of one here. Thanks anyway.

    2. I think you may want to go to Atlantic City with your lover and eat in a casino. Both Waterworks and Bistro St. Tropez are NOT within your budget. Frankly, I think your post is a joke.

      5 Replies
      1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

        No need for nastiness- we are all friend here!

        Waterworks and Bistro are out of their price rage. If you want beach, go to AC. There are some decent dining options there, although $40 a person is a bit low. I would try Sonsie at the Pier- you can maybe squeak by at $40/person there. Not romantic, though.

        Although I am a Philly girl, I am having the hardest time with this one. I can think of really cheap places and expensive ones, neither of which will fit the bill. Maybe share an appetizer and each have entrees at a good place and then stroll afterwards around Rittenhouse and get a gelato at Capo Giro???? In that case, I would recommend dining al fresco at Rouge. That is probably the cheapest way to get a better meal but still have a bit of romance.

        Good luck and happy anniversary.

        1. re: JABDDD

          older philadelphian has made disparaging remarks in the past, don't about him/her. t'ain't worth it.

          for your price range i would recommend thai, korean or chinese food, or maybe one of the ethiopian restaurants along baltimore avenue. i doubt you'll find a fine dining gem that fits the bill, though the new bistro juliana may fit the bill (from the owners of radicchio in port richmond). good luck finding something that works.

          1. re: mazza3

            I may not be the most pleasant person in the world, and I am very direct. Life is too short. So tell me when I have been disparagin?

            1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

              it was last year about cheesesteaks and cheese whiz, i noticed your comments since they reminded me of the people i grew up with in tone, but i completely disagreed with your statements. i am sorry for being personal in this posting, there is no reason for it after all. i too am not always pleasant i suppose. :)

        2. re: OlderPhiladelphian

          I was assuming they meant no drinks. If it's no drinks, Waterworks and Bistro are within reach... It would be really scrimping though.

          No need for namecalling.

        3. Does the $40pp figure include drinks? If so, I'd recommend bringing your own bottle of wine (or six-pack, if you prefer) and heading to one of the city's nice BYOs. Matyson is always a good recommendation. It's not what I'd consider a 'romantic' setting, but it's very nice, and if great food is part of your idea of romance, it fits the bill. You can easily have a great meal there for less than $40pp. Salt & Pepper is also a nice, cozy BYO.

          1. Fri Sat Sun should squeeze inside that budget.

            1. Would you trade a beach for the most gorgeous landscaping you have ever seen and a restaurant where you have a choice between two, depending upon your pocketbook.
              Here is a menu for the twin restaurants.
              You choose according to your pocketbook.
              Pond is a white tablecloth, very elegant place with a price tag to match but across the hall, their sister Cassis is also a really neat looking restaurant (see the pictures for yourself) and a kinder menu.

              Have a wonderful anniversary.
              You can't miss with this one.

              1 Reply
              1. re: idia

                thank you, all, for the recommendations. i know it was a challenge with the limitations i set forth, and i do appreciate your attempts. in new york, i find that the $40/person limit (including drinks) can still present some wonderful options. mazza3, thank you for your encouragement. it's quite true, life is too, too short to waste on the graceless.

              2. Our first anniversary we went to Marrakesh, down by South street. I think the price was somewhere around that, but you should check. Great romantic spot. No menu - so make sure that the offerings are to your taste.

                1. I went to Bistro Romano for my first anniversary just last year. Very romantic and good food. It won several local awards for a romantic spot, which is how I found it. You can get a table down in the cellar, and if you plan far enough in advance, can get some very private and romatic tables. We also went to Moshulu that same weekend. May be touristy, but still a neat place for dinner. It's not on a beach, but at least it's on a boat.

                  1. How about Little Fish? It's a BYO so I think you could do appetizer & entree (you'll need both, portions are small but delicious) for your budget.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: etownse1

                      I upped the budget by $10/person. We will be going to Golden Pheasant Inn, along the Delaware River in Erwinna, and dining in the solarium. Classic French menu. Looking forward.

                    2. 1st anniversary??? SPLURGE baby! go to Restaurant M at the Morris hotel or Mertiage or Gayle off South St. Ralph's in South Philly, right off 9th and Catherine would get a decent meal for 80 bucks

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: EastCoastWineMan

                        Yeah we did splurge a bit! I wanted to go somewhere unusual, so we drove upstate along the Delaware river and dined at the restaurant in the Golden Pheasant Inn, which was rated very highly by Zagat for its classic country French cuisine and atmosphere. I had a lobster, shrimp, and crab ravioli appetizer in what seemed to be a saffron sauce, it was delicious. My bf had escargot, which he said were quite good. For entrees we both had steak: he had the sirloin with a green peppercorn sauce, and I had the filet mignon with bearnaise. I had the better piece of meat, but his peppercorn sauce was wonderful. For dessert we shared chocolate mousse, which was a bit too sweet for my taste. The food was great, not perfect but highly enjoyable, and the atmosphere was enhanced by the hour's drive up there - we drove along the river at dusk, taking in fresh air scented by wildflowers. It was a fantastic anniversary.

                        1. re: Neu FM

                          Thanks for the report, Neu, FM. Brought sunshine into my day. I can't even remember how we celebrated our first anniversary, 51 years ago!