You know when you train for a race for months and then the day before the race, your brother decides to run it too, and then he somehow beats you? That’s kind of like what A Mano is to every other Italian BYOB in Philly. Everything they do seems effortless, from the upscale, but still somehow casual feel of the dining room to the food, which tastes like it was made in a back-alley kitchen in Florence, but looks like the stuff you’d find in the most expensive and technical restaurants in the city. If we were the owners of another Italian spot in town, we’d probably be pretty annoyed. But we’re not, so we’re not.
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La Calaca Feliz
Bring a date or a group to La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount for margaritas, fish tacos, and huge portions of guacamole.
The Monkey & The Elephant Café
The Monkey & The Elephant is a coffee shop in Fairmount with a great back patio.
Umai Umai in Fairmount makes affordable, a la carte sushi in a space that’s nice enough for a date, but not overly fancy.
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Bar Amis is an offshoot of Amis Trattoria that serves solid pasta and antipasti dishes in the Navy Yard.
Suggested by our writers
Vetri is expensive, completely over the top, and possibly the best restaurant in Philadelphia.
Res Ipsa in Rittenhouse is a casual cafe during the day, but turns into a full-service Italian restaurant at night that’s perfect for a date.
La Locanda Del Ghiottone
La Locada del Ghittone is an Italian BYOB in Old City that serves super solid and affordable pasta.
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