Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Nov 4, 2011 02:38 PM

restaurant for son's 21st birthday

Anyone have a restaurant recommendation in Philadelphia for our son's 21st birthday? We'd like to go somewhere fun but sophisticated; he's an adventurous eater. Le Bec Fin, Fountain, etc. might be a bit too formal; he'll want to cut loose after his college mid-terms. We are flying in and staying in center city so going out to the suburbs isn't realistic. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would suggest the Dandelion if he is a beer fan. They have an excellent beer list as well as some good dishes; not altogether that out of the ordinary with regards to food choices, but good food nonetheless. Check out the menu online first. It also has a great unique atmosphere.

    I also would suggest to check out the menu of Standard Tap in Northern Liberties. This might be too far for you, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. They had antelope on the menu as of last Friday, and they have some other unique dishes as well as a decent tap list of local brews.

    If you're not looking for a place with a good beer selection, then I would suggest maybe Barbuzzo or Zahav. Zahav would probably be too far, but possibly worth the travel.

    1 Reply
    1. I was going to recommend Vetri, but while it is not as formal as LBF or the Fountain I don't see it as a "cut loose" kind of place. Maybe Osteria?

      1. My top three for this would be Distrito, Amada, or Barbuzzo. They all have good drinks, great food, and fun atmosphere. Barbuzzo's the most crowded of the three. The other two have a fun vibe I imagine a 21 year old would enjoy. They all have enough things on the menu to please any adventurous eater. They are all easy to get to either walking or by cab, depending where in CC you are.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          Amada, Osteria, Morimoto, or, hell, Buddakan.

          1 Atlantic Ocean Unit 3108, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

        2. my vote is for zahav

          do you have interest in going to a byo? we have some excellent ones, and they are a little less formal but still sophisticated. matyson maybe? the tasting menus are awesome if you go during the week

          2 Replies
          1. re: InSearchOfTacos

            Interesting thread. If I were 21 years old and adventurous foodwise, I'd choose Osteria.
            Great vibe; not formal, but sophisitcated with a fun side to it.

            1. re: Bashful3

              If her is a big carnivore, the spectacle at Chima, Fogo de Chao or one of the Brazilian steak houses might be fun.

              I agree with Osteria.. great pizzas.

              If you are doing a family celebration, you might consider the suckling pig at Amada, or one of the whole animal dinners at one of Garces other restaurants.

          2. We took my son and his best friend who also had a birthday within a few days of his to Victors on Dickinson St (1303) in South Philadelphia. All the waiters/waitresses are opera singers. The food is Italian and fantastic, and your son will never have a "Happy Birthday" that sounded so good. I can say that it's really fun and festive to be there.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hahnsh

              I have heard only negative things about Victor's - very negative about the food.
              Glad you enjoyed it - maybe it's improved.