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Solo dining

Hi all, I could use a little help...
I'll be in Philly for 3 days next week, staying midtown. I won't have a car, so something within walking distance is preferred (up to a mile), but this is not a deal breaker. No limits on $ or cuisine type. Nothing too fancy (i.e., would want to wear jeans). Thanks!

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  1. Midtown doesnt make a lot of sense... what hotel are you staying in?

    2 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      Holiday Inn Express on Walnut. I'm taking a course that is being held there. Wouldn't have been my first choice.

      1. re: japanabanana

        Pretty much all of Center City is within a mile of your hotel - there are dozens of good places to eat in that area.
        Most restaurants you'll see mentioned on this board meet your requirements.

    2. As a starter on choices you may consider the Zahav with tall two tops by the windows. You would not be or feel out of place dining alone in nice jeans at Parc, Tria, Barbuzzo or Village Wiskey among may others. To CW's point Midtown is not usually used as an area indicator in Philadelphia. Hope these will give you a start.

      1. you can wear jeans to literally any restaurant in philadelphia.

        1. Right across the street from the Academy of Music is a popular place for delicious food if you are a Greek seafood lover, called Estia. A personal favorite.

          1. Can eat a delicious meal at the bar at Vedge
            Casual clothing absolutely fine
            Good drinks and appetizers

            1. If you like seafood, the Oyster House is terrific. It's on
              Sansom Street between 15th and 16th - just a few blocks from where you'll be staying.
              You can eat at the bar or a table. I see plenty of people eating along. Great for chowder, oysters, lobsters roll, and even desserts. No reservations, good bar.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sylviag

                I would add Barbuzzo and Little Nonna's to your list. They are a block or two from where you are staying.

              2. Best options would be the bar/restaurants, which means Vedge (vegan), Zahav (Israeli?), Morimoto (sushi), Vernick (New American).

                I'd steer clear of the BYOBs which have the more small-scale, romantic vibe.

                1. I treated myself to lunch at the bar at Zavino on a weekday recently. It's very close to your hotel and has fabulous thin-crust pizzas and an affordable but well-curated wine list. I actually prefer the bar here since the tables are very tight. Perfect solo dining resto. Not fancy but has a nice feel.


                  1. something that might be good for a solo diner is happy hour at sampan (13th and sansom). asian fusion small plates for HH. only available at the bar- there are 3. one is a traditional bar, one is outside and warmed by heat lamps, the third sits around the kitchen. it is fun to watch- and if you're dining alone it would give you something more to do. i'd call and make a reservation to make sure you get in at the kitchen bar.

                    1. A multitude of thanks for all the chow-love from Philly! I ended up at Barbuzzo (food ok, ambiance great), Zahav (amazing, but tragic that I was dining alone and couldn't try more dishes), and Vernick (great food, great ambiance). Am looking forward to my neck trip back!

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: japanabanana

                        Always great to have a review from a out-of-town poster. Thanks very much.

                          1. re: japanabanana

                            Great choices, glad you liked! I hear you about Zahav!

                            1. re: japanabanana

                              just wondering, could you have ordered the tasting menu as a solo diner?

                              1. re: Worldwide Diner

                                OMG. Can you imagine getting the Mesibah for one? You'd need to be taken out in a stretcher.

                                But it sounds appealing at the same time.

                                  1. re: Philly Ray

                                    Yeah pretty wild. You can also order the more sane 4 course menu for one.

                                      1. re: bluehensfan

                                        He definitely is not the norm. He is an endocrinologist who exercises a lot, and must have an incredibly high metabolism.

                                        Even the tasting menu without the lamb is a large amount of food, and I have always felt, I could do without the entree when I have ordered it.

                                        1. re: cwdonald

                                          By the time the lamb hit our table I was more or less toast but still managed to put a good dent into it.

                                          Maybe I need to eat a couple of heads of lettuce a week and walk a zillion miles a day...