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Apr 9, 2011 11:39 AM

Wedding Week

Getting married in Philadelphia next weekend, thus, have lots of family/friends coming into town. I have never lived in Philly (my fiance is from the Lower Merion) so I'm having difficulty recommending restaurants to out-of-town guests.

What are some exemplary Philadelphia restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Price range and cuisine isn't as important but I would like to direct them to some BYOB spots.


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  1. Where in Philly will the out of town guests be staying? (Center City, Art Museum, Old City, etc). That would be helpful to narrow down recs.

    For dinner are you looking for places that can accommodate a larger crowd? Or will most of the guests be dining on their own in smaller groups, 2 to 4 people?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sockii

      Center City but reasonable travel around there is ok.

      1. re: YEMIan

        Your question is pretty broad and open ended. There are a lot of good restaurants in Center City so this is pretty hard to answer. Maybe take a look at some other threads and sites like Yelp, The Feast, and come back for some more specific opinions?

        1. re: YEMIan

          You didn't answer my question about party size. A lot of the BYOBs in Center City are pretty small spaces so if it's going to be large groups dining together that could be a problem with BYOB.

          There are a lot of individual threads here on different restaurants and favorites. Easy top picks on ChowHound for BYOB would include Matyson, Melograno, Bibou, Kanella, Modo Mio, Mercato, Branzino, I also like Caffe Casta Diva and Novita Bistro. You've got all the Jose Garces places in CC to chose from including Village Whiskey, Tinto and Amada. You've got Reading Terminal Market for lunches. You've got Chinatown and Han Dynasty...For gastropubs check out Pub & Kitchen, Resurrection, South Philly Tap Room...really I think the silence has been we need more info for what you specifically need to find.

          1. re: sockii

            Sorry I didn't see that part of your post earlier. Party size is 8-10.

            The reason my question is so open-ended is because it is just that. I'm basically looking to give some out-of-town guests good recs because they are coming in early and will be on their own. I just wanted to give them a broad but small spattering of quentissential philly other than Cheesesteaks and south-side Italian.

            1. re: YEMIan

              Party size of 8-10 your main issue for a byob is fining one that can/will accommodate your group. Especially on a weekend and on short notice. You might do good with Chinatown (Rangoon, Vietnam Palace or Vietnam, none BYOB). Salento, Roberto Cafe, Bistro La Baia or Novita Bistro might work as BYOBs as they're not as "trendy" and "in" but the food is very good, but definitely would need to make reservations in advance. I'd recommend doing so for any Philly place on a weekend for a group of that size.

              1. re: sockii

                For Chinatown, Banana Leaf is BYOB, and I believe Lee How Fook is as well.

                1. re: malkazanie

                  thanks for the help! This will get me started!

                  1. re: YEMIan

                    Of the places I go, your best shot for a large group BYOB would be Melograno, but I think their biggest table would be 6-7 comfortably. Food is excellent, and if you catch the Rabbit Saddle on a good night that's the best dish in Philly IMHO. But I have only had it that good 2 times out of the 6-7 times I've ordered it.

                    Another italian BYO worth a call perhaps is Bistro La Baia. It is absolutely tiny but every time I go seems to be a group of 10-12 there. That would 100% require a reservation, but it's a great place and very affordable.

                    I never see it recommended, and it's not BYOB, but I've had many drinks and several apps at Noble, which has an upstairs seating area that may handle a larger group. Full disclosure, I've never been up there, so I can't say for sure, but may be worth a quick call. I've only ever had drinks there waiting to sit at Melograno and Village Whiskey, and finally ordered a couple of apps which blew me away.

                    Hope that helps.