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Stuffed Oysters at James
Stuffed Oysters at James
James

Valentine's Day Reservations: Philly Restaurants for Procrastinators

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Stuffed Oysters at James
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Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday this year, meaning it's not as tough to find a table as when V-Day is on a weekend, but reservations for two are nonetheless in hot demand.

But by scouring the city's dining rooms, turns out there are still plenty of good bets available for the evening itself, and this map presents some of those places, across a range of cuisines. At the time of publication on Friday (February 10), every restaurant on this map had tables available at semi-reasonable times for Valentine's Day — some slightly on the early or late side, but some of them still have plum 7 or 7:30 p.m. availabilities too.

Some places here are also doing set menus or table d'hôtes (and some of those are running all weekend, too): check the descriptions for details. But reserve fast — Eater takes no responsibility for restaurants on this map getting booked out.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. James

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1835 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 235-5005
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This new-ish Logan Square spot from the folks behind Mac's Tavern has availabilities throughout the evening, and a $65 three-course table d'hôte featuring filet mignon, braised halibut, and lobster bisque. Details on their OpenTable page.
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  • 2. The Cambridge

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    1508 South St
    Philadelphia, PA 19146
    (267) 455-0647
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    Eat hearty pub food and drink from a solid selection of craft brews with your loved one at cozy neighborhood tavern The Cambridge. Reservations are available throughout the night of the 14th, and there's no set menu or table d'hôte.

    3. Bufad

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    1240 Spring Garden St
    Philadelphia, PA 19123
    (215) 238-9311
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    Wood-fired pizza is the deal at Northern Liberties' Bufad, although you'll have to settle for earlier or later timeslots. No set menus.

    4. La Peg

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    140 N Columbus Blvd
    Philadelphia, PA 19106
    (215) 375-7744
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    It's three courses for $45 at Peter Woolsey's modern brasserie, with options including blackened catfish, lamb ribs and fancied-up potato skins. Spaces are available on the earlier and later ends of the evening.

    5. Sampan

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    124 S 13th St
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    (215) 732-3501
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    It may be better known for its Happy Hour (and realistically, a V-Day happy hour probably won't be raucous), but you can get filled up on buns, potstickers, and pan-Asian takes on seafood here, with reservations available on the early side of the evening. No Valentine's set menus, either.

    6. Cozara

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    3200 Chestnut St
    Philadelphia, PA 19104
    University City izakaya Cozara has a thorough selection of Japanese meals and snacks — if you don't want to slurp ramen with your date, there's ample sushi and yakitori. No set Valentine's menus, and availabilities at various times throughout the evening.

    7. Aksum

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    4630 Baltimore Ave
    Philadelphia, PA 19143
    (267) 275-8195
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    North African-cum-Meditteranean spot also known for its hookah pipes, Aksum has a prix fixe menu of three courses for $55, and spaces open at most times outside the 7 p.m. hour.

    8. Karma

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    246 Market St
    Philadelphia, PA 19106
    (215) 925-1444
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    Spoon korma into your lover's mouth at one of Philly's better Indian options. There's no prix fixe or any kind of Valentine's Day forced menu, and a range of booking times available.

    9. Effie's

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    1127 Pine St
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
    (215) 592-8333
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    This homey Greek taverna in Washington Square West has something of a "Lady and the Tramp gone Greek" feel to it, and is BYOB. No V-Day set menus.

    10. Whetstone Tavern

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    700 S 5th St
    Philadelphia, PA 19147
    (267) 239-0906
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    Hearty but well-crafted pub food is the focus at Whetstone in Queen Village, from wild boar shepherd's pie to roast chicken. No set menu for Valentine's Day, but there's flights of sparkling wine for $15. Places available throughout the evening.

    11. Seorabol

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    5734 N. Old 2nd Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19120
    (215) 924-6865
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    Treat your lover to bibimbap and Korean barbeque. It's a hike north, but spaces are available at most timeslots and you won't be forced into a prix fixe menu.

    12. Xochitl

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    408 S 2nd St
    Philadelphia, PA 19147
    (215) 238-7280
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    One of Center City's go-to more-than-just-tacos Mexican restaurants Xochitl has a set menu at $50 for four courses (although its contents are yet to be released), and a range of times available for reservations.

    1. James

    1835 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

    2. The Cambridge

    1508 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
    Eat hearty pub food and drink from a solid selection of craft brews with your loved one at cozy neighborhood tavern The Cambridge. Reservations are available throughout the night of the 14th, and there's no set menu or table d'hôte.
    1508 South St
    Philadelphia, PA 19146

    3. Bufad

    1240 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
    Wood-fired pizza is the deal at Northern Liberties' Bufad, although you'll have to settle for earlier or later timeslots. No set menus.
    1240 Spring Garden St
    Philadelphia, PA 19123

    4. La Peg

    140 N Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106
    It's three courses for $45 at Peter Woolsey's modern brasserie, with options including blackened catfish, lamb ribs and fancied-up potato skins. Spaces are available on the earlier and later ends of the evening.
    140 N Columbus Blvd
    Philadelphia, PA 19106

    5. Sampan

    124 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    It may be better known for its Happy Hour (and realistically, a V-Day happy hour probably won't be raucous), but you can get filled up on buns, potstickers, and pan-Asian takes on seafood here, with reservations available on the early side of the evening. No Valentine's set menus, either.
    124 S 13th St
    Philadelphia, PA 19107

    6. Cozara

    3200 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
    University City izakaya Cozara has a thorough selection of Japanese meals and snacks — if you don't want to slurp ramen with your date, there's ample sushi and yakitori. No set Valentine's menus, and availabilities at various times throughout the evening.
    3200 Chestnut St
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

    7. Aksum

    4630 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
    North African-cum-Meditteranean spot also known for its hookah pipes, Aksum has a prix fixe menu of three courses for $55, and spaces open at most times outside the 7 p.m. hour.
    4630 Baltimore Ave
    Philadelphia, PA 19143

    8. Karma

    246 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
    Spoon korma into your lover's mouth at one of Philly's better Indian options. There's no prix fixe or any kind of Valentine's Day forced menu, and a range of booking times available.
    246 Market St
    Philadelphia, PA 19106

    9. Effie's

    1127 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
    This homey Greek taverna in Washington Square West has something of a "Lady and the Tramp gone Greek" feel to it, and is BYOB. No V-Day set menus.
    1127 Pine St
    Philadelphia, PA 19107

    10. Whetstone Tavern

    700 S 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
    Hearty but well-crafted pub food is the focus at Whetstone in Queen Village, from wild boar shepherd's pie to roast chicken. No set menu for Valentine's Day, but there's flights of sparkling wine for $15. Places available throughout the evening.
    700 S 5th St
    Philadelphia, PA 19147

    11. Seorabol

    5734 N. Old 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19120
    Treat your lover to bibimbap and Korean barbeque. It's a hike north, but spaces are available at most timeslots and you won't be forced into a prix fixe menu.
    5734 N. Old 2nd Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19120

    12. Xochitl

    408 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
    One of Center City's go-to more-than-just-tacos Mexican restaurants Xochitl has a set menu at $50 for four courses (although its contents are yet to be released), and a range of times available for reservations.
    408 S 2nd St
    Philadelphia, PA 19147

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