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Our City Guides is from the point of view of the people we interview. A restaurant cannot be listed in our guides unless it is recommended by one of the tastemakers we’ve featured. We don’t want you to see the restaurant world through our eyes, but rather through the eyes of your favorite tastemakers in every industry. Why us? Why not them?

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Amis

Recommended by: Marc Vetri (Chef/Owner, Vetri Ristorante), Ilan Hall (Chef/Owner, The Gorbals), Doug Quint (Co-Founder/Co-Owner, Big Gay Ice Cream Truck)

Modeled after a Roman-style trattoria, Amis delivers mouthwatering Italian dishes in a convivial atmosphere. The share-plates menu features the well-known house-made pasta and salumi. However, there’s also a special dishes menu, which features cooked whole animals – birds, hogs, fish and beef. It’s the perfect spot for a feast or a snack. Make a Reservation www.amisphilly.com

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Barbuzzo

Recommended by: Marc Vetri (Chef/Owner, Vetri Ristorante)

Stellar produce elevates the Mediterranean fare featured at this cozy restaurant. Every dish, whether it’s the pizza, charcuterie, or handmade pasta, contains expertly executed culinary elements of Italian and Grecian cuisine.  The space is decorated in an organic, rustic-chic that compliments the comfortable atmosphere. Make a Reservation www.barbuzzo.com

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Cafe la Maude

Recommended by: Greg Vernick (Chef/Owner, Vernick Food & Drink)

With cozy, modern vibes, it’s a much cheaper form of transportation to Europe. The French-Lebanese menu allows for tastes of each culture or a combination of the two. This under-the-radar cafe is a great place for brunch, particularly by way of the specially brewed La Colombe coffee. How about some weekend decadence? Bring along a [...]

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El Vez

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Owner, Barbuto)

El Vez serves jazzed-up Mexican cuisine in a boisterous, lively space. The quirky décor and innovative menu give the casual setting a subtle upscale vibe, which creates a fun, playful atmosphere. The delicious, creatively concocted cocktails and margaritas pair perfectly with the indulgent, adventurous menu. Make a Reservation www.elvezrestaurant.com

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Fork

Recommended by: Andrew Carmellini (Chef/Owner, The Dutch)

New American fare is the staple at this romantic, elegant spot. Executive Chef Eli Kulp masterfully crafts a delightful culinary experience, with a daily changing menu that revolves around seasonal and local ingredients. The dimly lit space and warm décor give this alluring spot an intimate atmosphere. Make a Reservation www.forkrestaurant.com

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High Street on Market

Recommended by: Greg Vernick (Chef/Owner, Vernick Food & Drink)

The bread takes centerstage at this restaurant with a range of loaves like buckwheat cherry and roasted potato. Edgy ingredients in a chic, rustic space, it is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Watch the chefs prepare the food in the open kitchen at the back, and drool over the abundance of baked goods. www.highstreetonmarket.com

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Hip City Veg

Recommended by: Daphne Oz (Host, The Chew)

Hip City Veg doles out healthy, quality food fast.  This fast-food inspired vegan spot is 100% plant based, and all ingredients are sourced locally. The menu describes itself as offering familiar foods with a twist. Whether you’re looking for a sandwich, baked good, or salad, Hip City Veg offers a healthy, flavorful option. www.hipcityveg.com

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Johnny Brenda’s

Recommended by: Marc Vetri (Chef/Owner, Vetri Ristorante)

This Fishtown bar and music venue is a proponent of the locavore movement, offering local beers and a menu championing seasonal and local ingredients.  The space was built in the style of historical social halls, with decor reminiscent of early twentieth century theaters. The unexpected, modern balcony gives the lively bar a fun, trendy vibe. www.johnnybrendas.com

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Lolita

Recommended by: Marc Vetri (Chef/Owner, Vetri Ristorante)

Lolita serves up innovative, high-end Mexican fare, with exciting items such as duck-fat tamales and cucumber jalapeno margaritas. The lively atmosphere and outdoor seating offered in warmer months make this a great place for the interesting drinks and fare. Make a Reservation www.lolitaphilly.com

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One Shot Coffee

Recommended by: Marc Vetri (Chef/Owner, Vetri Ristorante)

The smell of gourmet coffee and homemade baked goods permeate this charming cafe that offers a well-crafted menu of New American fare. The delicious weekend brunch features a bevy of international classics with innovative twists. Family heirlooms, furniture by local artisans, and industrial antiques are scattered throughout the spot, giving it a relaxing atmosphere. www.1shotcoffee.com

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Osteria

Recommended by: Jonathan Waxman (Chef/Owner, Barbuto), Daphne Oz (Host, The Chew), Andrew Carmellini (Chef/Owner, The Dutch), Doug Quint (Co-Founder/Co-Owner, Big Gay Ice Cream Truck)

This second restaurant of Marc Vetri models itself after the classic osterias of Northern Italy. Traditional Italian dishes are served in a warm, convivial setting that’s perfect for noshing over antipasti, pizza, or some house-cured salumi. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, offering smart recommendations from this robust, delicious menu. Make a Reservation “And Osteria is my [...]

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Pure Fare

Recommended by: Daphne Oz (Host, The Chew)

This health food haven offers delicious healthy food, appealing to both the health conscious, and those looking for a fresh meal. It offers sublime smoothies, as well as other standard café options that taste too good to be healthy. The coffees and baked goods are also noteworthy in their taste and flavor. www.purefare.com

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Serpico

Recommended by: Greg Vernick (Chef/Owner, Vernick Food & Drink)

This seasonally-centered dinner spot, from the collaboration of chef Peter Serpico and restaurateur Stephen Starr, is where unusual combinations truly shine. Where else can you find “Mom’s Mac & Cheese” alongside “Chicken & Snail Lasagna”? Find a seat at the open kitchen counter to watch the magic happen. Make a reservation. www.serpicoonsouth.com