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20+ Great Restaurants in Old City and Philadelphia’s Historic District

Tasty eats in Philly’s original city

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Moshulu Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
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Old City and Philadelphia’s Historic District are home to more than just iconic attractions. They also offer plenty of memorable restaurants to explore.

In fact, some might call many of the Historic District’s restaurants attractions in themselves, offering experiences that can easily rival the nearby sightseeing ventures.

There are eats crafted by celebrity chefs, outdoor dining atop the deck of a four-masted sailing ship and Colonial-costumed servers offering an authentic 18th-century dining experience.

From wood-fired pizza (with toppings like prosciutto, pistachio or black truffle!) to handcrafted cocktails, here are more than 20 great restaurants awaiting you in Old City and Philadelphia’s Historic District.

01

High Street on Market

Freshly made artisanal breads and seasonal ingredients from the team behind Fork

High Street on Market High Street on Market
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Fork’s sister restaurant High Street on Market serves three meals a day. Morning means egg sandwiches on famous house-baked breads, sweet and savory pastries and Rival Bros. small-batch coffee. Lunch brings sandwiches on awesome artisanal bread and market salads. And dinner is a sophisticated but casual affair complete with handmade and house-extruded pastas, family-style plates and a concise list of wines and spirits.

Where: High Street on Market, 308 Market Street

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02

Zahav

Acclaimed Israeli cuisine in Society Hill

Meal on a table at Zahav Meal on a table at Zahav
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Michael Solomonov, the 2017 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Chef, cooks food from his native Israel in his adopted home of Philadelphia at Zahav, a local favorite. Diners can choose from a selection of raved-about hummus options, share a few small plates or order from the tasting menu.

Where: Zahav, 237 St James Place

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03

La Peg

French brasserie with waterfront views

Diners at La Peg Diners at La Peg
— Photo by P. Woolsey for Visit Philadelphia

Diners at this brasserie, located inside the FringeArts building, enjoy elevated versions of classic dishes like yankee pot roast and roasted chicken. If you care for a cocktail, they deliver those with finesse, too. The industrial-chic design of the restaurant’s interiors pays homage to the building’s original purpose as a pumping station.

Where: La Peg, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard

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04

Amada

Jose Garces’ first Philadelphia restaurant

Spread at Amada Spread at Amada
— Photo courtesy Amada

The restaurant that many consider responsible for starting the tapas trend in the city — and Jose Garces’ very first Philly venture — also serves big Spanish-style plates, including a roasted suckling pig. Can’t decide what to have for dinner? Choose one of the chef’s tasting options, with or without the wine pairing.

Where: Amada, 217-219 Chestnut Street

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05

Buddakan

Where creativity and cachet loom large

Interior of Buddakan Interior of Buddakan
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Stephen Starr’s original temple of modern Asian cuisine offers creative takes on Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian fare in a theatrical setting. During lunch, diners can enjoy bento box specials.

Where: Buddakan, 325 Chestnut Street

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06

Independence Beer Garden

Cold beer and tasty food on Independence Mall

People outside at Independence Beer Garden People outside at Independence Beer Garden
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Nothing celebrates freedom quite like enjoying a cold one outside, and that’s why this beer garden is an American classic. The seasonal (April-October) 22,000-square-foot Old City getaway boasts tons of taps and a menu of comfort-food bites.

Where: Independence Beer Garden, 100 S. Independence Mall W.

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07

City Tavern

Colonial America is recreated at this authentic tavern in Old City

City Tavern City Tavern
— Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Revolutionary renditions of 18th-century Colonial fine dining are even better when paired with beer brewed from original recipes from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Costumed servers add to the charm at this history-entrenched restaurant.

Where: City Tavern, 138 S. 2nd Street

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08

Red Owl Tavern

Modern pub fare in a relaxed atmosphere

Interior of Red Owl Tavern Interior of Red Owl Tavern
— Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

This tavern attached to the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia serves up handcrafted cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices, along with house-cured charcuterie and classic dishes with an international twist.

Where: Red Owl Tavern, 433 Chestnut Street

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09

The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar

The ever-popular Old City institution

Exterior of the Continental Exterior of the Continental
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

Old City’s original martini bar, the Continental specializes in global tapas served in a lively, stylish setting. The kitchen stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays to satisfy the cravings of the neighborhood’s party people.

Where: The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar, 138 Market Street

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10

Han Dynasty

Popular for fiery flavors and traditional Schezuan dishes

With accolades from CNN and Anthony Bourdain, this contemporary Chinese restaurant puts a twist on the classics. Diners are asked to choose their spice level, numbered one through 10, for an array of savory dishes.

Where: Han Dynasty, 123 Chestnut Street

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11

Fork

A stylish New American bistro and Old City anchor

Interior of Fork Interior of Fork
— Photo by Trevor Dixon for Fork Restaurant

Owner Ellen Yin’s elegant American bistro Fork jump started the restaurant scene in Old City more than 15 years ago, and it remains a highlight in the neighborhood and the city. Seasonal ingredients make up the seemingly simple yet fabulous dishes.

Where: Fork, 306 Market Street

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12

Pizzeria Stella

Stephen Starr’s Headhouse Square restaurant focuses on gourmet pies

Pepperoni pizza pie from Pizzeria Stella Pepperoni pizza pie from Pizzeria Stella
— Photo courtesy Pizzeria Stella

Restaurateur Stephen Starr ups the ante on the classic neighborhood pizza place with Pizzeria Stella, offering specialty and creative takes on brick-oven pizzas. Innovative concoctions such as the pistachio with red onions, fontina cheese and rosemary or the honey-roasted squash with pecorino, truffled burrata and arugula are just a couple of the daring but delicious takes on traditional pizzas.

Where: Pizzeria Stella, 420 S. 2nd Street

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13

Cuba Libre

A little bit of Old Havana in Old City

Cuban and Latin cuisine and refreshing mojitos fit perfectly in this setting that appears straight out of Old Havana. Helmed by two-time James Beard Award-winner Guillermo Pernot, the kitchen offers the “15 Tastes of Cuba” tasting menu nightly as well lunch during the week and brunch on the weekends.

Where: Cuba Libre, 10 S. 2nd Street

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14

The Olde Bar

Jose Garces' Old City seafood spot

A post shared by The Olde Bar (@theoldebarphl) on

Jose Garces’ Olde Bar revives the Old Original Bookbinder’s, a mid-20th century landmark Philadelphia restaurant. Keeping the early seafood house’s spirit alive, a full raw bar greets guests upon walking in the door, and a catalog of crab cakes, Cape Cod mussels, lobster rolls and more fill the menu of delicious eats.

Where: The Olde Bar, 125 Walnut Street

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15

Revolution House

Historic views and comfort foods with an international flair

Outdoor seating at Revolution House Outdoor seating at Revolution House
— Photo courtesy Revolution House

Serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, this two-floor spot offers prime views of the Christ Church steeple and Benjamin Franklin Bridge, along with a playful menu of internationally influenced comfort foods and Neapolitan pizza. The bar pours eight rotating local beers, cocktails and boutique wines.

Where: Revolution House, 200 Market Street

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16

Moshulu

Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Philadelphia skyline with your meal

People dining at Moshulu People dining at Moshulu
— Photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

The riverside views keep diners coming back for twilight cocktails and delicious fare aboard this fully restored four-masted sailing ship, berthed on Penn’s Landing.

Where: Moshulu, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard

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17

Capofitto

Neapolitan-style pizza from the masters of gelato

At Capofitto, the crew behind Philadelphia’s beloved gelato mini-chain Capogiro wows with their Neapolitan-style pizza from a custom wood-fired oven. Weekend brunch features pasta, egg dishes and pizza, of course.

Where: Capofitto, 233 Chestnut Street

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18

FARMiCiA

Delicious, organic cuisine in Old City

A post shared by FARMiCiA (@farmicia_philly) on

At FARMiCiA, the staff serves tasty food and beverages created from local and organic products in a relaxed yet lively environment. Plus, half-priced happy hour specials make it an ultimate post-work destination.

Where: FARMiCiA, 15 S. 3rd Street

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19

2nd Story Brewing

House-made brews and causal pub fare

A local farmer teamed up with her son-in-law — who also happens to be a brewer — to open this restaurant, brewery and bar combo. The menu includes fish and chips, burgers and house-made flatbreads, with plenty of healthy options in the mix as well.

Where: 2nd Story Brewing, 117 Chestnut Street

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20

Panorama

Sample all the best flavors of Northern Italy at the Penn’s View Hotel in Old City

Wine and pasta dish from Panorama Wine and pasta dish from Panorama
— Photo courtesy Penn's View Hotel

One of the most romantic Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, Panorama boasts a Guinness World Record for its extensive wine preservation and dispensing system. Specialties include pappardelle with wild boar bolognese, tuna carpaccio and a selection of Italian cheeses.

Where: Panorama, 14 N. Front Street

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21

DiNardo's Famous Crabs

Shell-cracking seafood in Old City since 1976

A Philadelphia seafood institution for nearly four decades, DiNardo’s gets crabs flown in daily from the Gulf Coast and serves them hot and dirty, Baltimore-style or with garlic. They also prepare seafood specialties, steaks, pasta and chicken dishes.

Where: DiNardo's Famous Crabs, 312 Race Street

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22

The Gaslight

Creative pub food crafted by a former Top Chef

A post shared by TheGaslight (@gaslightphilly) on

This bar and restaurant from Top Chef alum Jason Cichonski features interesting takes on the classics (think buffalo chicken dip and crab mac and cheese). Cleverly named drinks and mouthwatering and brunch specialties keep the fun going all weekend.

Where: The Gaslight, 120 Market Street

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High Street on Market
Zahav
La Peg
Amada
Buddakan
Independence Beer Garden
City Tavern
Red Owl Tavern
The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar
Han Dynasty
Fork
Pizzeria Stella
Cuba Libre
The Olde Bar
Revolution House
Moshulu
Capofitto
FARMiCiA
2nd Story Brewing
Panorama
DiNardo's Famous Crabs
The Gaslight
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Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through June 15, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as a $25 We ♥ 13th Street restaurants gift card, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, a $25 gift card to R2L, a free cheesesteak from Campo's and a $10 Lyft credit.

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