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“Still as good as can be!”

Ralph's Italian Restaurant
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Ranked #89 of 4,491 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $18 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood, Steakhouse
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Bella Vista / Queen Village
Cross street: Catherine
Description: Oldest Italian restaurant in the U.S. established in 1900. Still run by the fourth and fifth generations of the original family.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Ralph's is one of those classic "South Philly" restaurants that has survived the change of times and remained a must-visit place for delicious Italian food. Every dish is home-made and cooked to order, with no processed or pre-made ingredients. The service is great, and unless you are in the mood for being alone, be prepared to snuggle up with your near-by guests for a close encounter of the perfect kind!

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Thank Brett D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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305 - 309 of 513 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2013

As a devoted Italian food lover, I've enjoyed many great Italian meals. The food was great! Several great choices on the menu; The mozzarella was very creamy; The atmosphere was excellent! Clearly a favorite of local Philadelphians! Truly an authentic Italian dining experience!

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Thank Paul K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Ralph's...that's all need be said when talking real Italian food in South Philly. Handmade for the most part; always a nice daily special. Salads to share, desserts just because you can and limoncello because it's customary. The menu is is for the most part Southern Italian. Some alfredos, lots of seafood dishes, and mostly red or creamy red and vodka sauces. A great menu.

Had nephew in tow. At his 39 years, family just relocated to area, had yet to be been Italian-ized.
Taxied to Ralph"s (thankfully the Tapas place did not open til 5 for dinner), so to 9th and Catherine we went. Immediate hospitality, I was home in Philly! Dominic our waiter , super effecient.

Nephew Jason and I, plowing through the massive three to four person antipasta, struck up conversation with adjacent table; regulars at Ralph's. This is how it is in Philly; it's Italian. Have never had more fun at a impromptu dinner.

Served to us was the spinach gnocchi, and daily special, huge shrimp,scallops, and calamari rings the most tender I have ever had, over cappellini with a creamy rosa sauce. This must be what heaven tastes like. The neighbors had the Veal with artichokes, the mussels in red sauce, more calalmari over pasta, and this was amazing.

At this point we are about to join our neighboring table for after dinner drinks....cannoli and the lemon sorbet.(served in a 2 part plastic glass...really? For real?? We are ready for the check, after nearly a two hour fun fest, and the announcement is made: Our check has been paid for by the neighboring table. Drinks, food desserts. Now!! That's Italian!!

Hospitality nice folks, good food, fair price for quality food. Life is good. Definitely put this on your short list of "gotta do's" in Philadelphia. Walk-ins okay, early on; but take no chances, make a reservation. Wear jeans, be dressed to the 9's. It all works.

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Thank SusanS609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Ralphs - first things first made reservations via open table no hassle very easy.

Ralph's is the oldest Italian restaurant in the country opened in the late 1890's early 1900 !

Typical drive to Philly heavy traffic. Finding Ralph's very easy

When we got to Ralph's very surprised to find valet parking big plus other wise you would spend 20 min trying to find a place to park. As soon as we checked in we where seated and the waitress was taking our drink order.

Restaurant is a small place middle of the block you can smell the food out on the curb makes ya hungry as soon as you arrive. The first floor dining room is small, they pack lots of tables into a small room. Wait staff nice South Philly folk with that great South Philly accent! all dressed in black. I believe there is seating on the second floor but we did not go upstairs. The atmosphere reminds me of the old South Philly Mob days

Appetizers - Brushetta diced tomato, mozzarella cheese, basil, oregano, garlic, olive oil, served with small slice of Italian bread toasted to perfection out of this world the flavors are amazing.

Dinner - Ralph's is known for the veal so Veal Parmesan it was, large slice of veal about 12 inches long, 6 inches wide, very tender one of the best slice's of veal I have every had. The gravy ( Marinara sauce sorry) was excellent reminded me of my Nona's. The pasta was, well all I can say is WOW its a must !!! Home made Cannoli ! Cheese Cake !!!!

Dinner for 4 with several drinks each, the bill was about $200 worth every penny

The service was very good the wait staff is a very high paced and busy, All in all one of the best dining experience's I have had in Philadelphia (Philly)

Any questions hit me up I'am always willing to answer what I can Viva Italia

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Thank Ted79S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We went to Ralph's on a referral from our hotel. A taxi ride over from the Sheraton. At first the wait staff was curt and quite too busy. But once we chatted with them, things changed and they were eager to tell us all about this restaurant, the oldest Italian one in the USA. the Manicotti was the best I have every had, bar none. The Chicken Piccatta their own unique recipe. The cannelloni was delicious as well.
It's not fancy, and they probably won't want you to tarry (very busy!) but put it on your schedule.

Thank vbailey2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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