Philadelphia's Best for Group Dining

Where to go when you need to fit the group around the table
November 24, 2017
by Zagat Staff

When it's time to fit the entire extended family or group of friends around the table, these Philly hot spots are where to go. 

Breakfast · Rittenhouse Square · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.4

Stephen Starr "out-bistros most Parisian bistros" with this "très jolie" "people-watching" perch, where those lucky enough to nab an "outside table facing Rittenhouse Square" feel "transported" to the "Champs-Élysées" (but "without the smoking" ); inside, the "happening scene" can reach "daunting noise levels" , but given the "first-rate" French classics – from "sophisticated brunches and lazy lunches to fancy dinners" – and "polished" service, to most it's a "delightful experience" all the same.
Dante & Luigi's
Italian · Bella Vista · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

This "old-world" , circa-1899 Italian in Bella Vista "does things the right way" , offering “outstanding” “classic” fare (including “veal that’ll melt in your mouth” ) and “spot-on” service in a “lovely environment” that's a popular "special-occasion" venue; pay with cash and you get a 10% discount.
The Palm Philadelphia
Steakhouse · Rittenhouse Square · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

"Everything is big" at this clubby Avenue of the Arts branch of the "upscale" "steak joint" chain, from the "large-glass, full-pour cocktails" to the "well-done" beef and dessert portions hefty "enough for three or four" ; its "old-school" setting ( "love the caricatures on the walls" ) and pro waiters who "remember their regulars" appeal to carnivores looking to "feel pampered" – and hopefully packing an "expense account."
American · Rittenhouse Square · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

A "locavore mindset" informs the "farm-to-table angle" at this "unassuming" American BYO "gem" in Rittenhouse Square, where the "house-crafted charcuterie" and other "creative" grub is "sublime" but not "pricey or gimmicky" ; thanks to a staff that "goes the extra mile" , you feel "like you are in a friend's home having dinner."
Kensington Quarters
American · Fishtown · $$$

Set in a repurposed Fishtown warehouse, this "amazing" , "unpretentious" American kitchen from Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello (Cafe Lift, Bufad) offers "outstanding" , "perfectly executed" dishes matched by "well-made" cocktails and "amazing" wines; the "open, warm" surrounds are minimally decked out with wood tables and industrial-style lamps and while tabs run "a little pricey" , the experience "exceeds all expectations."
Hungry Pigeon
American · Queen Village · $$

Chefs Scott Schroeder (American Sardine Bar) and Pat O'Malley (ex Balthazar Bakery in NYC) keep it "creative" yet simple at their "friendly" American brasserie on a Queen Village corner, where "special" baked goods and cafe-style breakfasts/lunches segue into "delicious, unusual" sharing platters and small plates at dinner; a "local" crowd frequents the "laid-back" , brick-walled environs, with a "lovely" bar pouring draft wines and beers.
Dim Sum House by Jane G's
Dim Sum · Spruce Hill · $

Set on the second floor of a University City apartment building, this atmospheric hideaway from the owners of Jane G’s complements its late-night Cantonese- and Shanghai-inspired dim sum menu with cocktails, wine and beer. Adding to its hangout appeal: a pool table in the lounge, mood lighting and sleek Chinese decor, including artwork and ornaments.
Han Dynasty
Chinese · Powelton Village · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

The “life-changing” dan dan noodles and other “wonderful” Sichuan dishes at this "energetic" Chinese chain bring plenty of “well-flavored heat” ; "high ceilings make for a sense of intimacy" at the Old City flagship, and the bar is a "great spot for happy hour or late-night" over high-end cocktails.
American · Old City · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

This "elegant" , “iconic” Old City New American offers a "sublime" menu "full of interesting dishes" , paired with “unparalleled” service; some find it a "bit pricey" , but "worth it" when you want to entertain clients or be "sweet to your sweetie."
American · Northern Liberties · $$

Live funk/jazz and live greenery come together at this cedar-paneled American in a former Northern Liberties warehouse from the crew behind such Philly bars as Time, Vintage and Garage. The locally sourced ingredients extend to house-grown veggies, and there's something for every taste among the over 30 beer taps at the 40-foot bar.
Oyster House
Seafood · Rittenhouse Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

From the "oyster plates on the wall" to the "professional shuckers" at the "superb" raw bar, this Rittenhouse Square fish house does it "right" , with "fair prices" , "knowledgeable" service and a "party atmosphere" during "buck-a-shuck happy hours" ; if you need to "show friends" a Philly "tradition" , this is it.
R2L Restaurant
American · Rittenhouse Square · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.2

This "glitzy" destination on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place "feels like the only way to dine" , featuring "romantic" sunsets and "sophisticated" New American fare delivered by a "pleasant" staff; ok, maybe the food's "not as memorable as the stunning view" , and naturally the "high-in-the-sky" setting comes with "prices to match" , but nonetheless to most this is just "the place to show Philly off to tourists and residents alike" ; P.S. check out its "impressive" happy-hour specials.
Miss Rachel's Pantry
Vegan · Point Breeze · $$$

Vegan caterer Rachel Klein has moved her business into this quaint, sunny-hued South Philly storefront where a long communal table hosts signature fixed-price farm‑to‑table dinners on Fridays and Saturdays. She also offers private cooking classes. P.S. It's certified kosher.
Tom's Dim Sum
Chinese · Chinatown · $

This cheery dim sum spot set in a tunnel beneath Chinatown's Hilton Garden Inn offers a full menu of Chinese basics, from pork buns to sesame chicken, but the specialty of the house is xiao long bao, the Shanghai soup dumplings.