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The 14 Best Italian Restaurants in Philadelphia

By Madison Duddy | March 16, 2021 | Food & Drink

http://www.villadiroma.com/Handmade pasta, fresh ingredients, award-winning sauce and all the traditional favorites found at these restaurants will transport you to an evening in Roma. Buon Appetito!

When you're done perusing this list, check out the best Italian restaurants in our other markets: Aspen, Boston, Hamptons, Hawaii, Miami, NYC, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C.

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Rosalie
Known for their “Italian soul food,” Rosalie in Wayne offers lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch with lots of shared plates and classic dishes. Order a few snacks like pork shank with plum mostarda and gnocchi fritti with horseradish before splitting a margarita pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. 139 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, 610.977.0600, rosaliewayne.com

Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti
A trip to the breathtaking Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast is surely on our bucket list, but for now, escape to this Old City eatery to fill your coastal Italian fix. Offering brunch, lunch, dinner and happy hour, Positano Coast specializes in inspired cuisine with fresh fish, seafood and crudo. Their tuna tartare and pan seared branzino with parsnip purée, leeks and truffle oil will make you think you’ve died and gone to Amalfi heaven. 212 Walnut St., Second Floor, 215.238.0499, positanocoast.net

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Villa di Roma
The DeLuca family has been serving up homestyle Italian at Villa di Roma since 1963. Their expansive menu covers every dish you can think of from shrimp scampi to ricotta stuffed manicotti, veal parmigiana and lucious tartufo, but the red sauce is truly the main event. Enjoy it in-house, or pick up a bottle to go. 936 S. Ninth St., 215.592.1295, villadiroma.com

Palizzi Social Club
Located in a South Philly rowhome, Palizzi Social Club just might be one of the most exclusive meals in town. This members-only spot has been making traditional Italian cocktails and fare since 1918 in their intimate, Godfather-esque space. With galliano, negronis, stromboli, stuffed artichokes, ravioli vasto and ricotta cheese pie, we highly recommend befriending a member or keeping an eye out for when they start taking applications again. 1408 S. 12th St., palizzisocial.com

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Vetri Cucina
All gourmet Italian cuisine lovers must venture to Marc Vetri’s Spruce Street eatery. The restaurant offers a five course tasting menu for $125 a person, and each option is more mouth watering than the first. While you are biting into spinach gnocchi with shaved ricotta and brown butter or frois gois pastrami with toasted brioche and mastarda, indulge with peace of mind that all the grains used at Vetri Cucina are house milled and sustainably grown. 1312 Spruce St., 215.732.3478, vetricucina.com

La Fontana Della Città
This Rittenhouse Square staple is reopened after a COVID hiatus, serving all their classics from their private outdoor, heated cabins. Start your meal by sharing the antipasto and salsiccia e rapini—a flavorful sausage and broccoli rabe dish—followed by homemade lasagna bolognese, chicken marsala and creamy tiramisu. 1701 Spruce St., 215.875.9990, lafontanadellacitta.com

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Bistro Romano
If you’re looking for a new place for date night, Bistro Romano in Society Hill is a must. This candle lit eatery perfectly marries locally sourced, fresh ingredients with cozy charm. In addition to Caesar salad prepared tableside, fresh seafood and meats, house-made pastas and decadent desserts, guests can opt for the Chef’s Tasting which pairs each course with wine. 120 Lombard St., 215.925.8880, bistroromano.com

Caffe Aldo Lamberti
House-made pastas, fresh seafood, a raw bar, prime meats and an award-winning wine list all come together at this Cherry Hill spot. The California Art Deco styled space creates a comfortable, yet chic atmosphere for an upscale night out. On top of their scrumptious menu items like pappardelle bolognese with prime sirloin and short rib ragu or a fresh Maine lobster, the restaurant houses over 1,500 bottles of wine in their cellars for your tasting. 2011 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill, N.J., 856.663.1747, caffelamberti.com

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Davio’s
Starting out as a family owned restaurant in Boston’s Back Bay, Davio’s has grown to have nine locations across the county—one of which is in King of Prussia Town Center. Head to the hot spot for brunch, lunch and dinner and indulge in fresh fish, prime cut meats, pastas and delectable antipasti.. 200 Main St., 610.337.4810, davios.com

Gran Caffè L’Aquila
Assagi, or Italian tapas, are the heart of Gran Caffè L’Aquila. One option: the salumni, is a choice of cured meats, like prosciutto di parma, served with parmigiano crostini, olives and greens. The olive oil tasting is another speciality item and provides elite DOP oils with small bites like burrata and broccoli rabe. 1716 Chestnut St., 215.568.5600, grancaffelaquila.com

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Barbuzzo
Just a few blocks away from City Hall, Barbuzzo’s Italian fare with a Mediterranean flare awaits. Their wood oven pizza is really the star of the show for those who like Neopolitian style. Order the margarita and funghi pizza with a smokey, wood fire flavor, or the Uovo: The speciality item is topped with brussel leaves, secret white sauce, mozzarella, guanciale, truffled egg and parmesan. 110 S. 13th St., 215.546.9300, barbuzzo.com

Victor Cafe
For those who love dinner with a show, Victor Cafe is your place. While guests dine on classic Italian eats like linguini fra diavolo, chicken piccata and burrata with roasted peppers and garlic crostini, the waiters perform opera every 15 or 20 minutes. The performers are all from the Greater Philadelphia area, and will certainly add an extra memorable touch to your evening out. 1303 Dickinson St., 215.468.3040, victorcafe.com

A. Mano
Translating to “by hand,” this restaurant certainty takes their name seriously by specializing in handcrafted cuisine and house-made pastas. A new menu appears every season, bringing bites like pork belly with grapefruit, ginger agoro and pistachio, goat cheese gnocchi and chicken milanese with romanesco, roasted potato and cippolini. All food is served family style at $65 per person, so keep an eye out for new dishes as the menu rotates this spring. 2244 Fairmount Ave., 215.236.1114, amanophl.com

Fiorella
When the Fiorella’s, a beloved Italian sausage making family in Philly, and Marc Vetri came together, this pasta bar was born. The location has been restored as a nod to Luigi Fiorella’s original storefront from 1892 to create an intimate dining experience. The menu has a variety of antipasti, pasta and desserts, including red snapper crudo with chili crisp, radishes and lemon, tonarelli cacio e pepe and tiramisu gelato. 817 Christian St., 215.305.9222, fiorellaphilly.com



Photography by: Vetri Cucina photo by Steve Legato; Bistro Romano photo by Josh Eats Philly; Barbuzzo photo courtesy of Bondfire Media; All other photos courtesy of restaurants;