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Best Italian in the City

What are your thoughts on the best Italian places in the center city area?

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  1. high end - vetri
    middle of the road - caffe casta diva
    cheap - radicchio

    1. Great topic. I would like to know too. I have eaten recently at Bistro Romano which seemed to me overpriced, ordinary Italian although the grotto atmosphere was nice; also been recently to Ernesto's 1521 for pre-theater, wasn't wowed by it, and it was noisy. I guess you could count Davio's as Italian, I've been there for several business lunches and the food was always very good. I did enjoy dinner at Mezzaluna in South Philly. which had authentic Italian atmosphere and great homemade gnocchi, and you can BYOB.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rocknroll52

        Our favorites:
        Center City - Branzino, 17th and Spruce - byob

        Mercato - byob - except that we don't go there, too crowded and
        noisy for us - but we're older

        South Philly:
        Tre Scalini - byob
        Paradiso

        Northern Liberties:
        Sovalo (northern Italian)

        sort of Northern Liberties:
        Radicchio - byob, no reservations

        Vetri is upscale, saved for a special occasion

        1. re: sylviag

          Add La Viola (on the west side of the street, less noisy) and L'Angolo to my list.
          Good food at reasonable prices. Both byob.
          Not quite (IMHO) the quality of my original list, but very good.
          I liked LeVirtu, my dinner companions didn't.

          1. re: sylviag

            I prefer Branzino and Raddichio over La Viola any day.

      2. For price and value, La Viola, especially the veal.

        1. Vetri takes high end hands down.
          Paradiso wowed me on my one visit (so many restaurants, so little time) I also loved Le Virtu, although others disagree.
          Mr Martinos old style regional italian
          Villa d'Roma - red gravy italian American
          Osteria for Piazza di Popolo Roma style dining (not nearly as casual as it appears, beautiful people)

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bigley9

            Just had a very good dinner at Osteria last night.

            Began with wonderful eel fritters.. not greasy.. dusted with coarse salt and a wonderful lemony mayo with it. Follow with the Polpo pizza.. flecks of red pepper wonderful octopus smokey mozzarella and thin crust... finally pasta.. robiola francobolli with royal trumpet mushrooms and thyme.. light sauce and delicious earthy mushrooms. Dessert was fresh fig and polenta pound cake with wonderful rosemary gelato on the side. A very good fresh meal, paced nicely (dining over 2 hours.. ) and very good service. Sat in the back room so didnt get as much of the din as the front of the house until the large table of eight was seated at the end of our meal. All in all a wonderful experience.

          2. I'm going to have to go with Radicchio - actually just ate there (again) last night. We took out of town friends and they just loved it - we had such a great time and wonderful food. the Spaghetti Adriatico with mussels, clams and calamari is excellent!

            1 Reply
            1. re: smackdown

              L'Angolo for moderate, along with La Locanda del Ghiottone and Salento.