Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Jan 30, 2010 08:26 AM


I would like to start a new thread on Paella. Paella is my favorite dish of all time, but I have yet to have it here in Philadelphia. I would appreciate any recommendations. So far I know of three places that serve Paella; Bar Ferdinand, Amada and Taste of Portugal. I would appreciate any reviews and recommendations regarding Paella.

Edit: I would also like to know if there is any BYO restaurant in the city that serves Paella.

Thanks in advance

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I love paella, and the version at Taste of Portugal is really good. I also really like the paella at Valanni, in Center City.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

      Vote for TofP as well. Great value and a fun place. Love Bar Ferdinand too but never had the paella there. Will make it a point next time.

      1. re: Chuckles52

        I thought Bar Ferdinand's paella was good, but not as good as Valanni or TofP. Full disclosure, though, I was already very full by the time the Bar Ferdinand paella came out, which may have affected my enjoyment.

        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          Where is Taste of Portugal? I've had Paella at both Bar Ferdinand and Amada. Wasn't real crazy about BF's and Amada's was good but not great.

          1. re: Rondo

            Doing this from memory, haven't been there in a while, but I believe it is in the Near NOrtheast--on Adams Avenue. Lots of free parking; easy to reach, close to the Boulevard.

            1. re: Rondo

              I think Amada's paella is the best I've ever had. They have two versions: chicken and chorizo ($38, and ample enough for 2 or 3 people) and lobster ($75, same size). Both are rich in flavor and come with plenty of toast smeared with this fabulous garlic-paprika aioli; the server places a portion of each element on your plate for you.

              Bar Ferdinand's is good but not as exciting. Cuba Libre in Old City also serves paella, but I've never partaken.

              1. re: felicia.dambrosio

                "I think Amada's paella is the best I've ever had."

                You need to eat a lot more Paella.

                1. re: Chinon00

                  LOL. Nice Chinon. Yeah I had the lobster paella at Amada a couple years back and felt it could have been better. Still trying to get to A Taste Of Portugal. Do you have a favorite paella in Philly?

                  1. re: Rondo

                    Honestly I don't have one yet. I need to go to Taste of Portugal. I was first introduced to paella in Narragansett, R.I. at restaurant named Spain's back in the late 90s. Not to sound like a snob but since then it's been two places in Madrid that have been the best. The wife and I left not a single grain of rice behind at either.

        2. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          Another vote for Taste of Portgual. Also try Cafe Tio Pepe also in the Northeast.

        3. We love Bar Ferdinand but I have never been thrilled with their paella. It seems to heavy and a bit greasy. I am going to try Taste of Portugal. Where is it?

          3 Replies
          1. re: joluvscards

            As others have said, it's in the Northeast, on Adams Ave. not too far from the Boulevard. It's in an unassuming little strip mall across Adams from the strip that contains Pho 75.

            For those who would rather stay in Center City, I highly recommend Valanni. I like their paella much better than the one I had at Bar Ferdinand. Their other food is good too.

            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

              I looked at Taste of Portugal's website to see if they were open for lunch, as I occasionally have business in N.E. Philly. No hours are posted. Does anyone know if they are open for lunch? Thanks.

              1. re: Rondo

                We were there for a weekend lunch, I'm not sure about weekdays. When we were there for lunch, only the upstairs bar area was open, the downstairs dining room was not (though i much prefer upstairs anyway, much more casual and authentic).

          2. I've had, and enjoyed, the paella at Mixto. It's been a while, though.-Noah

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bob Loblaw

              Now i've had it at Tierra Colombiana (owners of Mixto) and I thought it was a bit dry.

            2. sazon is doing paella for two over valentine's day weekend!!!!

              1. At the suggestion of the board we tried Valanni. We loved the paella, with several reservations. The vibe of the resto is odd, a mixture of gay and middle aged people. The music is thumping "I am so hot" music that makes talking or getting comfortable very hard, this after we asked them to lower it twice and changed our seat as well, and the design of the place with a large bar in the center, is oddly claustrophobic. My octopus tapas was lousy (and I love octopus, it might be my favorite food).

                The paella was delicious though I suspect Valanni is "cheating" in several respects. First, the paella was ready way too quickly for it to have been freshly prepared. Second, I am not sure that its flavor is traditional paella-from-Valencia flavor since it was very spicy. That said, its seafood was wonderful (a first for me since seafood paella usually arrives with its seafood over-cooked) and we gobbled it down fast enough that the bartender who served us remarked about it.