Kabul is recognized as one of the area’s restaurants for “consistently delightful,” “absolutely delicious” and “wonderfully spiced” authentic, Afghan fare. Rated Excellent as reviewed in “Philadelphia Restaurants” by Zagat Survey 2000-2001.
Dress code is casual. All major credit cards are accepted. BYOB. There is only one small step before the entrance, so wheel chairs are welcome. Parking is available at the E-Z parking lot across the street. Kabul Afghan Cuisine is a non-smoking restaurant.
American taste buds have been changed forever. Kabul, an adventure in exotic dining, uncommon to Philadelphians, is the city’s first and original Afghan restaurant since 1991. Kabul is the kind of restaurant people return to again and again for the best of all possible reasons: fine, fresh, attractively presented food; attentive, agreeable service; pleasant surroundings; reasonable prices plus a profusion of discounts. The restaurant is chef and family owned and operated. That means that everyone involved with your order equates your pleasure with their prosperity.
Kabul’s menu is characterized predominantly by uniquely spiced lamb and chicken main courses, recently expanded to include an ample sampling of vegetarian dishes. Everything – bread to salad dressing to desserts – is prepared on the premises. The sauces are subtle and sophisticated. All the food is marinated in herbs and spices in order to achieve the true flavor of Afghan cuisine. As for the desserts, Elaine Tait, an Inquirer restaurant critic, once wrote, “I’ve grown accustomed to ethnic desserts that don’t always measure up to our standards for sweets. What we’re served at Kabul, however, were unusual but familiar enough to satisfy a majority of American sweet- lovers.”
At Kabul, half the fun of eating Afghan food is the atmosphere. The soothingly alto Afghan music immediately sets a tranquil mood. The decor intrigues: pink walls adorned with colorful native rugs, striped costumes and portraits of stoic warriors. To complete the ambiance, the restaurant is lit primarily by candlelight.
Or if you would care to try dining in traditional Afghan style, call in advance and reserve the taqh, a raised platform covered with Afghan rugs, cushions, and pillows, located in the back of the dining room. There, you can remove your shoes and eat with your hands (silverware is optional) while sitting or reclining in luxury. After dinner, the waiter gives you a pitcher to wash your hands.
Additionally, Kabul does not have a liquor license so bring your own wine. In fact, bring white and red, as you’ll find that the dining experience is best with both.
Ultimately, Kabul dishes out a cornucopia of culinary and cultural surprises best described by Dick Doran, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia, “Kabul is one of the most pleasant eateries of its kind in the area. Relaxing in its tasteful simplicity and service, enjoyable in its culinary offerings, and reasonable in its pricing, it is like visiting a land far away for an informal Friday night or a quiet early Sunday dinner.”
Zento Contemporary Sushi and Sake Bar is spinning nostalgia sexy. A tribute to the building turns of the century beginning as a whole sale tea house, which supplies most of the most of the tea in the city at the time. Prior to that lived Benjamin Franklin’s mistress for many years who built and lived in the house for most of her life. Evocative of the period, there are subtle historic references and details throughout rendered in a modern way using a mix of industrial age materials like steel and bronze with warm walnut paneling and bars, sensuous leather banquettes, and custom-fabricated lighting create a chic, sophisticated new dining experience for Old City Philadelphia.
The space reinvents refinement with a retro edge in one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods. Working within the frame work of existing wood moldings and trim, the original storefront on Chestnut Street is a controlled gesture opening up the entry and the dining area beyond to the street, and reinforcing the connection between the interior space and the energy of the contextual environment overhead, and signage limited to a recognizable logo on the doors quietly announce your arrival at some place different.
Exposed brick at the entry is a glimpse into the building past, but the dining room beyond is a warm, contemporary space. A leather banquette with low tables adjacent to the the walnut bar encourages casual dining and interaction among guests. A u-shaped, hand-made all leather banquettes at the back of the room, and tables designed to be ganged together allow for flexible layouts for larger parties, or smaller, intimate dining experiences. Above the dining, the second floor structure has been opened up to the soaring tin ceiling. 40 foot ceilings above the first floor from which a custom designed one of a kind chandelier suspended above the dining room below. To light the dining tables, cut designed wall-mounted light fixtures with adjustable arms recall history fixtures of early 20th century. The interior of Zento is all hand made and one of a kind fabrication made locally and abroad by artists.
The highlight of the dinning area is a two-story feature wall fabricated of tooled leather panels patterned after vintage wallpaper designs, and back-lit etched glass created by local designers and artists. The second level is accessible from a new door adjacent to the host stand at the restaurant entry, or via a separate entry at the storefront for private events and special chef’s tasting.
At the top of the stair, steel framed safety glass panels open into a front room designed for large parties and private events. A walnut bar with back-lit historic maps of Philadelphia, and steel framed mirror glass panels opposite the bar energize the room. A frame-less glass wall opens the room to views of the dining room below and the two-story leather and glass feature wall. Bronze metal mesh curtains allow the room to be secluded for private evens and larger dinner parties. Banquette seating and low tables encourage a relaxed, comfortable, social dining experience, and custom made glass pendant lights overhead with unique, flicking lamps are a nostalgia nod to the past.
When you’re dining at Spasso, you can expect great food at a reasonable price. Spasso’s open kitchen produces a menu that combines a full array of fresh seafood and meat, an assortment of appetizers, fresh vegetables, and homemade pasta. All the desserts are made on the premises, so be sure to save some room. The dining room at Spasso is warm and casual, so please come as you are. In the pleasant weather, al fresco dining is also available. Spasso was rated “excellent” in the Zagat’s Guide since 2002, recently being selected as one of “America’s 1000 Top Italian Restaurants.
Spasso has a beautiful lounge and banquet room that has made us a smart choice for many local businesses looking for a great alternative to the traditional “happy hour” or for private parties. From 20 to 200 people, Spasso Italian Grill can accommodate your needs better than anyone in Old City, Philadelphia. With a full bar, and the parties themselves choosing the music played, there is no nicer place to relax and enjoy yourself after a long day at work!
Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Beer Heaven, 136 Chestnut Street, Old City, Philadelphia (215) 413-1918. An historic three block walk from Independence Hall towards riverfront of Philadelphia. Restaurant spread over two floors in a historic row-house style building. Jeweler Bailey, Banks and Biddle was founded here in 1832.
The restaurant features Philadelphia’s largest beer selection with an amazing menu of over 300 international and domestic craft brewed bottled beers and 21 draught beers are served every day. Ranked as the fifth best beer restaurant in the United States by ratebeer.com beer menu highlights include “Eulogy’s Busty Blonde” beer brewed by La Binchoise Brewery in Belgium exclusively for Eulogy Belgian Tavern.
The Belgian owned restaurant features a full menu of award winning Belgian and casual dining American foods. The typical meal of the Belgian includes plump North Sea style mussels in eight flavorable sauces available along with the only authentic Belgian Frietjes and dipping sauce found in Philadelphia. In addition the “Napoleon Burger” with seven secret spices has won awards as Best of Philadelphia Hamburger. The restaurant also features tasty chicken, fish, steak and vegetarian dishes which can be found at the menu link below. Food is often paired with beer or wine and many beers used as ingredients are brewed in house.
Limited reservations are accepted online only by the links on this webpage and the majority of seating is done on a first come first served basis. Upstairs bar is open for the weekend only Thursday through Sunday evening while the downstairs bar is open every day.
Authentic Cajun Gastropub
Khyber Pass Pub is a historic Old City tavern that features a
beautiful bar handcrafted in 1876.
One of Philadelphia’s oldest bars and a ‘Philadelphia Magazine’ Best of Philly 2011 winner, the menu features an extensive selection of craft beers, authentic New Orleans specialties, hickory-smoked barbecue, and vegan and vegetarian options.
The tavern was built “for the convenience and credit of the city” by a group of eminent Philadelphians who felt that their hometown deserved a fine tavern which reflected its status as the largest, most cosmopolitan city in British North America.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is firmly committed to regulating the sale of alcohol, educating consumers on the responsible use of alcohol and working to prevent underage alcohol use while ensuring convenient access to a wide array of competitively-priced products and impeccable customer service at stores throughout the commonwealth.
Amada is Chef Garces’ iconic first restaurant. Since opening in 2005, the gorgeous rustic-chic restaurant and bar has embraced the rich traditions of Spanish gastronomy while incorporating avant-garde cooking techniques. Amada’s capacious dining room features a six-seat chef’s counter overlooking the open kitchen, a comfortable second dining room and lounge area, an intimate private event space and a spacious bar area reminiscent of a typical Spanish bodega, complete with hanging jamòns, a display of whole cheeses and shelves brimming with imported canned goods for sale.
Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar is dedicated to a continued exploration of Cuban heritage, art,
music, flavors and traditions. The open-air setting, tropical ambiance, vintage décor, upbeat Latin
music and Concept Chef/Partner, Guillermo Pernot’s delectable menu of ‘Nuevo Cubano’ dishes and
traditional favorites, make all of our restaurants a must-see, must-experience dining destination.
Amazing cuisine. Breathtaking atmosphere. Al fresco dining. Sexy Sopra Lounge. Bewitching Bar. Creative Organic Cocktails. All in one restaurant…Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti.
For an extraordinary dining experience, savor mouthwatering inspired Italian cuisine, such as the Sea Urchin Pasta, Beef Tenderloin, Pan Seared Branzino, Gnocchi Gorgonzola, Grilled Octopus and of course, the must have Crudo. Positano Coast welcomes guests to sample delicious selections from the menu, including the freshest fish and seafood, the Crudo menu (the Italian version of sashimi) and creative variations of classic Italian dishes. With menu options for everyone in your group, including those seeking traditional Italian flavors and certainly for the adventurous palates, Positano Coast offers a dining experience unlike any other in Philadelphia.
If the flavor of our food is not enough to transport you to Italy, the atmosphere certainly will. Inspired by owner Aldo Lamberti’s seaside hometown in Italy, the ambiance of Positano Coast will make you feel like you are on an Italian seaside holiday. With a soothing imported cobalt blue tile floor, life size images of the Amalfi Coast and remarkable second floor view of Old City, Positano Coast is a distinctive restaurant unlike any other in the City of Brotherly Love.
Our wine bar and signature drinks, like our infamous Positano Lemon Drop, transport you to the beaches of the Italian Riviera with every sip, and our organic cocktails will amaze the most discerning palate. We encourage you to experience them for yourself during Happy Hour, Monday-Friday 5-7 and Sunday 1-5, or if you prefer to bring your own wine with you while dining, Positano Coast offers BYOB every Sunday and Monday.
In warmer months, Positano Coast offers three fun, flirty, foodie-friendly outdoor atmospheres to experience al fresco dining like never before. Upstairs, our two second floor outdoor patios are the perfect place for people watching. Guests can also relax and unwind in Sopra Lounge any time throughout the year. With inviting white leather couches and swaying white curtains, you may think you are on vacation, and not in Philadelphia. Let Positano Coast take you away from it all, even for just a short time.
Located on the 2nd floor, across from the Ritz 5 movie theatre, Positano Coast takes you away from the traffic and hustle and bustle of the Philadelphia streets and into an Italian paradise. Come experience for yourself what all the talk is about!
Campo’s Deli is the best place for authentic Philadelphia food. Located conveniently in Old City, Campo’s is only three blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Visitor Center.
So after your visit to the historic sites in and around Independence Mall, take the short walk down Market Street to this charming corner deli for a delicious Philadelphia Cheese Steak.
Campo’s specializes in two authentic Philadelphia sandwiches — Philly cheesesteaks and Philly hoagies. There are several varieties of each, so take your pick. Both of the classic versions, however, are consistently rated among the best in the city. Campos will even ship a Philly Cheese Steak or hoagie anywhere in the country.
Good sandwiches begin with the bread and Campo’s clearly recognizes this. They use the deliciously crunchy-yet-airy rolls from South Philadelphia’s famous Liscio’s Bakery. Just let them know if you’d like one with seeds or not.
Now, you only have to make up your mind about whether you want a cheesesteak or a hoagie. Our suggestion — bring a friend so you can get one of each and cut them in half and share. That way, you’ll get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Campo’s originated in 1947 as a tiny grocery store and luncheonette — and the proprietors have been devoted to making the very best sandwiches for you to enjoy, for nearly 60 years ever since.
A feast for the senses, Panorama offers authentic trattoria-style dining in the heart of Old City. The flavors of the Northern region influence our Philadelphia Italian restaurant, featuring homemade pastas, authentic veal dishes, and fresh seafood specialties. A distinctive feature of Panorama is our unique wine bar, Il Bar, with its custom-built, 120-bottle wine dispensing unit, the current Guinness Book of World Records holder.
Enter an atmosphere of casual elegance at our Old City Philadelphia restaurant, adorned with lavish murals and traditional décor in our dining areas. In the main dining room you will find original, Tuscan-inspired murals, stained glass windows, and sophisticated décor while the romantic Il bar features a reproduced mural of Titian’s Feast of Bacchus and a dramatic wall of wine “on tap” behind the black granite bar.
The specialties prepared by Chef Rosario Romano and owner Luca Sena place Panorama among the best restaurants in Philadelphia. Menu items include Pappardelle al Sugo d’Anitra, homemade wide noodles in a slow-cooked ragout of duck, Scaloppine alla Zingara, thin veal medallions sautéed with house roasted red peppers and olives, and a variety of other homemade pastas, antipasti selections and more.
FARMiCiA is the conception of Kevin Klause (formerly of the White Dog Cafe), James Barrett and Wendy Smith Born (owners of Metropolitan Bakery), who share a vision of a restaurant that captures the pleasures of simply crafted food and excellent beverages served in a relaxed yet lively environment. The emphasis is on great tasting food and beverages crafted from local, organic, and artisanal producers.Located in Philadelphia’s historic Old City, FARMiCiA is a 122-seat restaurant and bar serving breakfast, lunch, an afternoon meal, a relaxed dinner, and brunch on the weekends. The Farm Bar hosts a lively and sophisticated environment for those who seek out new and interesting places to dine and socialize late into the evening.
Built by famed architect William Strickland in 1837 the National Mechanics Building has seen banks, churches, clubs, bars and fires pass between its walls, and it’s still standing.
This beautiful building, as much a part of Philadelphia history as any tourist attraction, now houses Philadelphia’s favorite bar and restaurant.
The gothic, yet warm old world feel combined with refreshing attitudes make National Mechanics similar to Old City itself; a fresh mix of old world form and new world function.
The peculiar name for our establishment stems from the building’s original incarnation in 1837 as Mechanics National Bank. In fact, as the building was built before the invention of the camera, the earliest picture of the bank was in 1901, when the building featured a particularly snazzy sign reading “MECHANIC$ NATIONAL BANK.” Unfortunately, the sign is no longer with us, but the spirit of the craft still is.
Our décor is an allusion to all things mechanical from our homemade lighting fixtures to the strange devices running throughout the space to our uniquely designed bathrooms. All of these elements combined with a laid back and off kilter philosophy make this bar what it is. A place designed with real folks in mind and molded by time, our hands and the hands of many before us. Come in and check it out.