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Feb 8, 2008 10:36 AM

Coming to Philly next week...

Staying in CC and will be eating alone on Tues and Wed. Love to find a really good restaurant where I can sit at the bar and eat. Does NOT need to be "fancy", but LOVE interesting food, small portions (tapas-like??) and an interesting clientel (as in - NOT suited, pretty young, hip, gay/straight mix, etc!) Also, a good martini is ALWAYS apreciated! Will not have car, so walking/easy cab or train is best! Thanks!!

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  1. I believe that the bar at Estia might be a good choice for your needs.
    Check it out. (Broad and Locust Streets)

    1. Depending on where in CC you will be there are two tapas places (both owned by the same chef) that are pretty much as you describe.

      Tinto on 20th and Sansom -

      Amada on 2nd and Chestnut -

      1. Tria might be a thought - as much bar as restaurant. i think their food is good, although not great, but it is small portions. (tapas-sized, but not spanish). vintage is another thought, similar description, although they have more full sized entrees as well. good dog is a gastropub, with a long bar where you can't count on finding an open stool. but if you do, it's a good option.

        1. Most really good restaurants are going to be on the fancy side but if good fare is acceptable - If you haven't been I'd suggest any of Steven Starr's joints they're all interesting - Morimoto (723 Chestnut), The Continental (138 Market), Jones (700 Chestnut), El Vez (121 S. 13th or check out
          If you're a Carnivore and are looking for something a little different than the usually supects (Morton's, Capital Grill et al) try Davio's (111 South 17th St) very good food and bar, can personally vouch for the Martini's.
          If you like Jazz Try Zanzibar Blue on Broad Street.

          Tinto and Amada as mentioned for Tapas.

          1 Reply
          1. Take a cab to Southwark at 4th & Bainbridge. Comfortable, attractive place; beautiful bar w/a great menu; friendly bartenders who make *great* classic drinks -- including martinis.

            12 Replies
            1. re: kagoo

              I'd second Tinto or Amada. However, there is also Alma de Cuba and El Vez that attract a "hipster "crowd. I'd skip the steakhouse chains unless you want to belnd in with the corporate-types.

                1. re: tinymango

                  Funny you should ask. My wife and I went to Tinto last night (our first time) and have been to Amada a few times.

                  I would say that the food at both is comparable (very good).

                  As for ambiance, we thought that Amada was a bit more "intimate." At Tinto, you sit on stools at high topped tables. But I guess since Tinto bills itself as a "wine bar" this makes sense. Amada has "regular" tables.

                  I don't think you can go wrong at either place.

                  1. re: Philly Ray

                    thanks so much. i suppose i would choose tinto, i love the heavy heavy basque influence from what ive read of the menu.

                    would you say that either of these places are some of the best of philadelphia? im planning a visit in april, and i want to see some of the best things in the city but i have a penchant for tapas and spanish or mexican influenced food....

                    1. re: tinymango

                      There has been a boom in Mexican restaurants in Philly over the last few years,

                      For no-frills taquerias, visit the area in and around 9th Street between Federal St. and Washington Ave. Specific places would be La Lupe, Los Taquitos de Puebla, Taqueria Veracruzana, and Plaza Garibaldi.

                      A notch above those would be Las Bugambilias and Xochitl (both near Front and South Sts.)

                      And then there is Los Catrines/Tequilas on 16th and Locust for full-on "haute" Mexican.

                      1. re: Philly Ray

                        I went to Las Bugambilias lately. I liked it quite a bit, but found the portions small and the prices high for what it was. If I am going to spend that much I might try another restaurant.

                      2. re: tinymango

                        Joses Garces the chef/owner of both Amada and Tinto has been lauded as one of the best chefs in the city. They are both among the top restaurants in Philadelphia

                        1. re: Bigley9

                          He was also just nominated (along with several other Philly-area chefs) for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic in this year's James Beard awards.

                          1. re: Buckethead

                            thank you all so much for your replies. it has helped me inumerably. the recs for the run of the mill taco joints around 9th ave all sound wonderful, i checked out all menus on menupages, and they seem to offer a lot of great stuff, which is exciting since i wasnt sure when i would get mexican food like that until i went back to san francisco (i just got back form there, so that's gonna be awhile...)

                            i will make tinto a definite stop, now that i have more information and will continue looking at the taqueria menus until i go to philadelphia, however, i might just go with la lupe, since it's first on the menu. all i need is some good lengua, and i'll be satisfied.

                            thanks again. this has really been a huge help. cheers!

                            1. re: tinymango

                              I would really recommend that you skip La Lupe, it's very inconsistent there. Hit Los Taquitos de Puebla instead.

                              1. re: Buckethead

                                I'd agree with Buckethead. I was very disappointed in La Lupe