When you are craving authentic French fare in Philly, try Creperie Beau Monde. (Photo: Courtesy of Creperie Beau Monde)
Philadelphia is a delicious place to be. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you can find it here. In the mood for some international cuisine? Lucky you: Philly has some of the best Italian and French restaurants around. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere and real flavor of these local gastronomic faves.
Warm, cozy, casual and delicious, Spasso hits the spot for authentic homemade pasta and classic Italian dishes like chicken parmigiana and veal saltimbocca. This is the kind of Italian food Philly (and Jersey) kids grew up eating at home. Rated one of Zagat’s best for homemade pasta, Spasso doesn’t disappoint; the Gnocchi Bolognese and Linguini Puttanesca are two patron-pleasing favorites. Oh, and if you have any room in your pasta-packed belly, definitely get dessert — they’re made in-house, too. Delicioso.
Looking for some of the best pizza in Philly? Look no further: The Original Tacconelli’s Pizzeria serves up crispy, cheesy, delicious pizza baked in a family-built brick oven completed in 1920, which has been in operation for more than 95 years and has been turning out Tacconelli’s pies for more than 70 years. That’s some serious pizza history. And this is a place for pizza purists. Choose from Tomato, Regular, White or Margherita pie and add your favorite toppings. This is a “one man, one oven” operation, as Tacconelli’s puts it; you can reserve your dough ahead of time for a shorter wait. This place is also BYOB … an awesome bonus for a thrifty traveler.
Stephen Starr is responsible for some of the best restaurants in Philly, and the delectable Parc Brasserie in Rittenhouse Square is one of the yummiest. If you can grab a seat outside, do it: Watching the hustle and bustle in charming, historic Rittenhouse Square is a uniquely Parisian experience in Philly. This chic spot serves up French classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they bake their baguettes in house (fluffy, crispy deliciousness).
For lunch, we can’t get enough of the Croque Madame, which is kind of like a French grilled cheese with ham, sauce mornay and (the best part) a fried egg on top. You’ll literally feel like you flew to Paris for lunch. There’s not one dinner entrée that won’t blow your mind, but our favorites are the Trout Amamdine and the Beef Bourguignon. Trés bien.
For a different style of French cuisine, try some of the best crepes in town (or anywhere near town, for that matter) at Creperie Beau Monde. Crepe-making is an art, and here crepes are served up in a stunning, bistro-like surrounding that seriously feels like France. This place has been stacking up “best of” awards for years, and as soon as you bite into one of the artful crepes, you’ll understand why. The menu is divided into sweet and savory crepes, and there are so many to choose from.
On the savory side, there’s the Coq au Vin and Swiss Cheese; the Andouille Sausage, Ratatouille and Caramelized Tomato Sauce; and the Smoked Trout, Leeks and Creme Fraiche. Sweet tooth? Try a crepe with Bananas, Toasted Coconut, Dulce de Leche and Coconut Sorbe or a classic Fresh Squeezed Lemon and Sugar crepe. With more than 40 crepes (besides build-your-own) on offer, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. And if you’re around on a Monday, don’t miss the Monday Prix Fixe.