Philadelphia's Best for Group Dining

November 24, 2017
by Zagat Staff

The hardest part about group dinners is finding a spot that no one will complain about. This guide will make that job much easier - here are 14 restaurants that will make everyone happy.

Parc Restaurant
French · 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.