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Neighborhood place in rittenhouse square

I just moved to Philadelphia in the Rittenhouse Square area. What are the good neighborhood restaurants? Interested in *delicious food* and a laid-back, casual atmosphere. So far we really like the Dandelion, but found Parc and Rouge too 'scene-y', and Vernick too fancy, for a regular weeknight dinner. Any suggestions in Rittenhouse or Center City would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. For light snacks and drinks you would like Tria. For fast food vegetarian HipCityVedge

    Matyson is a nice byo close by. They do tasting menus during the week, and also have a nice Sunday meal special.

    NomNom Noodles is a nice ramen shop.

    Rittenhouse Tavern may seem similar to Vernick, but it is perhaps not as expensive.

    Branzino is a decent italian byo restaurant that is close by.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      I second Tria. It's upscale but not "a show" if you know what I mean. Rotisseur also has really good chicken and it's extremely, extremely casual.

      1. re: bluehensfan

        Those 2 are 2 of my favorites, on opposite ends of the casual scale.

    2. The Rittenhouse Tavern in the Art Alliance Building may be a good fit for you. Courtyard is quite lovely for al fresco dining and there is a good price range of food options. Love there burger,but please no watercress!

      1. Not trying to be mean, but your neighborhood is pretty scene-y. i don't know how much difference there is near Rittenhouse Square between a neighborhood place and a scene-y place.
        I do find that if you go south of the Park, toward Pine and Lombard, places there are more low-key.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Bob Loblaw

          If there are places south of the park that you would recommend I'd love to try them. (Not a mean comment at all, after a few weeks here I have come to agree with your assessment.)

          1. re: Cece123

            You know, it's been so long since I lived downtown that I don't. At one point Fish was somewhere down there, and that was great, but it moved/closed/reopened/changed owners - impossible to keep straight. Other people like Meritage, but I've never eaten there.
            I just know that I wind up walking/biking down there once a month or so and seeing places that look nice - and neighborhoody- but I never manage to make it back there. And my Doobie's days are pretty far behind me at this point. Pub and Kitchen maybe?

            1. re: Cece123

              Roberto Cafe on South at 21st. BYOB serving unpretentious and very authentic Italian...I lived about 2 blocks away for years and this was pretty much my go-to place for a nice yet casual night out.

              Pub & Kitchen? I liked the food but found the atmosphere crowd SO obnoxious. Never felt comfortable really just hanging out there. Honestly when I am in the neighborhood these days I tend to grab lunch or hang out at Ten Stone (not the best food but very relaxing neighborhood atmosphere, you will know all the regulars quickly) or Rex 1516 (more classy, higher end food, but still the kind of place you can just relax for a while.)

              1. re: Cece123

                I'm also going to add a new rec: Kidari Sushi Yatai that just opened at 18th & South. Had two lunches there this past week and it was *great* sushi and cooked small plates, super-friendly service too. In fact it's probably a good thing I don't live nearby any longer or else I'd probably be going broke eating there all the time.

                Chef Sam Yoon from Raw is behind the sushi counter there, which is what really makes it standout from some of the other small sushi places around Rittenhouse.

            2. Does anyone else think that a.kitchen would be ok?

              2 Replies
              1. re: Philly Ray

                It's so small at a.kitchen and a little pretentious if you ask me. I feel more on the spot there than Parc for example because of the size (or lack thereof). I have not been since Sykora left so who knows how good the food is there at the a.k these days.

                1. re: bluehensfan

                  A.kitchen feels more like a hotel restaurant than a neighborhood bistro.

              2. Thank you all so much for the suggestions. Tried Trial yesterday and it was great! We will try the others soon.