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Nov 5, 2013 05:21 PM

One night in Philly, best non-Italian restaurant

I'm coming into Philly to go to the Mutter Museum and will be staying overnight. I want to have dinner at an amazing restaurant. No budget restrictions, no Italian, no where that has a NY outpost and not too far from the museum if possible but willing to travel. I would love if it was farm to table or seafood but want more than anything to experience the best the city has to offer.

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    1. It is technically Italian but have you checked out Vetri?

      5 Replies
      1. re: barryg

        My friend does not eat gluten or dairy so
        Italian is usually hard, Verti would not work for him

        1. re: misnatalie

          This rules out a ton of places IMO, even tho some may accommodate your friend you are not getting the best the kitchen has to offer. In this case I recommend vedge or zahav, both can make a great meal of on-menu dishes that meet those requirements.

        2. re: barryg

          haha... "technically italian"

          in the TITLE OF THE POST, she says no italian.

            1. re: alex1018

              I don't think most people are thinking about foie gras pastrami, roasted baby goat, onion crepe etc when they say Italian food. Actually now that I think about it vetri could probably serve a great GF meal but losing dairy would be tough.

          1. My pick for best non-Italian is Bibou. Or Kanella if you want to stay in Center City.

            1. Best is very subjective and you have come to the right place to get a good variety of opinions on best. Certainly in Philadelphia there is a wide range of contenders that are non-Italian or technically Italian from which to choose, as per your request. I will offer a few good spots of high recognition, frequent national awards or popularity. With the no gluten or dairy wishes of your friend the first that comes to mind is:

              Vedge- direct hit on friends diet- national rec.
              Fountian Room 4 Seasons - some rank best in Phila
              Zahav - Best new chef award -National Rec-Local favorite
              Amada- Small plate Tapas- busy local favorite-casual
              The Prime Rib - high end steak house - some rank best here
              Dandilion- English, great decor with renditions of british fare
              Barbazzo- eclectic -busy- noisy-fun
              Wiskey Village - great burgers-casual - good fun

              All mentioned might require reservation. I am sure you will get many more options from local hounds.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bacchus101

                So many choices so little time (1night) and after your stroll through the Mutter you may choose a very light dinner with little or no meat! The list provided by Philadelphia Mag and Mr. best Byob offers a very wide selection but is 1 year outdated and as noted by Mr. byob some listed are gone. If considering the list note the comments below indicating the dissatisfaction of many readers with the choices. I for one would invest in Mr. Byob's suggestions and LaBan reviews first. Opinions are what you came for and certainly what you will get.

                1. re: Bacchus101

                  Not to get off topic, but I find it funny that despite all the online controversy lists like this always seem to cause (in the off-line real world, they never cause any controversy), if you were to add up all the restaurants that people complain about having not made the list, you'd probably come up with at most 5 or 6 legitamately debatable ones.

                  So the list really does cover 90% of our best restaurants, which is certainly within the margin of error for personal preferences.

                  Actually, I've made it a point this year to try to go to more places that I haven't been before, rather than just doing Blackfish and Bibou every other week. So I've been using this list for ideas. I'm up to 34 out of 50 of them, so still a ways to go (and time is running out!)...

              2. The Farm and Fisherman is our best farm-to-table, IMO. The chef was previously CdC at Blue Hill. BYOB.

                Here's Craig LaBan's review:


                Philly can't compete with NYC (if that's where you are from) for high-end dining (with the possible exception of Vetri and The Fountain). But what we excel at better than anywhere else is tiny, chef-driven BYOBs.

                As was mentioned, Bibou (French) and Kanella (Greek Cypriot) are also excellent, and many others, depending on what cuisine excites you. Although it will be almost impossible to get a Sat reservation at Bibou at this point (call them now and hope for the best).

                Of course you need to bring your own wine, or figure out where there is a conveniently located state store (something we do worse than anywhere else this side of Utah):


                If you don't want to deal with BYOB, maybe Zahav (Modern Israeli).

                FWIW, here is the last Philly Magazine Top 50 list (more of a what's hottest than what's best ranking, but it still covers most of the best):


                [Statesides's chef has changed, and Le Bec Fin and Koo Zee Doo are no more.


                If you are willing to try vegan, Vedge is world class and will change how you view veggies.