July 10, 2019
No passport? No problem. You can escape the city to a far away place without having to jump on a plane.
These nine restaurants in Philadelphia can make diners feel as if they've traveled to distant destinations like Italy, Paris and Greece.
Treat yourself to a quick vacation just by eating at one of these local places.
Where you'll feel transported: Italy's Amalfi Coast
To feel as though you're dining on the picturesque Amalfi Coast, look no further than Positano Coast's open-air balcony.
Enjoy the Old City restaurant's blue and white decor and seafood-heavy menu. With an Aperol spritz in hand you'll think you've been whisked away to Southern Italy for a few hours.
Where you'll feel transported: Lebanon
The outdoor space is tranquil, with a large fountain and plenty of seating. While relaxing in the hideaway you may forget you're not actually on vacation.
Where you'll feel transported: London
First, take a good look at the outside of The Dandelion in Rittenhouse, which has all the glamour of an old London pub. Then walk through the wooden door and prepare to feel like you've stepped off the street directly into the United Kingdom.
Order a Pimm's Cup from the bar, or better yet, stop in for afternoon tea, and you'll really feel like you're visiting London. The mismatched armchairs, fireplace and menu of British staples adds to the vibe.
Where you'll feel transported: Japan
Offering an omakase experience at an affordable price, this is the place to go when you're craving sushi. There's a 12-seat bar where diners can enjoy one of two menus.
Choose from the $58 menu, which allows you to sit at the bar for 60 minutes, or the $108 menu, which is a 90-minute experience. Either way, you'll leave full and feeling as though you just took a trip overseas.
Where you'll feel transported: Havana
Iron balconies overlook a colorful courtyard filled with vintage decor and tropical plants. Latin music plays throughout and often there's salsa dancing in the evenings.
While you can't get a Cuban cigar there, you can get delicious Cuban food and cocktails.
Where you'll feel transported: The Philippines
At this modern Filipino BYOB, it's the experience that will transport you to a place far from Philly.
Go to Perla on a Wednesday or Sunday for a kamayan family-style feast. The spread of rice, meats and vegetables is served on giant banana leaves and everyone's expected to eat with their hands.
Dining at Perla is like taking a quick trip to Southeast Asia and back.
Where you'll feel transported: Greece
At Estia, diners are treated to authentic Greek food in a setting that resembles a large home on the Mediterranean – but one with its own fish market!
The restaurant has whole fish flown in from the Mediterranean. The fresh seafood is easily the best thing on the menu, but the zucchini chips with tzatziki are a crowd pleaser.
Where you'll feel transported: Morocco
When you walk through the entrance of the dimly-lit restaurant, you'll leave Philly behind.
Marrakesh, filled with rugs and colorful pillows, offers authentic Moroccan dishes that are meant to be shared and eaten with your hands.
Where you'll feel transported: Paris
Not far from The Dandelion is another Stephen Starr restaurant with a European theme.
Parc, which pays tribute to the traditional Parisian bistro, is located across the street from Rittenhouse Square. The outdoor seats facing the park are coveted spots because they're perfect for people watching, and because sipping coffee and eating pastries at a small table on the sidewalk just feels so French.
Inside, guests will feel truly transported from Philly to Paris thanks to the smell of fresh-baked baguettes and the interior design, which includes vintage paintings and antique brass fixtures you'd imagine at a cozy hideaway by the Eiffel Tower.