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A spread of steak, salads, and sides.
Dinner at Fork.
Fork

Top Philly Restaurants That Would Likely Earn Michelin Stars If Eligible

These 15 dining spots are our best bets if the prestigious guide came to rate our town

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Dinner at Fork.
| Fork

Currently, Philly doesn’t have its own edition of the legendary Michelin Red Guide — one of the most prestigious dining metrics in the world. There’s been recent debate over why that’s the case — but nonetheless, Philly’s domination in the national dining scene makes us undeniably worthy. According to its guide, a restaurant can earn up to three honorable Michelin stars that recognizes its excellence. In the event that our city is ever eligible, here’s the 15 outstanding Philly restaurants that would most likely earn Michelin stars based on their current criteria trends (food quality, mastery of technique, personality of chef, value, and consistency).

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This Fishtown gem takes the most familiar southern Thai dishes and maximizes their flavor, appeal, and nourishment. Immaculate dumplings with ground chicken, cucumber and Thai chili, steamed whole branzino with lime, chicken stock, and fish sauce, and a poached shrimp and pomelo salad with toasted fresh coconut, chilis, tamarind and cilantro are a few of the invigorating transformations by James Beard award-winning chef Nok Suntaranon.

A definitive omakase, executive chef Hiroki Fujiyama delivers a masterclass in sushi at his dazzling hotspot in Fishtown with splendid sashimi, wagyu, and nigiri. The minimalist details (smaller portions, sleek interior design) have made this restaurant feel like a culinary art deco exhibit.

Vernick Fish

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Chef Greg Vernick has mastered the land with his meat lover’s delight at Vernick Food & Drink — but he dominates the sea at his grand restaurant in Center City. Here, spaghetti is served with blue crab, sungold tomato, and pangrattato, ocean trout is featured in a rice bowl, and snapper is fried and marinated in jerk sauce — making this spot the tastiest experiment in seafood across the region.

Award-winning restaurant maverick Ellen Yin has been keeping diners impressed for over twenty years at Fork — an illustrious New American mainstay that’s the blueprint for farm-to-table dining. Chef George Madosky excels at accentuating familiar dishes: braised lamb (served with grilled loin, couscous, and dried fruit), seared scallops (served with purple sweet potato, brussels sprouts, asian pear), and apple cake with miso-ginger butter and cardamom creme — it’s fine dining done effortlessly.

For years, chef Jose Garces has perfected his love of Spanish tapas at this beloved institution of Philly dining. Serrano ham croquettes, crab-stuffed peppers with toasted almonds, seared scallop with caviar and crème fraîche are a few of his signature dishes that have inspired the small plate-serving restaurants to follow.

Alpen Rose

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Michael Schulson’s iconic steakhouse is unapologetically extravagant, yet comforting. From their succulent beef wellington (served with prosciutto, mushroom, and bordelaise) and juicy Berkshire pork chops to their grand seafood towers and bone marrow toast — opulence isn’t an understatement here.

Morimoto

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Stephen Starr’s dining masterpiece has been serving incredible sushi and accompanying entrées for over 20 years. Such consistency and culinary mastery can’t be ignored as diners haven’t stopped making this restaurant the ultimate destination for wagyu steaks, ramen, and sake flights.

Friday Saturday Sunday

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One of the most acclaimed restaurants in America, Friday Saturday Sunday is an immersive fine dining experience. Owned by chef Chad Williams and his talented wife Hannah, this dynamic duo has revolutionized Rittenhouse and beyond with their love of sweetbreads, quail, truffles, and caviar.

Forsythia

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The epitome of avant-garde French dining in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, this Old City restaurant is the platinum standard. When chef Christopher Kearse is serving smultz stuffed poulet au cidre, bone marrow crusted short rib, and Barnegat light scallops — there’s no way to deny the culinary prestige being achieved.

For over a decade, James Beard-nominated chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby has been running this vegan blockbuster of fine dining. Carrot rillettes on pumpernickel toast, eggplant braciole with preserved lemon, piri piri grilled tofu, and campfire delicata squash are a few of the notable meat-less, dairy-less dishes that’s been impressing diners for years.

Vetri Cucina

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Chef Marc Vetri’s passion project has been an Italian dining institution for over 25 years. Iconic pasta dishes such as their chestnut agnolotti, garganelli, and spaghetti and prawns have helped put Philly on the map as a must-go city to dine.

Dining extraordinaires Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s award-winning restaurant has become paramount in the nation’s food scene. For over a decade, diners have enjoyed their consistently remarkable servings of mezze, kebabs, and show-stopping pomegranate lamb shoulder.

Chef Chris D’Ambro and co-owner Marina de Oliveira take diners on a lavish excursion of experimental Italian cuisine that’s incomparable. Short rib and mushroom, smoked tortellini en brodo, tuna carpaccio, and chestnut and foie gras tortellini are just a few of the exceptional dishes that have been featured on one of the best tasting menus in the region.

Royal Sushi & Izakaya

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Chef Jesse Ito is a culinary mastermind at this imaginative sushi and Japanese bites haven. To excel at hosting an eight-seat omakase that serves pieces of toro with caviar, while simultaneously running a lively restaurant that amazes diners with tasty Karaage wings, curry buns, and koji cabbage is an achievement that can’t be ignored.

Chef Nick Elmi’s embrace of French and New American cuisine has garnered national recognition for years. Parisian gnocchi, wagyu beef coulotte, and fluke crudo are bold standouts on an ambitious menu that has been impressing critics and diners alike.

Kalaya

This Fishtown gem takes the most familiar southern Thai dishes and maximizes their flavor, appeal, and nourishment. Immaculate dumplings with ground chicken, cucumber and Thai chili, steamed whole branzino with lime, chicken stock, and fish sauce, and a poached shrimp and pomelo salad with toasted fresh coconut, chilis, tamarind and cilantro are a few of the invigorating transformations by James Beard award-winning chef Nok Suntaranon.

Hiroki

A definitive omakase, executive chef Hiroki Fujiyama delivers a masterclass in sushi at his dazzling hotspot in Fishtown with splendid sashimi, wagyu, and nigiri. The minimalist details (smaller portions, sleek interior design) have made this restaurant feel like a culinary art deco exhibit.

Vernick Fish

Chef Greg Vernick has mastered the land with his meat lover’s delight at Vernick Food & Drink — but he dominates the sea at his grand restaurant in Center City. Here, spaghetti is served with blue crab, sungold tomato, and pangrattato, ocean trout is featured in a rice bowl, and snapper is fried and marinated in jerk sauce — making this spot the tastiest experiment in seafood across the region.

Fork

Award-winning restaurant maverick Ellen Yin has been keeping diners impressed for over twenty years at Fork — an illustrious New American mainstay that’s the blueprint for farm-to-table dining. Chef George Madosky excels at accentuating familiar dishes: braised lamb (served with grilled loin, couscous, and dried fruit), seared scallops (served with purple sweet potato, brussels sprouts, asian pear), and apple cake with miso-ginger butter and cardamom creme — it’s fine dining done effortlessly.

Amada

For years, chef Jose Garces has perfected his love of Spanish tapas at this beloved institution of Philly dining. Serrano ham croquettes, crab-stuffed peppers with toasted almonds, seared scallop with caviar and crème fraîche are a few of his signature dishes that have inspired the small plate-serving restaurants to follow.

Alpen Rose

Michael Schulson’s iconic steakhouse is unapologetically extravagant, yet comforting. From their succulent beef wellington (served with prosciutto, mushroom, and bordelaise) and juicy Berkshire pork chops to their grand seafood towers and bone marrow toast — opulence isn’t an understatement here.

Morimoto

Stephen Starr’s dining masterpiece has been serving incredible sushi and accompanying entrées for over 20 years. Such consistency and culinary mastery can’t be ignored as diners haven’t stopped making this restaurant the ultimate destination for wagyu steaks, ramen, and sake flights.

Friday Saturday Sunday

One of the most acclaimed restaurants in America, Friday Saturday Sunday is an immersive fine dining experience. Owned by chef Chad Williams and his talented wife Hannah, this dynamic duo has revolutionized Rittenhouse and beyond with their love of sweetbreads, quail, truffles, and caviar.

Forsythia

The epitome of avant-garde French dining in the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, this Old City restaurant is the platinum standard. When chef Christopher Kearse is serving smultz stuffed poulet au cidre, bone marrow crusted short rib, and Barnegat light scallops — there’s no way to deny the culinary prestige being achieved.

Vedge

For over a decade, James Beard-nominated chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby has been running this vegan blockbuster of fine dining. Carrot rillettes on pumpernickel toast, eggplant braciole with preserved lemon, piri piri grilled tofu, and campfire delicata squash are a few of the notable meat-less, dairy-less dishes that’s been impressing diners for years.

Vetri Cucina

Chef Marc Vetri’s passion project has been an Italian dining institution for over 25 years. Iconic pasta dishes such as their chestnut agnolotti, garganelli, and spaghetti and prawns have helped put Philly on the map as a must-go city to dine.

Zahav

Dining extraordinaires Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s award-winning restaurant has become paramount in the nation’s food scene. For over a decade, diners have enjoyed their consistently remarkable servings of mezze, kebabs, and show-stopping pomegranate lamb shoulder.

Ambra

Chef Chris D’Ambro and co-owner Marina de Oliveira take diners on a lavish excursion of experimental Italian cuisine that’s incomparable. Short rib and mushroom, smoked tortellini en brodo, tuna carpaccio, and chestnut and foie gras tortellini are just a few of the exceptional dishes that have been featured on one of the best tasting menus in the region.

Royal Sushi & Izakaya

Chef Jesse Ito is a culinary mastermind at this imaginative sushi and Japanese bites haven. To excel at hosting an eight-seat omakase that serves pieces of toro with caviar, while simultaneously running a lively restaurant that amazes diners with tasty Karaage wings, curry buns, and koji cabbage is an achievement that can’t be ignored.

Laurel

Chef Nick Elmi’s embrace of French and New American cuisine has garnered national recognition for years. Parisian gnocchi, wagyu beef coulotte, and fluke crudo are bold standouts on an ambitious menu that has been impressing critics and diners alike.

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