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July 10, 2019

Local restaurants that transport diners to far away locations

For a quick summertime getaway visit one of these places in Philadelphia

Food & Drink Restaurants
Positano Coast Courtesy of/Cashman & Associates

Inside Positano Coast in Old City.

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.

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Positano Coast

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

Suraya's gardenCourtesy of/Cashman & Associates

Suraya has an outdoor space for drinking wine and sharing small bites.

Suraya in Fishtown has a market, restaurant and outdoor garden. To really feel like you've landed somewhere far from home, grab a cocktail or glass of wine in the backyard oasis before settling down for a feast of Lebanese food inside.

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.

The Dandelion

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.

Sakana Omakase Sushi

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. 

Cuba Libre

Where you'll feel transported: Havana

Cuba Libre in Old CityCourtesy of/Cashman & Associates

Cuba Libre in Old City plays upbeat Latin music in its tropical dining room.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar has the look and feel of Old Havana in the '50s. 

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.

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